Q Magazine this month (March 2007) published a list of a 100 websites where you can download music for free from. I’ve had a quick flick through the article – although some of the sites are artists giving away some additional tracks, others are actually streaming sites – which I thought was a cope out, so I thought I’d try compile my own list. Obviously there will be some overlaps, but hopefully I’ve got a few sites that Q haven’t. I can’t always guarantee that the sites provide the mp3s legally – but I can say that they don’t promote the wholesale sharing of copyrighted albums.

  1. iTunes – yes they have a free weekly song to help promote artists. There are other similar sites with free downloads or introduction freebies these include:
  2. eMusic
  3. Mp3.com
  4. Napster – now it has been legalised.
  5. XPoNential Music on demand – associated with the American WXPN radio station who record live sessions, some of which are available here.
  6. Archive.org – source of live bootlegs – archive insist on explicit approval from the artists for bootlegging of live performances – huge choice of bands. Archive.org also cover books and other downloadable content as well. More information on how allows tapping can be found at “bands that allow taping” here.
  7. MySpace’s music – artists both signed and unsigned promote themselves through the site including free track downloads.
  8. Live Spaces – Microsoft Equivelant to MySpace
  9. Wolfgang’s Vault – a nice library of live performances.
  10. An Aquarium Drunkard – blog which reviews and makes downloads available.
  11. Day Trotter – This site with blog etc. have managed to get artists to call in to their little studio to record songs for them which are made available though their site.
  12. GarageBand – unsigned and independent artists.
  13. LegalTorrents – As bit torrent becomes more common as a means to download, I’d imagine this site and others like it will pop up.
  14. Epitonic
  15. SXSW – The South By South West event website provides a huge preview download of artists performing at the festival.
  16. Blogs, some blogs provide free tracks to downloads, such as Arjan Writes
  17. Large Hearted Boy – my favourite blog, with a daily roundup of press articles and downloads
  18. Idolator – a prolific blog.
  19. An Aquarium Drunkard
  20. Stereogum
  21. Glorious Noise
  22. Furthur Net – dedicated to sharing live bootlegs using a dedicated peer to peer client.
  23. DimeADozen – a torrent based site for sharing bootleg recordings. Great site.
  24. Trader’s Den – An alternative to DimeADozen.
  25. dmusic – providing music licensed by artists using the Creative Common license .
  26. Filter Magazine – an online US magazine with downloads available.
  27. Big O Magazine – an online magazine from Singapore (written in English) although it covers a lot of politics it is also an interesting source of bootlegs and reviews.
  28. WOXY – the partner site to LaLa.com (US CD swapping service) provides live performances.

Okay – so it isn’t 100 strong – but not a bad start. I’ll update the list when I find other good sites worth of adding.