To listen to music and voice recordings on the Internet, and to download sound from the web without interruption, you require an Internet connection. Because of the large file sizes associated with online music, a broadband or high-speed Internet connection is ideal. However, online music can be enjoyed using a standard telephone line, with patience. Most songs range between 2 and 4 MegaBytes, so it will take 10 to 15 minutes unless you have a high-speed Internet connection.
Broadband is available from all of the major telecommunications companies. It pays to shop around and see which company has the best deal and often there will be a special offer on connecting with broadband.
You need a soundcard. This usually comes with your PC when you purchase it, and you need some speakers or headphones attached to your PC.
You should also consider having a compact disc rewriter (burner) if you are seriously thinking about building a personal music collection. When you are buying a PC you should include it as a hardware requirement. If you have a PC already you can buy one and install it. Ensure that the CD burner is capable of recognising WMA files and MP3 files and AAC files.
You will, along the way, download some plug ins (small computer programes that adapt your PC for downloading from individual sites and listening to music). The most common ones are Windows Media Player and Real player. To listen to some radio stations you will need the media player that the site uses. When you click on an audio site it will prompt you to download a media player if the media player you are using is not the one they use. You have to decide whether you want to download that plug in.
Please bear in mind that the download and installation of software from the Internet must only be carried out if you are certain that the supplier is reputable. It is quite common for downloaded software to include viruses and other security breaches. Particular care is needed when dealing with illegal or questionable music sites.