If you want free music, there are a couple of options if you want to do so legally. I’ll go over a couple legit sites that I use so you can get an idea of what’s out there. Feel free to check them out the next time you’re looking for some new tunes.
Usually, music is made available for free under one of two licenses: either the owner has released the music through a creative commons license or the songs are public domain (meaning there is no copyright anymore). Keep an open mind as you’re looking and you can find some really great things.
There’s a site called PureVolume that has free songs by some household names in rock, rap, and pop music. It also has emerging artists that are worth a listen as well. While you’re not going to get entire albums for free from famous artists, you will score enough tracks to make your wallet happy.
The artists who make their work available through creative commons are often people who want to get their music out there and expand their audience. A site like Noisetrade allows you to download complete albums for free. If you like the music, you can choose to tip the artist or spread the word. You can even get ebooks (or regular books, if that’s your thing) from Noisetrade. Nice, right?
Another option is the Free Music Archive, which is a free to use/donations appreciated site, but you can get some pretty sweet swag if you do hand over some money. It is part of one of my favorite radio stations, WFMU-FM. This station is available for streaming, and it’s great because the DJs play whatever they want.
Jamendo is another free service with independent music from all different genres. The site is really user-friendly and allows you to find the most popular downloads and the newest music very quickly. They also have a “Best of” playlist every month and you can typically find something good there. There are streaming radio channels, too. You can listen to that and if you hear something you like, you can download the music for free. I think that’s pretty awesome.
Amazon has pages of music available for free, you just have to look for what’s free (go into digital music, click on best sellers, and then select top 100 free). Apple used to have a single of the week, which was awesome, but they don’t offer it anymore. I think it is probably so that they can push their pay service, Apple Music, although I can’t say that for sure.
You can discover a lot of new and talented artists this way, as well as discover some great classics. The next time you find yourself sick of hearing the same songs over and over on the radio, take one of these sites for a spin. I’d love to hear what you come up with in the comments!