I wrote earlier about the death of Singingfish media search, an amazing resource of online music. Since then I’ve been seeking alternatives to singingfish.com and I’ve got 11 solutions that will help you find that free mp3 that got lost in the interweb. Starting in order from average to best (1 is average, 11 is best). I tested the searches using the technique I dub the “Paul Westerberg method” (the standard of not using today’s most well-known band, but not being too obscure either).

  1. Seekasong – Working mp3 links, but the database isn’t extensive. There is some things to find, but only if you aren’t picky about specific songs. Includes standard search and viewing artist by first letter.
  2. Bloggdigger – It’s not easy to filter out podcasts and random files. It’s either a hit or miss with this engine. Some links are down or inactive.
  3. free mp3 downloads – Despite its pathetic excuse for a url with a double hyphen, the site locates a decent number of the latest mp3s with quick download links with no cumbersome multi-click navigation. They note that songs normally don’t last more than 24 hours, so you may end up with broken links here and there, but keep trying every so often. Another downside is it also shows less useful .ra and .wma files.
  4. skreemr – Supports Google style searches and the links are regularly checked to make sure they work.
  5. project playlist – Social playlist site with good mp3 results, all seem to be working. No direct download links available, but you can visit the original page or middle click the link script in Firefox, then erase the javascript from the new tab and then you have the mp3 url.
  6. Digital Audio Search – The great feature here is filtering certain bitrates. I prefer at least 128k for listenable quality. Search the web for links to only mp3 audio files. Easy navigation and most of the links I clicked were still good.
  7. Dogpile Audio Search – Search engines nicely piled into one search (not just audio either). Plenty of quality music to be found here. Dogpile apparently kept results from singingfish (I don’t know if it retained the whole database though). When you search, it says “Now Searching: Yahoo! Search, Singingfish, And More.” Sweet! I just hope they don’t erase their findings on singingfish. Sooner or later, many singingfish files will be outdated, but hopefully they will keep valid files.
  8. elbo.ws – Most comprehensive music blog aggregator. Search and browse thousands of music posts, but be sure to make sure the mp3 checkbox is ticked next to the search box. Results will only link to blog posts (you’ll have to find the link on the blog itself), but the mp3 info is displayed as well as the name of the blog. Some hard to find stuff lurks in these waters.
  9. Sideload – I don’t know how they are getting away with this one- tons of popular music as well as rarer material. You can easily stream the mp3 on the page, or click the track for details to download or visit the source.
  10. Mp3Realm – Despite being less attractive as sideload, I found more results per artist here. Plus, I really enjoy that they let you know the link status (working or not working)
  11. exploseek – An open index seeker that finds web public directories of files. It takes a minute to get familiar with, but you can really find just about any file imaginable if you are willing to look around. The method here is that it uses different mainstream search engines with special search tag operators, then adds your basic search terms. They give the option to search an ordered phrase (like full name of a band, or song title) with “Smart Exact” or just find “All Words.” The other regular search engines like Alltheweb and Sogou are not effective, except Mp3Realm and maybe eSpew.

Hopefully you can get what you need with the tools above. eSnips is not a music search site, but more of a social uploading site for all sorts of files. There are some mp3s lying around if you are interested. As for Singingfish, I believe it still integrated with AOL’s Audio Search, but it’s still ridiculously stripped of format and duration filters and slowly losing the strength singingfish had. And I doubt it will get updated, so the part of AOL that doesn’t contain Singingfish will just ruin the original results.

Why only web based media search? Because it’s possible. You don’t need to get spied on or get in trouble by BitTorrent/RIAA for using torrents (not to mention slow downloads, bandwidth problems, etc.). Usenet just seem too much trouble for the average http-centric surfer. Beyond search engines, everyone can choose what they like on the hugest list of audio you can download online. There’s more where that came from.