With all the fuss about piracy and the RIAA, legal music download websites help to put your guilt to rest by enjoying free and legal MP3 music downloads without the hassle of government agents breaking down your door. Here’s the problem though. Most free and legal MP3 music downloads a) aren’t easy to find; and b) feature music which aren’t that great.
But not this list — this is the big list of legal music download websites that rock!
When writing an article about legal music download websites, we’ve got to list Last.fm. Everyday, Last.fm features a new free legal MP3 music download with no strings attached. Preview the songs using their integrated player and if you like the track, download it. There are currently over 250 free MP3s available for download, spanning over 20 genres.
Bandcamp shouldn’t require an introduction here. We feature it almost everyday in our Music Mania segment. It’s hands down, one of the best legal music download websites at this point in time. They have a vast library of artists with new albums popping up almost everyday. You’re free to listen to any song you want and if the album is free, you can download it in MP3, ALAC, FLAC, MP3 VBR and OGG. I reiterate, it’s one of the best music download websites you can find right now. Bookmark it.
Epitonic is one of those legal music download websites where they emphasis more on the songs than on design. As a result, the songs are displayed in text across three categories: featured, new and editor’s choice. Click on any song and it starts playing in their integrated player. You can also download any song (or all of them) right on the front page.
Highly regarded as one of the best legal music download websites, Jamendo is pretty similar to Bandcamp. You’ll find thousands of completely free and legal MP3 music downloads to browse through. You’re also able to preview any song via its integrated player. No login is required.
Noisetrade is one of those legal music download website where you get free and legal music downloads in exchange for some information like your email and postal code. It also allows you the option to help the artist by spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a fair trade. As a legal music download website, I couldn’t really ask it for more.
purevolume is another awesome legal music download websites that features both paid and free legal MP3 music downloads. You can browse the site fairly quickly to search for the best free songs because purevolume conveniently compiles them into Top Songs, Top Downloads, Albums, Features, and Past Features. Again, every song is available for preview via their integrated player. There isn’t an option to download entire albums so you do have to manually download each song individually. But hey, they are quality songs from a great legal music download website, so you’ve got zero guilt weighing you down.
ReverbNation is not only a legal music download website, it’s also a valuable resource for fans and their favourite bands. Just like Last.fm, ReverbNation publishes band tour dates and even allows you to buy concert tickets directly.
Added 12/5: Daytrotter
Daytrotter features one band a day, everyday. Every song is recorded in the Daytrotter recording studio at The Horseshack in downtown Rock Island, Ill. The artist featured are probably unheard of but that’s the beauty of Daytrotter — they don’t want to feature mainstream artists but rather to allow you to discover new stars. Albums are categorised by sessions and you’re able to preview any track with their built-in player. All albums are available in 128 kbps MP3 for free as a one-click download.
Added 12/5: RCRD LBL
RCRD LBL mostly features mostly singles. In fact, they have over 25,000 free singles on their website, free for your listening pleasure via their integrated player. Tracks must be downloaded individually and an account is required (sign up is free).
As the web is ever-expanding, there will be more music download websites cropping up. So bearing in mind that this isn’t a finite list, I would like to ask for your suggestions and recommendations in the comments.