How to Download Free Music: A Totally Legal & Comprehensive Guide

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Music is great, and while it's cheaper than ever before, we humans still prefer when things are free.

Since the day Napster introduced us to free music downloads, fans have yearned for such goodies forevermore. The only issue with Napster was that it was totally illegal. The FCC had to crack down on that real hard, but the issue did revolutionize the system.

While it's a simple $10 a month to stream all your favorite tunes on Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, and others ad free, there are still cheaper options when it comes to getting down. Some songs are free and only available via certain websites, formats (ex. mp3, wav, aac, wma, flac, etc.) and streaming mediums.

Whether you're looking for a cleared catalog of music for commercial purposes free of charge or just want some hits to jam to while you're out and about, these are the best sites we've found for free music downloads.

What Song Is This? How to Find and Identify Music Now

Soundcloud

Whether you love it or hate it, Soundcloud remains one of the most widely used music hosting and discovery engines on the web. Young producers still turn to it to upload and share their latest remixes and originals. Music blogs still use it to host material, and established producers and DJs still love to upload free music downloads for their adoring fans. It's easily searchable. You never know what goodies you might get.

Amazon

What started as a great online marketplace for books has transformed into one-stop shopping that has Walmart nervous, but did you know Amazon has tons of free music downloads? There are songs from the Foo Fighters, Carole King and Blondie, plus music for yoga, running, kids, holidays, bluegrass, classical and more.

Bandcamp

Bandcamp is that site where cool artists upload their music for sampling and direct downloading. Artists have the control. They name their own price, and sometimes, that price is $0. You can search for songs, EPs, albums and collections with the free music download tag. Some of the best fresh music finds come from these digital crates in every genre imaginable. Happy mp3 hunting.

DatPiff

DatPiff legitimately makes and breaks hip-hop careers. It's the culture's No. 1 source for free, downloadable mixtapes, and mixtapes are as essential to rap culture as turntables and microphones. You can find jams from up-and-coming rappers and DJs as well as A-list MCs. Gucci Mane, Juicy J, Lil Wayne, Fetty Wap, and basically everyone has free music downloads waiting for you at DatPiff right now.

ReverbNation

ReverbNation is a top resource for bands who want to get started distributing music to fans and labels while building a network for their tour circuit and getting recognized by publications. It also happens to be a great resource for fans looking to discover new music. You can follow a band or artist and listen to their music, and some of the acts give away free music downloads. Check it out on the web or on the app.

Last.fm

The music discovery stream site is similar to Pandora, but it also lets you get free music downloads. Find tracks from Com Truise, Future Islands, Mac Demarco, Death Grips, Sleepmakeswaves and more.

Mixcloud

Since Soundcloud cracked down on anything that's got a recognizable song on it, DJ mixes have found a new home on Mixcloud. Some of the biggest DJs in the world share their radio programs and live performances via the resource. Great music via Oliver Heldens, Don Diablo, Sam Feldt, Fatboy Slim and more are all available for you right now.

Jamendo

So you're starting a vlog and you need music to make your videos seem less awkward. Maybe you've got a store opening and you want to play some music over the speakers to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. You should stop by Jamendo for tons of free music download options. They have two categories for video and radio stations for stores. All the free music downloads are cleared for commercial purposes, so have at it.

Free Music Archive

Inspired by the Creative Commons and open source revolution, everything found on this giant library of sound is free for consumption by individuals and organizations. It launched in 2009, and remains curated by fans, artists, radio stations, netlabels, venues, artist collectives, museums, music festivals and more. It's got a free music download of the day and frequently updates with timely seasonal fun.

Internet Archive

This cool catalog features more than just music. It's got concerts from way back in the day, old-timey radio shows, rare vinyl recordings, podcasts, audiobooks, mixtapes and more. Get free music downloads to your heart's content here.