7 Free Ways to Legally Download Your Favorite Tunes

download music
Sascha Kohlmann under Creative Commons
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Building a formidable music library doesn’t have to drain your savings account. Artists from all over the world share their music for free! These musicians want their fans to listen to their jukes legally, so they give away a song or two (and sometimes an entire album).

While many people choose to illegally download songs, there’s no reason to. Why take the illegal path when there are plenty of completely legal options to choose from? Thousands upon thousands of free songs are out there, just waiting for you to listen to them.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to find free music online. Whether you like established or unknown artists, your new jam is only a click away.

1. iTunes

iTunes is hands-down the most popular music marketplace, but most people don’t know it also has a wide selection of free music.

In the “Free on iTunes” section, iTunes promotes artists and gives away some of their songs for free. Check out the section to see the full collection of free songs, plus TV episodes and more.

If you frequent Starbucks, check out their iTunes Pick of the Week cards. (They’re usually near the counter or condiment bar.) You can grab exclusive freebies, including songs, apps and books.

2. Noisetrade

Noisetrade is “a music platform built on generosity.” It’s so generous that it has thousands of albums, all completely free.

Simply enter your email address and zip code to download any music you like. If you want, you can leave a tip for the artist, but there’s no obligation to.

Bonus: They also offer a large selection of free ebooks.

3. Bandcamp

Bandcamp has become one of the largest platforms for musicians to share their work. If the artist chooses to enable the “name your price” option, you can enter zero dollars and grab some free tunes!

With thousands of both emerging and established musicians, Bandcamp has more than enough music to fill your iPod. (Tip: Search the tags for “free music.”)

4. /r/Downloadcodes

Reddit’s becoming a hotspot for more than finding freelance writing jobs.

The /r/DownloadCodes subreddit is full of free download codes for all kinds of music. When Redditors purchase vinyl records that come with a digital download code, they post those codes on this sub for others to enjoy.

If you see a title you like, act fast! Many of the codes posted are only valid for one download, while others allow for up to 10.

Tip: Make sure to sign in and leave a comment to thank the poster if you use a code.

5. SoundCloud

SoundCloud features a worldwide community of users who share their music via the site’s simple interface. You can stream albums and interact with musicians, and you can also get free downloads of thousands of songs.

If the uploader has the download option activated, you’ll see a Download button below the music player. Search the tags for free music or check out this SoundCloud group for free downloads. You just might find your new favorite musician.

6. Amazon

Music is just one of the many freebies you can get from the online giant. They offer a sizable selection of singles and albums from popular and up-and-coming musicians. Check out the free album listings and the free MP3 singles listings. Both are regularly updated with new tunes.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get even more free music (not to mention other cool perks).

7. PureVolume

If your favorite bands hit their peaks a decade ago, there’s a chance they’re on PureVolume. While the site has become less popular recently, it was the talk of the web throughout the mid-2000s. Many bands, including well-known acts, have posted their songs for free download.

To simplify your search, PureVolume gives you a chart of the site’s top downloads, all for free! While a few of the downloads are no longer available for whatever reason, the majority of them are completely valid.

Your Turn: What’s your favorite place to legally download free music?

Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!

Ian Chandler is a freelance writer based in Ohio, currently studying English at Kent State University.