What is the soundtrack to your life? Does it consist of a keyboard clicking, dogs barking, children screaming? Add some music to the mix and how you can have an influence in the world of music.
I’m sitting here in the silence of my room staring at a blank page that is just waiting for me to fill it with some form of information that may be of use to somebody that actually stumbles across my deliberative muse when I put it to print.
Not to sound too cliché, as if there were a way to avoid it, but the silence is deafening. My concentration is teetering in the confines of my imagination. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the weekend and I have to return to my “real” job in the morning or maybe I’m still vicariously attached to the motion picture I viewed at the Cineplex last night.
The latter is probably the case, as I can still hear the soundtrack playing. The orchestra of guitar rifts, the energy of hip hop during the actions scenes, and the piano solos to give suspense, are fused to my mind.
Wait! It’s not exactly silent here either. There is a constant hum from the air conditioner and a lighter swooshing sound from the fan as it circulates the air. And now there is a distant roar and crackle emanating from my neighbors riding lawn mower. The dogs are starting to chime in now too.
What happened to my silence? What is this opus I am listening to? Can it be so simple? Can this fusion of sounds be a song, but which song? How can I find out? I have to know, I need to know. I need this music playing. I wonder if this is the soundtrack to my life.
I begin with a search on the internet. My first search brought back 239,000,000 results, too many for this sitting. I should refine my search but was it jazz or hip hop, pop or metal, rock or rap, and was there a guitar or piano playing? Do I search for a specific band or album or lyrics?
Now I’m getting somewhere. There is so much music out here for my choosing. Why would I be sitting in silence when the sound of music is so inspiring? It takes me to far away places and introduces me to people I would never meet in my circle of life. Music expands my circle. I don’t have to be an expert, a professional, or even a connoisseur. I only need to enjoy music. I do enjoy music and I like to share my joy with others. So, for the remainder of this writing I will list fifty, yes 50, sites where I have found free music to listen to, download, and even discuss with fellow music lovers.
They are listed below and in no particular order or rating, I will leave that to you. This is a very eclectic blend of music sites for you to discover. Some of the sites are complete music social network communities, where people who enjoy music can share stories about their favorite bands or discuss their favorite albums. They can discover new bands and new types of music. There is something for everyone. Listen to the music online as it streams, download mp3’s to your iPod or any mp3 player, watch videos and join forums and comment on other users music.
Some of the sites are music search engines. These sites don’t normally store music, rather they index all the publicly accessible mp3’s on the internet and provide links for you to save them to your computer. There are also several sites listed that cater to musicians to help promote their music or their band. In my list below, I have tried to exclude sites that make you pay for use and I have avoided all of the P2P networks where there is an abundance of pirated music. The music on the sites I am listing are 100% legal and under Creative Commons Licenses. You don’t pay for the music you hear on the radio, you certainly shouldn’t pay for music you listen to on your computer. Enjoy the music!
This site is a social network that solely concentrates on the music community where artist upload their music and the community decides whether it is good or not. Listen to thousands of songs and artists and be part of the scene.
This site offers free (legal) downloads under Creative Commons and other licenses.
This music community offers millions of free (legal) downloads for your iPod and mp3 players.
This music community offers free (legal) music downloads, mp3’s, music chat, music videos, and lyrics.
This site offers free (legal) music in mp3 format and contains no DMR (digital rights management) restrictions. You can download them and put them on your computer, your iPod or any other portable media player.
Fairtilizer is a “do it yourself” music club that provides tools and services for artists, labels, and media to share, promote, and distribute today’s best new music.
Pandora is a place where you can listen to Free Internet Radio and find new music.
Slacker is another place where you can listen to Free Internet Radio Stations and create your own play lists.
Imeem is a social network that enables users to discover, interact and express themselves with media, including music, video and photos, and form connections based on shared tastes and interests.
The Hype Machine follows thousands of music blog discussions and puts them in one locations where you can interact and find free (legal) downloads.
This site is a new download music store. You can listen to any of their 1 million tracks for free or purchase any song in mp3 format for 88 cents.
This is an underground music scene where you can listen to new or obscure bands and artists and share with you friends. You cast votes as you review new music.
This is a powerful search engine that allows you to find the lyrics to your favorite songs.
This is a powerful search engine that indexes over 6 million audio files that are stored on the publicly accessible reaches of the internet. When you find what you are searching for they give you suggestions on where you can buy the music and support the artists.
This is an internet radio community where you can tag the music or videos you like and write about them. When you even listen to a song it moves that songs importance level and be recommended to other users.
This site helps music lovers discover new and hidden talent. Users can search for music, preview it and rate it. It is also a site where independent artists can sell their own music, individual song or complete albums. Fans can also make ringtones for your original music.
This is a full music search engine. No account is needed. They have thousands of YouTube music videos and you can search alphabetically.
This powerful search engine collects Rapidshare download links from blogs hosted by Blogspot and Wordpress and many others.
This is an online radio community where you can be a DJ and compile your own playlists to share. There are over 650,000 listeners and nearly 30,000 stations.
Double G is a site where you can search over 250,000 songs, make a playlist and share it on Myspace.
The Collective Family
The Collective Family is a community where independent artists have uploaded their music for all to hear and download freely. Put the songs on your iPod, burn them to CD and give them to friends.
This is a powerful search engine and internet jukebox where you can listen for free.
This is a search engine and internet radio where you can listen to music and even promote your band.
Itbreaks is a place where artists are free to broadcast their music. Songs are freely available for everyone to listen to, enjoy, comment on, share and evaluate.
This is a huge community where members search the music websites for mp3’s that are available as free and legal downloads. They then post links to ther mp34u pages and help other users find even more of the music they love.
This is an interesting internet radio with a cool interface that allows you to listen to and discover music. It is also available on the Wii and PS3 and mobile devices.
This site offers music on demand and without a need to download.
This community allows you to find audio and video content and create a media style blog.
Altsounds is an international alternatve online music community, alternative to the mainstream. You can listen to, discuss, review and comment on a multitude of audio and video content.
This is a web community dedicated to both indie musicians and fans of indie music. You can promote your band or music through their social network. You can find new music and even collaborate with other indie musicians and fans.
CC Mixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up or interact with music in whatever way you want. You can download, remix and upload back into ccMixter for others to enjoy and re-sample.
This site is dedicated solely to classical music. Learn about composers, performers, instruments and genres.
This is a music dedicated social network where indie musicians can find a host of services to promote their art and fans listen to and download free and legal mp3 music.
This site allows you to search over 50,000 songs of worldwide origin for free and legal download as mp3 and mp4’s
This site is dedicated only to provide free music suitable for young children.
This is a place where musicians can host their mp3 files for free and users can help influence which artist will become the next great hit.
This site is home to some of the worlds hottest new talent. They offer free legal mp3 music downloads through their own search engine.
iCompositions is an internet community for aspiring musicians with a focus on Mac using artists, specifically, users of Apple’s GarageBand. Artists can upload songs to be played and critiqued by other members of the community.
The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non profit organization that has built an internet library offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. The archive includes texts, audio, moving images and software as well as archived web pages.
This is a huge online music community where as a listener or fan you can interact with thousands of other members and fill your mp3 player with a ton of free and legal mp3’s. As an artist you can grow your reputation by uploading your mp3’s, videos and photos. You can put your music anywhere on the internet with their portable player, sell your downloads and sell your mp3’s as ringtones.
They call themselves the Mac Music Revolution. This is a site dedicated to users of Apple’s GarageBand. They can host your mp3 collection and even build your own custom band page with your own built in store to sell your CD’s and merchandise and even create your own internet radio stations.
Project Opus is an online music community designed to support artists, fans and local music. It is a single point of contact for discovery of new music.
This is a free music community featuring signed and unsigned bands plus state of the art social media tools. SoundClick offers free member profile pages, mp3 downloads, streaming audio and video, music charts, custom radio stations, a proprietary music store, message boards, lyrics and music e-cards. SoundClick also offers users the ability to promote their favorite music with viral widgets.
This site caters to free hardcore music, emo music, metal music, indie rock and the hip hop community. They offer free mp3 services, band profiles, message boards and user profiles.
This site offers free music and promotion for new unsigned artists.
Yes it is a very long url but this is the site of National Public Radio where you can find free music downloads and podcasts. You can discover new music, watch live streams, concerts, studio sessions, reviews , interviews and profiles.
This is a search engine that allows you to find songs by acoustic similarity. As an artist, you can add your own music to the index.
Mufin (music finder) is a music discovery engine helping you find, listen to and discover music online.
This is a music search engine where you can find songs and videos for download and personal use under the Creative Commons Licenses.
This site offers free music and a music player to make your own playlists and share them on Myspace.
I’m sorry I didn’t have time to sift through all 239,000,000 results but this should be enough to get started on a musical day!