One of the first questions I get asked by new Mac users is… how do you download music. My answer… iTunes of course, but then they make sure to point out that they want it for free. Now I don’t condone downloading music illegally, but luckily for me, I live in Canada–where downloading is legal! So here’s a list of some ways to download files, and the programs you will need to do this.

Torrent Programs

Everyone should know by now what a torrent file is, and if you don’t, you must be new to the internet, or you must have been living under a rock for the last 5 years. Essentially its a way to split the network load between a number of people who are currently sharing the same files you are. You will need to download a .torrent from a website and put it into an application to begin your download. However, this type of downloading has been under huge attack from your Internet Service Providers (ISP). They attempt to slow down your traffic and block the ports you use to download these files. Its ridiculous, but that’s another debate for another day. Anyway, here’s what you need.

Peer-to-Peer

This is your typical napster-esque download type. You search and it finds what you need.

Usenet

Usenet is a bit tricky to use and, by tricky, I mean pricey. You usually have to pay for a subscription to connect to a usenet server, and the best usenet applications are not free. So if you can afford a couple of bucks a month for usenet access and a couple of bucks for an application, this is the best way to “share,” and “download” music and movies on the internet. Essentially, you connect to a usenet server and then you connect to a website that hosts .nbz files. Download the .nbz files with your usenet program, and you’re ready to go! One of the major benefits of using usenet is that very few ISPs filter the data for these ports. You might want to get access to a server that supports SSL as well. This will encrypt your traffic for you. Here’s what you need.

Server Access

A couple of great services include.

Usenet Applications

  • iGrabNews
  • Unison…This one’s Great!