AnyMusic is a premium Windows app that lets users downloads music from YouTube, Archive.org, Jamendo and 4Shared with a couple of clicks. It can also grab HD video from hundreds of other sources.
Just search for an artist and you’ll be presented with a list of songs ready to download in formats including MP3, M4A, WEBM and OGG, with a variety of quality settings.
There’s no denying that it works well. Our issue with AnyMusic is that by using it instead of a legitimate streaming service or buying music outright, you’re denying artists the ability to profit from their work.
Even services like Jamendo, which let you download music by indie artists free of charge, include a community aspect that lets you share your discoveries and spread the word about an artist. They also let artists interact with their fans and see statistics – features they’ll miss out on if listeners bypass the site.
Available as a subscription for US$4.99 (about £4, AU$6) per month or US$38.88 (about £30, AU$50) annually. Alternatively, you can buy a lifetime license for US$49.99 (about £40, AU$60), which can be used on three PCs and includes free upgrades.
A subscription to Spotify Premium is more expensive at US$9.99/£9.99/AU£11.99 per month (about the same as Google Play Music All Access and Apple Music), but with these services you’re safe in the knowledge that the artists are receiving a share of the fee.
It is possible to download content legitimately using AnyMusic, and its built-in video to MP3 converter is a useful addition that works well in its own right. It's up to you, but we'd feel happier using a subscription streaming service and a file converter like Handbrake.
AnyMusic is slick and well designed, as you'd expect from a premium app. To download music, just enter the name of an artist, select a source to download from and either play the track or download it in the format of your choice.
Downloaded files are saved to your Video or Music directory in Windows, and listed in under AnyMusic's Library tab. (a red icon indicates that a file is being saved). You can edit file names here and view the track's duration, but there's no way to alter its metadata, which is a shame.
AnyMusic also includes a tool for extracting the audio from existing video files, which has the potential to be useful for musicians and podcasters. You can convert files in batches, and again the results will be accessible in AnyMusic's Library.