Free Music Sources for iPhone and iTunes

Where to find free songs to fill up your phone or iTunes library

There's only one thing better than discovering your new favorite band: getting their music legally and for free, and then packing your iPhone and iTunes library full of it. Getting free music on the internet has been easy since the debut of Napster in 1999. Getting that music in a way that doesn't deprive artists of payment for their work was harder.

Over the years, tons of authorized websites and apps have offered legitimate and free music to make sure you're never out of new songs.

iTtunes on iPhone
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Where to Find Free iPhone and iTunes Music

The music sites and apps listed below aren't the only places to get free MP3s, but these sites have so much free music that you'll never be able to listen to everything each has to offer.

Some of these sources let you download music, but others are for streaming only. Either way, you get loads of free music without paying a dime.

  • Free Music Apps: Apps are the easiest way to get free music on your iPhone because these apps involve streaming. There are lots of great apps that deliver free music to your iPhone, some with massive libraries and others with a handful of curated picks each day.
  • SoundCloud: While SoundCloud has become a go-to destination for major acts selling new albums, it started as a place for free indie music and still has a lot of that to offer. It's also a great option if you're a musician, matching a simple place to distribute your music with a big audience.
  • Free Music Archive: This huge collection of free music for iPhone is offered by WFMU, one of the premier free-form radio stations in the U.S. All the music is contributed by WFMU or other curators invited to the project, and has been cleared for use by the musicians. Even better, some of the music is licensed to allow you to use it for other projects.
  • Last.fm: The free music at Last.fm is primarily aimed at learning what kind of music you like and helping you find more of it. If you prefer to check out the free stuff without recommendations, Last.fm will oblige with a several dozen free downloads.
  • Jamendo: If you love to discover the next cool independent artist, Jamendo will be your next favorite website. This collection of nearly half a million songs contains exclusively indie artists looking to connect to fans for free.
  • Amazon: Hidden away in Amazon's huge online music store is a section for free downloads. The online retailer doesn't make it easy to find, but you'll find tens of thousands of songs. There's a mix of big names and no names, but you're bound to find something you like. There are also free albums on Amazon.
  • Live Music Archive: While it has a similar name, the Live Music Archive isn't related to the Free Music Archive. It's not the place to go for the latest indie gems or smash hits. Instead, it's a treasure trove for fans of live concert recordings. Even better, it's one part of the larger Archive.org collection of audio, including podcasts, old radio shows, and more.
  • Apple Music: The Apple music service is built into the Music app that comes pre-installed on every iPhone. It's not always free—eventually, you have to subscribe—but the initial free trial lets you stream an unlimited number of songs and download songs for offline listening. However, if you don't subscribe, you'll lose the downloads.
  • DatPiff: Hip hop fans know the importance of a good mixtape, and DatPiff is the source for tons of free mixtapes from big-name rappers and the hottest up-and-comers. You can stream virtually everything on the site, but only some mixtapes are free.
  • YouTube Music: Google's alternative to Apple Music offers a month of free streaming from the YouTube Music catalog before you have to start paying. Like Apple Music, if you forget to cancel (or want to stay subscribed), you're charged a monthly fee.
  • Musopen: Lovers of classical music will enjoy Musopen. This site is dedicated to classical music. It provides a large library of free recordings of works from hundreds of composers and performers, and it also offers sheet music downloads for those looking to learn how to play.
  • NoiseTrade: Designed to help indie and up-and-coming bands and musicians find new fans, NoiseTrade offers thousands of free EPs. Making things even cooler, many of these EPs have exclusive songs you won't find anywhere else. The site also offers free e-book downloads if you want something to read while you rock.
  • ReverbNation: In addition to its suite of promotional and career tools to help new artists become big names, ReverbNation offers some downloads and a tremendous amount of free streaming music through its app. You'll find virtually any genre of music here.

All of these websites and apps are supported on most iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. However, most music apps are updated often to accommodate new iOS versions, and therefore drop support for older ones. You might not be able to use some music streaming apps on your device unless you use a modern version of iOS.

Other Free Music Sources

There are dozens—maybe hundreds or even thousands—of places to stream free music online. Some are legal, but many offer the music without compensating the musicians.

If you want to use those sites and services, there's nothing we can do to stop you. However, we highly recommend visiting legal free music download websites to find free music for your iPhone and iTunes library.

There used to be a feature called Free on iTunes that let you easily locate free iTunes songs and download those songs to your device, but it's no longer available.