Where to Download FREE and LEGAL MP3s

Monday, November 24, 2008

Finding and downloading mp3s over the internet is easy. But finding LEGAL mp3s for download is another matter. With the advent of torrents and P2P, pirating songs has become a breeze. But this post is not about the morality or legality of downloading pirated songs, instead I would like to point out several sites where one can download free and legal mp3s.

Googling free mp3s will get you nowhere, that's for sure. You'll be led to site after site and eventually you'll end up paying for the song or worse, getting an illegal copy. The only way to get free copies of your favorite music is to know where to look, or know what to look for. To give you some ideas, here are some tips to get you started:

Official [Artist Name] Websites - The first place to look is the artist's official site. If they have a new album out then there's a great chance that mp3s of singles will be available for download. Sometimes they even give away recordings of live performances. There are rare times though, that you'll get more than you bargained for. Take for example Nine Inch Nails' website, where you can download their album the slip for absolutely free.

[Record Company/Label] Official Websites - Another gold mine of free mp3s are record companies' official sites. Not only will you find free mp3s of your favorite artist, you'll get the chance to check out similar bands in more or less the same genre. A fairly good example is The Aggrolite's page on Hellcat Records.

Music Communities - Online music forums or communities is a great way to discover rare artists. Also, it's a great source of free mp3s. Artists on these sites are itching to be heard. You'll be doing them a favor by downloading their music onto your players. A good place to start is http://www.unsignedbandweb.com/.

Podcasts - Although most podcasts are of low quality in terms of bitrate, they are fun to listen to and will often bring up artists that you may find interesting. The trick is to find a podcaster that is in tune with your taste. MOBTOWN SKA SOUNDS for example is a very good match for me. Head over podOmatic to find yours.