June 29, 2009

So, you want free music do you?

In my experience on the interwebs, I have come to discover what I believe to be the best free and legal music services in existence. Albumart.org used to have free mp3's to download but has since removed them and the website khinsider.com used to have a vast archive of game soundtracks to download but it hasn't worked in years.

Thus, I turned to something else: Internet radio. No doubt you have heard of the hugely popular Pandora Internet Radio. Well, it sucks in comparison to what I am about to show you. Don't get me wrong, check out Pandora if you want to find new music based on your listening style, but if you want a more random experience like something you'd find from a real radio, do I have a site for you:

It's called SHOUTcast Radio and it compiles Internet radio stations from all over the world. It literally boasts thousands, probably tens of thousands, of stations to listen to in a vast variety of genres ranging from decades to indie to pop to even anime. Not only that, but it goes hand in hand with my next pick:

Grooveshark. If you discover some new band that sounds good on SHOUTcast (or even Pandora, if that's your thing) Groovehark is just the tool you need to discover more. Simply type in the name of a band and Grooveshark's massive database will find and list albums and tracks by that artist that you can listen to, for free, to your heart's content. I like this system much more than Pandora when I just want to listen to the damn band I entered and not people like them. It's got a lot of playback options, too, and lets you create your own custom playlists.

It is far easier to operate SHOUTcast within a program plugin rather than via their website. While you can use WinAmp if you use a PC, I recommend Songbird, an open-source media player that, not only has SHOUTcast built in but also supports iTunes integration as well as other plugins in addition to an Internet browser- perfect for running Grooveshark and SHOUTcast simultaneously. I'll become the only audio player you need.

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