Posted on Oct 2, 2012 in Entertainment, Freebies, Tech & internet
Local radio drives me crazy with all the ads, but I listen to it because I don’t have many other options. Do you know of places I can stream or download music of my choice for free?
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So you’re the kind of morally upstanding citizen who enjoys listening to music, but doesn’t have the desire/ability to drop the $10 for the latest Beastie Boys album. Take heart: You don’t have to necessarily resort to a life of piracy to check out their newest songs (or to even try before you buy).
First up, let’s talk about Pandora Radio. (No, not the planet from Avatar.) Pandora is an online radio service that will actually custom tailor itself to your music preferences — and the more you listen (and rate songs), the more “right” it can get them. It will even suggest new music and bands you might never have heard of that you might like based on your listening preferences. It’s simple, it’s easy, and — best of all — free, if you don’t mind some ads every now and then. There are also apps for Blackberry and the iPhone, so you can take your tunes with you.
Now, if you’re looking for something in particular to listen to, or if you’d like to make your own playlist, consider Grooveshark. It’s an online music search engine and streaming service that can find just about anything you can imagine. You can search for a band and see everything Grooveshark has to offer from them, then make a playlist based on that group in about three mouse clicks. You can also, of course, make a la carte playlists or just look for that one damn song that’s been stuck in your head all day.
Grooveshark, like Pandora, is free, but offers a paid option that remove ads and the like — but 90% of the functionality is available in the free version. Another site similar to Grooveshark is Jamendo, which — in addition to streaming music — also offers a chance for indie artists to upload their own works and make them available to the listening public.
Surprisingly enough, interwebs behemoth Amazon.com offers a couple thousand songs and extras in MP3 format. From their offerings, you will be able to assemble a most eclectic collection of music.
For other no charge music options, iTunes offers a couple free downloads every week, plus most Starbucks stores carry little cards with a code for a free download of a “Pick of the Week” song by one of the artists they’re promoting.
Then there’s the historic angle. American Song is a music database that “includes songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys. Included in the database are the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more.”
Finally, sometimes you can grab some great music downloads by going directly to the source: the musicians themselves. Check out the websites and Facebook/MySpace/Twitter pages for your favorite artists, and see if they ever make free tunes available to fans.
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