Download and Listen to Free Music on the Web

Click to viewHey, I know you. RIAA lawsuits have scared you off P2P, but the iTunes DRM is both too expensive and too restrictive for your tastes, right? Then it’s time you head to the web. In the past year the number of web sites linking to free downloads and streaming music has exploded, meaning there are more ways than ever to get your music fix. Today I’ll highlight the best web sites—and best search kung-fu—for finding free music online. Photo by MarS.

We covered this territory over two years ago, but believe me, a lot has changed in that time.

MP3 Search Engines and Streaming Sites

First I’m going to take a look at sites that make it easy to both stream and download music, starting with my favorite of the bunch: The Hype Machine.

The Hype Machine aggregates MP3s from the vast world of music blogs. Searching for an artist in The Hype Machine returns tons of results, and you can stream the songs inline in the results. The site itself provides links to buy music at Amazon or in iTunes if it’s available, but you can also click through to the read the original blog post containing the song and download music directly from that site. The handy player at the bottom of The Hype Machine’s page creates a playlist of all the results on a page so listening to the results is easy. You can also choose favorites to build playlists. Most of the sites in the section are brand new, but Hype Machine has time on its side, having been around since 2005. (Read more)

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