I have found so much music for free that I can’t fit it all on my iPod. There is just too much out there. And the best thing about it is nobody gets in trouble for breaking the law if you have permission, although there are some organizations that want to restrict your musical freedom altogether (like making it illegal to even transfer CDs to your iPod). Although stealing music is fairly easy, it’s not as fun and fulfilling as having a legitimate library of tunes. By compiling an exhaustive list of legal alternatives, I hope it will suppress your desire to pirate music and be caught with the penalties. I personally think digital and music law needs reform, but we should be cautious of some of the illogical interpretations of the law so we don’t get into trouble. There are trillions of audio files roaming around the internet in a legal haze of lawsuits, and whether on purpose or not, I’m sure you’ve stumbled across them.

I should note that doing things the legal way can be difficult or just a plain old hassle, but I have taken countless hours finding the top sources and also revealing the most hidden gems. So fill your hard drive, fill your music player, and fill your head with songs until you are up to your neck in new and interesting music. You might never get to hear that new pop single or today’s top Billboard artist, but to me that is a blessing because you get to search for yourself rather than have the music industry executives tell you what good music is. Unfortunately, most popular artists usually doesn’t give away music for free or their record companies forbid it, but every now and then you can get your hands on a few tracks. Some of the artist in this list you may have never heard of, but there are quite a few popular bands and musical artists that have been generous and kind enough to share from their collection.

If you use digg.com, please grab your shovel and digg this.

Hopefully you will add add your findings here to generate a bigger list, because I know there is more out there than the quadrillion that I found. If you are looking for something in specific, you can use the best mp3 search engines or you can see if it’s listed or referenced here by searching within this page. Press CTRL+F, then type what you’re looking for and it will jump to your search-term.

Don’t just limit yourself to this one page. I am usually adding bit and pieces of more findings and adding a some commentary as I continue my need for another external hard drive.

Navigation. Quick Link Jump

Iffy Legalities // Live/Bootlegs/Rough cuts // Classical // Folk/Traditional/World // Historical/Old/Vintage // 1 download, Many Songs // Compiled Lists/Blogs // Record Labels // Individual Artist // Unknown Artists // samples // Non-musical

Iffy Legalities

There is no documentation that the links in this section are available with permission from the copyright holder. These might or might not be okay, depending on whether you already own these in some form (or if these are legitimately hosted).

  • Album Base Free album downloads, updated daily (hosted on file storage sites like rapidshare, megaupload, etc). If you own these albums, there should be no problem downloading from here instead of extracting from the CD yourself. Pretty thorough selection as well. Update: offline and probably threatened by music industry. Sad news.
  • TEHorng the Christian heavy rendition of album base. Some well knowns creep in there like Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.
  • SonicX Mp3 link directory
  • Muppet Musique Muppet Show, Muppet Movies, and anything musically related to Jim Henson’s Muppets.
  • House of the Rising Sun Hundreds of versions of the song.
  • Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour XM show hosted by Bob Dylan.
  • Audio.isg.si Random files uploaded by users. Very little moderation of popular music.
  • Tunes at Good Blimey! Mashups.

Live/Bootlegs/Rough cuts

Some Artists allow bootlegs and such (studio releases are a different story)


  • Gaetano Donizetti -bel canto I can’t read Italian, but those are certainly mp3s. Sounds like the stuff that would inspire crooners. There are other pages with other composers like Hector Berlioz but I couldn’t figure out if there is a main page, so hunt around.
  • On Classical Growing selection of quality MP3 and Ogg Vorbis Classical Music Collections.
  • Piano Society Find a composer and it will display tracks by them done by different performers of today
  • Virtually Baroque Tracks Sorted by instrument, but there are other ways to organize things.
  • New Trinity Baroque Mosty vocal tracks (some live).
  • David Gordon Assorted tracks of opera, folk, and older types of music with an emphasis on singing.
  • Thomas Berghan, Lute player Solo lute pieces that are pretty good. Under different light (or ears), these could be folk songs.
  • T.’s comment lists more classical sites (thanks)


It’s hard to classify things as folk, ethnic, heritage, roots music or whatever. I tried to separate ordinary folk with sites that focus more on national folk (country-based toward the bottom of this section).

Historical/Old/Vintage (More Folk, Blues, etc.)

Besides plain folk music, there are scattered vintage pop, jazz, blues, and other pre-war styles to be found in this section.

  • Public Domain 4U Download the best in public domain MP3s of blues and folk classics like Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Ma Rainey. Mostly from archive.org, but easier to navigate.
  • LibriVox Christmas Carol Collection Public domain songs recorded by LibriVox volunteers in 2006.
  • Internet Archive: 78 RPMs Portal for digitized old records.
  • Charlie Patton Ogg Vorbis files of amazing country blues at his wikipedia entry.
  • Honey, Where You Been So Long? Pre-war blues blog with hand-picked selections.
  • Jazz Age Songs Archive of 1920s Jazz Age songs in ogg format
  • The Roots Music Listening Room Juneberry 78s. Low bitrates, but some rare gems.
  • Timeless Truths Free Online Library New recordings of gospel and religious hymns. There is no way sort/view whether tracks are downloadable until you are at the page, but you can use Yahoo! Search Results to narrow downloadable hymns listed as "mp3 hifi."
  • tinfoil.com – Cylinder of the Month Listen to only one complete two-minute wax cylinder recording. A new cylinder every month.
  • Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project A large library of mp3s that is browsable by several means.
  • More Things Mostly older music, roots inspired stuff, country, gospel, rock, and pop. I recommend Robert Johnson and Stringbean.
  • Jazz Online Anthology Not just jazz, but blues, country, and other styles, most of them before the 1950s. Over 16,000 different 78’s converted to 320kbps mp3. It is claimed that "All the tunes are in the public domain," but I’m a bit suspicious that ALL are public domain. You can subscribe for $5 to access the entire collection (some mp3s are protected by password), but some are playable/downloadable without a subscription (like this song by Leadbelly and another by Bing Crosby). The site is on several domains and there is a massive-sized open index of free public domain treasures at the museeq domain. There are other directories if you look around the site.
  • The Virtual Gramophone Collection of 78s from Canada. Expect a lot of Henry Burr and a sizable selection. RealAudio and MP3 available for download.

1 download, Many Songs (torrent or zip file)

Compiled Lists/Blogs

  • Epitonic.com Indie artists and some recognizable bands.
  • betterPropaganda The site is loaded with thousands of free, hand selected & fully legal mp3s, with brand new music uploaded daily. Reminds me of epitonic with an easier layout, mixed with the old mp3.com. Tons of recognizable musicians.
  • opsound: free love, free music Creative Commons-oriented music with a nice variety of music makers.
  • 3hive A daily dose of free and legal MP3s from their favorite artists. Great ways to browse the hefty selection using the "Navotron."
  • Salon.com Audiofile Left column has all recent mp3s listed. Or view all free songs alphabetically or by monthly article.
  • Paste Music Asks for email before showing the page, but any junk email will do. Includes assorted genres. Each artist has given permission to Paste to offer the songs. I’d guess there are about 100 mp3s here right now.
  • Kludge Sound Music Listening Booth A collection of fairly well-known artists that offer free mp3s on their websites. Each link is legal and linked with permission.
  • Free iTunes Downloads Free iTunes Weekly Downloads 2007 and 3 downloads per week (US). Requires an iTunes account.
  • Free Albums Galore Over 600 free albums collected from around the web.
  • Fingertips: This Week’s Finds An informed guide pointing to free and legal MP3s. Super finds here, like a song from the new album on Wilco’s own site.
  • largehearted boy Music blog featuring daily free and legal music downloads as well as news.
  • Oddio Overplay Pages of underground finds from all corners of the internet.
  • Weekly Free Downloads Last.fm Top downloads of the week. Doesn’t work well with download managers/accelerators. (I think you need a Last.fm account too). There’s always something from somebody you may have heard. There is no direct search for free mp3s, but you can try out the google search I made (Just Change "Neko" to whoever to see if they have any free tracks): site:last.fm “FREE .mp3”
  • Musical Family Tree, Indianapolis. Indiana Indie Rock Bands Music MP3 Archive. (there’s stuff from the guy from My Morning Jacket)
  • Darla digital music subscription/store. The link send you to the free mp3 page, but there are other mp3s floating elsewhere if you have the time.
  • insound 1 mp3 per album. Store-based website.
  • CMJ New Music Monthly Magazine Pages of indie songs (1 song from each album).
  • UbuWeb 365 Days Project A years worth of odd avant-garde music from obscure outsiders.
  • WFMU’s Beware of the Blog: MP3s 365 Days Volume 2, and tons of other oddities and eccentric stuff.
  • Mod-Pop-Punk Archive Mod(ern) music (it’s a genre).
  • Andrew’s Microtonal Listening List A list of links to microtonal audio in just intonation, equal divisions of the octave other than 12, non-octave scales, authentic historical and ethnic scales, and many even stranger!
  • Unsigned Band Web Free music from the network for the Unsigned Band. Another former mp3.com clone.
  • stereokiller Free Mp3 and audio downloads of mainly hardcore, punk, and indie artists. Another former mp3.com clone.
  • MySpace Some bands allow downloads of their songs (currently no way to search for ONLY free downloads).
  • Download.com Music Legal and free MP3 downloads from CNET. Download MP3s from thousands of artists. Another former mp3.com clone.
  • purevolume The place for rising artists to host their mp3s and get exposure. Visitors can download over 100,000 mp3s for free. Another former mp3.com clone.
  • AudioStreet Free Music Downloads, Free Music Hosting, Free Mp3 Downloads. Another former mp3.com clone.
  • SoundClick Free artist music community. Another former mp3.com clone.
  • Amazon Free Music Downloads Way back when there was a functional search feature that helped me get free Yo La Tengo mp3s. I’m disappointed that nothing appears to be working anymore. I download some good tunes here before…
  • Telarc International Telarc Records specializes in classical, jazz, crossover and blues recordings. One complete track from a ton of albums all on one page.
  • We7 Artist gets paid for you to download their song. Seven second advertisement audio promo precedes the song in the mp3.
  • Christmas Music Traditional Instrumental Christmas tracks.
  • somesongs just a collection of unknown mp3s from assorted sites.
  • No Type experimental electronic.
  • forum music post links to more free music with reviews (sorta like this page you’re reading).
  • Smooth Jazz 104.3 Denver Small selection of smooth jazz.
  • AmpCamp hand-picked free MP3 download every weekday. Had trouble accessing the site at the time of writing.
  • Twangville Alt-country oriented finds and related news.
  • MTV Free Music Downloads Small selection of artists like New Pornographers. The list was twice as long at one point. Maybe they update it occasionally.
  • Folk USA Not positive that everything is used with permission but there’s a decent collection of folky tracks. Links to music are "Audio Clips" and "Songs of Remembrance." Grab the Kingston Trio’s 1970 "Try to Remember" Japanese LP.
  • tunecore.com free itunes playlist mix of 34 tracks. No gimmicks, instant redeemable code.
  • LIFEscapes Six holiday tunes for happy Christmas and Hannuka and Qwanza and Whatever.

Record Labels

Not affiliated with the RIAA.

Individual Artist

Band websites. I don’t like all the music listed, but others might. Free is free.

  • Gravikord MP3 Files folk with a hint of jazzy pop. Really Great songs. Reminds me of an instrumental Van Morrison.
  • Six Parts Seven Suicide Squeeze Records of Seattle WA presenting instrumental post rock downloads from the band.
  • Bolie Folke On-the-spot album “Mistakes Make Music” from outsider songwriter and friend of mine.
  • The Debutantes Indie with a shoegazish noisy but pretty sound. Similar to Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth; Tracks from Late Night Shutdown.
  • Dappled Cities Fly art rock / indie pop… (Within Hours mp3 / Peach mp3 / Sputnik mp3 / Be Engine mp3)
  • sonic youth mp3’s They used to have tons more. Maybe there is more lurking on different pages.
  • Polaris, Miracle Legion, Mark Mulcahy Remember the Adventures of Pete & Pete? Mark is the mastermind behind the theme song and other related bands and the mezzotint label.
  • Smashing Pumpkins MACHINA II / The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music Smashing Pumpkins uncommercially released set of songs from 2000 available on Internet Archive.
  • Explosions in the Sky Each of their own albums has at least one download (160 bitrate), and you can get the complete album The Rescue in 192kbps mp3.
  • Unwed Sailor A couple of free tracks from their EPs and albums.
  • DestroyAllDreamers Besides the two clips, there are 3 full length mp3s from "A Coeur Leger Sommeil Sanglant" and a free.
  • Happy Birthday Denison Witmer 30 Free songs to celebrate Denison’s birthday. Neo folk sound nodding to Cat Stevens and Jackson Brown. He has played with and sounds similar to Sufjan Stevens.
  • poor old lu Alternative music started in the 90s.
  • Clarence Frogman Henry Download the popular songs of New Orleans R&B rock and roller. I hear a Fats Domino influence.
  • Glass Harp full length mp3 demos, videos, and other samples of progressive jam band who recorded in Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios. At one point, Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh considered joining.
  • Anathallo Colossians Three Sixteen offers Anathallo’s fourth album, Hymns EP, with permission from the band.
  • Cold War Kids Entire “Acoustic At The District” CD and a couple other mp3s
  • Lampshade sweden/denmark indie pop. Direct link to musik page (without the main frame).
  • fivehead several indie songs and videos for download.
  • Proto-Kaw Four tracks from two CDs by Kerry Livgren’s band (co-founder the progressive classic rock group Kansas).
  • demolition doll rods Garage rock glam punk. 2 tracks.
  • Danger Doom Free EP from [adult swim] from Danger Mouse and DJ Doom, who can be heard on a Gorillaz song.
  • Harvey Danger Download the entirety of their third album, “Little by Little…”
  • Havalina 2 albums: Russian Lullabies and We Remember Anarchy. Pixies-influenced experimental music with varying style. Cool concepts, but wasn’t awed by the result. for more info, go here.
  • fishboy poppy indie
  • Marah demos of the band described by wikipedia as playing alternative country, rock and roll, and garage rock.
  • Gingersol Mp3s from various CDs
  • Music of Jeff Harrington Experimental piano works and microtonal songs. Harrington Index of /mp3
  • SurrealPerspectives the audiohall of Andrew Waegli. Midi-based mp3s of alternative electronica
  • memnon ambient electronic experimental
  • Staticambient.com Dark Ambient Noise Releases
  • Solyaris Music 2005 ambience for ambient people
  • rihmasto ambient project ambient…
  • Soul-Junk Glitch hop deconstruction indie mixed with spiritual dubs.
  • Earthsuit: The Rise of Modern Simulation Entire album from Christian electronic/rapcore/progressive band. Not my style, but some might like it.
  • 25 SUAVES HQ rock with an edge.
  • GRAND MAL Indie Rock
  • SWERVEDRIVER tons of noisy mp3s (b-sides and live)
  • Sine3pm – Sinewaves’ web-label soundscapes?
  • glossary stuff from the band
  • Thighpaulsandra Arena Rock. Complete Album and a couple other mp3s.
  • Tyrese Gibson HeadQuarter Entertainment presenting Black Ty’s Mixtape Ghetto Royalty
  • A Poet’s Life Tim Armstrong (of Rancid, Transplants, Operation Ivy) will release the album online with one song being released at a time.
  • R.E.M. album of REMixes of songs from their previous "Reveal"
  • Saint Christian 80s White Metal
  • Teenage Fanclub Indie power pop alternative in the footsteps of Big Star, Byrds, Beach Boys
  • Bill T Miller 20 Albums worth of trashy industrial/alternative/remix
  • Throbbing Gristle Discographies Industrial music
  • Luke Brindley / Brindley Brothers Alt. Country type stuff (Indie / Acoustic / Folk Rock according to their myspace).
  • Noggin Toboggan(Official Unofficial page) Christian Punk
  • Bullette Female vocalist. The whole album "The Secrets" is free, though somewhat dull sounding to me.
  • bill Direct link to entire album "Birthday Suit." found via comment by the artist at RollingStone [more tracks here too]
  • The Format’s Dog Problems The Whole "Dog Problems"album (for joining mailing list, and you can opt out afterwards or give a junk email).
  • The Bastard Fairies 12 girlie alternative tracks from the album "Memento Mori."
  • The Hypertonics The entire catalog of mp3s. Several albums worth.
  • Bedroom Eyes Two EPs of catchy rockin’ pop music.
  • The Pathways Songs available on the homepage. Experimental Pop.
  • The Narrator Listen and download the music, gratis.
  • audible Three indie songs.
  • Dejunair Project instrumental music group with several sessions of free music.
  • French Kicks New York City band with no known connection to France. Currently 4 downloads.
  • Skatalites first wave ska band with live mp3s, associated acts, new recordings, and an old 1 or 2.
  • BearHeart Bill Weinman’s guitar rock. Other than the skills, has an amateurish sound, especially the cheesiest drum machine effects. But may be for fans of Stevie RayVaughn or Joe Satriani.

Unknown Artists

Discover portals of non-mainstream performers, recording artists, and anybody who has made an mp3.

  • EC Brown: MP3 links archive Abandoned 2006. This project had come to its end, and the joys of fussing and maintaining it has evaporated. Was a massive list, but links will not be updated.
  • Jamendo Download and listen to full albums, legally. Available as mp3 downloads or torrents. All content is Creative Commons or other distributable licenses.
  • Crap Art: Album-A-Day Instructions for making an Album-a-Day, and some completed projects free for download, like this one.
  • spewgrass.com Diverse selections by independent musicians that have limited commercial appeal. Each artist has a few mp3s available, with many different styles.
  • DMusic.com site for independent musicians and music fans, a mp3.com site for mainstream-nobodys (unpopular musicians).
  • The Wire Mp3 Library from the UK. And here is another page of mp3 specials.
  • GarageBand.com Independent music community with free mp3s.
  • Dogmazic.net, musique libre Association Musique libre! French answer to Creative Commons, with a portal for ogg and mp3s.
  • Theremin Vox – Audio Library A web site about the Theremin with audio files and other things over theremin.
  • NRK Urørt Norwegian clone to the old MP3.com. Here’s some interesting jazz coming from Norway: Mikado.
  • kahvi electronica free electronic music at your fingertips and ear passages.
  • Peoplesound Find free MP3 music of uncommon artists. Requires registration.
  • Kikapu Net.Label Creative Commons ambient of over 100 net.albums
  • Guitar Music Solo acoustic instrumental MP3 downloads.
  • Zamtunes Zambian World music. (downloads at the bottom of page).
  • Blues for Peace Blues Mp3’s by Israeli blues bands and blues musicians from other places.
  • ArtistServer Nice tag cloud and other ways to navigate unlike other music host sites. Search by license, including Public Domain.
  • traviscastillo.com Electronica glitch mp3s (large files).
  • ElectroBel Underground Electronic Music Community. Slightly confusing navigation. Download mp3s by adding to your online playlist.
  • Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape Flash based site for Mercedes-Benz out of Germany offering new mixes of unknown artists. If you don’t want to be bothered by flash, here’s the Direct Downlaod of all tracks (zip). They’ve already done 18 mixes (only the last one is available).
  • Free!Music project Russian Ogg/Mp3 site. Over 500 compositions built on the principle that music should be free similar to CC, except they have a Free!Music Declaration license. Open Directory of files by artist folders (ftp).
  • SanDiego.org Soundscape 2CD, amplified and unplugged.



sampling bits and pieces (parts that make a whole)

  • ccMixter This is a cchost based site. Sound clips and material for mixing.
  • freesound collaborative database of creative-commons licensed sound for musicians and sound lovers.
  • My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts All the components of Brian Eno and David Byrne’s 1981 album ready to remix.


other, uncategorized

2007.09.05 – Couple more links… More Old Oldies and performers.
2007.07.11 – Just added 6 more links
2007.07.15 – Fixed some descriptions, took out a duplicate, added a link, assorted corrections.
2007.07.16 – Added one more link, proofread mistakes, made more people happy.
2007.07.21 – More link love making. Added convenient header anchor links. Reorganized a few things.
2007.07.31 – free downloadables added to individual artists and record labels.
2007.08.02 – muzik, muzak, musick, musi, and more musix.
2007.08.03 – extra additions to the huge motherload of MP3 madness.
2007.08.10 – Yes. I have more and more lovely additions. Please comment on this page so we can compile the most unlimited list of mpThrees!
2007.10.06 – m(you)sic additions for Midwestern desires
2007.12.21 – Christmas gift: more additions of the msic, musc, MUSIC!