How to Download Music to Computer for Free
Many people want to download free music onto their computers, but navigating the legal and safe ways to do so can be tricky. This guide offers a comprehensive overview of different methods for downloading music to your computer for free. Each method offers its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so feel free to explore and experiment until you find the method(s) that work best for you.
Using Online Music Streaming and Downloading Platforms
One of the most popular ways to download music for free is using online music streaming and downloading platforms. These platforms offer easy-to-use interfaces that allow you to search for and download music quickly.
YouTube: YouTube is one of the most popular video streaming platforms on the internet. In addition to videos, it is also a useful source of music. To download music from YouTube for free, you can use a browser extension like YouTube to MP3 Converter, which allows you to convert YouTube videos into MP3 files. Simply install the extension onto your browser, find a video you want to download, and click the “Download MP3” button. The audio file will then download onto your computer.
Soundcloud: Soundcloud is a music sharing platform where artists can upload their tracks and users can listen to and download them for free. You can download music from Soundcloud easily by using a website like SC Downloader. Simply copy and paste the URL of the Soundcloud track you want to download into the download bar on the website, and then click download. The track will then be downloaded onto your computer.
While these platforms are popular, they can come with a few drawbacks, including less-than-optimal audio quality and the possibility of difficulty finding certain songs, especially those from lesser-known artists.
Lesser-Known Music Downloading Websites
If you’re looking for more niche music or want to avoid hidden costs, lesser-known music downloading websites may be your best bet. These websites often have more independent or underground artists, and offer their music for free without needing to set up an account or pay for a subscription.
Free Music Archive: Free Music Archive is a website that offers legal and free music. The website offers a variety of genres and styles of music and allows you to download tracks easily. Most of the tracks on Free Music Archive come with a Creative Commons license, which allows users to use the track for non-commercial purposes without paying the artist or copyright holder.
Jamendo Music: Jamendo Music is another website that offers free, legal music. You can filter music by genre, season, or popularity, and download tracks without making an account. You can legally use and share all the music on Jamendo under a Creative Commons license.
When downloading from these websites, be sure to check for any potential viruses and make sure you are downloading from a reputable source.
Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Networks
Peer-to-peer file-sharing networks work by allowing users to share files between computers. While these networks have gotten a bit of a bad reputation in the past due to illegal downloading, there are still a number of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks that are completely legal and safe to use.
BitTorrent: BitTorrent is one of the most well-known peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. To use BitTorrent, you need to download a BitTorrent client like qBittorrent. Once you have installed the client and found a torrent file for the music you want to download, you can add the torrent file to your client and begin the download.
While peer-to-peer file-sharing networks can be a bit more complicated than other methods, they offer a wide range of music options and often provide great download speeds. When using these networks, it’s important to use a VPN to ensure your safety and only download from reputable users.
Best Free Music Download Software
There are a number of free music download software options available on the internet. These options are often more user-friendly than some of the websites and networks previously mentioned, as they often integrate with your preferred media player and can provide faster download speeds.
FrostWire: FrostWire is a free and open-source torrent client that also includes a built-in media player and downloader. To use FrostWire, you can search for music directly within the application, and then begin the download process for any chosen tracks.
Vuze: Vuze is another popular torrent client that also offers music download capabilities. Like FrostWire, it includes a media player and easy-to-use search functions. Additionally, Vuze has a large selection of high-quality music.
Make sure to carefully follow the instructions to download and use any software properly.
Creative Commons Licenses
Music licensed under Creative Commons is free to download, use, and share. Creative Commons licenses allow artists to share their music without the need for a commercial license.
CC Mixter: CC Mixter is a website dedicated to sharing music licensed under Creative Commons. The website provides a wide selection of music to choose from and allows users to download and share tracks for free.
Freesound: Freesound is a website where users can share sound clips and music tracks under a Creative Commons license. The website offers a variety of sound categories and also allows users to upload their own sound clips and music tracks.
Independent Artist/Band Downloads
Many independent artists and bands offer their music for free download on their websites and social media pages. Downloading music directly from the artist can provide a more intimate connection with their music and offer a way to support their art.
Bandcamp: Bandcamp is a website that allows artists to sell and promote their music. However, many artists also choose to offer free downloads of their music for listeners to discover. You can usually find the free tracks or albums by searching for “pay what you want” or “name your price” options.
If you enjoy the music you download from independent artists and bands, consider supporting them by going to their shows, buying merchandise, or sharing their music with others.
Transferring Music from a CD
If you already own physical CDs with music you’d like to transfer to your computer, you can do so with a little bit of tech know-how.
Step One: Ripping: Insert the CD and open up a media player application like Windows Media Player. You can then go into the settings and adjust the rip settings to ensure the tracks are ripped into the file format you want (usually MP3).
Step Two: Converting: Once you have all the tracks as digital files, you may want to convert any file types that aren’t compatible with your media player. You can use a file conversion website like Online Convert to do this.
Step Three: Saving: Save the files onto your computer’s music folder or any other desired folder. You can then easily play these tracks with a media player of your choice.
Downloading free music to your computer is an attractive option for music lovers looking to save some money and broaden their music libraries. However, it is important to do so in a legal and ethical way by only downloading music that is free and legal to download. There are a bunch of different methods you can use to download free music, each with their own pros and cons.