The Best Ways to Find and Download Free Music

There are many opinions on the best way to find and download free music online and the websites and software that enable one to do so are constantly changing. The obvious option is to find and buy the song directly on the artist’s webpage or on iTunes, but there are many times that the specific song you are looking for isn’t available to purchase. In those cases, the following four steps are useful to find and download free music. Note: unless you’re running a Mac it’s important to have up-to-date anti virus software operating on your computer before you attempt to download anything from the internet.

Where to find and download free music online:

1. Go to http://www.downloads.nl/ and click on the “music” tab (middle tab between software and images). You can search for your song (If you don’t see it in the results double check that you are on the “music” tab) by writing any string of words that might identify the song (If you know the specific artist and the song tile, use both in your search). You should preview the song to confirm that it has the right file (less likely to download a virus this way). Most files should be in the 3 to 14 MB range and it’s advisable to download mp3s that are close to this range. Typically, larger files are higher quality but if the song is significantly larger than 14 MB, there is likely more than just the song in the file (could be a virus so you should consider another source that seems reasonable in size). After you download the item, you can always use your antivirus program to scan the item before you attempt to open the file.

2. If you can’t find the file on downloads.nl, try http://mp3skull.com/. You can preview and download by clicking the links on the page.

3. If you still can’t find the file, you can go to google and search “(insert song name) download free online” and then look over the results for a reliable looking file (generally a good idea only to download if you can preview the file or if there are comments from internet users confirming that the file is legitimate (not always easy to find). If you are downloading a full album and sometimes in the case of harder to find songs, it’s best to use torrents. You’ll need some free torrent downloading software to download and use torrent files but that’s easy to get through google. I recommend using Vuze (download at http://www.vuze.com/) but there are several other popular options that you can find online). When downloading torrents, you can search in google “(insert album name, artist) torrent download online” or you can search directly from a torrent site such as http://thepiratebay.se/, http://torrentz.eu/ or http://isohunt.com/ (there are many to choose from). Before downloading, you’ll want to look for user comments or ratings confirming the legitimacy and quality of the file (less likely to be a virus) and you’ll want to look at the seed to leach ration. Seeds are people who have successfully downloaded the torrent and they are sharing the file online. Leaches are the number of people downloading the file from the seeders. The higher the number of seeds relative to leaches, the faster the download.

4. If you still aren’t having luck with these options and you can find the version of the song you want on youtube, you can convert the sound from any youtube video into an mp3 from several websites. The one I use is http://www.video2mp3.net/. All you need to do is copy the youtube url and paste it on the video2mp3.net home page. You’ll want the highest quality option. This option produces mp3s that are not as high in quality as an original mp3, though you may not notice unless you’re playing the song at higher volumes. If you decide to convert the audio of a video to an mp3 player, try and find a video that is high quality (hq) which usually means the audio is relatively good. This option produces a lower quality mp3 file and should only be used as a last resort if you’re desperate to try and add a brand new song to your music library when the only version of it exists online as a video.

If you know of some good sources that you like to use to download free music or if you have any comments/suggestions, let me know in the comment box below.

Disclaimer: I am not promoting the illegal downloading and sharing of any media. I am simply sharing several links which you can use at your own risk. There are issues for downloading and uploading music that vary depending on where you live. The legality of these actions are constantly under attack and many media sharing sites and software have been shut down as a result. There are concerns about Torrent sites being tracked by the feds but it remains to be seen what they intend to do with this information. Uploading and seeding files on torrent sites is riskier than just downloading but all of these activities are done at your own risk.

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