A Review of the Jamendo Music Service

Download or stream royalty-free music from independent artists

Woman using her phone on a train
Flashpop / Getty Images

Jamendo may not be as well known as some of the larger free music websites, but it is worth checking out, particularly if you like to support independent artists. Jamendo is an online music community where independent artists and listeners can network. The site began in 2004 under the Creative Commons license but now advertises its music as "Free Streaming / Free Download" for personal use. The free service includes social networking tools so you can share your discoveries with others.

Main Features of Jamendo

Jamendo Music service is free and legal to download. The site has a music library of more than 500,000 tracks from 40,000 artists in more than 150 countries. You can download the music in MP3 and OGG formats, or you can stream it.

After registration and email validation, you gain access to features that include:

  • Playlist generation
  • Radio stations
  • User reviews of albums
  • A personal star-rating system for albums
  • Forums
  • Sharing options

Website Design

The Jamendo website is well designed and easy to use. Finding music is easy using the service's search feature. The site gives you options to search for a specific genre, mood, or particular instrument. The Latest and Trending sections of the website are useful if you want to hear the music that is currently popular and trending on Jamendo.

Music Library

The music available in Jamendo's library covers most music genres, so there's something for everyone. The quality of the music, considering it isn't mainstream, is impressive.

Music Delivery and Formats

The music is provided as an MP3 if you are downloading it via an HTTP link or OGG if you are using a P2P file-sharing network, such as BitTorrent. You can also use streaming audio that is served at 96Kbps.

The Bottom Line

  • Comprehensive choice of music genres
  • Unlimited free downloads and streaming for personal use
  • Choice of web and BitTorrent downloading or streaming

If you are looking to expand your musical horizons, then Jamendo's library of over half a million songs will keep you busy for a long time. You can choose to listen to music from as many albums or individual tracks as you like. 

Commercial Licensing

The site also offers commercial music licensing for retail background music and other commercial curated offerings for a fee. The advantage for independent artists is that Jamendo provides a popular platform where they can promote their music globally, and they can benefit financially if Jamendo shares their music in one of its commercial offerings. Jamendo sells licenses for commercial use of selected music online, in apps, for radio listeners, festival attendees, fairs, and conferences.

In addition to Jamendo's other commercial offerings, retail business owners can opt for royalty free background music from the site. For a monthly fee, retailers can stream ad-free, no-interruption music throughout their stores and venues. The site offers 24/7 access to 27 radio stations on any computer, smartphone or tablet. Demos of the radio stations are available at the site. Anyone interested in Jamendo's commercial offerings can sign up for a two-week free trial to evaluate the service.