Thursday, August 5, 2010

Get Your Free Download Legal MP3

Illegal file sharing has become a huge problem for the music industry, with recent surveys suggesting that over 50% of the music on the iPods of 16-24 year olds has been obtained illegally. I can even admit to once being a regular user of torrent sites, a practice which I stopped after taking up writing and becoming passionate about the protection of the creative industries.

The British artist Lily Allen recently became the latest high profile star to refuse to make music whilst piracy is still an issue, such is the scale of the problem. The good news is that there are ways of getting much of your music for free without breaking the law, a godsend for the many people who are slowly becoming more conscious of their download habits, read on and found out how! - Yes, believe it or not, Amazon has become one of the best places to find free legal downloads! Just type the word 'free' into the search bar, then navigate to the music section, where you can find hundreds of free downloads from across the genres. Amazon recently made them a little more difficult to find, by mixing them up with paid downloads, but before their recent changes I know that there were over 1300 MP3 files available at no cost. It is certainly still a case of finding the diamonds in the rough, but in the past week I have downloaded tracks from Dizzee Rascal, Nickleback, Ziggy Marley, Brian Eno, and a whole bunch of talented up and coming artists that I had never heard of before. - Many people will know that PureVolume has a massive collection of tracks that can be streamed, but few people will know that a huge 100,000 of those tracks can be downloaded for free in MP3 format. Yep, that's right, there are 100,000 free legal mp3 music downloads from PureVolume! Almost all of those tracks are offered by up and coming or lesser known artists, so you will inevitably encounter some terrible music, but the quality tunage is there to be found! I have to say that I discovered one of my favourite indie/alternative bands on the site, and have been so impressed that I took it upon myself to buy their album on CD (remember those?). - emusic, the subscription download site, offers a free trial during which you can download 25 MP3 tracks for free! emusic has a fantastically huge catalogue, but forget to cancel your subscription within 14 days and expect to see a hefty charge to your bank account!

Live Music Archive - For anybody that isn't aware of this site, you must check it out! The Live Music Archive ( is a non-profit collaborative site in which its users can upload live recordings of any artist, in order for lucky people like you and me to subsequently download them. Live recordings are generally, as long as not prohibited by the terms and conditions of a gig ticket, completely copyright free. As you would suspect some of the files are awful quality but amongst the gems that I have found, as an example, are some 8-track quality recordings of David Gray (will my reputation ever recover from this article?). The site seems to lean towards singer-songwriters and indie/alternative bands, but well worth a look if that's your taste!

iTunes - In case you haven't already worked it out, iTunes actually does offer many free tracks. Mostly these are of unsigned or up and coming artists, but you never know what you might find! They use a clever marketing technique of offering certain MP3s at no cost for one day only, so if you see something that you fancy then grab it quick!

Last.FM - Americas most popular music streaming site has a constantly changing variety of free legal MP3 music, all of which have been permitted by the artists/record labels. The music available when I last checked included tracks from main stream artists such as Moby, Nine Inch Nails and Alexandra Burke; as well as tracks from less well known artists. There are around 250 free legal MP3 downloads at any one time, with the list seeming to evolve weekly. - 7,000+ MP3 tunes to download, these are not mainstream artists and instead artists trying to create publicity for themselves and win themselves new fans. Some of them are brilliant, more of them are rubbish. If you enjoy the process searching for new music, then this is a good place to start!

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