If you’re a YouTuber, Music Composer, or a Video Editor, you must have come across a time when you needed some legal and licensed music for your work. In this post, I have listed and also reviewed some of the best legal places to get free music downloads. At these sites, you don’t just get instrumental music, beats, or background audio, there’s a lot for listeners and fans to explore as well.
Some of these websites also have iOS and Android apps to download free music on the go. However, you may not find raw MP3 files to download in some apps and may get offline downloads in a few.
The audio, beats, instrumental music, or songs that you find on these websites are entirely legal to download since they are uploaded by the artists themselves.
However, whether you can perform any derivative works on the music, purely depends upon the license.
- Also read: Best Free Music Downloader
If it’s a CC-BY license, you need not worry about anything as long as you credit the artist. However, you must check how you’re using the work under CC-BY-NC-ND license because it doesn’t allow any remixing or tweaking of the artwork.
- Read More about Creative Commons Licenses
Rest assured, you need not worry about the legality of music. Some of the below websites are nonprofits and have teams of 100+ people. They are also getting a lot of support from donators and contributors.
Whereas some websites are handcrafted by people and startups in the music industry, run by Founders and Investors that are trying to bring transparency to the music industry, working on connecting the fans with artists better, and bringing more and more of new music and talent on the plate.
Let us now look into the 17 best legal places to get free music downloads:
Websites that Deliver Raw MP3/FLAC Files to your Desktop for free
The songs you find on FMA are handpicked by some of the most notable and trusted Curators in the industry such as KEXP FM, Music for Video, etc. and is run by America’s famous FM – WFMU.
You will find audio files that belong to the public domain or under Creative Commons Licenses.
They have a library of 100,000 free music downloads available on the site. Some of the popular artists you can find on the portal are Kevin Macleod, Nine Inch Nails, etc.
When it comes to quality, you get the music downloads in MP3 format at a 320-kbps bitrate which is great. Know more
Internet Archive is another nonprofit portal to get music downloads for free. You can find many things on the portal such as audiobooks, podcasts, recordings, and of course, songs provided by the artists in over 400 languages!
When it comes to songs, you will see that they have both mainstream content such as full albums of Lil Wayne, Michael Jackson, etc. as well as the non-mainstream content of beats, instrumental music, available in genres of Rock, Pop, Old Classic, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.
You’ll go crazy when you see the number of audio archives they have on the portal; it is over 3 Million! Know more
Jamendo is among the best free music download websites where artists of all genres share their songs for free.
This is done after getting a Creative Commons (CC) License which allows artists or authors to share their work with users for both commercial or non-commercial purposes depending upon the owner’s choice.
In short, you get free mp3 songs to download at Jamendo, from the artists themselves!
Not just that, you can follow various artists, create playlists, stream music on the site at 96-kbps bitrate, all for free!
They even have Android and iOS applications and boast of a massive collection of over 500,000 songs by 40,000 artists! Know more
PureVolume is a free mp3 music download website where artists, fans, and listeners can create accounts and connect with each other. You can sort the music among various options of Featured, Top Downloads or browse the profiles of music composers and bands.
It is proud of their wide recognition from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other prominent portals.
Over 2 million artists are providing free music downloads in genres of Acoustic, Alternative Blues, Christian, country, Metal, Indie, etc. You will find many good bands and artists as well such as Three Days Grace, Michael Jackson, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Good Charlotte, etc. Know more
Amazon has a great library of songs, with Amazon Music Unlimited, they have already become the competitors of Apple Music and Spotify. However, you can only access and download the songs once you sign in and provide your card details.
It works differently than the rest of the music portals. You can only buy songs from amazon.com. Hence, to download music for free, you are supposed to buy or download songs from Amazon for zero dollars. That way, you will be making a purchase, but there will be no deduction from your bank account.
After you make the purchase, you will get a link to download the song.
However, the number of songs available for free or $0 are only a couple of hundreds. You will be able to find songs by Foo Fighters, Clayton Brothers, and many other artists. Know More
NoiseTrade is another website that provides free music downloads in exchange for your email ID and zip code. This helps the artists better connect with fans when they release a new album or plan out a concert in an area.
This is precisely why it’s called a direct-to-fan portal.
NoiseTrade initially offered Christian Music to download for free when they started in 2009. However, the numbers speak a different story now. They boast of a user-base of 1.3 million with over 20,000 artists in genres of Alternative, Blues, Classical, Rock, Pop, etc.
However, NoiseTrade is probably the worst when it comes to the quality of Music. It’s only a 64-kbps bitrate quality that’s much worse than the radio quality (128-kbps) or CD Quality (160-kbps).
But, no complaints though, when you get raw music files to download without spending a dime! Know more
If you’re a music composer or rapper looking for some good quality (320-kbps) hip-hop beats, SoundClick is the perfect portal to go to.
However, you will only find a few artists that provide free music. Many artists offer a lease/license for the songs, and the price varies with what you want to do with the songs.
They have a library of over 5 million songs and hundreds and thousands of artists. Some of the popular artists for beats on the portal are Tony Fadd, Vybe Beatz, etc.
That’s not it; you can even access SoundClick from its Android and iOS applications. Know more
Unlike other portals, Besonic provides you with tracks only after you sign in. They have quite an old looking website interface which might turn you off.
They offer free music downloads from artists of various countries such as Switzerland, US, and you’ll find a lot of Germany-based music composers on the portal too.
Also, the library boasts of a huge 44,000 artists and 80,000+ songs on the site in genres of Rock, Electro, Jazz, Blues, etc. Know more
CCTrax is a great place to find free licensed music to download. Many artists and curators upload the songs on CCTrax in a good quality of 320-kbps. The songs are available in both MP3 and FLAC formats (in some cases).
You will find many unique genres to explore on the homepage itself. These are Electronica, Dub, Techno, Ambient, etc. You also have many sorting and filtering options if you are looking for a specific kind of license such as BY-NC (non-commercial) or BY-SA (commercial) which is great. Know more
Once a very famous portal, ArtistDirect has lost its popularity with the new players that got traction in the past half-decade. However, it was also because of formation of other free music and news websites under the same network.
It offers thousands of artists, songs, videos and news related to the industry. However, only a handful of tracks are available to download and you may also find a lot of affiliate links to buy music. Know more
Portals or Apps with Free Trial and Unlimited Offline Downloads
Many famous, mainstream, as well as local artists, bands, producers, and DJs, upload their songs on SoundCloud which is easily accessible by the fans and listeners for free.
It is by far the best offline streaming website or app I have ever used. You get almost all the songs you search for, and you don’t have to spend any money!
However, to get free offline music downloads, you have to like the song, and that requires signing in to the website or app.
Talk of mainstream artists and SoundCloud is not going to let you down. Steven Wilson, The Weeknd, The Chainsmokers, Coldplay, you’ll find everything! SoundCloud offers a music library comparable to Apple Music or Spotify.
Artists can upload the songs on SoundCloud in WAV, MP3, FLAC formats and they convert it into 128-kbps MP3 format for streaming.
The below websites have a limited free trial time in which you can access the whole of their music library, avoid advertisements, listen to radio stations, create playlists, and of course, get unlimited offline music downloads for free! Know more
Google Play Music has a vast library of 35 million songs itself and also has the collection of YouTube.
They offer a 30-day free trial for Google Play Music and YouTube Red together where you can access the library, listen to the radio stations ad-free, and create custom playlists.
However, you only get a 14-day trial without a credit card, after that, you’re supposed to provide your card details to extend the free-trial for 30 days.
That’s not a bad deal at all! You get a fantastic library, curated playlists, radio, and you can cancel the subscription anytime before 30 days to avoid the payment.
13. Apple Music
Apple Music has been the only service that they’ve extended to the Google Play Store. Their free trial of 3 months is nothing but remarkable. Trust me; once you start using it, it will hook you up so much that you’ll start paying for Apple Music after your free trial.
You find almost all the songs on Apple Music. But that’s not how I use it, I listen to a lot of playlists based on Workout, Focus, etc. and I end up listening to ‘For You’ playlists that Apple claims to have been created by real people and not an algorithm.
The music quality you get on Apple Music is amazing too! You stream the songs at a 256-kbps bitrate in AAC format.
Once the trial period ends, you will be charged $9.99 per month in the US. Post your payment; you can continue with the service of over 30 million free music downloads for offline streaming. Know more
When it comes to Hindi or Bollywood music, Gaana has created its special place. It is one of the most popular music streaming services and also allows you to download free music. It boasts of having over 3 million songs in 21 different languages including English and Hindi.
Unfortunately, a free user can only stream music and cannot download tracks. However, if you download Gaana app and sign up with Facebook, then you will receive Gaana+ (paid plan) valid for two weeks. In this period, you can not only stream HD quality songs but also download HD quality unlimited music of your choice.
Also, you can refer your friend and family. After their successful sign-up, you will receive another two weeks of Gaana+ plan as a referral bonus. Not to forget, the referred user will too receive two weeks of free Gaana+. Know more
Saavn is the oldest music service which was launched primarily for Indian music. It is a US-based digital music distributor in 15 different languages including Hindi and English with over 30 million songs. Saavn is also heard in 200 countries. It also has application for all mobile OS such as Android, Apple and Microsoft.
You can play many music tracks without even logging on Saavn portal or application. Listening has no conditions as such. However, if you wish to save music for offline streaming, then you may have to shed a small amount of money. But today, we are not in a mood to spend anything.
Saavn does have 7-days free trial where you can download as many tracks as you can. Make sure to go for a free trial from its app since you do not have to pay at the end of the trial. On the hand, if you sign up for a free trial from its website then they will charge you if you fail to cancel it. Know more
16. Wynk Music
Wynk is another addition lately, and I must say that it is gradually showing a variety of its music offerings. It belongs to Bharti Airtel, so you rest assured that it is here for some serious business.
It has two types of plans – Wynk Free and Wynk Plus. Wynk free will allow you to stream unlimited songs at no cost. The quality of music will be average (128 kbps) or even less. However, a Wynk Plus user can download unlimited tracks in HD quality (Up to 320 kbps). As if now, Airtel users are getting free Wynk Plus features up to April 2018. After that, the Rs. 99 plan will be bundled with your Airtel monthly data plan. For others, it is around Rs. 99/month to Rs. 120/month.
So, if you are currently holding an Airtel number, then go for its application and download as many songs as you require and in return pay nothing. Isn’t it a great deal. Even Jio music is also working on similar lines. Know more
17. Hungama Music
Hungama Music is another player that provides offline music downloads. However, the number of songs you can download in the free plan is only twenty. Yes, that sounds a little absurd.
You will see that a majority of the songs on the portal are either in Hindi, English or in other Regional Languages.
You may have to shed Rs. 99 a month to access their 3 million+ songs’ library which doesn’t seem to be worth the amount. However, there are many popular artists that may want to make you buy the subscription such as Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Kygo, AR Rahman, Arijit Singh, Amit Trivedi, etc.
The quality of music streaming is 128 kbps when you’re on a free trial. But, when you go for the paid subscription, you get HD quality streaming which happens at 320 kbps. Know more