Skip to main content

Free Music Archive: Free MP3s, and yes, they're legal


Do you like free music? Who doesn’t? If you’ve been downloading music illegally because you’re just too strapped for cash to go out and buy the record — because that’s the only reason you would do that, right? — then there’s a new solution for you. WFMU, one of America’s most renowned freeform radio stations, recently launched FreeMusicArchive.org. Still in beta, the site does just as the title says: provides a treasure chest of free music.

The Free Music Archive is an interactive library with over 5,000 high-quality, legal MP3 downloads. Each MP3 is pre-cleared for uses that would otherwise be illegal by “outdated copyright law.”

“Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the Internet,” the FMA said on its Web site.

You’re not going to find any Top 40 tunes or classic hits on the FMA. Instead, you’ll have access to lesser-known artists. Unless you’re interested in branching out and seeking new music, this is not the site for you. Not only does the FMA provide you with new tracks to listen to, but without having to worry about copyright laws, podcasters will be able to use pod-safe audio, radio and video producers will be able to find instrumental bed music, and musicians can create remixes.

“Inspired by Creative Commons and the open source software movement, the FMA provides a legal and technological framework for curators, artists, and listeners to harness the potential of music sharing,” the FMA site says.

All of the music has been hand-picked by established audio-curators, including KEXP, dublab, KBOO, ISSUE Project Room, and CASH Music.

The site allows you to browse by curator or by genre. Choose from 12 main genres, like country, rock, hip-hop, or jazz. Most of the genres have sub-categories, like Americana or bluegrass for the country genre.

You’re not likely to find entire albums on here, but instead, you can get a taste of a new artist, and then follow the link to buy the full album. Each artist has an artist page with a bio and links to their home page so users can learn more about the musician. Also, users can “tip” an artist if they like what they hear. Tipping an artist sends money directly to the artist’s PayPal account, meaning no major record labels are profiting off of you.

You don’t have to register to download music, but there are social media aspects to the site which require registration. As a registered member, which is still free, you can create friend lists, leave comments, become fans of the content, write blog posts, and create mixes.

If you visit the site and are overwhelmed by the magnitude of artists you’ve never heard of, try WFMU’s sample collections Volume 1 and Volume 2 to hear some new music.

The site is still in beta, but more features will be added in the future.

[Via LifeHacker, ReadWriteWeb]

Jennifer BergenJennifer R. Bergen is a journalist and blogger living in New York City. See her full profile and disclosure of her industry affiliations.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Golden Age for Cheapskates

In a Lousy Economy, People Dig a Bit Deeper to Turn Up Deals
By Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last fall, the Woodbine, Md., mother of three figured out a great way to get some: online giveaways. She has entered about 40 so far. She has won T-shirts, cleaning products, a small portable vacuum, olive oil, beef jerky and -- best of all -- a Nintendo DS on Web sites such as http://MeTime.com, http://TheMotherhood.com and http://5minutesformom.com.

"The lure of free stuff is quite appealing," she said. "I never considered myself a winner. I don't think I ever won bingo. My name was never drawn from a hat. However, I've been extraordinarily successful at the giveaways."

The recession has emboldened a certain kind of consumer: The mooch. With dwindling retirement savings, a higher cost of living and wobbly job market, they don't just want discounts on items they used to pay full price for without a second thought. They want freebi…

THE ANCIENT SHIP APPEARS AGAIN AT SHORT SANDS YORK BEACH MAINE

A RECENT NOR EASTER HIT THE NEW ENGLAND COAST AND AS THOUGHT THIS WRECK SURFACED AGAIN FROM ITS BURIED DEMISE--The skeleton only appears periodically - the last time was in 2013 - always after a significant coastal storm, and always attracting attention. Archaeological work conducted in 1980 indicated the wreck is a sloop of about Revolutionary War age. It is likely a “pinky,” a type of vessel with a high, narrow stern and square rigging easily maneuverable along the coast of Maine. Pinkies were popular as fishing and cargo vessels. The first sighting of the skeleton was in 1958, and then it has surfaced periodically right up to the present day - and usually after a good spring nor’easter. Word spread quickly about this sighting via social media, and people came over the weekend and on Monday as well. First, they had to navigate the seaweed- and rock-strewn streets of York Beach. They were also precluded from parking cars in most of the Ellis Park lot, which was buried under a layer …

CREATE YOUR OWN MOSAIC

I've always felt a special fascination for mosaics. From Roman tile compositions to current digital collages, I think they're an awesome artistic expression.
That's why I was so happy when I found Andreamosaic.
This tool enables you to create amazing mosaics from your digital pictures in a very easy way.
It requires having a large collection of photos to use as tiles, that's true. Fortunately the installation file already includes a pack of 500 sample photos that produce excellent results.
The program's interface is quite dull; in fact it's simply a gray window with too much text on it. But the mechanics are easy to understand so you'll be creating your own mosaics in no time!
Plus, the program includes a 20-page manual that explains everything thoroughly. Just remember that the more tiles you use, the longer it will take to generate the mosaic and the larger the final file will be.

BY ELENA SANTOS CREATE YOUR OWN MOSAIC

How To Create A Photo Mosaic In Photos…