When you start looking for free music online, it won't be long before you start coming across less-than-reputable websites. Some may actually require paid memberships or subscriptions while others provide access to pirated content. Still, there are several websites and apps that you can use to get free music downloads that are completely legal. Among them are Jamendo, SoundCloud, DatPiff and even YouTube.
If you're looking for free ways to download music that you'd normally have to pay for, you probably won't find it on this list. Instead, I've compiled 12 completely legal resources for finding free music downloads. In the table below, you'll see a list of those resources, the most popular genres available, what platforms each service uses and the app's average rating on Google Play and the App Store (if applicable).
When you visit one of these websites or download the apps, you may have to create a free account to continue. But you shouldn't have to enter any payment information to gain access to the content. At most, you might have to disable your ad blocker if you're visiting the website.
When I scrolled through the available selections, I saw tons of mood-themed playlists in addition to pop hits and well-known artists. On the home page of the website, you'll find the top-rated featured playlists for several music genres including hip-hop & rap, R&B, new music and more. If you're looking for a mobile experience, the SoundCloud app is also available for iOS and Android devices.
Genres: Instrumentals, Hip-Hop, Electronic
Platforms: App (Android) and Website
App Rating: 3.8 Stars
In addition to downloading mp3 files, you can open Amazon Music's web player or app to stream popular playlists and stations. Unfortunately, you'll have to pay for a Prime/Amazon Music Unlimited membership in order to listen to most of these songs offline.
Last.fm is most prominently a free online radio that allows you to stream and track your favorite music. If you create a free account, you can build playlists, get custom recommendations on new music and connect with other music fans who have similar tastes. An account is not required to stream music.
While it's focused on online streaming, Last.fm also offers a selection of free music downloads online. At the time of writing, there were more than 220 songs available to download for free. While you won't find a big selection of popular artists and albums on Last.fm, you will find a great selection of independent music in all genres.
Unfortunately, the Last.fm app for iOS and Android devices works a little differently from the website. Instead of letting users stream and download music, the app only monitors what you're listening to via other apps on your smartphone. This helps track the listening history of users who have created accounts which leads to more relevant music suggestions.
To get started, check out the free music tag on Bandcamp. You'll see free music highlights and all free music releases including new and notable work, all-time "best selling" tracks and more. Once you've found a title you're interested in, you can click "play" to begin streaming it instantly. If you want to download it, scroll over the track and click "buy now." If the track is free, you'll be able to enter $0.00 into the "name your price" box and click "download to your computer."
When I browsed through available free downloads, I came across the Audio Library channel that seemed to have a great selection of music. On this channel, which has more than 3.3 million subscribers, you'll find videos and playlists full of popular copyright-safe music that you can download from Audio Library's website.
Genres: Alternative, Country, Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B
App Rating: N/A
Genres: Pop, Rock. Electronica, Roots, Classic, Urban
App Rating: N/A
Tribe of Noise acquired Free Music Archive in 2019, which is another website worth checking out for free music downloads. While the website isn't updated anymore, you'll still find thousands of free downloadable tracks there too.
If you're looking for a big selection of free music downloads in a variety of genres, check out SoundCloud, ReverbNataion, Jamendo or SoundClick. All of them are available online or as apps on iOS and Android devices.
If you're interested in up-and-coming urban music, be sure to check out DatPiff. For more classical and instrumental downloads, visit Musopen. Amazon Music also offers a selection of classical music downloads in addition to gospel and Christmas tracks. For a more broad selection of all genres, visit Last.fm, Bandcamp or YouTube. Finally, if you're planning on downloading music to your computer, NoiseTrade and Tribe of Noise are two websites worth visiting.
No matter where you decide to download free music, just make sure you're doing it legally and safely. While you may have to disable your ad blocker online or enter your email to create a free account, you shouldn't have to enter any payment information to access free content.
What are your favorite websites/apps for finding free music downloads? Let us know in the comments below!