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Free Music for Your iPod or iPhone

Interested in free, legal music for your iPod or iPhone? Visit the new iLounge Free Music section of our site, featuring daily updated links to great indie and major artist releases available for immediate download!

If you have an iPod and far fewer songs than the gigabytes of storage space you have available, then you’ve probably asked one of iLounge’s most popular questions: “how can I load my iPod up with free music?”

There are at least two answers to this question, one generally illegal, and one generally legal. You’ve probably already heard about the illegal free music options, but just in case you haven’t, we’ll run through the reasons you’ll want to skip them and use the legal free music sites instead.

Illegal Free Music: Downloads with Consequences

Several years ago, the sheer quantity of open challenges to American copyright law created a popular perception that music - old and new alike - was supposed to be free, and “shared” between friends and strangers alike. Upon release of just about any new album (and sometimes even before), full MP3-format tracks appeared on music-sharing services such as Napster and Kazaa, spreading around the world without restriction. Many recording artists were angered by what they felt was mass theft of their music, while others either ignored or embraced the file-sharing.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) decided to fight the “music is free” movement, undertaking highly publicized lawsuits on behalf of artists it represented. Services such as Napster were sued for billions of dollars as facilitators of copyright infringement, and either driven out of business or forced into retreat. Subsequently, RIAA lawsuits against individuals shut down large resources of “shared” music, and warned others that swapping smaller quantities of copyrighted content could subject them to similar legal action.

RIAA lawsuits haven’t stopped the trading of copyrighted music online, but they’ve turned file-sharing into a game of Russian Roulette. For obvious reasons, iLounge does not recommend the sharing or downloading of “free” music from file-sharing services unless you know for sure that the artist has specifically given permission for that music to be shared.

Non-U.S. Music Download Sites: A Dangerous Gray Area

The average person should be aware that there’s likely something wrong about getting entire free albums for nothing, but what if they were offered for pennies per song, instead of ten or more dollars per album? If you pay something for your downloads, is that enough to protect yourself from being sued?

That’s the question posed by a few web services operated by individuals outside of the United States.  These sites purport to offer penny-per-megabyte downloads of popular music. One of the more notable, AllofMP3.com, offers a surprisingly robust collection of albums from major recording artists in the compressed audio format of your choice, even including albums from artists such as The Beatles who have not otherwise published their music online.  More amazingly, songs are available for download at rates of under 10 cents per track. For years, the site claimed that it was operating legally under Russian law, and although some legal challenges to this were presented last year, the legality of this under Russian law still remains very much in question. Similar competing web sites in other countries, such as Spain’s Weblisten.com and Puretunes.com have been sued and shut down in the past, however.

iLounge doesn’t take a position on the legality of any of these specific sites, as they operate under foreign legal systems and may or may not be entitled to offer the pricing and unprotected files they are selling. We urge our readers to exercise caution before assuming that any “purchased” music from these stores is a replacement for store-purchased CDs or licensed tracks from established domestic vendors of digital music.  Keep in mind that just because you’re paying somebody for something doesn’t automatically imply that they’re legally allowed to sell it to you.

Downloading Free Music Without Fear

With so many questions regarding the legality of international and domestic music downloads - questions which in accordance with the RIAA’s litigation strategy have created a blanket presumption of downloading fear that may not be entirely justified - there are only a handful of major free music download sites that guarantee that users are not breaking any laws. The best we’ve seen are listed below.

Firstly, there is the iTunes Store itself, which frequently offers free promotional tracks as part of various albums, and a new free track-of-the-week is offered up each week.  The iTunes Store itself provides a Free on iTunes page with highlighted free content.

 

Another site, www.itsfreedownloads.com also maintains a regular blog of links to free content on various International iTunes Stores.  While not all content remains perpetually free, sometimes older posts can yield links to content that is still available but has otherwise disappeared from the iTunes Store’s own promotional pages.

3hive.com: A great blog-style listing of free iPod-compatible songs offered by record artists and labels in an attempt to entice full-album purchases. Songs are in the MP3 format in a variety of bit-rates generally ranging between 128kbps and 192kbps.

 

Epitonic.com: Offers highly professional, artist-focused presentation of free digital music downloads in MP3 format, with biographical details and short previews for songs across a narrow collection of genres.

 

Freekidsmusic.com: Along with its sister site Freechildrensmusic.com, provides a large variety of free MP3 format songs for young listeners.

 

Garageband.com: Not to be confused with Apple’s music creation application of the same name, Garageband.com collects and provides popularity charts of independent music, featuring over 125,000 bands.

 

MFiles.co.uk: Provides free downloads of well-known classical music in MP3 format.

 

MP34U.com: A clean, professionally designed interface to individual free songs sorted by genre, selected by site “sources” who pick and post only music they like.

 

Music.download.com: The music-dedicated expansion of popular software download site Download.com offers free full-length MP3 songs across all major genres, even including Children’s, Spoken Word, Comedy, Folk and Religious tracks. Most tracks are indie.

PureVolume: Offers over 100,000 free songs for download, and captured many of the best users of what used to be MP3.com (before it was scrapped, sold, and completely changed).

 

RCRDLBL: An exclusively-online record label which provides free MP3 downloads of exclusive music from emerging artists.

Of course, if you can’t find the song you’re looking for on one of these free sites, you can always visit Apple’s iTunes Store or Amazon’s MP3 Store and make a purchase there. Though these aren’t as cheap as some of the questionable international sites listed in the prior section, they are an entirely safe and legal way to get access to over a million songs.

Free Music with a Catch: Ad-supported Sites

Years ago, the most common source of free music for your listening enjoyment was the radio.  Radio stations were able to broadcast music from a wide range of artists at no cost to the listener. Instead they made money through advertising services.  The “price” a listener paid to listen to free music in those days was having to endure listening to advertising interspersed with the music.

Recently, some web sites have begun to offer a similar business model: You can download free music, but this is either done through a client or web site with very proactive advertising (as opposed to the standard advertising on most web sites), or the music tracks themselves contain brief advertising spots placed at the beginning of each track.

Unfortunately, most of the sites that offer these types of services, such as SpiralFrog and Ruckus Networks (for U.S. college students) only offer their downloads in a Windows Media Audio DRM-protected format that is incompatible with iTunes or the iPod (or ironically, even the Microsoft Zune). Further, these tracks may not be burned to a CD.  These sites are therefore generally of no value to iPod owners.

A notable exception is We7, a UK-based ad-supported site whose founders include Peter Gabriel.  We7 provides downloads in a DRM-free 192kbps MP3 format, with the catch being that each track has a 6-12 second advertisement grafted onto the front-end.  Ad-free tracks may be purchased outright, and We7 also offers a credit system whereby you can convert some of your tracks to ad-free versions once they have been in your library for 28 days or more. Since these tracks are in an open MP3 format, they can be played on just about any digital media player available.

 

Although primarily a paid subscription music service, eMusic.com provides a free ad-supported music service as well. In this case, the advertising is directed at the user via the ALOT toolbar which is installed in your web browser (compatible with IE6, IE7 and FireFox 2 only).

Downloading Free Podcasts: Radio for your iPod

In addition to free music for your iPod, you can also download “Podcasts,” short radio-style programs produced by individuals and companies around the world. Many of these podcasts include music selections, and some are even dedicate to showcasing independent artists and providing music commentary and review.

While podcasts were originally organized in several independent podcast directories out on the Internet, the ITunes Store now includes an extensive catalog of podcasts which you can subscribe to directly via iTunes completely for free.  Podcasts available through iTunes include both audio and video podcasts, and cover an extensive range of topics.  Basically, anybody who has anything to say on a regular basis can create their own podcast and get “on the air” via iTunes quite easily.

A selection of music-specific podcasts can be found right in iTunes in the Music Podcasts Directory, which includes a comprehensive selection of music-related podcasts from music reviewers, traditional radio stations, and even directly from both small independent and more mainstream artists.

 

Finding More Free and Legal Music Online

If you haven’t visited iLounge’s Free Music section yet, now’s the time. We’ve found a collection of great sites that tell you where to get the best new free and legal music online.

Besides the existing iLounge Discussion Forums, which host over 90,000 posts on music (and almost 12,000 on music formats), our Free Music forum offers a place where you can discuss legal ways to find free music online.

Please verify that any links you submit qualify as “free, legal music downloads.” iLounge does not take any responsibility for verifying the legality of any of the sites or services listed, and encourages all users to be cautious before downloading and sharing any other person’s music online.

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Comments

1

Last.fm is another place to find free music from independent artists.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on May 28, 2008 at 6:40 PM (CDT)

2

Like the iTunes store, Amazon has weekly free downloads.

Also, a question:  Does anyone have a feel for the legality of MP3 blogs and blog scraper software like Songbird?

Posted by otaku on May 29, 2008 at 9:54 AM (CDT)

3

Bands also have free tracks on their myspace or personal web sites.

Also, look on insound.com. They have MP3s for sale but also freebies.

Another place to look is the record label websites like Matador or Sub Pop. Sometimes, they’ll have the new unreleased singles for free.

Posted by AF on May 29, 2008 at 10:46 AM (CDT)

4

where is the free weekly download page on itunes?

Posted by josh s;eep on June 11, 2008 at 3:29 AM (CDT)

5

AS A NOVICE TO IPODS, I HAVE LUCKILY COME ACROSS YOUR SITE. TAKING IN ALL YOUR COMMENTS, I SHALL ADD TO FAV., ¬ THE BIG NAME SITES GOOD OR DODGY .
          THANKS, JOHNNY—JAZZ FAN

Posted by JOHNNY MCELHINNEY on June 18, 2008 at 7:55 PM (CDT)

6

Thats my myspace address!

Posted by Rebecca barajas on June 18, 2008 at 8:33 PM (CDT)

7

while i cannot get the free music from the itunes although there are some free music.

Posted by Wayne on July 22, 2008 at 5:39 AM (CDT)

8

To be honest i dont see myself as stealing music when i download it because more than likely I would never have bought it anyway so its not like theyre loosing any sales because i download it.

Posted by g on July 24, 2008 at 9:05 AM (CDT)

9

Free MP3 music to download for your iPod / iPhone @ http://www.TribeofNoise.com

All music is licensed the same way (creative commons 3.0 By Share alike) meaning that you can share your music lawfully with all your iPod / iPhone friends. Even remix the music, add it to you website, weblog or movie you made.

Share music, share creativity & let’s make some Noise!

Posted by Hessel on July 26, 2008 at 4:59 AM (CDT)

10

ummmmm…. where do i download the music on thid website????

Posted by Y3$$!3 on March 26, 2010 at 5:53 PM (CDT)

11

HAY I REALY NEED MUSCI.

Posted by ANGELETT on March 26, 2010 at 11:59 PM (CDT)

12

I will love Free music i can either put on my itunes page or straight to my ipod(shuffle)

Posted by Kaunitah on April 15, 2010 at 7:13 PM (CDT)

13

pls i whant to download ipod music now

Posted by opeyemi on April 29, 2010 at 9:41 AM (CDT)

14

We7 only allowed a preview of my 3 favorite songs.  iTunes allow you to purchase one song at a time.  I am listening to a 99-cent plus tax track repeatedly!

Posted by Tien Khoa Nguyen on May 3, 2010 at 2:55 AM (CDT)

15

I think people who buy any apple acceroies showld get free music

Posted by jimmycrackscorn on May 4, 2010 at 9:51 AM (CDT)

16

I am tried of paying money just to listen yo a song tht lasts 2-5 minutes.ugh

Posted by poppinjellybean on May 30, 2010 at 9:45 AM (CDT)

17

hey how do i get free music on my ipod without paying anything?

Posted by leah hunter on June 9, 2010 at 9:33 AM (CDT)

18

I really want songs on my ipod.

Posted by Joyce White on June 12, 2010 at 3:05 PM (CDT)

19

hey i luv music and i would luv more free ones

Posted by basil on June 28, 2010 at 2:18 AM (CDT)

20

idk how to download songs onto my ipod touch

Posted by Pryia on July 5, 2010 at 4:22 PM (CDT)

21

im having a hard time downloading music to my ipod touch. im in ghana and my ipod touch is not connected to the internet. how do i do dat

Posted by Ria Osei on July 24, 2010 at 8:49 AM (CDT)

22

hello i was wondeirng if you could give me music for free to download onto my ipod without personal details like my card number, my code and my itunes card number thank you, if you do this i will very happy.

Posted by melanie hooimeyer on September 19, 2010 at 2:26 AM (CDT)

23

I WOULD LIKE SOME FREE MUSIC ON MY ITUNES PLEASE.?

Posted by Lucy winfield on September 20, 2010 at 12:03 PM (CDT)

24

i love to play basketaball and listen to music

Posted by dejuan stricklin on October 15, 2010 at 8:09 PM (CDT)

25

http://www.daytrotter.com brings in bands (mainly of the “indie” kind) and records in-studio sessions and then posts 4-5 songs on their website.  They put up at least 1 new band a day.

Posted by Gregor Langbehn on November 3, 2010 at 9:47 AM (CDT)

26

how do i get free music here????????

Posted by maribel on November 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM (CST)

27

Is it true that its legal? seems pretty shady to nme.

Posted by beeboop on December 25, 2010 at 8:29 PM (CST)

28

can some one tell me how to get free music for my ipod thogh all everone tells me to go to itones but ever thing in there i have to pay for i need a site that is good and does not mess up my ipod or my compter

Posted by danny on January 16, 2011 at 5:56 PM (CST)

29

I REALLY NEED MUSIC ON MY IPOD LIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!NOW

Posted by imani carlyle on February 20, 2011 at 6:06 PM (CST)

30

i like music

Posted by kaela russell on March 6, 2011 at 4:10 PM (CST)

31

I did not realize there were so many sites out there that have copyright free music. Thanks!

Posted by itunermanz in Earth :D on March 6, 2011 at 6:37 PM (CST)

32

plz i need songs

Posted by daryin on March 24, 2011 at 6:49 PM (CDT)

33

PLZ PLZ I SPEND SO MUCH MONEY ON ITUNES AND JUST NEED MUSIC FOR FREE BECAUSE I AM A MUSAHOLIC!!

Posted by bronte on June 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM (CDT)

34

How do you get free music on your ipod?

Posted by Savannah M. Bodge on July 1, 2011 at 5:43 PM (CDT)

35

I Love Music. My Favourite Artists are Take That. But I cant find the music . x

Posted by Paige Shuffle Jeffs on July 9, 2011 at 10:22 AM (CDT)

36

plz plz I need songs

Posted by abbey on July 10, 2011 at 3:15 PM (CDT)

37

I’m tired of paying money for music that only last 5 minuets

Posted by Junior on July 29, 2011 at 10:40 PM (CDT)

38

I have been looking for old songs and didn’t know that there were sites that Offer free downloads.

Posted by Fundi on August 14, 2011 at 1:12 PM (CDT)

39

im a girl and i like music.

Posted by Kayla Bishop on August 27, 2011 at 6:38 PM (CDT)

40

Hello x!!!

Posted by Kimmy on August 29, 2011 at 12:44 PM (CDT)

41

well this is my first time

Posted by briana on September 10, 2011 at 9:26 AM (CDT)

42

I WANT FREE MUSIC ON MY I-POD!!!!!!

Posted by Diana Koch on October 11, 2011 at 9:46 AM (CDT)

43

cool

Posted by jack on October 18, 2011 at 12:51 PM (CDT)

44

iMusic!! I like music!!

Posted by DiCe on October 20, 2011 at 1:01 AM (CDT)

45

im cool

Posted by steven brook on October 20, 2011 at 9:15 AM (CDT)

46

I am in need of free songs on my ipod nano

Posted by Jared on October 30, 2011 at 9:17 PM (CDT)

47

how to put music in my ipod nano

Posted by omar escobar on December 8, 2011 at 11:39 AM (CST)

48

need to find decent music without paying through the nose

Posted by d ellis on February 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM (CST)

49

want to download free music tomy ipod

Posted by christy lazenby on February 15, 2012 at 9:49 PM (CST)

50

i think this is good becuse its free

Posted by Dajon Glover on February 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM (CST)

51

Well I Like Music (:

Posted by Karla(: on March 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM (CST)

52

well its alright :)

Posted by sean on March 4, 2012 at 3:57 PM (CST)

53

ill give it a shoot

Posted by dirwix on March 7, 2012 at 9:18 PM (CST)

54

Hi my name is Kohl Perry and i want to give this thing a shot i,ll see how it works

Posted by Kohl on March 8, 2012 at 5:04 PM (CST)

55

i just want some music to listen 2 while iwork out.

Posted by donavae on March 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM (CST)

56

Trying to check it out.

Posted by morgan lawrence on March 18, 2012 at 1:25 PM (CDT)

57

Hope it works

Posted by Joel on March 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM (CDT)

58

i want music cant live without it oh ya and i am canadian soooo nothn else to say.

Posted by jasmine on March 23, 2012 at 3:01 AM (CDT)

59

I Hope it works?

Posted by Carlos luna on April 5, 2012 at 6:16 PM (CDT)

60

I hope it will work

Posted by Noel Shinners on April 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM (CDT)

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