These days, most people are streaming music from services like Spotify, but it's not a perfect solution. While you get access to millions of songs for a reasonable monthly cost, you don't actually own any of that music. If a service changes or shuts down, you might lose access to everything in your library.
The alternative is buying your music digitally on Apple's Music app, Amazon, iTunes, or other digital storefront. But that can get expensive.
For the best of both worlds, these websites allow you to download music for free—and they're completely legal. Here are the websites you can visit to get free music.
Founded in 2008, Bandcamp allows artists to upload their music to the site and set the price for digital music, physical albums, and merchandise. Artists can add music to their Bandcamp profiles for online listening, and tracks or albums can be purchased for digital download. The website supports multiple formats, including MP3, AAC, and Ogg Vorbis, as well as lossless FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF files.
If you're looking for free downloads, search for tags like Free and Free Download. On the mobile app (for iOS and Android), you'll have to dig deeper; go to Search, choose a genre, then select "add custom genre" to search for tags.
If you find something you want, the artist allows you to pay what you want. Without a minimum price in place, you can "buy" the song for $0 and download it to your computer. However, you may be required to share your email with the artist or asked to pay a little more to add music to your Bandcamp collection, if such a thing matters to you.
Specializing in hip-hop and rap music since 2005, Datpiff allows users to download and stream free mixtapes that are uploaded by emerging and well-known artists, including Drake, Future, Lil Wayne, Meek Mills, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa, and more.
Free Music Archive
Created by several community radio stations, the Free Music Archive strives to provide free music that can be downloaded and used in other creative works under Creative Commons licenses. Users can find new music by searching through curated collections, specific genres, and trending music. Find a song and listen to it online or download it as an MP3 file.
FMA is under new ownership, so the service is in something of a transitional period right now. The website remains up and usable, but it's been labeled as "static." According to the Free Music Archive Twitter account, the service is being overhauled to improve on the free product and offer premium content for subscribers.
The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive's Audio Archive offers free access to music recordings, audiobooks, podcasts, and radio programs. You can search through the archive's Live Music Archive to find live performances and the LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection for public domain audiobooks.
Not all recordings are available for download, but the ones that are can be downloaded as several different file formats, including MP3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, and more.
Jamendo has a unique setup that splits the service between two divisions: Jamendo Music, for personal use, and Jamendo Licensing, for licensing available music. The company allows artists to upload songs to Jamendo Music so users can listen to them for free and discover what they like. Artists can also make money by making their music available for licensing deals with Jamendo Licensing.
If you're interested in free downloads for personal use, Jamendo Music (on the web, iOS, or Android) allows you to save any song on the service as an MP3 file on your computer or mobile device. All you need is an account to download songs, albums, and playlists directly to your computer. There are even built-in radio stations, and songs can be downloaded as they play.
These days, Last.fm mainly focuses on recommending music to its users and doesn't actually house its own music. If you play a track on the site, you will find that it plays YouTube videos instead. If you click on the download button on a song, it will send you to Amazon, iTunes, or another destination that sells the track.
However, there is still a way to find free songs for download on the Last.fm website. Embedded in the site's footer is the link Free Music Downloads. This will take you to a page with a full list of all tracks that can be downloaded for free. No sign-in or subscription necessary, and you can't actually filter the results, but it's worth a look.
Musopen is a non-profit effort to make music available to people free of copyright restrictions. That means it mainly focuses on offerings in the public domain, including classical music; search by composer, time period, and more.
To download anything, you will need to create an account with Musopen. Free users are limited to only five downloads a day and standard audio quality. By subscribing to the service, you get unlimited downloads, HD audio quality, and access to an HD radio feature.
Geared towards the indie music scene, ReverbNation allows local artists to upload their music for fans to discover. Music can be found from the website's Discover tab, the community-driven Crowd Picks tab, genre-based playlists, or from ReverbNation channels embedded in the website's music player.
Artists have the option of adding music for sale, online listening only, or direct download. If you're looking for free music tracks, you can download songs directly from the music player. Find a track in the music player and click the + sign next to a song you want to download. If it's been made available, you can click the Download button for the MP3 file.
You can also download music directly from the artist page by clicking the download button next to the track you want. Some artists may ask for your email address as a trade for the free music.
SoundCloud is the premier place on the internet for amateur artists to upload their music and get discovered. The platform mostly focuses on on-site streaming, but SoundCloud does give artists the option to make certain tracks available as free downloads. These files can be downloaded in AAC, AIFF, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, MP2, MP3, WAV, and WMA formats.
In order to download a track, you must first be signed in with a SoundCloud account. Find a song you want to download and click the More options button. If the track is available for download, you can click Download file to save the song to your computer. The mobile app (for iOS and Android) does not support downloads, though SoundCloud Go/Go+ subscribers can save tracks for offline listening.
If you don't want to mess with any of the other options, turn to YouTube instead. Many songs and music videos have been uploaded to the site, so it's a goldmine for free content. If you can find the right tool to create an MP3 or MP4 file, you can have all the free music you want. Just know that it's not exactly legal to convert and download copyrighted content.
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Legally downloading music is usually going to require either a paid service and/or payment for each individual song. With a variety of sources for downloadable music, you're sure to be able to find music you'll enjoy listening to for a long time to come.What is a good website to download music for free? ›
- Free Music Archive.
- The Internet Archive.
Legally downloading music is usually going to require either a paid service and/or payment for each individual song. With a variety of sources for downloadable music, you're sure to be able to find music you'll enjoy listening to for a long time to come.Which app allows you to download songs for free? ›
|Mp3 Downloader Name||Free Trial||Link|
|👍 Musify||30-day money back guarantee||Learn More|
|By Click Downloader||Download for Free||Learn More|
|Audials||Download for Free||Learn More|
|4K Video Downloader||Download for Free||Learn More|
- Select the song, album, or Playlist you want to download.
- Select the More Options menu, and select Download.
Some apps you might find include YMusic, AudioMack, and SoundCloud. The method for downloading music varies. In general, if an app allows you to download tracks for offline listening, tap Download icon next to the track, playlist, or album. It usually looks like a downward arrow.Can you get caught downloading music? ›
The violation is typically enforced as a civil matter, although specific penalties vary by jurisdictions and some may apply criminal punishments. Generally speaking, however, the most likely penalty is going to be a monetary fine for copyright infringement -- if you're caught downloading illegally, that is.How do I download music from Google? ›
- Start the Google Play app.
- Tap the album or playlist that you want to download. If you are a Google Play subscriber, you can also tap a radio station.
- Tap the Download icon.
Despite the rise of streaming, millions of MP3s are still available for sale and the number of tracks is growing all of the time. All of the stores listed here enable you to either download songs legally to a computer or directly to your phone -- and most offer dedicated apps for Android.How do I download a song? ›
- Find the song you want to download, then tap the ⋮ button in the upper right-hand corner.
- Add the song to a playlist by selecting Add to Playlist. ...
- Download the playlist by tapping the downward-pointing arrow-shaped Download button.