Hey! This is the old a broken mold. Newer stuff is at abrokenmold.net.
That being said, feel free to rummage through the archives over here. Also feel free to leave comments; we're still keeping an eye on this.

Edit by Nathaniel, January 08, 2008: It looks like that post was actually a rip, or a repost of this Download Squad post. Or possibly the other way around, but I would guess DLS had it first.

I ran across this list of legal free music a while ago and took a look at it again recently. It has 35 different sources, which sort of seems strange in a world where bootlegging music is just a matter of clicking on that strange looking "u" or that familiar lemon. The ones I've used before on the list are:

  • mp3.com
  • purevolume; free streaming of songs from loads and loads of bands, free mp3's from some
  • music.Download.com; thousands of free mp3's… I've found and downloaded some stuff I liked (Armor of God, Pillow, andrew lawler); also some artists on there with just streaming
  • Last.FM; I've never used their internet radio service before (except for an on demand song one time, I think), but I have snagged some downloads from the site. The download page has a tag cloud so you can see what genres are popular. Lots of music, and lots of variety, I would guess.
  • Spiral Frog; downloaded three whole albums and then some from them. The cache? DRMed WMA files. The license expire after a couple months, I think, and you have to take a survey at the site, which isn't actually so bad. I suppose if you can stand DRMed music, and your device supports it (*cough* no iPods! *cough*), you might want to  take a look. They actually do have a lot, and I did buy a hard copy of an album after downloading it late last year. I've heard it said it's a good way to try out music you might buy, and I think I agree; it would be easy enough to pop it into your favorite media software (sans iTunes) and see if you like it (though the site does offer streaming, too… take your pick). Well, if your a Windows user and if you have broadband.

They also mention on the page Nine Inch Nails' free release of The Slip. I had actually heard about it before I saw that, but in any case, the music is still available, though a hard copy has been released, I think (or get it anywhere… it's legal to torrent and share it). The nin site has the files in all sorts of formats, and if you're an audio freak, you can always grab the FLAC files and transcode them to whatever you like. My track recommendations are Discipline and Letting You. And, by the way, this is industrial, so if you dislike such heavy music, you'll probably want to skip it.

Finally, I thought I would discuss the YouTube way. You can find a lot… and I mean a lot of music on YouTube. Videos that are just blank or a picture or the like the whole way through just for the sake of the audio track are pretty obviously pirating (albeit low quality pirating) if it's copyrighted. But what about music videos? Is it fair use to upload a self made or mixed video with a copyrighted song? I don't know. How about snagging official music videos made officially available? It's pretty easy to grab the audio with FLV Extract. But is it legal and right? I haven't found out, but it is on my mind (at least in the back of it). Feel free to share anything you know or think about this or any additional legal free music sources.


Matthew said...

Well...hmm. I pretty much just make use of YouTube. FLV Extract FTW. And then, if I like it, I put it on my list to buy. I think I've only got a couple at the moment that I've grabbed from YouTube but haven't purchased.