Sources of free music

2008-11-25 00:05:38 UTC

By which I mean, sources that you can check periodically or subscribe to to receive a steady stream of free music.

For music podcasts, use a regular RSS reader (or a dedicated podcatcher, if you have one), not iTunes. I’ve had problems convincing iTunes to accept files into its Music library that I’d downloaded through its podcatcher.

These are some sites that I don’t personally subscribe to, but am aware of and occasionally benefit from indirectly (e.g., when Largehearted Boy posts a link to a Team Love track):

  • A site called RCRD LBL has a blog called RCRD SELECTOR, which provides a few free songs per day. The feed doesn’t use enclosure tags, which makes podcatching difficult, but I’m listing it anyway in case you’re OK with that.

  • You Ain’t No Picasso is primarily a music blog, although it has the occasional non-music-related post. Not every post has MP3s on it, but most do. Has a feed, but no enclosure tags. (Added 2008-12-17; thanks to Mike Krieger for linking to one of their posts on Twitter, and Colin for retweeting that link)

  • The Hype Machine aggregates a lot of MP3 blogs, including the aforementioned Stereogum. Has a feed, but no enclosure tags. (Added 2008-12-17; thanks to Colin for suggesting it on Twitter)

  • Team Love is a record label that gives away songs on their Library page. There’s no dedicated Library feed, so you’ll have to check back periodically (Tuesdays?).

    One thing you’ll notice is that the front page says in one paragraph that the Library is “open to the public 24/7”, and then in the next paragraph that you’ll need to open an account. There is some open-to-the-public access on the right side of the page (“Artists” and “Featured MP3s”); I don’t know what an account gets you.

    Added 2008-12-17. Thanks to Matt Morrell, who is a musician himself (with at least one song of his own available for free) and sent me the link on Twitter.

  • KRCW’s Today’s Top Tune podcast is another weekdaily rock-music podcast (with, of course, a a podcast feed). Note that not every episode is a song; for example, right now, the oldest of the three episodes in the feed is an interview with Tony Hawk. Note also that the song files have borked tags, with the artist in the title tag and the song title nowhere; you’ll have to fix these yourself.

    KCRW has other shows, but it looks like Today’s Top Tune is the only one you can stock your music library from. (Corrections welcome.)

    Thanks to Steven for linking to Today’s Top Tune in a comment.

If you know of other, similar sources, I invite you to link to them in the comments.

UPDATE 2009-03-26: Segregated sites I don’t subscribe to into their own list, and added Largehearted Boy, NME, and Spinner.
UPDATE 2009-04-06: Demoted KCRW to the sources-I-don’t-subscribe-to list. I get enough music from other sources now that I don’t care about it enough to deal with its broken tagging scheme.

3 Responses to “Sources of free music”

  1. Matt Says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/listen/mp3s.htm is another source. its from a radio station in australia and shows off mostly indie australian bands

  2. Steven Says:

    KCRW has a free song of the day podcast too. Also they have an archive of their live shows.

    http://www.kcrw.com/music/programs/tu

  3. Jesse Says:

    McGuinn’s Folk Den
    Roger McGuinn (ex Byrds) carries on the song-collecting tradition on the internet; every month he adds another folk song in digital format with lyrics.
    http://www.ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp/

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