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Here are our recommendations of the 12 best free music download sites to use legally.
Listening to music is an essential part of a lot of people’s everyday lives. But with so many subscriptions to pay for, music streaming becomes an extra cost that chips away at the monthly budget. However, did you know that this cost can actually be avoided altogether? The good news is there are plenty of legal sites that offer free music downloads – if you know where to look. In this article, we will provide you with the top 12 resources for finding free tunes from up-and-coming and independent artists across all genres. Grab your headphones and keep reading to find out more.
Well known for streaming, SoundCloud also offers original artist uploads for free downloads. You can look for the Free Download buttons below tracks to grab MP3 versions of songs approved by artists. Genres include electronic, hip-hop, pop, rock, and more. It’s a great way to discover emerging musicians. You can create a free registered account for additional features like playlists. It could be said that SoundCloud is not just for downloading free music, it’s for joining a global music community and finding undiscovered artists on an audio social media platform.
Jamendo provides over 500,000 tracks for free download through their platform. Artists release songs under Creative Commons licenses to enable free distribution, and you can download both full albums and individual songs easily through the site. There are currently 40,000 artists from over 150 countries sharing music on this streaming platform. Similar to SoundCloud, Jamendo supports a worldwide community of independent music.
Jamendo offers a music player and detailed track listings on each artist’s profile page. The platform also has apps for iOS, Android, and Chromecast to access downloads seamlessly. The site has a searchable database to find music by artist, album, or individual song. With a collection of genre and mood based playlists, Jamendo is one of the best free music download sites to discover and download new music for free.
Bandcamp allows fans to download music free directly from independent artists. Many albums and songs offer name-your-price downloads, including $0. It’s a great resource for discovering talented indie rock, punk, electronic, and other independent musicians. Fans can choose to directly support artists by paying for music or take advantage of free downloads the artists provide. Conveniently, Bandcamp offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS, meaning you can access free music while on the go. Bandcamp is another website that focuses on the free sharing of music to build a community where artists thrive through the direct support of their fans and listeners. As well as being free, it’s a great cause to support.
If you’re feeling inspired to give uploading your own music a go, why not check out our picks of the best laptops for music production in 2023?
Specializing in hip-hop and rap mixtapes, DatPiff provides official mixtapes approved for legal free downloads by the artists themselves. Founded in 2005, DatPiff has an active community of over 8 million registered users. You will need to create a free account with an email address to access downloads. But it only takes seconds to sign up, and the result is worth it. The site also has mobile apps available to access and download tracks on smartphones and tablets. In addition to just apps, DatPiff has a strong following across other social media such as Instagram and Youtube, promoting the latest mixtapes and new music releases.
At ccMixter, musicians upload and remix each other’s songs under Creative Commons licenses approving free use. Part of the vision of ccMixter was to create a body of openly licensed music, and to motivate artists to share how they created their remixed music. It’s not as well known as some of the major streaming platforms, but it’s a great free music download site to explore. Search or browse by genre to find remixes and original tunes to download and share completely free and legal.
Sign up for Epidemic Sound’s 30-day free trial to download royalty-free tracks you can use for your own projects. If you’re a streamer, content creator, or filmmaker, you can enhance your creative processes with the 40,000 tracks & 90,000 sound effects available on Epidemic Sounds. They have a huge catalog of free music that is ever-expanding. Just remember to cancel your trial membership before the month is up unless you want to purchase a paid subscription.
Triple J Unearthed
Discover rising artists from Australia by exploring Triple J radio’s Unearthed site. It is home to free song downloads spanning rock, alternative, electronic, hip-hop, and more. With over 85,000 different artists, there is a huge variety of music content available at your fingertips, and new songs are added regularly. It could be the spot to meet your new favorite artist. If you’re unsure where to start, the staff review loads of the most popular tracks, giving you the lowdown on what’s popular to download right now. Triple J Unearthed is certainly a site to explore for those that love discovering new music.
At ReverbNation, independent artists provide free song downloads in return for fan email signups. It’s another excellent site for discovering emerging music without having to worry about paying for a subscription. It’s accessible across all your devices, meaning you can stream on your PC, laptop, and phone. With close links to the music industry, ReverbNation supports the careers of up-and-coming artists while letting fans stream for free. Search for your favorite genre or artist to find great tunes to add to your library completely free and legally.
Tribe of Noise
Tribe of Noise houses independent artists offering their music for free downloads in exchange for just your email address. It’s another “true musician-centric community” that gives a platform to all the musicians out there who create music and want it to be shared freely across the world. Once signed up, you can browse their catalog and find great free tunes across multiple genres.
Internet Archive’s Live Music Archive
The Internet Archive’s Live Music Archive is a free collection of over 200,000 live concert recordings that can be streamed or downloaded legally. Launched in 2002 and run by the non-profit Internet Archive organization, the archive contains concerts spanning decades and genres – from rock, pop, and hip hop to jazz, classical, folk, and country. It’s strictly non-commercial, making it one of the best free music download sites as you can experience incredible live music at the click of a button
Freegal Music is a free music download service available through many public libraries. With a library card, users can download 5 DRM-free MP3 songs each week from Sony Music’s catalog of over 15 million tracks. The name Freegal, which combines ‘free’ and ‘legal’, tells you all you need to know about this site. While selection focuses more on major label artists, Freegal still offers a legal way for library members to expand their music collection at no cost.
Freegal is not the only streaming site that requires the use of a library card, as some of our picks for the best free movie streaming sites with no sign-up also use this service. Read on about it if you want to find out how you can stream the best films for free, as well as music.
Final thoughts – best free music download sites
Don’t waste money on music when so much is legally available for free download online. These sites all offer great tunes while respecting copyright through Creative Commons licensing or direct approval from the musicians themselves. Not only can you download music for free, you can both discover and support emerging artists, and you might find your new favorite songs. If you’ve decided to cancel your music streaming subscription, we’ve got you covered with how to delete your Spotify account, as well as how to cancel Apple Music.