It’s now 13 years since the first iPod was launched, and whether it’s on our Apple device, our phone or our MP3 player, most of us now have a portable music library we carry around with us.

When MP3 players first came out people scoffed at the idea of customers paying just to download a song, but now downloads represent the majority of single sales and buying an album on your tablet or phone has become commonplace. U2 tried a new (to them) marketing technique recently by giving away their latest album, but did you know you can literally fill up your MP3 player with interesting and diverse non-U2 new music for free? It’s completely legal because these artists just really, really want you to listen to them.mp3

For most artists, with the exception of a select few, sales of music are not enough to pay the bills, they make most of their money from live performances, and what better way to drum up ticket numbers than make sure more people can hear your tunes by giving them away online? The official websites of most bands now include tracks you can download for free, take advantage of this and discover a whole world of interesting new free music to listen to.

If you don’t have any particular artist in mind, there are plenty of other options too, but a good one stop shop for free tunes is the now freely available beta version of the free music archive who dedicate themselves to all manner of free music, and it’s all downloadable. The archive was set up by New York radio station WFMU, one of the longest running stations in the US, and is funded by a grant from the New York State Music Fund, it’s original vision was to make contemporary music of all genres more available and accessible to diverse audiences in New York State. Now thanks to the Internet, we can all benefit from their incredible, ever growing archive of music.

On the right hand side of their home page is a recently added highlights list that changes daily and every track has a download link next to it. You can also browse songs by genre. If you are on Twitter, you can follow the @Freemusicarchiv account and get new suggestions for free music every day sent to your feed.

The site currently has over 50,000 songs available. You may never pay for music again.

[Image via Russ Payne]