Music: Free and Legal Downloads

Despite the best efforts of the music industry to convince you that all free music on the Internet is illegal, it's still possible to download a lot of free, legal music on from the Internet, meaning you can have a nice big music library to relax to in that extra large bean bag chair. Current methods have made downloading music online incredibly easy, and you don't need a Bachelors degree or to be proficient at computers from a college online to figure out how to do it. You can also download hundreds of thousands of legal songs if you are willing to pay a small monthly or yearly fee. While these sites mainly cater to independent artists and bands, some like Amazon.com's site feature free songs from released CDs as samples. Of course, a lot of independent music is better (or at least different) than what you find in the music stores and on the radio. If you are looking for free digital music, give these sites a try.

Free Music Downloads

These sites have completely free and legal music downloads. While these sites mainly cater to independent artists and bands, some like Amazon.com's site feature free songs from released CDs as samples. Of course, a lot of independent music is better (or at least different) than what you find in the music stores and on the radio. If you are looking for free digital music, take a look at these sites.

Amazon.com
Amazon.com has an entire section of their web site devoted to free music downloads, most in mp3 format. Some are sample tracks from CDs by name groups and soloists.

betterPropaganda
betterPropaganda focuses on new, independent music and is dedicated to providing independent labels and artists a better opportunity to be heard. The site has hundreds of free, fully legal mp3s -- with new ones uploaded daily.

BlueBeat
"BlueBeat is digital radio done right!" They have hundreds of channels and play music at 320 kps! You can't select individual songs, but chances are that have at least one channel playing songs you like.

Download.com
Download.com is a well known software download spot, but they also have a section with thousands of free mp3s for download, most from idependent artists.

Epitonic
"Our goal is to exalt the unexalted, to bring you goth, noise, electronica, techno, punk, indie rock, darkwave, no wave, jungle, hardcore, world music, and things we would dare never even classify."

GarageBand
The GarageBand site provides information on and free song downloads for a large number of independent artists and bands.

GigaTracks
Gigatracks.com is a site devoted to making great music available for you online. At GigaTracks you will find a growing catalog of free music downloads from just about all styles of music. Each track is accompanied by a review that gives you an idea of why they think the song is worth listening to.

Karadar Classic Music
Their archive of classical music currently has 11,000 mp3s available for download.

Mixposure
Mixposure provides free song downloads and information from a large number of independent artists and bands.

Peoplesound
Peoplesound is music preview web site. You can stream music from both emerging/unsigned and label based talent and you can download music from emerging artists totally free of charge.

Soundclick
Sound has tons of great bands and full-length songs. All songs are available in streaming audio in up to near CD quality, and most of the songs are also available as free legal MP3 downloads.

Soundlift
This site provides a large collection of downloadable music and video from independent bands.


Netlabels
In addition to the above large sites, there are also Netlabels. According to Wikipedia, a Netlabel "distributes its music in digital audio formats (mainly MP3 or Ogg) online. Netlabels often work like traditional record labels to produce and promote music projects (such as albums or compilations). Most employ guerrilla marketing to promote their work. Few netlabels earn money for participants. The primary difference between netlabels and record labels is that netlabels emphasize free downloads, as opposed to physical publishing (CD, vinyl or DVD). Often, the music is released under licenses that encourage sharing, such as the Creative Commons Licenses. Artists typically retain the copyright."

There are far too many Netlabels to list them all here, so instead we are listing several Netlabel Catalogs:

Netlabel Catalogue
Netlabel Yellow Pages
Rowolo Netlabellist

 
Low Cost Music Downloads

While free can be great, the selection can be limited. This is especially true if you want to list to established artists. You can have access to hundreds of thousands of songs if you are willing to pay a relatively small monthly subscription fee with services like those below. Note that they really require boardband for effective use and that you cannot burn songs from these services to CD without paying a per song fee.

Rhapsody Unlimited
Rhaposody Unlimited is generally the highest rated by users of the subscription music services. It offers access to over 1,000,000 songs (as of this writing). Rhapsody to Go costs a bit more but allows you to download and use songs in Rhaposody-compatible portable players. The webmaster really likes this service. Click here to get a free 14-day trial of Rhapsody.

Napster
The Napster name has returned from the dead as a music subscription service with over 1,000,000 songs available as of this writing. For an additional fee, Napster To Go allows you to download and use songs in Napster-compatible portable players. Click here to get a 7-day free trial of Napster.

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