They aren’t easy to find, but there are actually websites that specialize in royalty-free, legal music to download. We researched most of the available sites, and narrowed our list down to the 10 best sites to download free music legally. We will try to keep this list updated as new sites come along.
Arhive.org – Archive is a great resource for any type of internet history, and one of their best features is the audio section. They’ve collected a massive amount of music you can freely download. They have the most popular downloads well displayed so it won’t take you long to find something good.
ArtistServer – A MAJOR source for independent music that can be downloaded free of charge. You will never get tired of searching this site, their catalog is one of the biggest online. One bad thing about it is that hours can pass by quickly while searching.
BeSonic – If you’re into foreign music of any kind, this site has it. They have every genre, and includes great quality music, but a quick warning that not all of it is in English. You’ll find a large amount of good electronica if that’s one of your interests.
Epitonic – Usually legal downloads are provided by the artists themselves because they don’t have a label yet, but in the case of Epitonic it’s actually the label providing the free music. If a small label has an artist they are really trying to promote, the bring it to Epitonic and it provides better average artists, and record quality for the listeners.
Jamendo – Another really well built, attractive website dedicated to legal free music. I haven’t gotten to play with this one much yet, but it seems to function well and have a large selection from what I’ve seen of it. Check it out and let me know how you like it.
PureVolume – I went ahead and linked right to the top download section, but the whole site is built for free music. The site is really well designed and easy to navigate. Listening to music is fast and painless so it won’t take you long to find a new band to follow.
Last.fm – This has become one of the top sites for new acts to get discovered, and for music junkies to unite. Not all of the music on Last.fm is free to download, but the section I’ve linked to is specifically for free MP3′s. This should always be in your bookmarks.
SoundClick – If you’re looking for a musical social network, SoundClick will work well for you. It doesn’t have the best user experience as far as quickly finding music to download, but if you have time to get involved you can find some great tracks and network with other artists as well.
StereoGum – Another source for independent music. They include videos, interviews, and quite a few other nice features. It’s updated regularly with interesting topics like the most popular videos from the week.
We7 – Similar to what Pandora has done. You enter an artist you’re interested in, and they show music similar that’s free to download. Really cool idea that’s starting to catch on as of late. They are having some growing pains, but this site ranks at the top of my list for potential.
That does it for our top 10 best download sources for free legal music. There’s obviously a lot more to cover for different genres so as always we’ll keep providing the updates. Have fun on your search.