More Free Online Music

Category: Music

There are many sources of music online: iTunes, Slacker, Pandora, Spotify, and plenty more. Most of the big music services follow similar business models: Free music, with ads and limits on what you can hear, or pay for more. But there are some music services that go against that grain. Read on to learn more about free online music...

Turning the Tables: Really Free Online Music

The biggest and most popular online music services buy licenses to distribute music from publishers and artists. Then they either sell you a license to listen to the music or charge you time and attention for it – you must suffer the advertisements and limitations of the service to get your ration of free music.

Slacker, for example, lets you listen to music for free, but you can't pick a specific song you want to hear. You can enter a song, an artist's name, or a musical genre, and Slacker will serve up a custom "station" of related music, with occasional commercial interruptions. A paid Slacker Radio Plus ($4/month) account eliminates the commercials, and gives you the ability to skip songs you don't like. You'll have to pony up $10/month for Slacker Premium if you want to play specific songs on demand, or play an entire album.

Free Online Music

Pandora, Spotify and other online music streaming services have similar free and paid offerings. But GrooveShark and TurnTable.fm are two places where they do things differently.

GrooveShark is like YouTube in some ways. It’s free. Users can upload their favorite music but cannot download copies. Others can listen to streamed music immediately or bookmark it to playlists. To facilitate this “user-sourced” music acquisition model, GrooveShark has a Java application that (optionally) scans users’ hard drives for MP3 files and uploads them to the service.

GrooveShark is pretty popular. It streams over 1 billion tunes per month to 20 million users; its library holds an estimated 15 million titles. But it's not without its own share of controversy.

That “user-sourced” model keeps GrooveShark’s lawyers busy. Record companies and artists are not at all happy about users sharing music without paying them for the privilege. GrooveShark has a staggering $17 billion worth of copyright-infringement claims pending in court against it. And you thought the “Wild West” phase of the Internet was over. Like Napster, LimeWire and Kazaa, GrooveShark's days may be numbered. Enjoy it while you can.

Turntable.fm is more like a MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game). You don’t browse lists of song titles; you “walk” through music “rooms” as a digital avatar that you create. In each room, aspiring DJs take the virtual stage to spin their music. On screen, users’ avatars mill around, clap, and cheer or jeer. It looks like a cellphone video of a small concert venue.

Turntable.fm has tried to avoid copyright battles. It licensed its initial bank of music under Section 114 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. That is a U. S. law, so only U. S. based IP addresses can access Turntable.fm. The company gets millions of titles through Medianet, paying a flat fee for each song streamed by its users.

And there's always YouTube, which seems to have almost every song imaginable. A quick search for Jim Croce Time in a Bottle, Beatles Here Comes the Sun, or your favorite song will probably turn up what you want to hear. Some are uploaded by music labels, and include professionally produced videos; others by random users just have screenshots of the artist or overlays of the lyrics. Sound quality might not be excellent, but it's instant gratification, and it's free.

Innovation and creative workarounds are alive and well on the Web. So is copyright infringement. Many users don’t care about laws as long as they get their fill of music. Some are willing to pay a little get their favorite music without stepping afoul of copyright laws. Other take a mix and match approach.

What's your approach to free online music? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "More Free Online Music"

Posted by:

Ted
16 Aug 2013

Nothing here holds a small candle to this site.

uwall.tv


Posted by:

Warren Porter
16 Aug 2013

If you want to listen to midi versions of classical music and follow the score while it is playing, try http://nwc-scriptorium.org/index.html It requires a free player from: https://www.noteworthysoftware.com/nwc2/viewer.htm .


Posted by:

John
16 Aug 2013

I do not pay for any of my music because you can go to AM or FM radio stations and listen to the music for free and also earn points to enter to win great items and cash.
This is all for free.
I listen to 2 stations in Los Angeles, and 2 stations from Florida
Same as watching TV. You can go to the individual channels and watch full programs and shows for free.


Posted by:

Joseph
16 Aug 2013

One of the best sites for downloading free music is Slider.kz. Another one is mp3skull.com. Grooveshark is not free! To get rid of the adds, you are supposed to pay a dollar a month to remove the adds and for full benefits of Grooveshark, it is supposed to cost 15 dollars a month!! You must stay on site in order to listen to the music! With mp3skull.com you are allowed to not remain on site to listen to the music! Both slider.kz and mp3skull.com WILL tag your computer with the proper licensing!!


Posted by:

John
16 Aug 2013

I used LimeWire a few years ago so one might say that is an infringement however if I like something I will buy the CD. In days gone by I attended my share of concerts and occasionally check prices on local events but the real infringement lies upon the consumer. The exorbitant cost of tickets combined with the unjust relationship between promoters and ticket sellers no longer gives me pause to download (free) music. The music industry is a business of destruction filled with shady characters preying on the talents of artist and gouging those who appreciate music.


Posted by:

RandiO
16 Aug 2013

[IMHO] >> The "music enjoyment" model of the past 5-6 decades needs a serious change. I don't know if we could have ever enjoyed (for example) the genius of Beethoven/Mozart, if the current $$ model was the case.
I am smitten to call those who administer the current bu$ine$$ model (e.g. RIAA) “Hooligan B*st*rds” and their “Shenanigans”. It has been a disservice to the populace. Don't get me wrong, I paid for over 3000 LPs, 2000+ CDs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in hardware. Finally, I was forced to revolt. Will this send me directly to music hell? I don't care!


Posted by:

Byron Miller
16 Aug 2013

I think that all music/videos should be free to upload or download on the internet. The global internet has given free exposure to musicians/bands and actors that would have cost billions of dollars in advertising fees. By sharing with others over the internet many people have been exposed to music and movies that they otherwise may never have heard of. Especially in remote areas of the world and for many who are on a low or fixed income. The advertisers who pay to put ads on the sites are paying more than enough to appease they producers and others who just want to increase their profit margin. Greed and more Money are their objectives. As one multi- billionaire put it during an interview in reply to the question; How much money is enough? He replied: Just a little bit more!


Posted by:

Susan Gawarecki
17 Aug 2013

I download two free songs each weekday, one from KCRW'S Today's Top Tune and one from 89.3 The Current Song of the Day. I get a wide variety of new artists and musical styles, and I have a wonderful free library of tunes to play any time. These daily podcasts are available from NPR's Podcast Directory at http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_directory.php .


Posted by:

Whipsnard Q Bimblemann, III
17 Aug 2013

WOW! I mean, WOW! to a few of these answers. Music is an art form and I've no problem paying for it if I want to hear or see it. Yes, ticket prices are out of site for a huge number of artists, but hasn't everything gone up in price? Fuel cost alone to haul all the equipment from show to show is just one thing that has effected prices. Record companies paying for overpriced artist just so they can have them on their label effects the price of all music. Like RandiO, I too have spent a pretty penny on albums, CDs and equipment and still own it and use it. As for online, I use Spotify and have built some fairly decent playlist to go to and shuffle them to listen to music while in from of my computer while at work or home. Cost is $5 a month and I can listen on my Galaxy SIII a radio version of my playlist, which doesn't deviate much because I make sure my playlist are huge and I'm always adding to them. I remember one of the first being MOG and have just recently been checking it out because of a better bit rate which makes the sound quality much better. I use a pair of Infinity speakers running through a JVC amp and use the line in connected to the headphone jack on my laptop. Sounds pretty good blowing by my ears!


Posted by:

Mike
18 Aug 2013

I agree with several earlier posters that there should be a lot more totally free music online or at least allow file-sharing programs to run without hassle. A few years ago (10 or so) I used to download a lot of free music from other users' libraries. The quality of the downloads was poor, so if/when I found a song that I really liked, I would gladly pay the price of a CD to get a good quality copy. Funny thing is that those were the golden days of CD sales. Then the music moguls sued and made Napster stop all those free downloads. Funny thing is that CD sales immediately plummeted. I don't think the correlation ever occurred to those moguls.
As for free music? If you IP provider still has usenet, there is are tons of music out there of all genres - well over 50 different topics with hundreds if not thousands of titles in each. My usenet browser even has a search facility so if I hear a song that I would like to have, I can just search for it and download it (totally free). I rarely fail to find a match when I do a search except for the very new songs or albums.


Posted by:

Emily
18 Aug 2013

I'm a big fan of Jango, and Pandora, through the years I've used them most to stream, and to find new music. I also like torch music though. It's not as all purpose, but it allows for the making of video playlists, and without commercials breaking into it like on youtube. I like that there are so many options around.


Posted by:

Mike
19 Aug 2013

...and then there's Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org

A curated collection of high-quality free legal downloads. Hunter-Gatherer was on the front page when I last checked. Many unusual genres like psych-folk, and many flavors of experimental.

The price is certainly right...


Posted by:

coyote
18 Jun 2014

The "music industry" will never get another dime from me. After personally knowing talented people they have $%#@^% for years- pigs, all of them. MUSIC is our RIGHT and belongs in the COMMONS. True talent will live in history- just like the others noted above- Pigs will charge for air and water if they can figure out how. Lose your chains: the internet is our last hope.


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