My Music (part 3): Free Audio

(This is part 3 of 3 of my blog entries that talk about my music…)

Ever since I started buying my first audio track online, I decided that, if it costs so little to buy a track and so convenient to do so, I really should not copy other people’s tracks. There’s no excuse not to buy your own audio tracks instead of copying other people’s MP3s.

Even so, it’s nice to get free audio tracks, so I do look for them. Though you probably won’t find your favorite artists’ free tracks, this is a great way to discover artists you haven’t heard before. This is how I discovered the Hindi-flavored jazz fusion group Garaj Mahal, who has now become one of my new favorites. Anyway, here are so sites you can find free tracks, depending on your musical taste.

1. Song Discovery links (CCM)
Song Discovery has a nice links page to various CCM artists and bands with an indication of which sites provide free MP3s. Not very convenient to have to click each link and then have to look for free MP3s at each website, but it’s still a great starting place.

2. iTunes’ free audio  (all genres)
Someone did a blog keeping track of free iTunes downloads, making it much easier to find iTunes free tunes than actually going to iTunes store itself. iTunes’ free songs are usually from more well-known artists. Also, you’ll be surprised that they actually offer free Christian tunes about once every one or two months, among other free songs.

3. eMusic’s daily free audio (all genres, but mostly alternative and hip-hop)
They have a daily free audio download featuring mostly indie bands with alternative/punk and hip-hop/rap music. Occasionally they’re pretty good, but sometimes they’re pretty bad. And every once in a long while they might have a free CCM song.

4. eMusic’s free audio tracks (all genres, but mostly alternative and hip-hop)
eMusic also have a lot of free tracks throughout their store, but if you click on the above link, you’ll find them all in one place and have a nice search engine to find them all. Look for “Independent Music Awards Winners 2007” to find a nice collection of free tunes.

5. Spinner’s daily free audio (mostly alternative and hip-hop)
Spinner has a similar free daily audio track offering as eMusic, but their songs are more secular and they definitely won’t have CCM stuff. But if you’re interested in getting more free audio tracks, Spinner is a good place to go also.

6. Internet Archive (live music)
Some artists allow people to record their live shows and put them on the internet for download. And this is where you’ll find them. You probably haven’t heard of most of these bands. There’s one excellent CCM artist there (though disbanded) and it’s Vigilantes Of Love. Also, if you love to hear great jazz, do download some Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, or try Garaj Mahal. If you like rock, try Blues Traveler. If you like to experiment, try some artist you’ve never heard of before.

BTW, I think the best free audio is always live music. In particular, nothing beats a great worship experience when you’re right there worshipping God with all the brothers and sisters and having a fun time singing your heart out to the Lord!

My Music (part 2): Digital Music