Free Music Sources for iPhone and iTunes

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

Itunes on iPhone

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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 at least the debut of Napster in 1999. Getting that music in a way that doesn't deprive artists of payment for their work was harder.

Fortunately, over the years, tons of authorized websites and apps have offered legit free music to make sure we're never out of new songs.

Where to Find Free iPhone and iTunes Music

The music sites and apps listed below are far from the only places to get free MP3s, but they've got so much free music that you'll never be able to listen to everything they have to offer (which is a good thing).

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 by far the easiest way to get free music directly on your iPhone because they 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 out 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 just check out the free stuff without recommendations, though, 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 see tens of thousands of songs waiting for you. 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 listed above. It's not the place to go for the latest indie gems or smash hits but is instead a treasure trove for fans of live concert recordings. Even better, it's just one part of the larger Archive.org collection of audio, including podcasts, old radio shows, and much more.
  • Apple Music: Apple's music service is built right 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 them 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 your 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.
  • Google Play Music: Google's alternative to Apple Music offers weeks of free streaming from the huge Google Play catalog before you have to start paying. Just like with Apple Music, if you forget to cancel (or want to stay subscribed), you'll be charged a monthly fee.
  • Musopen: Lovers of classical music will enjoy Musopen. This site dedicated to classical music not only provides a large library of free recordings of works from hundreds of composers and performers, but 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 eBook 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 not only iPhone but also 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, therefore, not be able to use some music streaming apps on your device unless you're using 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 are offering 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 them onto your device, but it's no longer available.