While there are a number of music subscription services to choose from, opting for a music downloader might actually prove to be the better choice: you have complete control over your music, you can back it up and even share it with your friends.
Music subscription services such as Spotify and Apple Music, while they do have large libraries you can browse through, do have a tendency to add or remove songs, sometimes due to legal or copyright issues, other times it’s the artists who decide to pull out songs or entire albums.
The best solution usually is to download your favorite tracks, which ensures that you will always have them on hand for listening, regardless of what happens in the music subscription service world.
You can download non-copyrighted music without any legal repercussions, so you don’t need to worry about it.
To help you out with finding the right website or app for that, we’ve compiled a list with some of the best sites and apps you can use to download music from.
Free Music Archive
This website contains free original music created by independent artists. It was founded by the radio station WFMU back in 2009 and has a very straightforward interface that can be browsed by genre.
You can even make your own playlists on the site and reuse the tracks via the Creative Commons license.
This is a Mac music downloader designed specifically for SoundCloud. You do have to pay for it however, but for that you get up to five simultaneous downloads at a time or an entire playlist with just one click.
SCD 2 comes with an integrated browser, which means you don’t have to keep jumping from one window to another during the download process. The browser also has integrated notifications that will let you know when your music has downloaded.
This is a bit of an old-school one, as it uses peer-to-peer torrent sharing that is reminiscent of LimeWire. The similarity is not completely incidental as FrostWire was created after LimeWire started to have stricter rules regarding audio file sharing.
All you have to do is use the search bar, stream or preview from the source to make sure it’s the file you’re after and then you’re good to go.
It also has a built-in media library and player.
This is one of the most popular music streaming and sharing platforms out there and it functions on different levels: it allows fans and artists to connect and, while it has subscription plans, the basic account does allow you to listen to free music.
Artists can also offer some of their tracks for download for free, which is something a good number of emerging creators choose to do. You can download the tracks in multiple formats, directly from the album or song page.
The Internet Archive
This is an odd one out, we’ll admit. The Internet Archive is mostly known for curating and cataloging websites, software, music and everything in between. Its Wayback Machine feature is very popular because it allows you to see how different websites were in the past, or even websites that have long since been shut down, dating from the early years of the World Wide Web.
Some of you might not know, however, that it also hosts a large library of songs, podcasts and even 78rpm records in the Audio Archive.
Not everything in the Audio Archive is available for download, but the tracks that are will be available in a number of different formats for you to enjoy.
This website allows the users to not only download music directly from the artist’s website and purchase licensed tracks but also to download music for free, if the artists choose to release any.
There are custom radio stations to choose from and you can communicate with other users on forums as well.
ReverbNation might not sound familiar but it is the one that launched the careers of The Civil Wars and Imagine Dragons, so you can discover some new, indie talent through it.
You can filter the music by genre and listen to the songs directly through the browser. Not all songs are available for a free download but those that are will be marked with a special sign.
You do have to register with this one but once you do, you will have access to a wide library of classical music. If you’re into Baroque or Romantics and anything else in between, you’ll find it here.
You can search for different composers and performers and add search filters by time and instrument. You will even have access to sheet music, a free classical music radio and resources to help you get started if you plan on learning to play an instrument.
Keep in mind however that, if you register with a free account, you will only be able to save up to five songs a day.
This website is similar to SoundCloud in many aspects. It has a user-friendly interface and a large library you can choose from, with a ton of different genres.
It also has a dedicated mobile app for streaming and all the songs available for download are free.