Free Music – What It Is and Where To Get It
I decided to write this article in response to a question from a fellow user, “PunditStyle”.
“What is an easy way to find free music online?”
Alright then. This all depends on your version of “free.”
If by free, you mean free to download and use LEGALLY, then you have many different options. First, websites such as last.fm, pandora, idobi radio, and others will stream internet radio. You can pick stations based on types of music, bands, songs, and mix and match your favorites. Recently, I used last.fm to find new bands to listen to based on some of the ones I’m currently into. Last.fm is free and doesn’t require a download or an account to use. Pandora requires you to make a free account and there are limitations to how many songs you can skip over. Idobi allows you to download playlists which stream music online. There’s a new playlist every day, so there’s always something to listen to.
Hello, and welcome to a new addition to this blog: Rockin’ Friday! (The apostrophe is what makes it cool!)
Basically, I’ll write a little bit about my passion on a weekly basis, be it an album review, and outlook on the industry or even some of the more underground stuff 🙂 There probably won’t be a lot of new stuff for some of you, and I won’t have the inside scoop on the latest underground band, but hopefully I’ll have some interesting stuff for you nonetheless. But to start off this first issue, I’ll say a little bit about myself.
I guess you would call me a metalhead as far as my taste is concerned, although I like to think I’m open minded. I have on occasion listened to Aphex Twin and Daft Punk, for example, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of my favourite bands. But mainly, I would stick with my Megadeths and my Iron Maidens. I’m actually a member of the Iron Maiden Fan Club (with the alias Advent Chimp if anyone else happens to be 🙂 ) I’ve been playing guitar for close on two and a half years now and have a band in the works with my best mate, who is also a guitarist. I mainly get my fix off the iTunes music store, but have in the past used Frostwire and simply watched stuff on YouTube if I couldn’t find anything. If you ever want to chat, I’m available on TVDenimChap@jabber.org if you have Google Talk or Jabber.
So, for today, I’m just going to talk about a recent problem I ecnountered: discovering new music.
In the past, I’ve mainly relied on my friends to supply me with new music. They know what I like, and often share the same tastes as me. Plus it’s absolutely free if they decide to give me an album, so this is a no-brainer really. However, the pool can often run dry, so I must resort to other methods.
Of course, the radio is a pretty good way to hear new stuff. With the advent of digital radio, for internet users this is extremely easy. The only problem where I’m concerned is that there’s not a whole lot of metal radio, seeing as traditionally metal doesn’t get a lot of airtime. Fortunately, Bruce Dickinson (the Iron Maiden frontman) runs a Friday night rock show on BBC6 (did I ever say I love Fridays?) which keeps me going. He plays everything from the lighter Linkin Park and Lostprophets to the heavier Machine Head and even heavier stuff, so it’s quite varied. If you’re musical tastes lie elsewhere, a good station is no doubt only a Google search away.
If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, YouTube is quite a good source. I’ve only really used it to find more music from a band I already like rather than discovering entirely new bands, but I’m sure the latter is possible. For example, I would search ‘One’ by Metallica after having heard it on Guitar Hero. Down the side there would be a link to ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’, so I’d click on that and decide I like that song too. I would then see a cover of that by Dream Theatre, so I’d click that and find I actually quite like Dream Theatre. I would continue in that fashion and build up quite a list of good material, perhaps adding them to a playlist for later reference. The next step is Frostwire or a more legally acceptable method 🙂
The final way, which I only recently started using, are websites designed for discovering new music. As such, it makes sense that these are quite efficient and useful. Pandora, which unfortunately can’t be used in the UK, Hype Machine, and, the site I use, Last FM are three sites that spring to mind. Using Last FM as an example, you type in a band you like and it creates a station, continually playing music similar to that band. That’s the basic principle of Pandora and Last FM, and these are of course filled out with a bunch of extra features. My profile on Last FM is TVDenimChap if you use it already.
That’s basically all I have to say this week. The only way to really appreciate the above methods is to try them out yourself. They’re nothing revolutionary, especially the first few, but hopefully you’ll find some new stuff if you’re getting tired of your current playlist. Other than that, see you next week!
Rock on! \m/