A Review of the Jamendo Music Service

Download or stream royalty-free music from independent artists

Smiling woman listening to headphones while using her phone on a train
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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. Log in to the website or download the Android or iOS app for mobile devices to see what Jamendo is all about.

Jamendo is an online music community where independent artists and listeners can network. The site began 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 that you can share your discoveries with others.

Main Features of Jamendo

The 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. Don't look for big-name recording artists here; Jamendo is a home for independent artists.

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

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

Discover fresh independent music each time you visit the website or app through the radio channels or suggestions of artists similar to the ones you like. Create your own playlists and save your favorite music.

Website and App Design

The Jamendo website is easy to use. Find new music in any of the radio stations, which include a Best of Jamendo Music station and stations for pop, rock, electronic, hip-hop, indie, and other genres. Select one of the "Best of" selections on the home page or use the service's search feature. The site gives you options to search for a specific genre, mood, or particular instrument. The Explore sections of the website are useful if you want to hear the music that is currently trending on Jamendo. The apps are set up similarly to the website.

When you find music you like, you can stream or download it. The only exception is with the iOS app. Apple doesn't permit free music downloads, but you can still stream music.

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. The 500,000-plus song library grows daily. If you are an independent artist, click the Upload Your Music button at Jamendo to begin the upload process.

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 stream audio at 96 Kbps.

The Bottom Line

Jamendo offers:

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

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. 

Added Feature: Jamendo Commercial Licensing

Jamendo also offers for a fee on its website commercial music licensing for retail background music and other commercial curated offerings. The advantage for independent artists is that Jamendo provides a popular platform where they can promote their music globally, and artists 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.