40 Ways to Download FREE Music Legally – An Ultimate Guide

guitar

Image Credit: ReutC


You don’t really have to spend a lot of money to fill up your iPod, or download songs illegally if you really don’t want to.  Here is an ultimate guide on how to download free music legally.

1. How to download free songs from last.fm

lastfm

last.fm is perhaps best known for its intelligent internet streaming radio service, but it also offers up a nice selection of free MP3 downloads – many of them from prominent artists like Moby and Nine Inch Nails.

2. How to download two Nine Inch Nails albums for free

nineinchnails

Nine Inch Nails has always taken the stance of siding with free music and giving back to fans.  He also puts his money where his mouth is, and has released TWO albums for free download.  The Slip, and his collaboration with Jane’s Addiction aptly called NIN|JA

3. How to download free live music

 livemusic

The Live Music Archive or etree.org claims to be a community committed to providing high quality live recordings – and it does not fail in that department. Featuring a long list of commercial and indie artists performing live including Hot Buttered Rum and Smashing Pumpkins, this is a great place to complement your existing music collection.

4. How to download free songs from Amazon.com

amazon

It’s a little known fact that Amazon has a ton of free songs and albums available in their store.  As I write this, there are more than 840 songs available for free as album-samplers featuring all kinds of acts from Paul Simon to indie groups.

5. How to download all the songs from South by South West (SXSW)

sxsw

SXSW is a music festival held annually in Austin, Texas, which has been taking the world by storm.  If you didn’t make it to the festival, you’ll be glad to know that all the music from 2005 till 2009 is available for free download

6. How to download good free indie music

1. FMA

Having a distaste for repetitive and clich©d tracks played on your local station? The Free Music Archive is a movement inspired by open source ideas and features music handpicked by nine ˜curators’ – here you’ll find free and perfectly legal music created by mostly indie artists.

7. How to download free awesome remixes

2. ccMixter

ccMixter is a place where things really get mixed up – in a good way! Here you’ll find tracks that have been remixed by users, some with outstanding results. If you’re getting tired of what you’re hearing now, a visit to this site might refresh your senses.

8. How to download free Japanese music

japanese

Muzzie is a site which offers free Japanese music downloads.  If you don’t understand Japanese, you may not understand the reviews but the all important letters MP3 is in English are you’ll know where to click.

9. How to download free music handpicked by audiophiles

4. Epitonic

Epitonic is a curated music website featuring fresh indie music that has been handpicked by audiophiles. Members can also listen to college radio stations, read reviews and view artists profile in this well managed site. Yet another good way to discover tomorrow’s star talent!

10. How to download good free video game music

 mario mushroom

OverClocked ReMix is a huge library of video game music. Although there are music from games such as the good ol’ Metroid Prime, Pok©mon, and Final Fantasy, its true draw lies in the remixes done by fans – here you’ll find thousands of dedicated work done for the love of gaming.

11. How to download free legal music using torrents

6. Legal Torrents

LegalTorrents is an œonline digital media community that hosts thousands of music files, downloadable using a torrent p2p software. Of course, being a media community, there are also pictures, videos, audiobooks and other free goodies available for grabs.

12. How to get involved in an indie music community with free music

7. ArtistServer

ArtistServer.com is a huge collection of over 10,000 songs, complete with artist information and social review capabilities. Head on here if you’re in need of fresh music to complement your music collection.

13. How to download free songs on iTunes

itunes

Every week iTunes releases a œSingle of the Week featuring an interesting up-and-coming artist, a œDiscovery Download to broaden your listening tastes and an iTunes Latino œSingle of the Week showing off some of the newest Spanish language songs. All these can be played on your computer in iTunes, on your iPod or burned to CD for listening anywhere.  This page is for US store downloads, this one for international store downloads, and this link gives you free audiobooks.  You can also try this thread on MacRumors for a full list of all the free songs on iTunes.

14. How to help independent artists get signed

8. GB

Garageband is a social review network for independent bands vying for exposure. You can vote for your favorite indie bands and help take them to stardom.  Since its inception, this website has already helped jumpstart the career of several bands, the most notable being the band œ10 Years’, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard charts after getting favorable reviews at Garageband, as they have over 1000 radio partners. Who knows, you mighthelp the next Guns ˜n Roses or Nickelback get signed!

15. How to download free classical music

classicalmusicnotes

On Wikipedia you will find a gigantic list of classical music downloads which are in the public domain, or shared by the commons law. Get songs from all your favourite composers from Bach to Beethoven here.  The drawback though is that the files are in .Ogg format, which may not be the most popular or widely supported file standard. If you cannot play it on your desktop, Wikipedia has some tips to help you along.

16.How to discover new talent and get their songs for free

9. Purevolume

PureVolume is a premier social music site with streaming as well as downloadable songs from emerging artists.

17. How to get free music from one of the oldest sources of free music on the web

mp3

Being the granddaddy of free legal music downloads, mp3.com has offered countless artists the chance to strut their stuff before the world. It still offers up one of the largest collections of free legal music to date.

18. How to vote for independent music digg style

thesixtyone

thesixtyone is an interesting take on ranking indie music, by running them through a digg style voting system where the cream of the crop rise to the top and get a lot of exposure.  As a listener you can play a active role in making unknown people stars on the indie scene.

19. How to get recommendations for free downloadable music

amiestreet

On Amie Street, the community determines the price of music. Every song starts cheap (or even free!) and increases in price up to 98 cents as more and more people purchase it.  This ensures that you get music at a sensible price. If you find cheap songs or albums, that means they’re new to the site and/or undiscovered; conversely, when you pay top price for an album, you know that a lot of people think it’s really good. 

As you browse Amie Street and purchase music, the site learns more and more about your tastes, and the recommendations for you quickly become customized.

20. How to find old 78 RPM and cylinder recordings and download them for free

 rpm

Archive.org, the Internet’s super-archive has with them a very interesting collection of really old records, now preserved digitally.  Here you can download from this collection of thousands of 78rpm records and cylinder recordings released in the early 20th century.

21. How to download free international music

jamendo

Available in seven languages, Jamendo offers the largest catalog of music under Creative Commons licenses. For artists, it’s an easy and efficient way to publish, share and promote their music, and also to make money, through ad revenue sharing and commercial partnerships.

22. How to download free Australian music

mp3au

23. How to share and recommend songs, as well as download them for free

ilike

iLike allows you to share playlists and recommendations with friends riding on networks such as Facebook and Bebo, as well as download some of the songs on the site for free.

24. How to discover more new indie bands

tuneshout

Tuneshout allows you to discover independent artists you can’t find anywhere else, meet other listeners who share the same musical tastes as you, and participate in the popularity of TuneShout artists by writing review an

25. How to download free reggae songs

reggae

While most free music sites specialize in rock, the Dubroom carves out a very unique niche for itself specializing in reggae music, offering loads of free downloadable MP3s as well.

26. How to interact with emerging artists and share music

purevolume

PureVolume is a website for the discovery and promotion of new music and emerging artists.  Listeners and fans can also create profiles to interact with artists and each other, as well as track and share music they like.

Since the site’s launch in 2003, PureVolume has been widely recognized as a premier social music site and has received praise in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and beyond.

27. More ways to download free indie MP3s

mp34u

Mp3 4U is a website which scours the net to find the best free MP3s on the web and puts them up here.

28. How to download free Amiga music

unexotica

Yes, that’s right – AMIGA music.  UnExoticA is a collection of music ripped from Amiga Games and Demos. It aims to provide complete rips with full credits for all Amiga game and demo soundtracks.

29. How to download free punk rock MP3s

fatwreck 

With more than 50 bands under their wings, Fatwreck offers up selected tracks for downloads so you can sample all the punk rock you need.

30. How to download free classical sorted by composers

violingirl

Classic Cat is a directory with links to over 5000 free to download classical performances on the internet, sorted by composer and work.  Download everything from piano to classical guitar songs.

31. How to download free heavy rock music

rancid

Hellcat records is an independent label specializing in heavy, punk and ska rock records.

32. How to download free European electronic music

electrobel 

Electrobel is a living community bringing together artists and fans, organising music events, coordinating mutual help and promoting the independent music culture across Europe specializing in every thinkable electronic music genre.

33. How to download the MP3 of the day from AOL

spinner

Spinner.com is a an AOL project which has a section dedicated to release one carefully screened MP3 every day.

34. How to download free piano songs

piano

The goal for Piano Society is to bring classical music to a broader audience, as today it is unfortunately neglected by the general public, and they try to wipe away the elitist attitude towards it.  Piano Society offers artists, amateurs and professionals alike.

35. How to download free German songs

tonspion

If you’re looking for more of a European flavor, you can try Ton Spion, a site which caters to German indie bands.  Don’t worry about not being able to navigate the site as the words œFREE MP3 DOWNLOAD is thankfully in English :)

36. How to download free dance tracks

dance

Looking for free dance music?  Check out Dance Industries for constantly updated dance tracks to get you going.

37. How to download free songs which have fallen into the public domain

public domain

PublicDomain4U is a a website which seeks to showcase all the best tracks which have since fallen into public domain. 

38. How to download a free Coldplay album

coldplay

Coldplay has released an album for fans, for free – no strings attached.  Hurry and download it for free as it’s up for a limited time only!

39. How to download free children’s songs

children

Whether you’re babysitting, or trying to please you own child, music goes a long way in making them happy and assisting in a healthy development.  FreeKidsMusic is a repository of free children’s music where you can download some terrific tracks for kids.

40. How to download free Christmas songs

christmas

When the holidays come rolling around, you don’t have to shell out big bucks to play those Christmas tunes.  Just head on over to FeelsLikeChristmas and get yourself some free familiar songs.

Post written by James Yeang and Chan Huey Hoong

Do you download free music online, or have any more sites to add to the list?  Tell us more in the comments!

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