Legal and free music download sites in 2023

Free & Legal Music Downloads: Explore Top Platforms and Support Artists.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
Legal and free music download sites

Legal and free music download sites

The internet has made illegally downloading music temptingly easy. But there are now many great platforms for getting free music legally. In this post, we will explore the leading sites for legal and free music downloads. These destinations let you expand your musical horizons without spending money or harming artists. Whether you like mainstream pop, hip hop mixtapes, obscure indie bands, or want lossless quality, there is a site that fits your musical needs.

1. SoundCloud

Founded in 2007, SoundCloud has become one of the world's most popular audio-sharing platforms, with over 320 million tracks hosted. Musicians can upload original songs, remixes, podcasts, and more. Artists have the option to allow free downloads of their content by enabling the "Download" button and using Creative Commons licensing. SoundCloud has an extremely diverse range of content, from mainstream pop and rap to underground house and experimental electronic music.


  • Great for discovering new and underground artists

  • Huge variety and quantity of tracks

  • Easy to use interface and apps

  • Lots of genres represented


  • Uploads don't always have proper metadata

  • Music quality can vary

  • Some fake/spam accounts exist

  • Can be hard to navigate at times

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2. Bandcamp

Since launching in 2008, Bandcamp has established itself as the premier platform for artists and labels to share their music directly with loyal fans. Over 1 million artists use Bandcamp to host their discographies. One of the best features is that artists can allow free downloads of any or all of their music. The site is a great way for users to discover talented indie artists and legally download entire albums for free.


  • Focuses on indie artists

  • Artists have fine-tuned control over offerings

  • Get music in lossless formats

  • Physical merchandise available

  • Minimal fees for artists


  • Catalogue not as extensive as some sites

  • UI has a learning curve

  • Downloads require an account

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3. Jamendo

Jamendo started in 2005 with the vision of creating the world’s largest free music catalogue under Creative Commons licensing. They have delivered on that promise with over 600,000 tracks available from over 40,000 artists. Jamendo is free for users and helps artists gain exposure and generate revenue through ad shares. All music uploads must use a Creative Commons license, which allows for free distribution and remixes under certain conditions like non-commercial use and attribution.


  • Truly massive catalogue of free music

  • Established site with history of legal sharing

  • Helps artists through revenue sharing

  • Lots of variety in genre and quality


  • Majority of artists are amateurs/unknown

  • Curating and finding best music can be difficult

  • Some outdated/clunky interface elements

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4. Free Music Archive

An essential site for legally free downloads is the Free Music Archive, a library of high-quality, legal audio provided by WFMU radio in New Jersey. All music is handpicked and available for use under Creative Commons or public domain. Users can search through music curated by genre or featured compiler. Music is available at multiple download quality levels up to lossless FLAC. With its selective approach, the FMA offers diverse free music while ensuring everything is legal for fans.


  • Hand-curated music collection

  • Focus on quality and cleared copyright -Variety of genres

  • Allows access to uncommon music


  • More selective collection, less breadth

  • Website design dated

  • No mobile app

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5. ccMixter

Dedicated to fostering remix culture, ccMixter features a repository of samples, acapellas, mixes, and remixes contributed by users under Creative Commons licensing. This gives DJs and producers free access to components for finding inspiration and experimenting with remixes. Members must credit the original creator when using ccMixter samples and tracks. For beatmakers, ccMixter provides a legal playground to mix using shared free music building blocks.


  • Established community of remixers since 2004

  • Large collection of samples, acapellas, stems

  • Fully open source and nonprofit

  • Allows use of materials under Creative Commons


  • Website and UX design feels dated

  • Materials limited to what others have uploaded

  • Most useful for remixing vs. listening

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6. DatPiff

Founded in 2005, DatPiff is the internet's premier site for free hip hop mixtapes. The platform has partnered with labels and artists like DJ Drama, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne, and more to bring fans exclusive mixtapes and singles as free downloads. These mixtapes often feature original songs, remixes, and freestyles over popular beats. DatPiff has a dedicated community of hip hop fans who have downloaded over 15 million free mixtapes on the site.


  • Massive mixtape collection, especially hip hop

  • Often hosts exclusive song premieres

  • Popular with big name rappers

  • Allows downloads of full mixtapes


  • Focused exclusively on hip hop mixtapes

  • Mobile app needs improvement

  • Some mixtapes removed over licensing issues

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Thanks to the range of platforms now available, music lovers can find legal free downloads for any genre. Remember to support artists when possible by buying merchandise or tickets. Avoid shady sites and stick to reputable platforms that work with rights holders. The music world still faces challenges around free downloads, but the future is bright. There's never been an easier time to access great free music legally. So explore these sites and let us know your favorites!

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