While you have to pay to download most music today, here are the best websites to download free music.
We've previously shown you how to find free ebooks online, but did you know you can get free music too? Not all free music that's offered on the Web is legal to download. Musicians and singers—like other artists—usually hold copyrights to their work, and people who copy it without permission are in violation of the law.
But there are a few places where you can find music that artists themselves are offering for free. Here are three websites where you can download free music worry-free. These sites offer you the chance to listen to something a little different, give new artists some exposure, and get free music at the same time.
This may surprise you; it certainly surprised us! But Amazon does have a well-hidden section of music that's totally free to download. To find it, click here to go to its Digital Music Deals page. On the sidebar, click Free Songs from Artists to Watch under Deals or Free under Songs by Price. Once you do this, you'll see a long list of songs you can download for free. You won't find any super-famous artists on either list, although the ones in Free Songs from Artists to Watch may be a bit better known. But if you have a limited budget and are open to exploring something new, you can find some good stuff in both lists. And because it's free, you can afford to be adventurous!
Free Music Archive is kind of like Project Gutenberg for music. Its mission is to offer people legal, free access to new music, and the people who run the site are interested in offering good music to their users. On the front page of the site, you'll see blog posts where you can download music from artists they particularly recommend. If you're looking for something else, you can click Browse by Genre at the top of the page and select the kind of music you want. You can also select Browse by Curator to see everything that's been uploaded by a particular radio station or library. FMA offers a pretty wide range of genres, and you can immediately download anything you find without creating an account.
Jamendo is a little more commercial than the Free Music Archive; not all of the music it offers is free, and you'll have to create an account before you can download anything. The site also doesn't offer you the option to search by genre. On the other hand, Jamendo does allow you to search by the artist's country, and it offers a lot more international music than either Amazon or the Free Music Archive. So if you like international music, this site may be your best bet. Once you've created an account and signed in, you can click Discover at the top of the page to see lists of the most downloaded and most played tracks, as well as the newest ones. You can also click Search if you have a particular song or artist in mind. To search by an artist's country, click Advanced Search under the search box on the Search screen and choose a country from the drop-down menu. Finally, to listen to songs for free without downloading them, you can click the Radio link at the top of the page.