Updated: Need More Tunes For The Road? Here’s Three Tips For Getting Free Music Without Being A Full-Blown Pirate+3 legal ways..
Some of my earliest memories revolve around recording songs from movies whose soundtracks moved me—Gleaming the Cube, Beverly Hill’s Cop and Back to the Future are just a few that come to mind. Now that it is the digital age, getting access to free music is easier than ever. Long gone are the jam band tape trees and cassette dubbing sessions of the 80s, now with a click of a mouse anybody with an internet connection can have instant access to music, legal and illegal alike.
Podcasts: Snagging podcasts through iTunes is a fantastic way to get free single tracks or live performances. My two favorite podcasts are NPR and KEXP. Both are great for live concerts and in-studio performances. KEXP also offers a free track every day in their “Song of the Day” podcast, which currently has more than 300 free songs available for download from current and up-and-coming indie artists. For iPhone and iPod Touch users, you can download podcasts directly into your mobile music collection from the iTunes app. Simply go into the app, hit “more” and then you will see a podcast tab.
Dropbox: When we lived just down the street from one another trading music with friends was easy, but now that we’re on the road it is just not as simple anymore. So, why not setup a free Dropbox account with your friends? This will enable you to share your digital files over the internet. Again, I’m not talking about uploading and downloading music through torrent sites, but simply transferring music to your friend’s virtual inbox. There’s even an app for it. Keep in mind, though, that just like copying a friend’s CD is a violation of copyright laws, using Dropbox to transfer music you don’t own is also illegal.
Keep it local: Your library, at least the ones in California, generally have an insane amount of music that you can copy for your collection. Yes, this technically is violating copyright laws; however, in my opinion, this is no different than copying a friend’s CD–also illegal–as long as you use it for personal use. Seriously, if I go to a used record store and buy a pre-owned CD for $1, is it any different? The CD has been paid for by the library, so whether I copy the music for free from the library or buy it for a nominal price used, the artist and label are not getting any additional money.
UPDATE: 3 is the magic number: In the spirit of the holiday season, we would like to share three reader submitted tips for getting free music (these are all legal). Mike at Earmark Invitations recommended Amazon.com, which he said has a lot of “free label samplers and a free song of the day,” as well as http://www.insound.com/digital/free-mp3s for free indie music. While Sofia at As We Travel said she is a big fan of Spotify. In addition, to having a huge catalogue of artists, she said the music site also offers complete albums. Unfortunately, the free version of Spotify is not available in the United States, yet.
These are my favorites. How about you? I’m always looking for new ways to check out music on the cheap, so if you have any tips, I’d love to hear them.
Note from Beth:
There is no doubt that music & travel go hand in hand. Whether it’s a long bus ride, lulling yourself to sleep in a noisy hostel, or just needing to hear THAT song at THAT moment – having music on the go is priceless. Randy is a music fanatic and I rarely blog or edit photos without music whether I’m on the road or at home.
Wondering who am I listening to now as I put this post up?
Artist: Fleet Foxes Song: Blue Ridge Mountains
This is my new favorite song and it’s great to travel with as well. I highly recommend it if you haven’t heard it yet.
P.S. These photos are from when Randy interviewed Ziggy Marley and I took photos of him for the Coast News. I put up more pictures in a previous post. You can click here if you want to check them out.
*Please remember all photos on this website are copyrighted and property of BeersandBeans.com, NarikosNest.com & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me to ask first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!