It is possible in Australia to get a wide range of great music for free online but as you know the internet is an ever changing landscape. Finding the best offer requires keeping your ears and a finely tuned search engine open.
Ask your music sharing friends where they are looking but also be ready for the fact there’s often no substitute for trial and error. Anti piracy and privacy restrictions are changing across the world and this is impacting on the way music is downloaded and shared.
Here’s a list of legal and widely used sites to help you on your way:
I was playing great music within seconds of clicking onto the Jamendo site and could have downloaded free music immediately. This Luxemburg-based company allows legal music downloads and have thousands of albums on offer. All music is available free of thanks to the Creative Commons licence.
Same deal here with Artist Direct. You can buy albums but type in ‘free download’ into their search icon and you’ll bring up a wealth of free tracks.
Some big names are there as well.
New Weird Australia
Sounds great and it’s an Australian creation, so you know it’s good. A forum for all serious artists including poets, writers and of course, musicians. There’s no freebie section posted on the homepage but individual artists control their own blogs and offer their own sample tracks. Again it helps to know who you are looking for.
Community Audio generally offers files like audio books, news broadcasts and radio programs, but if you look hard enough you'll find some music as well.
There’s so much freebie stuff that it’s always better if you know what or who you are looking for. To save time keep your search parameters simple.
Time to acknowledge the big guns that seem to have cornered most of the world’s cultural product.
We start with Amazon. They have an easy to access free songs page from big name artists.
Amazon’s playlist can’t be beaten really. They say they have 50 million songs on their list. Here’s the greatest understatement of all time: that’s a lot.
They offer a thirty day free trial if you sign up to Amazon Music Unlimited but there’s also a selection and collection that is for free.
Next is Google Play who, if you persevere, you will find they have a page of free tracks from up and coming artists.
Other sites which occasionally offer free music are Pitchfork, Aquarium Drunkard and Freeplaymusic.com
But beware, how free is free? Many sites use the promise ‘free music’ as bait but you need to ask what are you really signing up for? How will your personal data be used and if it’s free why do they need your credit card details? Most sites are reputable but I never hand over personal details without doing a security search first.