Free Music Roundup: Songs, Albums, and Samplers, Oh My

Freegal Scratch

First things first: Are you a card-carrying member of your local library? (What? You’re not? Did you know they’ll let you take home all the books you want for free? Seriously,go grab yourself something to read. I’m about a quarter into Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed,” and it’s just outstanding. Or if you want something a little easier to digest, I couldn’t put down last year’s “Gone Girl.” Did I mention you can get these andother books for free?)

Where was I? Oh, right: Are you a card-carrying member of your local library? Then you should know about Freegal Music, a site that partners with libraries to provide free MP3 downloads.

So, for example, if you totally love Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (a song impossible not to love), you can get it free from Freegal Music. The site allows you three yours-to-keep downloads per week. You’re welcome.

Next things next: I’ve found tons of other free music you can score this week, no strings attached. (You don’t even need a library card.)

For example, Amazon has five complete greatest-hits MP3 albums that are part of an “Icon” series, which I don’t see elsewhere but don’t care. Here are the five artists currently available:

Pat Benatar (expired)
Bobby Brown (expired)
Cher (expired)
Dean Martin (expired)
George Strait (expired)

Each album has about a dozen tracks. Total price: zero. As with other Amazon MP3 purchases, you can listen to them online or download them to your PC (and, ultimately, your mobile devices).

Can’t make it to this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) show in Austin? NPR put together a sampler of some of the hottest musical discoveries from the gathering. And not just some wimpy 12-track sampler, but The Austin 100: A SXSW 2014 Mix. Yep, a whopping 100 songs from new and lesser-known artists.

You can stream the sampler, download each track individually, download all 100 songs in an 839MB Zip file.

Like your music metallic? Google Play has the Here’s the Metal Sampler February 2014 and Here’s the Metal Sampler March 2014, both free of charge. You’ll need some kind of Google account (Gmail, etc.) to grab these freebies. As with the Amazon stuff, you can stream and/or download the tracks.

Finally, Google Play is also giving away a couple catchy pop tracks, one classic, one new: Prince and the Revolution’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and Icona Pop’s “I Love It.”

There’s nothing in life so sweet as music–except for free music. Go forth and download!

Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and, and also writes for PC World and Wired.


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