The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet. It was launched in 2009.

Every MP3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era. These uses vary and are determined by the rights-holders themselves who feel that allowing a degree of free cultural access is beneficial not only to their own pursuits, but to our society as a whole.

free music archive

The Free Music Archive is a resource for audiophiles of all stripes, and unlike other websites, all of the audio has been hand-picked by one of their established audio curators.

The Free Music Archive is a platform for collaboration between curators and artists, including radio stations, netlabels, venues, artist collectives, museums, music festivals and more. The site combines the curatorial approach that these organizations have played for the last few decades, with the community generated approach of many current online music sites.

Inspired by Creative Commons and the open source software movement, the FMA provides a legal and technological framework for curators, artists, and listeners to harness the potential of music sharing. Every artist page will have a bio and links to the artists’ home page for users to learn more about the music they discover via the Free Music Archive. We also seek to compensate artists directly where possible.

Check out Free Music Archive here

So here’s how it works: SoundCloud is essentially a free streaming service.
But a lot of artists also allow free downloads as well.  You have to search around,
but you’ll see a free music download option if the artist has enabled it. Then, it’s yours!

Keep in mind that many larger artists only stream. In fact, most major label artists are prohibited from offering free downloads, based on their contracts. That has spawned a group of SoundCloud downloaders to work around that limitation, though SoundCloud doesn’t (technically) authorize those apps.

ux case study soundcloud lead

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a dedicated free music download section.  And, there’s little chance that will happen in the future, so happy exploring!

Check out SoundCloud here.

Jamendo Music has been offering free music downloads for years.
All of these downloads are completely free (so no letters from your ISP) and protected by Creative Commons licenses. That basically means that the creators of these songs don’t mind if you download their music for personal enjoyment.

This is all independent music. So if you’re looking for DJ Khaled or Drake, you’ll probably have to go elsewhere (try YouTube Music, Spotify, or Apple Music).

facebook share site image

Basically, Jamendo is geared towards the music explorer. Plus, they also have free radio stations and playlists that constantly update. Once you’ve got a good collection of free music downloads, you can easily access them offline on your iOS, Android, or other device. You’ll need a music downloader app to help organize it all (here’s a list of them).

And looking to license music for your video, commercial, or film? That’s where Jamendo’s paid tier enters the picture. The prices are reasonable, and the catalog is rich.  You can’t go wrong.

Go to Jamendo Music here.

Scott Holmes Music has been offering free music under the FREE Creative commons License amongst other Royalty Free Licenses for commercial use for years.

Their website offers a wide variety of genre’s to suit any media projects – whether it be an internal corporate presentation or a family skiing trip for friends and family,
you won’t be stuck for choice!

px Guitar performance near the amplifier Unsplash

Licensing is simple and straight forward. The site offers a very useful FAQ/Help 
section for those who may be confused when choosing the right license. 
Go on, what are you waiting for? Click the link below…

Go to Scott Holmes Music here.

Example track: “Hotshot” by scottholmesmusic.com

Share this post:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest