Category: Everything Else
It seems like the world of online music downloads is constantly in flux. Lots of sites try to make a splash, but only a few may really be worth your while. If you’re having trouble keeping up or would like to explore a world beyond iTunes, check out my handy guide to the Top Sites for Music Downloads.
Online subscription-based services are a music junkie’s dream come true. For a flat fee, users can listen to an unlimited number of songs, and download a limited number of tracks, depending on the subscription level.
Cool kids like eMusic. This moderately priced online service is a haven for indie-music lovers, boasting a massive selection of independent-label pop, rock, metal, punk, jazz and classical. Subscribers can also access Sony’s back catalog. For about $12 a month, you can download about 24 songs. They also have nifty interactive features, like shared playlists, user reviews, and even an app that suggests artists based on your previous preferences.
Napster is no longer free, but it’s still a pretty good deal. Plans combine streaming access (so you can preview the tracks you want to purchase) with a set number of MP3 downloads a month. The mid-level plan costs $15 for three months of streaming and 15 MP3 downloads. You can also purchase extra tracks for around a dollar each. Napster also makes it easy to share your music choices with your friends, featuring simple integration with Facebook and Twitter.
The best pay music download site you’ve never heard of, 7Digital has a
huge catalog that you can access on an a la carte basis, without committing to a subscription plan. Most tracks are priced at less than a dollar, and they have an awesome “digital locker” feature, where you can store your downloads, in case your music storage device ever crashes.
Free — and Totally Legit
In recent years, there’s been in a surge in sites offering free downloads of music carrying Creative Commons licenses, or other non-commercial licenses. These sites can be great places to discover emerging artists before everyone else.
4. Internet Archive’s Audio Archive
The Internet Archive’s Audio Archive is a treasure trove of classic and obscure tracks, all easy to download and totally free. You can download recordings of early 20th century records, Old Time Radio shows, audio books, and more. But the coolest section is the Live Music Archive, where you can download concert recordings by groups like The Grateful Dead and Smashing Pumpkins.
Jamendo is the best place to browse emerging artists, explore a new genre, or sample what’s happening across the globe. At 32,000 albums, Jamendo is still growing, but it’s an international, multilingual online library that’s accessible all over the world.
Have you tried any of these sites? What’s your opinion? Any favorites? Let us know.