Podcast: Music Online - What can I get for Free?

Forget Free Love! I want Free Music! I talk to Eric Rodgers once again about some of the ways you can still get great music for free using the web.

  • We begin by ruminating about the early days of Napster, the free (and illegal) music download service that was closed, then relaunched. It's the one that was shut down that we liked so much.

  • iTunes sells music by the song.

  • Rhapsody is the music service from Real that allows you to fill up your portable music player for a monthly fee.

  • Yahoo Music Unlimited gives you unlimited access to over 1 million songs in their library for $12 a month but doesn't work with ipods. It's a bit cheaper if you prepay the year or if you don't include your portable music device in the plan. In that case, you listen to songs on your PC only.

  • Eric talks about BitTorrent as a technology for sharing music, video, and other files. He recommends the uTorrent client in particular. A java-based BitTorrent clioent, Azureus
    is available at source forge which hopefully means it is also spyware free. We'd be loathe to download clients from websites we didn't trust. BitTorrent clients have been previously bundled with nasty spyware.

  • Some bands are "trade friendly" meaning they allow you to make recordings of of their live performances and then trade them with your friends. The website etree.org lets you find recordings of these bands and begin recording them via a BitTorrent client.

  • Pirate Bay allows you to search BitTorrents for music. This is possibly the largest selection of music and video you can search on the web. Since this website is probably operating on the wrong side of the law, it may or may not be available at any moment. The Swedish website has found safe harbor in a country with some pretty weak copyright laws.

  • A great selection of live music is also available on the Internet Archive. It looks like Eric and I were talking about the same collection of music. ETree is the live music archive at Internet Archive. Archive.org also has a great selection of open source music for download.

  • The original recording of this podcast took you all the way to the edge of the law with a mention of the website that would clearly be illegal if it were based in the United States, but skirts US copyright law by locating themselves in Russia. They offer a lot of music for download at very low prices. The website is called AllofMP3. It has created quite a stir.

We'll be back live on the radio on September 14.

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About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.