In today’s world, music is omnipresent. It has swept into all aspects of our lives, be it TV, movies, shopping malls, public toilets, ringtones or waiting loops. Yet we still crave more.
Music stimulates the brain. It’s this deep rooted cultural pleasure that drives us to consume more and more of it.
If you’re sick of the commercial pabulum and ready to discover new and fresh artists, dive into this list to explore ten of the best sites for legal and free music downloads. Get your MP3 player connected, here comes cargo!
As the name reveals, this page hosts free music for children.
Artists can be listed alphabetically. A separate category is traditional music, which contains songs such as My Bonnie, Amazing Grace, Kumbaya, FrÃ¨re Jacques, or The Alphabet Song.
Dramacore is a netlabel that publishes music under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Dramacore netlabel was made for people looking to download free music. And to support a diverse array of artists wanting to avoid the stupidity of corporations, mainstream propaganda, and trendy sellout dating websites. Long live the do it yourself spirit.
The people behind Dramacore furthermore emphasize that their netlabel is a serious project. The website is hosted professionally and funded until 2012.
The idea of MP3.com is to provide artists with the opportunity to promote their work, and music fans the chance to discover new talents.
MP3.com has been around for quite some time and is the most comprehensive archive for free music downloads. Being so popular, it also attracts some of the bigger performers.
You will find streaming music from the Pet Shop Boys, Eminem, 50 Cent, Linkin Park, and The Beatles. Free MP3 downloads are available from thousands of artists. Unfortunately, the free music tracks are very hard to browse or find, unless you know what you’re looking for.
Last.fm not only provides free music streams and recommendations, but also features some great tracks for free download.
Currently, there are over 200 free mp3 downloads, including songs from Jaydiohead, Peter BjÃ¶rn and John, The Thermals, White Lies, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Guns N’ Roses, Moby, and Nine Inch Nails. You can sort the free downloads by genre.
Check out my previous review on TheLastRipper if you want to record Last.FM tracks to your computer.
A little known fact is that even Amazon offers tons of free mp3s.
You can choose from over 1,000 tracks, which can be sorted by several criteria. The top five genres are Rock (338 songs), Alternative Rock (275 songs), Classical (195 songs), International (158 songs), and Pop (134 songs). Artists include Calexico, Ingrid Michaelson, The Lemonheads, Alice Cooper, and Paul McCartney.
But you need to be a US resident and have a US Amazon account to be able to download the tracks. So this one is only suitable for our American readers.
7digital is a global digital media platform.
It’s their business to sell mp3s, but they also provide a great collection of free downloads, which are updated weekly. The sample tracks are categorized into rock, hip-hop, reggae / roots, various, and audiobooks.
Spinner is an AOL project, which runs an MP3 of the day section.
Some better known artists featured recently were of Montreal, The Swell Season, The Futureheads, Simian Mobile Disco, and The XX.
Clicking on MP3 OF THE DAY under EXCLUSIVES on the left-hand side opens Spinner’s web-based radio station.
The UK’s New Music Express (NME) supplies music addicts with their Daily Download fix.
Generally, songs can be downloaded days, weeks and even months after they were published on The Daily Download. Recent artists include Paper Route (recently saw them supporting Paramore), Yeasayer, The Antlers, Exlovers covering Chris Isaak, Joensuu 1685 covering Bruce Springsteen, RÃ¶yksopp, Maximo Park, The Prodigy, and Metallica.
The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads.
The music on this page was picked by established audio curators and pre-cleared for online use. It’s suitable for podcasts, videos or any other format of digital use and publishing.
You can browse the material by curator, genre, recently added highlights, and most interesting highlights.
Epitonic is a curated site, which offers free mp3 downloads along with a web-based audio stream, artist profiles, and reviews.
The site can help you explore new genres with short audio guided tours. Go to genres/radio to have a look at the walk-throughs.
Epitonic’s releases include artists like Grand National, Groove Armada, Zero 7, Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian, and Peaches.
When logged in you can create an individual playlist of songs hosted on the site.
Where do you explore and discover music, and how do you retrieve your music fix?