At your station, you can play commercial or non-royalty free music.
This guide lists sources of songs under the Creative Commons license and paid music sources.
Sections in this article:
Paid music is appropriate when you can’t obtain free tracks for a particular artist. Sometimes acquiring popular music for free may involve violating copyright infringement laws. Or downloading low-quality versions.
iTunes has more than forty-five million songs with zero ads and over 500 million active users. You can download and listened to tracks offline, or sync them with your Apple device.
What’s more, you can find playlists curated from popular radio stations. iTunes works on a subscription-based system. That means you can cancel the service at any time.
Amazon Music isn’t as diverse or as broad as iTunes. But it’s growing and has been around since 2007.
You can buy and download music for use on your personal computer. Or buy the physical product and have it shipped.
It is an excellent alternative to iTunes because of its Cloud Drive feature. You store all the digital media you have bought in your “music locker” so it never gets lost.
What’s more, you can stream your music from this “music locker” through Amazon’s Cloud Player service. If you don’t have the space to download the tracks, but your internet is fast, you still access your music.
Amazon also has “Prime Music” and Amazon Music Unlimited, both of which provide you with different features.
Google play music library is not well known. Yet, it has thirty-five million songs for downloading or streaming.
If you are on a budget, Google Play music is an excellent option for paid and free music. Plus, there are always deals on selected albums. You will also find music from unknown artists and DJs.
Napster has a catalogue of over 40 million tracks and runs on a subscription-based model. Users access unlimited on-demand music, downloadable MP3s, and enjoy complete device compatibility.
With the subscription model, you can use Napster to discover new music since you can listen to all the songs on the platform, as long as your subscription is active. Besides this, the company runs a music store where you can buy single tracks or full albums.
eMusic is another subscription-based platform with a vast library of DRM-free music. This means that every single month, you get to download free songs and keep them.
The higher your subscription tier is, the more DRM-free music you will get each month. eMusic has been around since 1998, and besides its music library, it offers audiobooks.
Here are four popular choices for free music:
It’s one of the most popular and well-known music streaming websites. There are over two million albums and over eighteen million artists on the platform. You can stream, download, and listen to over 120M+ tracks.
Unfortunately, if you aren’t paying a monthly fee, there will be ads in your music. More so, you won’t be able to save tracks offline.
For free music, you can download with a Creative Commons license, search royalty free music in the search bar.
Amazon also provides thousands of free music downloads. This makes it a diverse location to find new music. You can search for music by sorting through the genre, the ratings, the length of the song, the artist, the album, the title, or based on reviews.
You can preview all songs before downloading. You need an account, but you won’t go through a “sales” process. Since the music is free, you won’t end up paying anything. It gets counted as a digital order which you can keep track of like any other order through Amazon.
The Free Music Archive was founded by the WFMU, an independent freeform radio station in 2009. You can find high-quality legal music downloads according to the genre or on curated playlists.
The music comes from artist collectives, freeform radio stations, netlabels, concert organizers and performance spaces.
A user account is not required to listen, download, or search through music. But since music tracks are pre-cleared for certain types of use, check the license type attached to each file before downloading. You can read their licensing guide to find out how everything works
One can also create personal blogs, share mixes, and tip artists.
It provides free music downloads for personal use under the Creative Commons licenses. You will need to open an account for this.
Jamendo aims to support music creation by giving back to independent artists. To do this, it licenses music to YouTubers, radio stations, large organizations, and apps.
Unlike other websites, you buy a one-time license that gives you certain privileges.
Another great thing about Jamendo is the active community that shows appreciation for some of the best tracks. This makes it a lot easier for radio stations to sort the tracks and curate the most popular ones. If you don’t want to go through every song one by one, you can also download playlists created by the community.