Welcome aboard to the forum
The majority of legal music download services operating within the US that I’m aware of all charge around $0.99 per individual song. Napster and possibly several other music services give a discount if you purchase ‘packs’ of music, for example Napster mentions in their FAQ that one can pay as low as $0.80 a song by purchasing tracks with ‘Napster Tracks Packs’.
If your portable player features “PlaysForSure”, this means that you can use subscription tracks on it. In this case, you pay a set fee a month and can download to your hearts content for that flat rate fee. However, the music only lasts until you stop paying for the subscription.
Finally, there are various music download stores in other countries, which offer music for as low as a couple of cents per song, often in the MP3 format without the idiotic DRM restrictions. However, while these may be fully legal within their country of operation, there may be legal issues when it comes to purchasing tracks from other countries. A very good example is AllOfMP3.com, which claims to be a legally run site in Russia as they pay for the license fees for all the music sold through their music download store. However, the RIAA in the US is very against the site as there are many other content fees that they don’t â€˜have toâ€™ pay, which music stores operating in the US have to fork out. While I’m not sure about the legal issues with purchasing music from it within the US, they are probably one of the cheapest I’m aware of with music costing around $0.10 per typical 3 minute 30 second track at 192kbps (MP3, WMA, etc.) . Interestingly, in Ireland they even offer an option to charge an album towards oneâ€™s mobile phone bill (or prepaid credit) using a premium rate text number.
I would recommend having a look around. Just beware of any site that will not let you preview its music without being forced to sigh up as the vast majority of these are scam sites. Otherwise, happy downloading.