If you’ve ever tried to download free music online, then you know just how frustrating the experience can be. You have to worry about viruses, risk coming across illegal copies, and feel guilty about ripping off artists. It doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve combed the web and found 15 music download sites that actually work.
These websites made the cut because they host tons of music and offer well organized and easily searchable databases. Best of all, they are completely free and legal.
Sound Cloud is a sleek music-sharing site where artists can create widgets to share music, both within the site and on their personal social media accounts.
You can download songs for no charge and tip if you like what you hear. The hip-hop section is vast and the folk and indie scenes are quickly picking up steam, though there are great finds in every genre.
The site allows you to browse through top downloads or check out the most recent shares.
Free Music Archive
Is an interactive library of high-quality, legal music downloads, offering over 100,000 songs. Launched in 2009, it is backed and curated by WFMU, a well-known Jersey City radio station and enlists people from other radio stations to join in the curation. That means you can trust the source and discover some amazing new recommendations from the pros.
All the tracks have been pre-cleared by the rights holders and are free for listening and educational use. However, you do need to check each track because the artists determine what rights they want to offer for each. It is possible to find some great background music for a video or audio productions as well.
You can search by a curator or by genre, from hip-hop to pop. And, just like Noise Trade, you have the option to tip the artist if you really love the work.
Jamendo is one of the largest sites in the world to service both fans looking for music to download and artists who want credit for their work. It has a collection of over 400,000 songs and you can stream for free, too.
The entire site functions under a Creative Commons agreement. Users can search from thousands of free music tracks uploaded by the artists themselves. Artists get a chance to gain popularity and possibly sell a commercial license for the use of their songs. Best of all, though, is that music-lovers can download music guilt-free.
If you’re looking for production music, Jamendo offers a royalty-free service for that as well. Brick-and-mortar store owners may also want to check into their radio subscription service. The cost is minimal and allows you to choose the station that fits the mood of your business.
Badcamp is a great place to find new up and coming artists, as well as established artists in every genre. It’s an artist-direct music sharing site that allows fans to directly support the musicians they enjoy. They even state, “We treat music as art, not content,” a statement many music fans can appreciate.
Similar to other sites of this model, Bandcamp offers music in a variety of ways. Some tracks are given away for free, others ask you to pay what you like, and some may be offered at a set price. The site also highlights new artists every day, so it’s a great way to discover fantastic new additions to your playlist.
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