Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Where To Get Free Music

Want quick download time without the long wait with bit torrent or some other type of peer-to-peer software? Well look no further. With this small list of music tools, you will have your music in no time from any pc at work or at home.

The first on the list is my favorite and is actually integrated in a blog post from Digital Wire. The post is one about Google's search tools and how to use Google to get some music or use it as a proxy server (a way to get around the fire wall at work). The proxy may, or may not, work for you. I am not one that recommends using proxy services at work, but, if the music is available, go for it.

[More after the jump]

This is just a post on a blog that has a type of Google search in the post. It utilizes a bounce file saved in the inner workings of the site and allows you to enter your desired search into a text field. Hit enter after you put in your artist and/or song title and you are whisked away to a Google search that looks into parent directories all over the net for the song/artist combination that you entered. After clicking on one of the Google search results, you are brought to a directory of sorts that lists what is available to you. If you see something you might like, click on it and you will be brought to a page where it should automatically play the song for you. If you like the song, go back a page to right-click and save the file to your local hard drive. I've been using this service for a while and hope that the files, as well as the blog, does not go anywhere. This is the first on the list because I use it the most and have had the most success with.

Next on the list, Sideload. Sideload is very different from the Digital Wire post's search field, because it is a website that is continually building it song base from it's users. Users create an account and are able to upload songs to their "File Locker". You then do a search on the main page or browse through the library manually flipping through the alphabet. If you think you found something you like, you then click on the song title and are brought to another page where you can preview the song. If you like it, there is a download link to download the song to your hard drive.

This one is not as good as the first on the list due to the need for subscribers and free users. Yes, there is a free service for you to get your file locker, but of the 3 packages it only makes sense to get the premium package at $40/year for the unlimited size limit of your locker. I just use it as a search to see if they have anything I like. But, again, due to the need for paying subscribers, this selection is pretty dated as well as weak.

Next up on the list, iTunes. Every once in a while I, a PC user, might be a little desperate for a song that either I or my wife needs. And at just $0.99/song, how can you say no to just 1 or 2 songs? I really just use to use iTunes for their podcasts, but have since either stopped listening to podcasts or am using digg as my podcast player/search engine.

Honorable Mentions:
This is the part of the post where you can listen to the songs, but might not necessaraly be able to get your hands on a copy of it.
1) Pandora: Great site and great selection! This is a place where you can go to listen to a ton of music and rate it as it comes to you. If you don't like 6 songs in the same hour, you are stuck listening to everything that comes. Or you can create another station and swap back and forth between your 2 stations when you limit is maxed and it will automatically skip the song you hate. Just be sure to rate it, or you might hear it again. It use to be that the songs were downloaded locally to your hard drive and then streamed to the Pandora web player. I believe they changed something since I started using this service a year ago, because the songs no longer appear where they used to appear in a temp folder. I also tried using the Pandora Jar hack with no successful results. Perhaps a reader can enlighten me on if the songs are still downloaded locally or not? Or if Pandora Jar still works?

2) Last.fm: A site where you can either search for you favorite band or song in order to listen to a song. Or where you can browse users and see what they rate as a good song. This is another site that has a great music library.

3) Pandora.fm: A fantastic site that combines both musical libraries and functionality from both Pandora and Last.fm and plays it through the Pandora player in your browser. Again, this site used to download the songs locally to a temp folder and then stream it to my browser player, but no longer functions like that.

4) Music.Yahoo: Another great site that encourages you to rate as many things as possible. I say "things" because you can literally rate just about anything that has to do with the song your listening to. Everything from the album, to the song to the artist. Similar to Pandora, there is a web based player that streams songs that you have rated, and then suggests other songs based on your ratings, allowing the player to more "smartly" predict something that you would like to hear. They have 3 different qualities, low/med/high, where you have to get the pay service for high quality. But consider saving a buck and sticking with the med or low quality and save yourself a headache when your boss starts complaining about you sucking up all of your companies bandwidth. And, again, similar to Pandora, there is a limit on the amount of songs you can skip over if you do not like it. Only this time you are stuck listening to it, or you can just reload the page.

5) Radio.Blog.Club: No rating system or ads. Just do a search and then you are given results that display user's names that have the song in their player. Click on the results to be transported to the user's main page where you are able to look through their player that has songs loaded up in it. Great if you want to listen to the full song of one of your favorites.

I'm sure that this list is just a short one and encourage any reader to let us know about any other service that they frequent. Myspace is an okay site as well. Do a search for a band and you they have a player on their myspace page. Sometimes you can download the song instead of playing it. 9 times out of 10, however, the download option is not available. And that is why myspace is here instead of the honorable mentions list. I don't think it is that good, but felt that others would mention it.

No comments: