Best Ways to Find Free Songs to Download

Enthusiastic woman listening to music with headphones and mp3 player in park
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Trying to find songs to download free from the internet while staying legal can sometimes feel like an impossible mission. However, you'd be surprised how many ways you can source digital music while staying on the right side of the law.

You can accumulate free audio by downloading, recording, and even extracting audio from video.

Note: Even though the methods below are legal, it's always best to make sure you don't infringe on copyright. If in doubt, don't download, share, or make copies.

Free and Legal Music Download Sites

What We Like

  • It's a great way to discover music you've never heard.

  • Downloads are almost always legal because they're from the original sources.

What We Don't Like

  • Well-known music is hardly available.

Many websites host free and legal music, often providing free tracks that are uploaded by undiscovered artists looking for that much-needed exposure to increase their fan base.

Tip

Having a download manager is recommended if you plan on downloading a lot of songs.

Legal File Sharing Networks

What We Like

  • Lots of music options.

What We Don't Like

  • Songs are only available if other users are sharing them right now.

  • It's easy to stumble on copyrighted media while downloading torrents.

You can connect to a number of file sharing (P2P) networks on the internet using a BitTorrent client. These are extremely popular, but the vast majority of them provide links to copyrighted material.

Follow the link to see some of the best legal P2P sites for downloading free songs, music, videos, and other types of files.

Extract Audio From YouTube Video

What We Like

  • Really easy to do.

  • Doesn't require a software download.

What We Don't Like

  • Most YouTube audio extractors only export the audio to MP3 (instead of other formats like M4R).

A soundtrack on a video often comes with a song or piece of music that you may want to extract to an MP3 file. There are several ways to pull this off, all of which are addressed in these instructions.

Streaming Music Recording Software

What We Like

  • You can pause the recorder if you want to skip over recording a specific section of the audio.

What We Don't Like

  • Everything is captured, even ads or others sounds from your computer.

  • You have to manually start and stop the recording at the right times to get the audio you want.

If you regularly visit websites that stream media, then with the right software, you can record the output of your sound card. Whether you’re listening to a streaming music service or watching music videos, you can capture the audio and encode it to one of several audio formats.

Internet Radio Recording Software

What We Like

  • You can play the radio and record from the same software program.

  • Recordings don't include sounds from other sources, just the radio.

What We Don't Like

  • There are few options for online radio programs that combine with a built-in recorder.

Internet radio represents a huge resource that provides 24/7 entertainment. You can listen to literally thousands of radio stations via your media player, browser, etc.

With the right software, you can also record internet radio broadcasts to quickly build up a collection of legal digital music.

Tip

If you find a great internet radio streamer but it doesn't have the option to record the audio, just use one of the streaming media recorder programs mentioned above.

Free Ringtone Sites

What We Like

  • Plenty of options for ringtones.

  • Ringtones usually come in many formats so that they work on all devices.

  • Some ringtone websites let you edit the song to your liking before you download it.

What We Don't Like

  • It's common to find ringtones of newly released songs, which brings into question the legality of the ringtone site.

  • Lots of ringtone websites have ads or surveys that you have to complete (stick to our list to avoid those).

Typically, ringtone websites don't offer full-length songs, but they can be a good source to tap into if you want to build up a library of short tunes to liven up your phone. Many of the free ringtone sites listed here also provide other freebies, like videos, games, themes, and more.

Tip

If you want to take a step further than this, why not make your own ringtone? To find out more, be sure to read our guide on how to use iTunes to make free ringtones. If you don't use iTunes, there are alternative ways to source free ringtones.