I don’t know about you, but when I am on a roadtrip of any duration, I just have to have some tunes. While I’m not trying to eschew the joys of “getting there is half the fun,” sometimes I need a break from, er, people. And that’s where some headphones come in.
But after airline fees and overpriced food in stations and airports, you can feel a little skint about your music download choices. Here are five great stops online to grab some tunes, free of charge.
Yes, iTunes has free stuff! You need an apple device (or a device that can sync up with iTunes – your techie hard hard may be required for this one), but if you’re on the iTunes homepage, if you scroll waaaaaay down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see a “Free on iTunes” section which includes not only music but movies.
While the selection is of course not cream of the crop, nor the latest and greatest en vogue hits, maybe you’ll find something new or interesting to entertain yourself.
MP3.com is backed by the CBS Broadcasting corporation, so the site has quiet the collection of tracks and remixes. While there is plenty of music for sale, there is also a free music directory, which rotates regularly but you may be able to snag something good for your player on the trip.
Many artists actually offer their fans free downloads on their website. Sometimes you need to offer up an email address, or authenticate with your Facebook account, but that’s cheaper than shelling out for the songs. Nine Inch Nails is known for giving away full CDs even, so it’s worth visiting your personal favourites to see what’s on their website. (If nothing else, maybe you’ll get a secret track or a hefty discount for your effort.)
Pure Volume is a great site to spot some new indie musicians to add to your travel playlist. The site is great about highlighting what’s popular (social voting seems all the rage here on this site), and the downloads are quick and easy. I didn’t catch any particular names myself, but a friend shared that many up-and-coming artists are here, so if you’re scouting for new talent, have a wee look around.
Like iTunes, Amazon has plenty of free downloads and freebies, but they aren’t exactly advertising it. When you go to the Amazon page, go to the “Music” store tab. In the lefthand sidebar, you’ll see a “Free Songs & Special Deals” link which takes you into the free inventory. It’s interesting to see what’s here – sort of a jumble of people you may have heard of and other indie folks hoping to make a name for themselves.
That’s just a quick sample of the many sites out there. Spotify is great for free music too, but you have to have a premium account to take it offline. But there are hundreds of other sites out there for free downloads – just make sure they’re legal, and enjoy the ride.
Posted : Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.