We all know China's internet is a f***ing goldmine when it comes to accessing music, movies, TV shows, software and more. The only trouble is, if you're a fresh off the boat, English-only laowai this veritable Cave of Wonders remains sealed off to you. To save you the trouble of spending hundreds of hours learning Chinese we've made this for you.
Step One - Downloading QQ Music
If you're rocking a Mac, iPad, iPhone or an Android phone just access your App Store, search, download and you'll be done. If you're on a Windows device or can't find QQ Music on your App Store, read on.
First, head on over to y.qq.com. Once it's loaded click on - 下载客户端.
Next up, choose which operating system to download on. In this case we've chosen Windows.
When it's finished downloading open the installer. Once it loads DON'T PRESS THE GREEN BUTTON, instead click on that sneaky little button in the corner (the check box just says you agree to QQ's T&Cs)
Untick the box marked in the image below (unless you want QQ Music to become your default music player) then press the green button
This step is crucial: untick all of the boxes before pressing the green button. If you don't, QQ Music will install a bunch of other useless, crappy software that'll only slow your computer down and piss you off.
Step Two - Setting up a QQ Account
While this isn't essential for casual listening, QQ Music does require you to sign in to download music. If you've already got a QQ account (used for QQ Videos, QQ Messenger etc...) you can skip this step. If you don't, head back toy.qq.com and click 马上登录
On the next page click 注册新帐号
Click "English" and follow the sign-up instructions. Remember to sign up for a QQ Account instead of using your email - it'll be useful during the rest of your time in China!
Step 3 - Searching for Music in QQ Music
Congratulations - you're now officially through the difficult part.
Open up QQ Music on your phone/pc/mac/iPhone and ignore all the Chinese - it'll only intimidate 'ya. Instead head straight for the search bar marked in the pictures below. This little search box is your portal to a world of music, from ABBA to ZZ Top, Skrillex to Teresa Teng, it can all be found here. In our case we fancied listening to a bit of Judas Priest.
Search looks like this on QQ Music's mobile app:
Once you type in an artist you'd like to listen to it'll present you with a window like the one below. If you want to listen to all of the artist's songs click on the area marked below.
Alternatively you can sort all the search results by individual songs by clicking on 单曲
The same field's location on the mobile app:
You can also sort your search results by albums:
The "albums" field on the mobile app:
Or, if you really love the song/artist you can sort your results by music videos - MV:
The MV search filter on the mobile app:
Step Four - Playing Music on QQ Music
It seems obvious doesn't it - just double click on the song you want to listen to. If you want to play a whole playlist/album/selection of music just click - 播放全部
Step 5 - Downloading Music Using QQ Music
Oh yeah, now we're getting into the good stuff. To download music an individual song simply start playing it and click here:
QQ Music might prompt you to login - don't worry just enter your username and password that you set up all the way back in Step 2.
If downloading entire albums is more your kind of thing, that's also fine, we've got a solution for you. Navigate to the album page using the above steps, then click here:
Alright, now you've started downloading the goods, where do you find them once they're done? If you want to play them in the app you can find them here:
On the mobile app you can find them here:
If you want to use another app to listen to the music, or if you want to transfer the music from your PC/Mac to another device you can find the actual files saved in your device's music folder.
Related: How to download TV Shows and Movies in China