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Top music download and streaming websites

The top 3 music download websites listed here are probably the three you are most likely to be familiar with and have probably already used. They are predominantly paid sites but you can access a limited amount of free content on all three of these music databases. We have also put together a list of the top ten free music download websites available to you on the internet. These have been heavily researched to ensure we are only bringing you the sites that provide the best quality content and most importantly, free music download websites that are legal and risk free to the user. 

 ITUNES

Rated Number 1

Itunes is part of the Apple empire and is rated the number one for music downloads. With itunes you are able to purchase, download and organise your music all in one place. As well as one of the largest collections of downloadable music available on the internet and hosting music from the biggest and most prolific artists on the planet, it also offers other entertainment available to purchase such as films and TV shows. itunes is also a tool for Apple users to manage and back up their IOS devices. Apple are also responsible for the Apple Music service which differs to itunes in that it is purely a music streaming service that users pay a subscription to access whereas with Itunes users pay to use the licence of a song.


SPOTIFY

 Rated Number 2

Rated number two on our list is Spotify which is closer to Apple Music than itunes in how it works. Spotify is the same as Apple music in that it is an online music and entertainment streaming service and doesn't offer the option of purchasing the use of the music licenses but instead pays the artists and media companies through money generated from their subscription packages. 

Spotify does offer a free subscription service to users which provides access to a reasonably substantial catalogue of songs and podcasts. They offer a wide variety of different subscription options that users can explore to find the best value for their music needs. 


AMAZON MUSIC

 Rated Number 3

Amazon Music offers a combination of music purchasing and music streaming services and was created by business giants Amazon. Music is available to purchase and download and they offer the Amazon Music Player as a way to download and play purchased content. 

They also offer a music streaming service which has the option of Amazon Music HD which is a high definition service available to paying subscribers. The streaming service is provided by Prime Music and is available to the majority of Amazon Prime users at no extra cost. 

Amazon music also appears on our top ten free download websites because of the quality and amount of free music available on what is ultimately a fee paying website. 

Here is a list of the top ten free download websites:

SoundCloud

Just like Amazon which offers a free music download collection, so does SoundCloud, you just have to know how to find them and is probably the most well known free streaming music services.

So here’s how it works: SoundCloud is essentially a paid streaming service but a lot of artists also allow free downloads as well that you will have to search around but you’ll see a free music download option if the artist has enabled it and sometimes it diverts you to a third party site to access the free download. 

Keep in mind that many larger artists only stream which is because most major label artists are prohibited from offering free downloads based on their contracts.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a dedicated free music download section and there’s little chance that will happen in the future. 


ReverbNation

ReverbNation has millions of emerging artists, across hundreds of different genres and has launched the careers of a few artists you have probably heard of such as Imagine Dragons. The approach is somewhat like SoundCloud, you can stream whatever you want, but you have to check to see if a free download option is enabled.  Like SoundCloud, many of the larger ReverbNation artists only stream.  Right now, ReverbNation doesn’t have a dedicated download section.

ReverbNation is slightly different to the other sites on our list because it acts as a hub and a community for up and coming music artists offering artists the chance to connect with labels, market their material and potentially expand their fan base and work opportunities. 


Jamendo Music

Jamendo Music has been offering free music downloads for years.  All of these downloads are completely free and protected by Creative Commons licenses which basically means that the creators of these songs don’t mind if you download their music for your own personal enjoyment. All the music is classes as independant by upcoming and emerging artists looking for exposure and promotion. Jamendo also has free radio stations and playlists that are constantly updating. Once you’ve got a good collection of free music downloads you can easily access them offline on your iOS, Android, or other device.  Also,if you looking to license music for your video, commercial, or film- that’s where Jamendo’s paid tier enters the picture.  The prices are reasonable and the catalogue is rich- you can’t go wrong.


Amazon Music

Amazon Music offers a free music download section that is constantly being updated. The selection that Amazon offers on a free download basis is actually fairly impressive and features newer releases from a lot of big-name artists including widely known artists like Foo Fighters, Blondie, Chance the Rapper, Carole King, and the Philharmonic Orchestra Bratislava. That last one’s for you classical lovers, but there’s also a ton of meditation, workout, and focus-oriented music.

Why are they doing this? The answer is simple: they want you to try out their more involved music streaming service or pick up an Amazon Prime account (which comes bundled with music), basically anything to get you absorbed into the Amazon brand.

Once you’ve grabbed a few free mp3s from Amazon’s free music download section, you can take them anywhere on any smartphone, including IOS and Android devices. 


SoundClick

SoundClick offers free downloads from thousands of music artist websites which includes signed, unsigned, independent, and everything in-between.  Basically, if the artist wants to offer a free music download, then SoundClick will try to deliver it. Searching for music is pretty simple in that you can search by artist, genre, or by chart. You can sample as much as you want, and download whatever you want. 

One warning is that SoundClick does offer a mix of paid and free content.  The reason is that some artists prefer to charge for their downloads, while others want to give it away for free.  Also, there aren’t full catalogues for artists like DJ Khaled or Drake, for that, you’ll probably need to head over to Spotify or iTunes which will require you to pay for the content. 


Bandcamp

Bandcamp is a great place for indie artists to make their music available online for streaming, but some artists offer free downloads too. You can stream most albums available on Bandcamp for free and choose to pay for a downloadable copy of the album. Artists are allowed to set their own prices, so sometimes you’ll see a 'pay what you want' model. The 'pay what you want' models are technically free to download, but if you enjoy the music, you should consider supporting the artist.


Free Music Archive

Free music archive is an online database dedicated to royalty free music. It provides music under the creative commons licences and it is advised that if you're using the music for projects or promotions to credit the creator to allow the artist maximum expose.

The database covers a large variety of genres and you are able to search for music by popularity and latest uploads. Whilst all the music is downloadable for free, there is the unique option to 'tip' the artist using donations to provide continued and support to those bringing the music to you. They have recommended tips for each artist but you can choose to donate more or less, whatever you can afford or want to give. 


Last.fm

Last.fm is one of the older and more established streaming sites and is a reputable music recommendation system that works by recognising and gathering data based on the music you listen to and enjoy to bring you similar sounds and tracks from other artists. Not only does it show you music you might personally be interested in it also shows users trending and popular music. Last.fm prides itself on being a large online community of people wanting to connect over their love of music and your own personal profile is a great way to showcase your music tastes. 

The site is predominantly more of a streaming service however free music downloads are available by searching on the individual track details and it will offer you the option of downloading if you are able to. 


Musopen

A slightly different option to add a touch of variety to our free music website downloads list is Musopen. Musopen is a music streaming and dowload website dedicated to the classical  music genre. The large majority of the music available is free of charge with the exception of premium downloads which do require the user to have a subscription. Subscribers have unlimited access to downloads and whilst non paying members are restricted on how many downloads a day they can access, all the music available to them comes without restrictions and copyright limitations. 

Another fantastic feature of this classical music website is that it has an online archive of free sheet music available to download for free for budding or established musicians.


Wynk Music: MP3 & Hindi Songs (App)

If you’re looking for Indian music, Airtel is offering a great way to find and organise free music downloads.  Basically, Wynk not only offers free mp3s, but it manages and organises them as well.  A stepped-up premium plan includes streaming and a larger selection, though Airtel users can qualify for extended premium trials or bundled premium options. 

Beyond Indian regional music, there are also a lot of global, mainstream songs such as Coldplay, Jason Derulo, Shakira, and the Chainsmokers just to name a few. That said, that’s not the main focus of this app but it’s a nice addition for those that want some global variety.

In total, Wynk offers 2.6 million tracks of mostly Indian music.  There are also a huge number of playlists and a full-blown radio service, mostly focused on Indian music.

There are a few other cool options and features which includes ringtones, ringback tones, an English-language option, and even Chromecast support.


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