Free Week: Free Music

By Carlos Portocarrero

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This week shall henceforth be known as “Free Week.” Every post this week is going to focus on one thing I’m passionate about that you can do for free. From reading books and to getting into shape, you’ll find it here.


Believe it or not, you don’t have to download music illegally to get it for free. There are plenty of places you can go to get your fix without breaking the law. And I’ll be the first to admit that iTunes makes things super simple and super easy for people to get their music, but they’ll make you pay for it. Hey, good for them.

I’ve written about free music before, but I’m going to add a few new sources I didn’t discuss before. Also, don’t forget to check out the post on hooking up your PC to your stereo so you can play your tunes through some decent speakers.

Streaming Music

This means you never really have the file in your hands, you just stream the music over the net. You have some degree of control over what plays, but not on a song-per-song basis. Kind of like having customized radio stations.

  • Pandora: Pandora is pretty sweet. You start with a song or artist you like and then it’ll find other songs you may or may not have heard up. The more you thumb up or thumb down songs, the smarter Pandora gets about picking songs you might like. Plus, now you can listen on your iPhone too.
  • Imeem: Works kinda like Pandora. I heard about it because it’s the app I use on my G1 phone to listen to music. It’s a great app and the site pretty much does the same thing.
  • Seeqpod: This one works a little differently. You can actually search for the specific song you want and it’ll find it on the Internet somewhere. Then you can save and create playlists of those songs. It’s like having an MP3 library that’s only available “in the cloud,” or when you’re online. Still cool if you’re at someone’s place and you want to share a song with them or something. Instead of saying “Hey I’ll buy it off iTunes and pay you back,” now you just load this up and play it for free.
  • Works kind of like the other two but has a social component too. I haven’t played around too much with this one but it found songs I wanted to listen to.

Download Music

There are tons of sites giving free music away, you just have to find them. CNet used to have a Free MP3 of the day, but now it looks like all those links go to

Artists are also doing this all the time, so that’s another way of getting your hands on some MP3 goodness.

Run a search for “free mp3″ and you’ll see a flood of stuff. Some sites are kind of shady (you can tell just by looking at them) and others are OK. Be careful where you download from and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Here is a great resource thanks to Rick Broida: Amazon has 770 MP3s that are all free. That’s right, you heard me, free. Check out some Craig Ferguson standup or some Neko Case—there’s some great stuff in there.


Ask your friends to burn their MP3s onto a couple of CDs or if any of them still buy CDs, have them lend them to you so you can burn them into MP3s. It’s a really easy process and it’ll net you a ton of free music.

DRM might be an issue with some of that music (especially with iTunes stuff), so you may not be able to get all of it working, but you can still get a lot this way.

You can also check out your local library and check music out from there, burn it to your computer, and then return the CD. Boom—free music.

Anything Else?

Feel free to add any other good sources of free music. These are the ones I use but I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of other options.

Rock out and enjoy!

Photo by halighalie

This post was included in the Carnival of Pecuniary Delights over at Wisebread. This is a very high-quality carnival and I highly recommend it!

3 Responses to “Free Week: Free Music”

  • Free Week: Free Books Says:

    […] this week is going to focus on one thing I’m passionate about that you can do for free. From listening to music to getting into shape, you’ll find it […]

  • Free Week: Free Movies Says:

    […] this week is going to focus on one thing I’m passionate about that you can do for free. From listening to music to getting into shape and reading books, you’ll find it […]

  • Laura Says:

    I find this article useful! I enjoyed the reviews of different free streaming music sites, I haven’t heard seeqpod, and I think that’s a great idea!

    As a working musician, I’d like to point out that burning music is stealing if you’re giving/selling it to someone else. Those nickels that the record companies pay us artists really pay off! If the artists don’t get money to pay rent or buy food, they won’t be able to produce more good music in the future.

    Thanks for posting the article to help get free music (because music keeps the soul alive!) to people who want it.


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