Bandcamp may have plenty of digital and physical media for sale, including vinyl, CDs, and T-shirts, but the site is also a major source of free music. Artists can make their releases available as a “Free Download” or “Pay What You Want,” including the low price of $0. Listeners can also download songs in different formats, including the traditional MP3 file to higher-quality file types like FLAC, WAV, and AIFF.
2. Free Music Archive
In 2019, Dutch music services firm Tribe of Noise purchased the Free Music Archive (FMA). Founded by New Jersey-based community radio station WFMU in 2009, FMA has been a popular free music destination for years. And even though Tribe of Noise has made a few changes, the original archive is intact.
3. The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit founded in 1996 and it’s absolutely brimming with content. The organization maintains the popular Wayback Machine (where you can see defunct websites), and actively “archives the internet itself.” The Internet Archive offers no products or services, and instead focuses on preservation.
4. Jamendo Music
Based in Luxembourg, Jamendo Music provides free streaming and download services with licensing for artists. That means Jamendo’s audio catalog is more strictly curated than other websites on our list, with A&R services that help artists find partnerships for monetizing their content.
Beatstars is primarily a platform for producers to buy and sell beats, but the site also provides a ton of free music downloads. While not every track on the platform is freely available, you can download most of them for free. Just look for the “Free” tag to find options to download files.
6. YouTube Audio Library
YouTube is one of the most popular places for music and video on the web, but there’s more to the site than you may know. The YouTube Audio Library is a convenient source for royalty-free audio that you can filter based on genre and mood, or search for artists and content you know.
Since its launch in 2012, Audiomack has grown into a major platform for music lovers and artists alike. And in the coming years, Audiomack plans to expand the ways in which artists and fans can connect with one another, monetize their content, and more. While listening is always free, it’s up to rights holders to determine what songs you can download.
Unlike other free music download sites, DatPiff focuses almost exclusively on mixtapes and hip-hop. This makes it a great place to discover new artists and hear material from some of the biggest names in the genre. Plus, some projects may be attributed to a particular artist, but they often include numerous guest appearances, remixes, and demos or alternative takes.
One of the only other official non-profits on our list, Museopen was founded in 2012 “to increase access to music education by providing free music recordings, sheet music, apps, and educational material.”
The artists who have listed their music on this site want something in return for the free download, typically a postal address or an email address. The idea is for the bands to easily connect with people who like their music—perhaps to advertise an upcoming tour or highlight the launch of a new album
Musopen is one of the best free music download sites for Beethoven lovers. It has recordings from some of the most famous classical musicians of all time. You’ll find everything from Bach and Beethoven to Tchaikovsky and Holst. You can search by composer, performer, instrument, period, and form to locate the content you want.
Every song on the site can be downloaded and no payments are involved anywhere. Be alert to the songs with the special “BY License” though, they are the only ones that you can embed on other sites.
SoundCloud(Opens in a new window) is the premier place on the internet for amateur artists to upload their music and get discovered. The platform mostly focuses on on-site streaming, but SoundCloud does give artists the option to make certain tracks available as free downloads. These files can be downloaded in AAC, AIFF, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, MP2, MP3, WAV, and WMA formats.