Gone are the days when downloading free music was illegal and tagged as piracy! Remember the recording industry vs. Napster battle a few years back? Since then, it has become easier for the average lay person to download free music legally, but there are certain guidelines to keep in mind. This article shows you how...
Before you begin, check that the music you’re downloading is being provided with the necessary permissions from the artist and/or record company. Avoid downloading music from sites where such permission is not available or the information provided is vague or cleverly-worded to avoid obtaining permission!
Resources for free and legal music downloads
- Official artist websites or MySpace profiles: may provide free samples of new songs or demo versions. Newer artists trying to break into the business will generally provide lots of free music downloads for very obvious reasons.
- Retail mp3 sites such as iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody, etc provide free samples for download to entice users to sign up for their paid services.
- Bit-torrent file download sites such as Minninova, Pirate Bay, etc, allow users to download large amounts of music online. You will need to download the bit-torrent application before you can start downloading music.
- MP3 music blog aggregators are programs that run through numerous music blogs and accumulate music in an mp3 format. Popular blog aggregators are Elbo.ws and the Hype-Machine.
- Social bookmarking sites such as ‘del.icio.us’ are also popular resources for downloading free music.
- Peer-to-peer downloads or P2P are one of the most widely used methods for downloading free music – Gnutella and SoulSeek are among the more popular choices. P2P downloads require downloading of the P2P client before downloading any music, and the files downloaded are shared by all P2P users on that network.
- Jamendo, SoundClick, BeSonic and PureVolume are some of the other websites that have a vast repository of free downloadable music.
There are thousands of sites on the Internet where one can download free music without infringing on copyrights. All you need to do is type in the relevant keywords or phrases and keep fine-tuning your search until you get a list of sites which contain the type of music you want to download. But you need to have time and patience, since there is a lot of ‘junk’ out there too! When you find a suitable web resource, be sure to read the fine-print and privacy policies to ensure that downloads are legal. Follow the instructions provided to download your favorite music. Happy listening!