Most of the internet junkies out there probably already know tons of places around the web they can go to find music illegally, which really isn’t any sort of revelation to those who are awake and aware.  But what about sites which offer completely free and legal music downloads?  Many are inclined to think that obtaining new music is a process which involves file sharing and navigating dodgy back alley .coms in pursuit of links.  The truth is that more and more hubs are springing up all over the net which are allowing artists to share their music with listeners directly.  Better yet, often times there are thousands of free tracks for download with choice selections available in every conceivable genre imaginable.  If this sounds interesting to you, consider the following sites…

Soundcloud.com

Arguably, Soundcloud.com is basically a YouTube for audio, with thousands of artists regularly contributing to its database, which itself ranges from pop-conscious and dance/electronic to the adventurous and beyond.  Of course there’s also tons of uploads from well-known artists as well, with many of the world’s most popular names signing up to create their own SC accounts.  You can also find full-length talk radio programs and material for soundtracks (if you’re an aspiring filmmaker).  Spend any length of time on Soundcloud.com and you’re likely to become addicted to it.

Last.fm

Billing itself as a sort of discovery tool which listeners can use to uncover amazing new tracks and artists, Last.fm is wonderful if only because of its personalization features.  While you might not be able to download each and every track you hear, there is a free music directory which is searchable.  Of course most will probably opt to use the site as intended after signing up for their free account, and really, why download music when you can simply tune in and listen for free at any time?

Jamendo.com

Many consider Jamendo.com to be the world’s #1 destination for free music downloads.  Needless to say, the site is pretty amazing and offers up a diverse sampling of artists as well as some useful site features as well.  For example, you can utilize the discovery tool, perform manual searches and even download royalty free music for specific multimedia projects which you might be working on.  Of course most people will probably repeatedly visit the site to just listen to tracks, which is perfectly understandable.

Noisetrade

Noisetrade isn’t just a good place to find a wide variety of completely free music; it’s also a purveyor of books as well.  The multi-sided nature of the site’s distributed content has allowed them to attract some rather unique artists which offer up loads of great free albums for you to download at your own discretion.  At the same time, thanks to a built-in tipping system, you can even toss a few bucks in the direction of your favorite artist(s) if you feel compelled to do so.