Free music downloads

News that fans can name their own price for Radiohead's new album (In Rainbows) has sent the online music community into a frenzy of speculation. Is a musical utopia of free downloads just around the corner?

Perhaps the future is already here: the Internet is brimming with free, legal music downloads that you can get your hands on right now, as we find out...

Kate Nash

Band websites

Surf around and you'll find plenty of bands, artists and record labels who quite regularly offer free tracks on their official websites. Start your online adventures with this merry bunch: Sigur Rós, Super Furry Animals, Kate Nash (pictured), Metallica, Sub Pop Records, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Hold Steady, Yo La Tengo, Babyshambles.

One-stop shops

Don't have time to trawl the Net? Then visit one of these sites for a regular round-up of freebies:

  • Fingertips: free tracks from a huge range of artists including Amy Winehouse, R.E.M., Mercury Rev, Björk, Jamie T and Badly Drawn Boy.
  • the most popular free downloads from social music site
  • MTV Free Downloads: a modest selection of tracks from
  • Spinner: a US e-zine offering free indie tracks every day.
  • Playlist Mag: daily downloads accompanied with mini reviews.

Alternatively, download iRATE or Gnomoradio, two free programs that collate legal downloads from websites across the world, and will even recommend tracks based upon your preferences.

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