How to fill your new MP3 player with free and legal music
That seems impossible, what is this all about ?An amazing amount of free and legal music is available on the internet :
- Beginning artists make their tracks available, in the hope to be discovered.
- Established bands make some of their tracks available or allow downloading live performances.
- Record labels want to sell records and allow downloading some tracks from their albums.
- Fans want to promote their favorite artists or genres and (often temporarily) publish tracks on their weblog or web sites too.
Given enough computing power and bandwidth, it is easy for a robot to scan the entire internet and collect all that music, both legal and illegal, as has been done by
Where do I find the free music ?Workgroups that organize the chaos of available music, help to discover what you are looking for.
Many specialize in free and legal music downloads, like Creative Commons, Archive.org, Agnula Libre Music, Etree, Music for America, Common Content,
Many workgroups cater for beginning musicians and have a huge selection (which often implies a low quality). The better ones of those are
MusicHosts and MusicHosting have huge tables, comparing features of online music distributors, made for artists looking for hosting services, but listeners can use them to find the sites they might want to explore too.
Many labels require an email address, before you can taste their free tracks. Use a disposable email address from Yahoo, or use services similar to Bugmenot Email, Sneakemail, Mailinator and Spam.la to avoid more spam. When sites require a login/password, before you can taste their music, it indicates they are more interested in harvesting email addresses, than showing what they really have. Better use services like Bugmenot, to show that you do not want that.
Freeplaymusic has many high quality instrumental tracks, that can be downloaded for private non commercial use in presentations and home videos.
Netlabels distribute music in digital formats only and often offer their whole catalog for free. The Netlabel Catalog, a Wiki with hundreds of links organized by genre can be found here.
Most commercial labels have only 30 second previews and are often not worth wasting your time, unless they have a huge selection like the iTunes Music Store (ITMS), which also offers one free track every week and free podcasts.
Juice, free software licensed under the GPL, is an alternative for downloading these podcasts.
One label offers full tracks before you buy anything.
Magnatune is an innovative label that uses a shareware like approach, where 50 % of the payment goes directly to the artist, and you can even choose how much you want to pay.
Seen that, been there..., where can I find more ?Internet radio stations have continuous streams of interesting programs that can easily be recorded. Musicmoz, the Open Music Project, has links to those and much more.
Collaborative systems allow listeners to rate the music they like. There
iRATEradio is an open source Java client program which runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. It downloads tracks in the background (perfect for very slow sites like
Wiki pages like the 1 Million Free & Legal Music Tracks page are another amazing source of free and legal music. On this page, anyone can add the sites they found worthwhile. Use it to publish the discoveries you have made.
The following page contains a more up to date list of free legal mp3 music downloads
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Last update : September 2010.
We try to collect the best free and legal instrumental Smooth Lounge Funky Groove Jazz tracks on the net.