When I was in college I didn’t have the money to afford much music. However I still needed music to fill my off-brand mp3 player. Thus I began my quest of finding the best free music on the internet. Legally free. After several years my quest has reaped great rewards that I will share with you now!
Before we begin, I urge you to keep an open mind about your music tastes. I never liked techno, jazz, or classical music before I limited myself to the free stuff on the internet. This is a good opportunity to try something new, see if you like it. After all, what is there to lose?
Ocremix.org is dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music as an art form. In other words OCRemix serves fan-made videogame soundtrack remixes and arrangements.
OCRemix is like a “test kitchen” where budding musicians refine their craft. Most of the remixes are high-quality productions, far better than you might expect from ameteur fans.
I recommend starting with remixes from your favorite games. After that, check out the albums. Albums contain some the best songs on OCRemix.
Most of the music is chiptune/techno stuff. But there are plenty of classical covers, some jazzy beats, even a hillbilly hoedown. To get you started, here are my top 5 songs from OCRemix.
- Johnny’s Got The Funk Disc 3, Song 2 (A funky pop song)
- The Impressario Disc 2, Song 15 (An operatic balled reminiscent of Queen)
- ThunderStruck (Violin rock)
- Gotta Start From Somewhere (Upbeat jazzy techno)
- Pirate Shout (Heavy rock pirate ballad)
Rather than pointing to a specific platform, I’m going to recommend some of my favorite artists that release their music for free. I don’t know how they can give away such fantastic tunes, but I don’t question it and neither should you!
Wax Audio was the first time I discovered remixed classic rock songs. I had heard pop mashups before, but The Bee Gees + Pink Floyd? Unheard of! Here are my top 5 from Wax Audio:
Happy Cat Disco
Thanks to artists like Happy Cat Disco we have some incredible remixes that breathe new life into pop songs. Among hundreds of songs you’re sure to find SOMETHING that grabs you. Checkout their facebook page for download links.
Here are my top 5 from Happy Cat:
- Pop No Matter What
- AllStar Came Here For Life
- The People’s Cult
- #ImperialSelfie (This song is super goofy, but I love it)
Jake “Virt” Kaufman is creating some of the best video game music of the decade. These chiptunes will get stuck in your head and never leave. My top 5:
Super Guitar Brothers
When you need to calm down and just chill then the Super Guitar Brothers have got you covered. My top 5:
Pogo is hard to explain at first. He uses sound-clips from movies as instruments. It’s not a recognizable remix of Harry Potter….it just uses soundclips to make a…you know what, just listen to some stuff and see if you like it.
Similar to Pogo, MelodySheep remixes movies and TV shows, but doesn’t cut them up nearly as much. Their Symphony of Science series remixes famous speeches from the greatest scientific minds. My top 5:
This isn’t music, but it is free stuff for your earholes.
Librivox is a site where volunteers record public domain audiobooks. Some of these readers are awful, scratchy, coughing monsters who will destroy your ears. But some of these readers have voices like fine wine and offer their audiobooks for free!
Stories like Sherlock Holmes, Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice, Lovecraft, Monte Cristo, and more are all freely read and released.
If you’re like me, and want to listen to something besides the radio, why not brush up on the classics? The trick is to find a good reader and listen to everything they’ve recorded.
Here are my top 5 from Librivox:
- Bob Neufeld - A Study in Scarlet
- Mark Nelson - A Princess of Mars
- Adrian Praetzellis - Treasure Island
- David Clarke - The Return of Sherlock Holmes
- Karen Savage - The Scarlet Pimpernel
Anything I Missed?
Well, that didn’t nearly cover everything, but it’s a good start to filling up your ipod. Do you have a favorite source for (legally) free music? Let me know about it in the comments!