Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Top 12 Places To Get Free and Legal Music

Music is nice, but free music is even better. With all the talk of DRM, lawsuits and the RIAA we tend to forget that there’s still a lot of completely free, legal music out there that just awaits to be taken. Today we bring you 12 top destinations for free and legal music on the net.

A. Music Blogs

Music blogs, are by far, the best source of legal and free music. Not only do you get to read up on the artist’s information, but you also get a taste of the artist’s work through a couple of free MP3s. There are tons of these blogs out there, and a few tools to search a good portion of them for MP3s as well. Here are some of my favorites, as well as a few extras.

Elbows

Elbows is a music blog lover’s dream. Not only does it aggregate posts from all sorts of music blogs, it also aggregates MP3s and free music from various music blogs, allowing the user to do a quick search for a certain song or artist. Elbows is one of the best ways to find new artists, music, and even download a song or two for free while there.

The Hype Machine

Similar to Elbows, The Hype Machine aggregates data, music, and posts from various music-centered blogs, making all of the information accessible on a single site. However, unlike Elbows, The Hype Machine is extremely focused on MP3s found on these blogs. The site shows the most popular songs/MP3s for a certain time period, as well as shows where to buy this music. Users can discover new music and new blogs through The Hype Machine. Even I found a few new artists I like, and got to listen to some of their tracks, legally.

MonkeyFilter MP3 Blog Listing

Need help finding some music blogs? The MonkeyFilter wiki has by far the biggest list of MP3 blogs on the net, organized by genre. I subscribe to most of these now, and expand my list of favorite artists daily. If you’re ever in need of some free and legal music, but don’t know where to go, this list is a big helper.

B. Commercial and Free

Usually, when talking about free music, people tend to talk about “no name” artists and unsigned bands. For some people, usually who love discovering new music, this is great. However, many prefer free versions of popular songs they already know.

SpiralFrog

In my opinion, SpiralFrog is the most innovative way free music has been distributed yet. On SpiralFrog, you’ll find all of your favorite songs and albums from your favorite (and popular) artists, for free. And it’s all downloadable. The catch? You have to listen to/watch an advertisement before downloading your song. But hey, for a song that’s normally purchasable on itunes for $.99, it’s definitely worth it. SpiralFrog is one of the best free music sites I’ve seen to date. (Unless you’re accessing it outside of the US; then it doesn’t work. Ed.)

Ruckus

Ruckus takes a step up from SpiralFrog by skipping the entire advertisement process altogether. Completely free, full albums, and no advertisements. The catch? You’ve got to be a college student with a .edu email. Ruckus was set up to stop music piracy at colleges, and I’m thinking it’s working.

We7

We7 is a bit similar to SpiralFrog, but with a few twists. We7 tends to focus on indie music more than artists signed to the Big Five. Somewhat like SpiralFrog, We7 puts advertisements into the beginning of their songs. However, users may download 20 songs per month without the advertising. Additional advertisement-free tracks are 20p a piece, which is a really good deal.

iLike

Although iLike doesn’t offer as many free MP3s and music as other competing sites may, iLike allows the user to stream tons and tons of music, most of it from popular artist. Of course, there’s the occasional free MP3, but don’t expect it too often. iLike is all about sharing music and playlists with friends, and some free music too.

C. Non Blog Non Commercial “No Name” Music

If you’re into underground, alternative, indie, post rock, and similar genres, but want to hear something a bit more homebrew, then these sites are perfect for you. The following sites are powered by user submitted content, and you probably won’t see any familiar names around here.

ArtistServer

Driven by user submitted and created music, ArtistServer is one of the best places to go for up and coming musicians. Artists write their news (usually music related) on hosted blogs, and top songs/artists make the front page’s music player. If you’re looking for homebrew music, you’ll find it here.

Jamendo

Similar to ArtistServer (but with a bit more professionalism kicked in), Jamendo is indie music gone social. Users search for music on Jamendo, share it with friends, and download what they like. Simply, JAmendo is an improved, beefed up version of ArtistServer.

iRate

Although iRate may seem like it’s P2P, it’s not. iRate consists of a desktop client, one which searches their entire database of submitted, and pretty much indie/homebrew music. If a song is selected, the client downloads it from the artist’s server, requiring minimal interaction with links and such. The user rates the tracks downloaded, and iRate, using that extensive database mentioned, tries to find similar music that you’ll like. And of course, it’s completely free and legal (and open source!).

D. Other

Archive.org

For a collection of public domain music, old 78 RPMs, and even some modern music created by artists similar to the ones on ArtistServer and Jamendo, Archive.org offers a huge range of free and legal music. From live classical music to music taken from old cylinder recordings, Archive.org is full of interesting artists and songs that are hard to find anywhere else.

iTunes

Even though iTunes mainly offers purchasable music, Apple throws on a couple of free songs a week, encouraging listeners to discover new music. To make things easier, iTSFreeDownloads shows the free songs for every week, as well as recently free TV Shows, Audiobooks, and more. iTSFreeDownloads is the quickest and easiest way to check on the latest free tracks on iTunes. (via)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Top 40 Media Players That Are Not iTunes

iTunes is arguably the most popular media player for Mac & Windows, with a recent update for the iPhone…but is it the best? Check out the competition: 40 other popular media players.

Cross-Platform

Amarok – Amarok is a cross-platform intuitive music player for Linux, UNIX and the Mac operating system. Its features include lyrics support, Wikipedia integration, music statistics and a contextual browser.

BHplayer – BHplayer doubles as a media player & DVD player with its support for many audio and video formats.

BMP – A compact, open source multimedia player for Ubuntu using skinnable interface based on Winamp skins.

GLM FLV Player – GLM is a feature rich standalone application to view FLV files without any codec.

JW Media Player – JW Media player supports media playback of files which are compatible with Adobe Flash player. Examples of files are MP3, FLV and SWF etc.

Kaffeine – Kaffeine is a power packed multimedia player for systems runnning the KDE (K Desktop Environment).

Kplayer – Kplayer is an open-source multi media player for the KDE desktop environment.

MediaFrame – An open-source Java based streaming media platform offering support for playing Mpeg formats.

Mplayer – Mplayer is an open source cross-platform media player and is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac etc.
Ogle – Ogle is an open source DVD player for Linux, UNIX and similar operating systems.

RealPlayer – A cross-platform media player with support for playing MP3, MPEG, Windows Media, QuickTime & Real media file formats.

Rhythmbox – An iTunes inspired music management application, designed to work with GNOME desktop.

Songbird – Songbird is a Firefox-based new age cross platform media player and web-browser jukebox built by the ex-team of Winamp and the Yahoo music engine.

Totem – An open source media player for GNOME desktop environment with added functionality like webcam utility, video thumbnailer and Firefox plugin.

VLC media player – VLC is an extremely portable multimedia player capable of supporting many audio, video codecs and DVDs, CDs and streaming protocols.

Xine – Xine is an open source cross-platform multimedia engine having API for video processing and playback. Xine offers support for Linux, Mac and Solaris.

XMMS – XMMS called as X Multimedia system is a multimedia player for UNIX systems. Its features include support for files like MP3, WAV and MOD etc.

Zoom Player – Zoom player is a customizable DVD media player that offers support for the latest media formats.

Windows

Ace Media Player – A single player to watch QuickTime, Real, DivX and Windows Media files.

ALShow Media Player – ALShow provides inbuilt codes which offer support for playing FLV and MP4 files.

BS.Player – BS.Player is one of the most popular video players and has very low CPU and RAM requirements. BS.Player has over 60 million users worldwide and is available in more than 90 languages.

Core Media Player – A DVD media player for Microsoft Windows.

Crystal Reality – CrystalPlayer features video playback for all types of sources for various versions of Windows operating systems.

FLV Player – FLV player is a media player for playback of Flash video from your computer and websites such as YouTube, Google Video etc.

GOM Player – GOM, expanded as Gretech Media player offers support for playing .flv and other files without obtaining a codec.

jetAudio – A software multimedia player with advanced features like the ability to rip CDs, encode audio & video files and recording capabilities.

Kantaris – Kantaris is based on Videolan client (VLC) source code and can play almost all types of files, audio & video CDs and DVDs. Kantaris is compatible with all versions of Windows and is open-source.

LAVA FLV Player – Lava FLV player is used to play flash video files used in Google video, Youtube, Metacafe etc.

Media Center – Media Center is a Jukebox style media player. It has an interface similar to iTunes and enables users to organize and play various types of media files.

MPC – Media Player Classic (MPC) is a handy media player for Microsoft Windows and uses the look and feel of the earliest Windows Media Player.
PowerDVD – PowerDVD doubles as a video and music player for the Windows operating system. Users can play DVD movies or movies stored on their computer. It also offers support for Blu-Ray and HD DVD.

Quintessential Player – A media player for Windows featuring support for popular audio formats. It comes with advanced features like streaming internet radio and CD ripping.

RadLight – RadLight is billed as the first type of an all-in-one multimedia solution which allows users to experience DivX, DVD and MP4 audio. Apart from the free version it also has a pro version with special features like subtitles, double resolution etc.

The KMPlayer – A dynamic media player capable of playing all audio & video formats. Its special features include subtitle handling & media capturing and screenshots.

TrayPlayer – TrayPlayer is a customisable media player and embeds easily into the Windows taskbar.

Winamp – An immensely popular media player written by Nullsoft. Users can enjoy free music, play around with its cool skins and synchronize it with the iPod.

WinDVD – WinDVD is a video and music player enabling users to watch their favorite DVD movies without any interruption.

VidLizard – A DVD, video and audio player for Windows with easy-to-use interface and optional control panel for screen play.

Others

CorePlayer – CorePlayer is an advanced multimedia platform allowing users to manipulate multimedia content on their mobile phone, PDA, GPS or convergence devices.

NicePlayer – A Mac OS media player using Quicktime library and providing support for any codes available with Quicktime. Its special feature is the open-ended plugin system which allows anyone to write a plugin.

Xbox Media Center (XBMC) – XMBC is a media player for the Xbox gaming console. Its features include music, image and video playback. (via)

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Top 30 Tools For iTunes

Apple launched iTunes widgets allowing you to post your iTunes info to blogs and social networks. We thought it would be a good opportunity to round up all the services that let you extend and customize iTunes, as well as sharing your music with your friends.

Desktop Applications

Aurora – A Mac OS X only application for making it so you can wake-up to your favorite playlist via your computer.

Bandwagon – An automated backup service of your entire iTunes library to a remote server of your choosing. Currently Mac only.

GimmeSomeTune – Built for Mac OS X, gives you a mini-controller with numerous hot keys, downloads album covers, support for iChat and much more.

Goombah – Monitors your play history, compares it to other users and makes suggestions of tracks you may like, and suggests free downloads from their library. For Mac and Windows.

idleTunes – Aids in managing your iTunes library, cleaning out dead tracks, making a playlist for each album, exporting playlists, and more. For Windows only.

iRCTunes – Control your iTunes by integrating controls into the chat programs X-Chat Aqua, mIRC, Adium, X-Chat Windows, Colloquy, and IRCTunes Forum. Works with Mac and Windows.

iTunes Accessory – A Windows Vista enabled iTunes remote control that gives you volume control, album art download, fade between songs and more more.

iTunes Gadget – A remote control for your iTunes, runs in your Windows Vista sidebar.

iTunes Hotkey – Gives you full control over iTunes with just using hotkey combinations. Windows XP and Vista only.

iTunes Library Manager – Allows playlist export, eases moving your library from one drive to another while preserving data such as play counts. For Windows.

iTunesK1 – Gives you a graphical interface for iTunes that resembles an iPod. Mac only.

Moody – Helps you create a playlist based on your mood, works with both Windows and Mac.

MyTuneRSS – Lets you browse your playlists on your local network or over the Internet, play the songs right in your browser via a Flash player. For Mac & Windows.

Tangerine! – Software that will analyze your library noting each song’s BPM (Beats Per Minute) and then create playlists based on that. Mac only.

TunesTEXT – If you have the lyrics stored with your songs, this Mac widget will display them. If you don’t have them, the widget will search online databases for them.

You Control: Tunes – Lets you control iTunes from the menu bar so you don’t have to switch applications, customize your menus to suit your needs. Mac only.

Miscellaneous

FoxyTunes – A Firefox extension that gives you control over your iTunes directly from your browser window.

My iTunes Widgets – Three different tools to display on your website in various configurations. Show off your purchases, reviews, or your favorites.

MyTunes For iTunes – A Facebook app to show your friends what you are currently listening to.

SimplifyMedia.com – Listen to your own iTunes library from work, home or anywhere so long as your main computer is on, allowing you to not have to copy your music to multiple computers. Works with Mac & Windows.

WordPress Plugins

iTunes Playlist – A plugin for WordPress that will display a current playlist from your iTunes at the bottom of a post.

iTunesSpy – Displays your latest-played iTunes tracks on your blog.

Plastic Tunes – Displays what’s playing in your iTunes along with the artist, album and more customizable information.

WP iTunes – Display your currently-playing song on your WordPress-powered blog.

Yahoo Widgets

iPod DP – An iTunes remote control that looks just like a gen 5/5.5 white iPod. For Mac & Windows.

iTags – We’ve all gotten music files with info that doesn’t display quite correctly when you load it. This widget helps you edit the meta data on your files and make sure your artists, album titles and more are all in shape. Mac & Windows compatible.

iTunes Album Browser – Tons of features, seven ways to sort your albums, add albums to your desktop for quick access and more. Windows only.

iTunes Companion – A remote control for iTunes that will display your existing album art, searches iTunes and Amazon if you’re missing it. Works with Mac and Windows.

iTunes Media Player – Allows you to show/hide your iTunes, play your playlists, set to shuffle/repeat and more. Windows only.

iTunes miniRate – A widget that allows you to rate your songs using the five-star scale on the fly. For Mac and Windows.

iTunes MultiAlarm – Turns your iTunes into an alarm clock. Works with Mac and Windows.

iTunes Popup – Stays hidden most of the time and only pops up when a new song begins to show you the track and a thumbnail of the album cover. Windows only. (via)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Top 100 Essential Music and Audio Websites

Online music has always been popular, and now social networks, peer recommendations and personalized radio stations are helping fans find bands faster than ever before. Here are more than 90 sites for musicians, fans, and everyone who enjoys music.

Internet Radio

Last.FM – one of the most popular music communities around, with personalized radio stations, a stunning array of social networking features, RSS support and lots more.
Slacker – personalized Internet radio which offers a desktop version of the application and a hardware portable music player. Available only in the United States.
ShoutCast – A large directory of Internet radio stations, categorized by genre. Streams work in Winamp.
Live365 – A directory of web-based Internet radio stations – expect popups.
Yahoo! Music – listen to Internet radio and watch music videos on Yahoo’s music portal.
AOL Music – AOL’s take on internet radio. Offers music from XM as well.
Pandora – a very popular Internet radio/community which brings you new music based on stuff you like. Works only in the US & Canada at the moment.
Yottamusic – a huge music library boasting over 3.4 million songs, accessible from your web browser.

Music Discovery Tools

MusicMesh – browse through artists based on their similarities; find tracklists and reviews for albums.
Blogmusik – browse through top lists and listen to popular artists for free.
Musicovery – discover new music with this cool take on Internet radio.

Social Networks

iLike – a community that lets you discover new music based on you and your friends’ tastes.
PureVolume – a “MySpace for music”, albeit with a classier design.
ProjectPlaylist – popular site for sharing playlists and posting them to other social networks.
Imeem – another playlist-sharing community for artists and fans that also supports embedding of tracks on other social sites and blogs.
MP3.com – the famous music site is now a social network similar to MySpace Music.
iJigg – a place for indie bands and artists to post their music, which the users can download for free.
MOG – a place to share your music and video library and exchange thoughts on music with others.
Fuzz – discover new music; artists can sell their music, but there are also free songs to be found on the site.
eListeningPost – convert your tracks into preview files, then sell them and keep 94% of the profits.
ProjectOpus – Music community for indie bands, complete with widgets to post on MySpace and blogs.
Rapspace.tv – social networking for rap and hiphop.
Musocity – a music community with profiles for fans, artists, retailers and music venues.
Haystack – social networking, playlist sharing and band profiles.
Bandbuzz – find and rate music playlists in a Digg-like interface.
Midomi – find songs by humming or singing the tune. Then explore profile pages and network with others.
Buzznet – large pop culture community with news, videos, photos and member profiles.
JukeboxAlive – Upload music and share tracks with friends. Bands can sell their CDs, write a blog and post events to a calendar.
MusicHawk – track bands and see band-related news and reviews, as well as information on gigs and new releases.
ReverbNation – social network connecting bands, fans and venues.
MusicNation – find new music, watch music videos; if you’re an indie/unsigned artist, join for a chance to get exposure or even a record contract.
Grooveshark – an online service that rewards you for sharing, reviewing, and discovering new music (currently in private testing – enter you email address on the homepage to be notified of the launch).
Dopetracks – upload and share your tracks and beats, and record music online.
Funk Player – a music sharing community where authors can upload songs, while everyone can bookmark, select, listen and comment on them.
FIQL – social playlist sharing.
Soundflavor – create playlists and share them with other users; meet people with similar taste and discover new music.
FineTune – pick an artist and receive a custom playlist featuring music by that artists and other related artists.
MusicMobs – browse through playlists and create your own in a simple interface.

Music Sharing Applications and Widgets

uPlayMe – a downloadable application that lets you meet people with similar music tastes.
DotTunes – share your iTunes collection with friends through your web browser.
Audiozue – A Mac OSX application that posts your recently-played iTunes tracks to your MySpace page or blog.
Sonific – a music network where you can store the music you hold the rights to, and syndicate it to other sites with SongSpot widgets.
Mediamaster – upload your entire music collection and access it from anywhere in the world. You can also publish this music via widgets to any website.
BooMP3 – upload and share your MP3s; unlimited hosting.
Goombah – an application that scans your iTunes library and connects you with like minded users.
Maestro – upload your entire music library and access it from anywhere.

Music Marketplaces

iTunes – Apple’s overwhelmingly popular music download store is a service that requires little in the way of introduction.
Amie Street – music market where music starts with free price, and the price increases as a track becomes more popular (the price never goes above 1 dollar).
Emusic – one of the most successful “indie” music stores, with over 100 million DRM-free tracks sold.
Bleep – high-quality MP3s with prices that are a bit high, but offering a great assortment of quality music.
MP3 Tunes – an online music store offering 30,000 albums and some 360,000 songs in its catalog.
Amazon – a soon-to-come music store which should have a huge assortment of music from big and indie labels alike.
PayPlay.FM – choose between over 1.4 million indie music tracks, and buy them in either MP3 or WMA format.
Beatport – a Flash-based music store with an embeddable player.
Audio Lunchbox – choose between 2 million DRM-free songs in MP3 or OGG format.
Indiepad – buy music from indie artists; if you’re an artist, sell music to people directly on the site.
Indistr – another audio marketplace that connects indie artists with the listeners.
Mtraks – an indie music marketplace with a very interesting and quite strong music collection in store.
MagnaTune – here you’ll find an assortment of music from various genres, ranging from electronica, rock and chillout to metal & punk.
Jamendo – an online music repository offering thousands of albums for free while still protecting the artists’ intellectual rights.
Musicane – buy and sell audio, video and ringtones.
Musiclovr – music search, recommendations and a store. Purchases are made via Amazon and iTunes.
MySpace Music / Snocap – through Snocap’s embedded music stores, bands on MySpace sell tunes to the social network’s huge audience. Bands can also sign up for Snocap independently and sell music elsewhere.

Jamming

Ejamming – jam with other musicians and record music online.
Kompoz – compose music with other musicians. Record a track, then invite other musicians to add their own instruments.
Jamnow – a musical collaboration site where you can jam with other musicians. Jam sessions can be broadcast live.
Indaba – listen to completed music or works in progress and give your feedback; join in the music-making sessions or start your own.
JamJunky – have a song that’s not quite finished yet? Or, better yet, have a dozen? Organize them with JamJunky.

Karaoke

Singshot – the “YouTube of Karaoke”: record yourself singing along to popular music and listen to others doing the same.
kSolo – sing along to backing tracks, and rate the recordings of others.

Remixing

Jamglue – remix your music online and listen to other users’ mixes.
Splice – upload samples, remix them and post them for others to hear.
YourSpins – mix your own version of your favorite track, share it and post it to your blog or MySpace page.

Mobile Music Services

Flotones – a mobile social network which allows indie bands and artists to sell their content for use on mobiles.
Entertonement – a large directory of ringtones, with top lists and categorization for easier browsing.
Mercora – a social radio network that enables you to search and listen to over 3.5 million songs; offers an application for listening to music on your smartphone.

Music Charts

Billboard – home of the Billboard charts, with music videos and reviews.
MTV’s music charts – MTV charts and videos. Videos playable only in the US.
ChartU – a “Digg for music”: vote on tracks to boost them up the chart.

Artist Databases

Allmusic – probably the most comprehensive music database on the Internet. If your favorite artists aren’t there, well, then you’re listening to some pretty unknown artists.
Pandora Backstage – artist profiles and discographies from the personalized streaming service. You can create a custom radio station straight from an artist’s page.

Lyric Databases

AbsoluteLyrics – Lyrics for all major artists.
Hot Lyrics – huge alphabetized lyrics database. Hard to navigate, but lots of content.

Music Search Engines

Qloud – Music search meets social networking. The service that launches next may be substantially different, however.
FindSounds – a search engine for sound effects and music instrument samples.
Musipedia – find and listen to songs based on keywords you provide.

Audio Conversion Tools

Zamzar – converts all sorts of file formats, including several audio formats.
Media Convert – a media converter with a huge amount of options.
MediaConverter – a media converter that can be slow and needs polishing, but can sometimes yield really good results.

Miscellaneous Music and Audio Tools

Bluegrind – converts text to audio.
BePopular – find gigs in UK and Ireland and get your tickets.
Getabuz – create voicemail and audio e-cards online.
iden.tify.us – can’t figure out where a certain melody comes from? Identify it with the help of this service.
Houndbite – share funny audio clips from your life with other users, with the possibility to earn prizes. (via)