RIAA Toilet PaperWouldn’t it be nice to get some free music downloads with no strings attached? That’s something many of us long for, and it’s the same thing that the RIAA despises. One of the places where I can legally download free music is a site that one of my friends told me about, and it’s called PureVolume. There they have a wide variety of artists (both signed and unsigned) that have songs available for download. They may not be people you’ve heard about, but I’ve found a lot of really good music on there from many different genres.

If you can’t find anything there that you like, Mahalo has put together a lengthy guide on downloading free music. They discuss using services like The Hype Machine, SeeqPod, Elbo.ws, Del.icio.us, Google, and even the BitTorrent network as sources of getting some tunes at no cost.

I had known about the Google trick before, but the Del.icio.us trick was what really caught my attention. By adding some parameters onto the URL you are able to filter bookmarks based upon the file extension they point to. Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a custom search by typing http://del.icio.us/tag/system:filetype:mp3 into the URL box. This will bring up a list of all of the MP3s on del.icio.us.
  2. In order to search for music from a specific artist, add "+ArtistName" to the end of the URL. (i.e. http://del.icio.us/tag/system:filetype:mp3+Radiohead).
  3. Right-click on the link and choose "Save Link As" in order to download the file.

Now how cool is that? I tried doing searches for a lot of different artists, but didn’t come up with many results. So don’t expect this to be a gold mine, but it is still pretty cool.

The Google trick is similar in how it works:

  1. Typing: -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3 "White Stripes" into the Google search box will bring up directories that contain songs by The White Stripes. You can replace "White Stripes" with the name of the artist you’re looking for.

This used to be a pretty effective method for finding music back when it was first discovered. You would browse through sites in an FTP-like manner and download the songs straight from their servers. However, there are a lot of spammers out there now that have created similar sites that are only made to redirect you to somewhere else that is infested with "click the monkey and win" ads.

If you’re looking for more ways to download some free music, head on over to Mahalo where you’ll find a great guide awaiting you. If you’ve got a great place you get free music from let us know in the comments (yes, we already know about BitTorrent :) ).