How To Find Legal Free Music Downloads & Create Playlists From Streaming Music [Sound Sunday]
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Sound Sunday has been our outlet for sharing legal free music downloads once a week since April 2010.

Over the years, we have gathered a few loyal fans and we appreciate your support. Over the past year, I have shifted the format in hopes it would attract more readers. I focused on popular music genres, compiled music collections for specific needs, and added a playlist for each edition. Apart from the occasional spike in traffic and the extremely rare evergreen post, I failed to consistently hit a nerve and build a larger following.

Sound Sunday Traffic

The reality is that the Internet has changed. Bandwidth has increased globally, music streaming services Which Is The Best Mobile Music Streaming Service? Which Is The Best Mobile Music Streaming Service? Online radio is picking up steam now that there’s a good bit of competition driving the technology. You might be familiar with services like Pandora and Spotify, but now that you can stream music on-the-go... Read More make it easy to access your favorite tunes wherever and whenever you want Want to Stream Music From Your PC To Wherever You Are? Want to Stream Music From Your PC To Wherever You Are? What's the easiest way to take your entire music library with you, no matter where you go? Read More , many services offer radio like streams 5 Easy Tools To Listen To Online Radio Stations On Windows 5 Easy Tools To Listen To Online Radio Stations On Windows Music rocks! But managing playlists and local radio stations can be boring. Consider listening to the radio online with these Windows apps. Read More or curated playlists Get A Handpicked Playlist Of The Week's Best Music With Noon Pacific Get A Handpicked Playlist Of The Week's Best Music With Noon Pacific Noon Pacific takes the best part of radio and isolates it into a brilliant web app. Clark Dinnison handpicks 10 new songs based on recommendations by 25 top blogs and shares them with you. Read More , and much of it can be had for free. Downloading music has become a thing of the past.

Thus it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to retire Sound Sunday. For those of you who came here for the music downloads, I will use this last post to share the tools I have used to compile Sound Sunday.

Finding Free Music

When I started this column in 2010, I had doubts whether I would be able to find a sufficient number of legal music downloads to fill a post each and every week. I started with 5 single MP3 downloads. When I did the first album post at the end of May 2010, I thought I’d never find enough material for a second edition. I was so wrong. Today, my archives are chock-full with album bookmarks that I will never share.

Sound Sunday Bookmarks

When I previously shared my resources, I wrote that my primary resource for finding free music albums 5 Resources Used To Find Free MP3 Albums For Sound Sunday 5 Resources Used To Find Free MP3 Albums For Sound Sunday 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... Read More  was Twitter. That’s still a great resource for randomly discovering new music, one I’ve hardly used recently. Weekly NoiseTrade emails and recommendations have remained a steady source of inspiration. Since I’ve changed the column to address specific genres and topics, I have relied almost exclusively on Bandcamp.

The reason Bandcamp has developed into such an important resource is because most artists who offer free music downloads can be found here. Even when I saw an album on NoiseTrade, I’d usually find the artist on Bandcamp as well. Apart from being a great resource for discovering music, Bandcamp offers great streaming widgets and makes it easy to support artists with a donation.

Navigating Bandcamp

The best way to discover specific music, is to browse Bandcamp by tags. In the beginnings, when I tried to share a mix of genres, I occasionally used that to round off an edition. More recently, this has been my primary way of compiling albums around a topic or genre.

Bandcamp Tags

Once you go to a tag page, you’ll find a long list of albums, which you can sort by popularity or newness. For Sound Sunday, I would look at the first page for both sorting options, drag out free albums, which I would then review and process further. Albums that met my overall quality criteria, but didn’t quite fit, would go into my bookmarks.

Bandcamp Tag Page

Tags can also be found at the bottom of an album page. When I wanted to build an edition around a specific mood or genre, I often started with one album that had inspired the idea and used its tags to find similar albums from other artists. At the very bottom of the album page, you can also see an album’s licensing. If you need creative commons licensed music for a creative project 14 Websites To Find Free Creative Commons Music 14 Websites To Find Free Creative Commons Music Do you use Creative Commons in any online project? When it comes to Creative Commons music -- there are certainly no shortage of websites with audio you can use for any occasion. Read More , this and tags (if the artist thought of it) is the best way to find it on Bandcamp.

Compiling Playlists

The idea of compiling a Sound Sunday playlist had been around for a very long time. Time and time again I went out to find a service that would allow me to do that online. I finally discovered Minilogs.

Minilogs allows you to add streaming audio from a number of sources, including YouTube, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp, to compile a streaming playlist. It didn’t immediately work with Bandcamp, but the developers were very helpful in getting it up and running. You can find all Sound Sunday playlists here.

Minilogs Playlists

What makes Minilogs so incredibly useful, is its browser extension. Once it’s installed, navigate to a page that contains the streaming audio clip you’d like to add to your playlist, click the extension, create a new log (playlist) or save the link to an existing one.

Minilogs Browser Extension

After you made the log public, you can share it, which includes code to embed the playlist on other pages.

That’s It For Sound Sunday

Now you know how Sound Sunday came together each and every week. Thank you for your support over the past years. We will continue to cover music and I hope we’ll see you around to enjoy it. If you have any requests for what kind of content you would like to see, please fill the comments with suggestions and feedback.

What made you come to Sound Sunday and what kind of music compilations would you appreciate in the future?

Featured Image Credits: Goodbye by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

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  1. Ocean
    March 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Sound Sunday has helped me explore new genres of music and find many great artists. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips.

  2. Trinity Ward
    October 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you for your articles Tina. So sorry to see you retire Sound Sunday. All the best.

  3. Nahla
    October 6, 2014 at 11:57 am

    What! So this is the last? So sad to see it go! I always try to pass by here and share the page, it's one of my favorites in MUO. I want to say thank you for all the music recommendations, Tina. I still listen to some of the bands you've featured here that caught my ear. I will never have listened to them without Sound Sunday. Thank you.

    • Tina
      October 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Very welcome Nahla and thank you for your feedback now and in the past. I appreciate everyone's comments and it's great to see recurring names like yours. :)

    • Nahla
      October 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      Oh! It's nice that you remember me. I'm touched! And you're most welcome. :)

      Hmm... I'll try to review the really old Sound Sunday posts and maybe find another gem. I hope MUO will have something similar in the future. Thanks again!

  4. Jessica C
    October 3, 2014 at 1:58 am

    This is a great send-off for Sound Sunday, Tina, setting your strategies free into the wild.

  5. Angel
    October 2, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Sorry to hear it, Tina.

  6. techno
    October 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I'm really sad to see this go. It was one of my favorite recurring articles. Here's hoping something worthwhile takes the place of this section.

    • Tina
      October 2, 2014 at 4:54 am

      You'll have to pledge to our new creative editor Tim to create a worthwhile replacement. He also runs the Stuff To Watch column, so I'm sure he'll think of something if there is enough demand.

  7. Keith
    September 30, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Wow! I can't believe it. It's been a great run, Tina, and I'm sad to see Sound Sunday go. I read every article from the debut until now, usually through RSS. You've been an excellent curator of interesting free music. My library is populated with many of your recommendations. I appreciate you telling us how you found your selections, but I will miss yours. All the best!

    • Tina
      October 2, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Keith. If you've kept up with Sound Sunday for that long, you should have a huge music library; it should sustain you for a while. :) And once you start looking for music on your own, you'll find that the amount of quality free material is truly astonishing.

  8. Robyn McIntyre
    September 29, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I have mixed feelings about losing Sound Sunday. On the one hand, I think it helps to have someone curate what's new (or may seem new) in music, something I don't usually have time for. On the other hand, most of what was curated here tended to be music I was less interested in - ambient, hip-hop, etc. Likely I was not your hoped-for audience, but even this old lady enjoyed learning about and hearing samples of what younger music enthusiasts were excited about. Thanks for your effort and thanks for sharing. I learned and found the instruction entertaining.

    • Tina
      October 2, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Glad you picked up something you might not otherwise have appreciated, Robyn. Thank you for your feedback, now and over the years!

  9. pac
    September 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you for my happier Mondays and for the excellent music I've met and downloaded over these years. Thanks, Tina. (but still wishing that-- ;)

  10. Axel C
    September 29, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Nice to see it explained.

    Time to check out minilogs. :)

    Thank you for the effords every week. :)

  11. Anonymous
    September 29, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Hey! Great article! Do these services let me keep the music on my device or do I have to use it in-app?

    • Tina S
      September 29, 2014 at 2:40 am

      You download the music as files to your computer and then you own it.

    • Brayden
      September 29, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Thanks for all the hard work over the years. I've come here almost every week to look at the music.