iTunes, Amazon and Spotify: Music on a Budget

If you are like me, you like music and lots of it. But, like most things to a poor college student, music is expensive. Luckily, free music is not that difficult to find when you know where to look online.

A quick tip before we get started: Keep an open mind when you are browsing. Free music is free, so go ahead and download it, give it a spin and delete it if you don’t like it. You may find something new and fabulous a little bit off the beaten path.

A few of my favorite free or discounted music sources:

Twitter is an excellent resource for finding new music. Follow @Urban Outfitters for a set of free songs every Monday. Their music tends to be from independent artists, but varies in style. If you don’t have a Twitter account, Urban Outfitters posts every Music Monday to a blog. From there, you can access and download all of their previous songs. Follow @amazonmp3 for updates on new album releases, deals and give-aways. Their 25 Days of Free Holiday Music was a blast this past December.

Amazon.com also does a great job making free music accessible and has a great selection of cheap albums. They offer a variety of albums for $5 including a list of 100 editors’ picks. They also have a handy-dandy price scale that will show you every free MP3 that Amazon offers. The selection is not ideal, but it makes browsing easy and fun.

In comparison to Amazon, cheap music on iTunes is difficult to find and very limited. From what I could find, iTunes only offers five free songs that are updated every Monday.  The discounted selection of music offers a much better selection than Amazon, but iTunes charges $7.99 for discounted albums in comparison to Amazon’s $5.

In order to find the free and discounted music on iTunes, scroll almost all of the way to the bottom. to the More in Music menu.

If you’re not really looking for music to download, but want access to more music. I highly recommend downloading Spotify. Spotify gives users access to a collection of millions of music tracks completely free of charge. If you are hesitating to download it because it posts directly to your Facebook account, don’t. It is easy to turn that off. I check out every album on Spotify before buying it to be sure it is worth the money. There are advertisements and some limitations without paying for the service, but I’ve never had a problem with the free version.

Those are obviously just a few of the many places to find cheap and free music, leave me a comment with your favorite places. Happy browsing!

5 thoughts on “iTunes, Amazon and Spotify: Music on a Budget

  1. Cool ideas! I’ve pretty much stopped buying music through iTunes and only use Amazon, as it is usually much more economical. Thanks for the tip about finding the free/discounted music on itunes. Need to check that out! :)

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