7 Sites To Get Free Music (Legally!)

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I love music, and I love free stuff. Free music? Heavenly. For those of you who think that nothing good comes for free, you’re about to be surprised. Here are some of my favorite sites to get 100% free and 100% legal music.

Amazon.com

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Surprised already? Amazon has become a major player in the arena of online music sales, with one of the first stores to sell music files without any digital rights management. If you dig deep enough (or just click the above link), you can find many tracks available for free as album-samplers. At the time of this writing, I’m looking at 768 songs available for $0.00 on Amazon, and many of them are artists you may have actually heard of, like Neko Case, Death Cab for Cutie, or Louisville’s own My Morning Jacket.

South by Southwest Torrents

On this site, you’ll find BitTorrent downloads of music from the SXSW Conference’s Music Showcase, from 2005 to this year. The 2009 collection is 5GB large! Once SXSW 2010 rolls around, music from there will likely be up on this page, too.

The Live Music Archive/Etree

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This archive is a collaboration between Internet Archive and etree.org, a live-concert-trading community. The list of available artists is ridiculously long, and includes The Grateful Dead, but unfortunately, not Phish or Widespread Panic, two bands who are traditionally OK with live-concert recording. Additional Etree trading posts include Furthurnet and Etree’s BitTorrent tracker.

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OverClocked ReMix

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OC ReMix, which offers streaming, direct downloads, and BitTorrent downloads, is “dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form.” Game music has been, for some time now, far beyond blips and beeps. The amount of music here is staggering (1687 remixes at this writing), and many remixes come from professional-level composers. To give you an idea of the quality, Capcom commissioned OC ReMix members to create the soundtrack for a recent update to Street Fighter II.

ccMixter

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ccMixter features remixes licensed under Creative Commons, which allows others to sample, chop up, and rearrange these works. You may browse full remixes, or collect samples, loops, and a-capellas, to create your own masterpiece. The community offers advice on how to edit the sounds together properly.

Free Music Archive

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The FMA is assembled from the archives of nine “curators” such as radio stations. The simple design allows you to get to the meat of the site quickly. Songs are can be browsed by genre or curator, and new tracks are added constantly. You may sign up to create mix playlists or full-blown “˜blogs of FMA content.

Legal Torrents

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LegalTorrents hosts downloadable collections from share-friendly creators as well as entire record companies (“netlabels”) who offer their catalogs for free. If you like what you hear, you are encouraged to create an account and donate directly to the artists and labels, or to the site itself, which seeds all of its own Torrents.

For some more sources of free, legal, music, check out Simon’s article from this past January. I’m sure that there are more free music archives which we’ve missed. Shout-out your favorites in the comments.

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19 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Rebecca

Awesome, I hadn’t seen the legal torrents site before. It’d be nice if they organized the torrents according to genre/etc. a bit more, but still, free is free!

One of the other sites that I prowl for music is thesixtyone.com. Not all songs are downloadable (I haunt the “recently submitted” chart to find more of them), but you can listen to everything in good quality as much as you want. Nice browsing and listening capabilities on the site.

Reply

JX

I have a campus radio show which specializes in free music from across the internet (as well as locally), so some of these sources will come in handy! I would also like to point out two other great sources for free music:

http://www.jamendo.com/en/

http://freealbums.blogsome.com/

Reply

SunsetKid

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Hezee

you should try ourstage.com

i realy like it!

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Brian Bridges

i’m SO disappointed that you didn’t mention Jamendo.com, which has more than 18K FREE albums with Creative Commons licenses. Great music site.

Reply

Momo

6 more fee music websites:
1. ArtistServer.com
2. Epitonic
3. GarageBand
4. Download.com (Music)
5. SpiralFrog
6. eMusic

Reply

Space_

Thought I’d drop by and add http://www.youtorrent.com – It got pwned by the RIAA etc and so reopened with terabytes of legal music etc.

Great list btw.

Reply

Ariel

last.fm also has music that can be downloaded free in addition to cataloging the music you listen to on your computer. It’s a really sweet website!

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panzi

You forgot: magnatune.com
There is a lot of good music that is free for non commercial use. However, if you don’t pay anything every mp3/ogg has the spoken text “this was track X from the album Y by Z from magnatune dot com” appended. You can buy the music online and chose how much you want to pay by your self in a given range. Once bought you can redownload it as often as you wish. They have lossles flac files there!

However, the real way of making money with magnatune is music licensing for commercial projects. E.g. the soundtrack of the game Braid consists entirely of songs from magnatune.com. I compiled the list of songs here: http://twoday.tuwien.ac.at/pub/stories/322135/

Reply

panzi

Oh, and another site with free high quality game music dedicated to the Zelda Videogame Series is: http://www.zreomusic.com/

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Tabiji

Yes, the downloads are free but most are not very good.

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Dave

If You Make It, has bunch of free albums for download along with Quote Unquote Records, both of which are donation based.

ifyoumakeit.com/albums
quoteunquoterecords.com

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Chris

definitely have a look at grooveshark.com – you can find pretty much any song you are looking for and can make a playlist. It’s my new go to player, since seeqpod hasn’t been running. it’s probably honestly better than any other site you listed in terms of user-friendliness, not that those are bad sites. No downloads necessary or anything. I’m not affiliated with the site, I’m just a fan and I think you guys might like it. I have no idea how this can be legal though!

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Tabiji

Tonspion, Epitonic and Better Propaganda are my favorites for legal downloads. music.download.com was good but it’s gone now.

Stumble Audio is good for listening. Alternative Tentacles, Southern Records and other record labels offer downloads. RCRD LBL, HELLTHY Entertainment, and Muzie are good, too.

Reply

Harry

iZaRia.us

New, but still awesome. Got millions of tracks all available for free through copyright-compliant API providers. It just brings together music from a load of different sites…surprised nobody’s thought of it before…

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TopList

I believe http://www.TopList.fm is one of them.

Free Download Music Site – TopList.fm Free Music Downloads and Listen to Free Online Music Mp3 Streaming

Reply

Get Free Music

Good find but the only problem with original free music is that its from unsigned artists…. and most of the time there is a reason why they dont have record contracts.

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Moncherion

I love music, thank you for you sharing!

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Telechargement music

Here is also a link for free French music.

The rest of the website is legal but not free.

http://www.starzik.com/telechargement-musique/themes/Gratuit-157.html?directSearch=true

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