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This is a special edition of Sound Sunday, in that it’s not published on a Sunday and it doesn’t contain any free albums. However, if you have ever wondered how I have been able to track down 10 free and legal album downloads for Sound Sunday every single week since May 2010, read on!

I will share my strategies with you and after reading this article, you will be able to find a diverse collection of free albums yourself whenever you want. I do hope that you will share your most valuable discoveries with me for an upcoming edition of Sound Sunday! Please drop a comment or send me an email [tina at makeuseof dot com].

1. Twitter

My primary search tool is Twitter. This is where artists and fans announce anything that is hot, including free albums. So the first thing I do when I research for Sound Sunday is fire up Twitter and search for free album. You will find at least a dozen full albums during any 24 hour period. Be prepared, however, that most of it is Hip Hop.

When I’m not satisfied with the results from a couple of Twitter pages, I search for the hashtags #musicmonday and #freemusic. These include free songs, videos, and a lot of illegal material. I use the former two only when the artist is famous and I consequently ignore the latter.

twitter search

Other search terms I use are bandcamp and noisetrade.

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2. Bandcamp

Regular followers of Sound Sunday will know that most of the music presented here is hosted on Bandcamp. That has several reasons. First of all, I automatically come across a lot of material from Bandcamp using Twitter. Secondly, it is my favorite source due to the streaming widget. And finally, Bandcamp itself is easy to search.

Sometimes I feel like adding a specific music style to create a well rounded Sound Sunday edition. That’s when I love to use Bandcamp because you can browse music by genre. And in the end, it’s only a matter of time until you come across a great free album.

free music download

3. NoiseTrade

NoiseTrade is a super convenient resource because it makes my life easy. All the information is grouped on one page, meaning I don’t have to search far and wide for little details, like a band introduction or links to their homepage. Moreover, unlike Bandcamp, NoiseTrade has no maximum number of free downloads. However, some albums are available for a limited time only.

You will love NoiseTrade because all music is free, the site can easily be browsed by top downloads or most recent albums, and there is a sheer endless amount of albums right on your fingertips.

stream music

4. Various Free Sources

Many Netlabels release selected albums or mixtapes for free. I come across a wide selection on a regular basis. Some netlabels I have bookmarked for regular consideration include Circle Into Square, Quote Unquote Records, and Electrobel.

Other great websites I browse regularly are Open Licensed Digital Media, Daytrotter, Internet ArchiveReverbNation, and Free Music Archive.

5. Recommendations

My final resource that I have exclusive access to is personal recommendations. Some fans, managers, and artists approach me and suggest an album to be featured on Sound Sunday. So far, all suggestions have been awesome, so keep them coming!

The only way you can tap into this type of resource is to build your own network of music lovers. Subscribe to blogs and websites that offer free music downloads, for example Spin Magazine, Free iTunes Downloads, PureVolume, or Stereogum. Then connect with like-minded people and keep your eyes and ears wide open.

And that’s it! Are you still disappointed that you didn’t get to hear any music samples? Maybe this is the time to discover past editions of Sound Sunday here.

Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback for upcoming editions of Sound Sunday, or simply add your comments below.

  1. Tina
    November 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing, I will check it out!

  2. Zhon
    November 11, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Jamendo is also another widely popular site to explore music from rising artists. There's always Record Label, who distribute wide known music for people and most of them are completely free. To have a mixture, Amazon have their own free mp3 downloads that's available and exclusive prices for some excellent albums.

    • Tina
      November 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks for throwing these in there, Zhon!

      There are indeed many sources to get great free music. However, I mostly source from the ones mentioned in the article above when I write my Sound Sunday articles. :)

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