Avoiding RIAA’s Wrath, Finding Legal Free Music Downloads

Author Administrator 5.8.2009. | 20:44

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Filling up your MP4 Players
for free without the RIAA taking notice is easy with these sites.

By Michael Wong

Until this morning, I knew almost nothing about the RIAA aside from the fact that they had become the legal version of The Borg and that they went after downloaders like fat kids go after Smarties.

That’s until I heard about Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, a student who was fined $675,000 for downloading 30 songs. Read about it in the Tech Herald ( thetechherald.com/article.php/200932/4172/RIAA-awarded-675-000-in-Tenenbaum-case ).

$675,000! That’s $22,500 per song!

Swept up in retrospect, I went to the RIAA website.

Boy was I in for shock.

The RIAA represents pretty well the entire who’s who of “the most freaking awesome musicians” club.

Here – I’ve taken the liberty of listing the RIAA’s top 10 albums…basically if you illegal download any one of these classics and you’re committing legal suicide.

  • Eagles – Greatest Hits 1971-1975
  • Michael Jackson – Thriller
  • Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin 4
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall
  • AC/DC – Back in Black
  • Garth Brooks – Double Live
  • Billy Joel – Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2
  • Shania Twain – Come On Over
  • Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  • The Beatles – The Beatles

You should see all the other albums and artists the RIAA represents. Perusing the list is like taking a stroll down memory lane.

What is even more scary is that the RIAA hasn’t gone after the big downloaders, but the people everybody can identify with.

Yes, that’s right, the RIAA wants you to know that they are coming for you.

Thankfully some other options out there, websites full of upcoming artists that don’t only make their music available for download with no legal ramifications, they actually want you to download their music.

And just because they’re up and coming artists it doesn’t mean they’re bad.

Often there’s track after track of great music.

And I don’t mean great free music.

I mean great music that I would actually pay for…er that is if I had money of course.

We used one of the tracks for the launch of our first Japanese LED Watch – The Zero Kelvin (CVIZ-G71).

The track is called “beeKoo Mix” by Lasswell. “The watch is an awesome watch, but the music just makes things come alive and brings out how cool and fun it is to own.

We’ve also got some great music coming up. Hillary Deveaux who has all the makings of a next super diva will be featured on one of our upcoming videos. We’re also waiting for the perfect product to build a video around in order to showcase the extraordinary urban jams of Tyrael, Minimog & Seany D.

And music on these free sites is not all hip hop and house as people who watch our upcoming video for the Avatar camera with the super long zoom lens (CVSD-DC06) will discover.

CVSD-DC06

The song Bad Attraction by raw rock n roll band Thehipcola is a fantastic number that is sure to get the blood rushing to anybody’s head.

So yes the music is good, yes it is free, available and RIAA can’t do a thing to you about you downloading it.

So where can you find this great stuff?

CC Mixter


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ccMixter is a community music site which has a whole range of Creative Commons licensed remixes where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want — legally.

You can stream and download MP3s and the music is organized by tag (the tag cloud ccmixter.org/tags is a great way to find new tunes) and artist. You can also browse by music the editors picked or by the artists themselves.

The mix is heavy on electronic, experimental, hip hop and instrumental, as you might already have guessed but there is a wide range of other styles available too.

If you’ve followed the Chinavasion videos on YouTube you’ve already heard some ccMixter goodness.

Besides the”beeKoo Mix” by Lasswell used on the Japanese LED Watch – The Zero Kelvin (CVIZ-G71) video we also used “The Beat” by CDK.

The Beat was featured on our next video featuring the CVFQ-E34, a DVB-T dongle for your computer that also lets your record digital TV shows directly to your hard drive.

  • Name:
    CC Mixter
  • Location: ccmixter.org
  • Styles Available: Everything from Electronica to Capella
  • Notes: A great site to visit if you are a producer looking for some samples.

Garage Band


garageband-logo

Garageband used to be its own entity until June 2010, but is now combined with iLike.

The iLike Artist Dashboard allows you to manage your presence on iLike, Facebook, and on the popular iLike Sidebar for iTunes. Music fans can add your music to their profiles, be alerted to concerts and new releases, and see what music and concerts their friends like. More than 200,000 leading artists are now using iLike to manage their online presence.

iLike is similar to Facebook in layout, but caters mainly for music and specifically your musical tastes. You can share, listen to and discuss every genre to your heart’s content. There are even concert listings.

It’s possible to publicise and share your own music, which is where Garageband’s influence can be seen.

  • Name:
    iLike+Garageband
  • Location: ilike.com/garageband
  • Styles Available: Everything and anything

Soundclick


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If there’s one thing everybody knows about Soundclick it’s that it’s the place that Soulja Boy first started publishing his music.

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That’s right, before he started wearing earrings and annoying Ice-T Soulja Boy was a member at Soundclick and was drawing a nice big crowd thank you very much.

Soundclick is a little easier to navigate than CCmixter, making a little more listener friendly and has a wide range of music. Everything from Mariachi to Hip-Hop to Death Metal, and everything in between.

They even have an online store if you want to support the artists a little more.

  • Name:
    Sound Click
  • Location: soundclick.com
  • Styles Available:Everything and anything

Sound Cloud


soundcloud_logo-blog-sized

There was a time when I was on the pulse of the web.

A time when I was several seconds behind the Twitter timeline and of course days ahead of mainstream news.

Testing products has kept me insanely busy and as a result I missed the launch of Soundcloud which the whisper stream is raving about.

Did I say raving? That’s such an 80s term isn’t it? Raving? MDMAing? What I meant to say is that there’s lot of buzz around it.

I spent the better part of the morning playing around with it and I definitely see the potential there.

It brings Web2.0 (sorry for using that term, I hate using it and I know you hate hearing it, but for lack of a better term…) into the act of becoming a famous musician.

By Web2.0 I mean Ajax and Flash and interfaces so easy even your grandmother could do it.

I found out about it through a friend and then several days later my boss told me about it.

Alexa confirms that the site’s traffic ranking is slightly under 9,000. Compare that with Garageband, which has a Traffic rank over 44,000, and you can see how the Facebook-Twitter generation can literally manhandle everything they get their hipster hands on – even music content delivery.

  • Name:
    Sound Cloud
  • Location: soundcloud.com/
  • Styles Available: Everything and anything

With all this extra free, safe and great music you’re getting you are going to need somewhere to store it and what better place is there than in some of our 16GB MP4 players. These will give you a whole lot of storage for the fraction of the price you’d pay Sony or Apple.

CVSC-N04-ORG-16GBCVSC-N05-RED-16GB

CVAAL-010-16GBCVSC-221-ORANGE-16GB

There’s no need to ever worry about the RIAA ever again with these sites, and what’s better is that you’ll be supporting up and coming artists while you download music.

Now that is a win win situation.

If there’s any more sites like them let us know by leaving them in the comments below and we’ll be sure to mention you in any updates we do in the future.


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Author Administrator 5.8.2009. | 20:44
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