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3 Ways to Enjoy Free Online Music

3 Ways to Enjoy Free Online Music

Acquiring or listening to music for free has been a primary consideration for many consumers since the radio was invented. If anything, terrestrial-based AM/FM radio has conditioned consumers to expect to listen to music for free forever. Vinyl records, and subsequently compact discs, were the only way for music lovers to listen to their favorite songs or artists without tuning into a radio station. The desire for free music however has never left most music aficionados minds and the Internet has made it even easier to enjoy free online music.

Music Lockers

Consumers under the first sale doctrine of U.S. copyright law have always been able to take legally purchased products and modify, use or re-sell them in any way they like after the initial purchase. Savvy music listeners then combined the digital nature of compact discs and computers to convert their music collections into MP3s for consumption on the go. Broadband Internet connections and increased storage capacity online have allowed these large collections of MP3s to be shifted from portable players to cloud-based storage. The major operators of online music lockers include Google Play, Amazon Cloud Player and Apple iCloud all of which offer gigabytes of space to store and then stream your digital music collection. There if some effort and time involved but being able to access all of your music on any device whenever or wherever you want is an incredible benefit offered by music lockers.

Streaming Services

Music lockers may not be the best option for all consumers because it they are limited to music which has already been legally purchased, ripped and uploaded to a personal account. For consumers who want more variety or don't want to deal with the hassle of converting hundreds of music CDs and then taking the time to upload each song, there are a number of streaming music services available to choose from. The most popular include Spotify, Grooveshark, Last.FM, Twitter #music, Slacker and Pandora and each have a free, but often ad supported, versions available for consumers. Music streaming services obviate the need to upload any music and provide a wider variety of artists and genres.

Internet Radio

Fortunately for us old school radio listeners, many radio stations has shifted their live broadcasts online which allow consumers to listen to the radio through a web browser or phone app. This is great for people who want to stay up to date on local events or other pieces of information disseminated by their favorite disc jockeys. If you're interested in going the free Internet radio out the two most popular are SHOUTcast and Live365. Online radio does however suffer from the traditional problems of all radio stations which are limited playlists and frequent repetition. If however, you want to hear the same song 10 times a day with weather and traffic updates sprinkled in then tuning in to your favorite radio station online is a great alternative when looking for free music.

Image by: Jonathan Kriz