Free Music

Finding Free Music

Go out into cyberspace looking for free music and you will find a lot more than that at the free sites. For one thing, music is no longer free in most cases, or at least free without possible consequences. In 1999 Napster went online and became an overnight success story as a free music site. Within two years it was shut down by legal action begun by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 2004 a multi million dollar corporation (Roxio) purchased Napster, and they were soon back online with downloads for purchase.

There are a number of artists willing to give their music away. Some of them are good-hearted and will give away some of their songs, even if they happen to be headlining stars. More often though, totally free music is offered by some lesser known players who are trying to become commercially successful. The hope is that by listing their music as free music listeners will hear them, like what they hear, and be willing to pay for it next time. It can be hard to find these albums if you don’t know the name of the band, as you often have to go to their specific site to get to the music. Reading music blogs or joining music chat rooms may help you to find some obscure artists playing music that you’ll fall in love with.

A method some of the bigger free music sites use to get around music copyright laws, is to advertise their downloads as free for two weeks or so. The word "free" is used often, hoping to get you hooked enough to subscribe. What is truly free is a trial period during which listeners can use the site. When the free period ends, the new members will start paying for the music. Some charge a monthly member fee and others for each download. With competition being so heavy, there are numerous schemes alive for trying to win the majority of the downloading business.

Other ways of hearing supposedly free music is by streaming it from Internet radio. As with downloads, there are often strings attached. The radio stations may be free, but if that’s the case, you most likely will have to pay a subscription fee or pay to download a player. Free is not always truly free.

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