Offers free streaming music to your desktop or hand-held slacker device. Quite a large of music and no annoying ads interspersed between tracks unlike Yahoo!’s Launch player. You can also add your favorite artists to your station and customize to your tastes.
Spiralfrog offers free music downloads from a large library, in exchange for clicking through a certain number of ads per month.
Offers music downloads with a very innovative fee structure – tracks start out free, and the price scales with the number of people who download them, capped at 98 cents. There is even the possibility of making money – if you recommend a track before it rockets up in price, you are rewarded with store credit. Has a large and growing selection, including the Barenaked Ladies, Tiesto, Jonathon Coulton, etc. Also recently announced a large amount of funding from Amazon.
Lala.com launched in June 2006 as a membership service that facilitated CD swaps. The site lets music fans list the CDs they own and the CDs they want, and then it arranges trades. Each transaction costs $1.75, which pays for a nifty Netflix-like envelope, 75 cents in shipping, a roughly 20-cent honorarium deposited into a trust fund for artists, and, of course, a fee for the middleman. Lala.com’s founder, Bill Nguyen says a portion of this fee goes to the performers. This may also temporary assuage the suit-happy RIAA. The arrangement exploits a loophole in copyright law: While distributing duplicates is verboten, it’s perfectly legal to trade your own property. (And there’s nothing to prevent Lala users from ripping a copy of a disc before they send the original off to someone else.) In February 2007, Lala added CD sales to its offerings.
Starting in November, Lala will offer unlimited on-demand streams of music from two of the four major labels (the company’s still negotiating with the other two) using the internet radio station that Lala.com owns, WOXY. Users can immediately buy any track they hear on WOXY.
Last.fm is a social music site that allows users to subscribe to radio stations based on their tastes and favourite artists. It is possible to use the service from within popular music players on Windows, Linux or OS X, though it does rely on having a decent internet connection with no caps or limits. The range of music available is very good, and the intention behind the site is to expose listeners to stuff they may not have experienced. Major label artists are well represented, but it’s also pretty simple to add and tag your own content to the site if you’re a producer.
A free radio site, with excellent selection.
If you’re okay with downloading music illegally, bittorrent and limewire are two popular peer-to-peer softwares that facilitate this. But be careful. The RIAA is cracking down heavily on music pirates. Or you can just buy your tracks from Amazon’s Music Store.