WMFU launches free music archives, takes away hours of your life

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    The internet is an amazing thing because, in theory, one is afforded the chance to have a plethora of data available instantly. Books, music, movies, and everything else that would have normally taken up all that space in one’s place, are housed in some magical object called a “server.”

    Take New Jersey radio station WFMU‘s great new invention for example:

    “The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads…Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet.

    In layman’s terms, the Free Music Archive is just that, a seemingly endless article of live music from a group of top-notch “curators,” led by WFMU.

    But wait, there’s more…

    Every mp3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by outdated copyright law. Are you a podcaster looking for pod-safe audio? A radio or video producer searching for instrumental bed music that won’t put your audience to sleep? A remix artist looking for pre-cleared samples? Or are you simply looking for some new sounds to add to your next playlist? The Free Music Archive is a resource for all that and more, and unlike other websites, all of the audio has been hand-picked by established audio curators.


    That being said, we decided to give the Archive a whirl, and see if it is as good as advertised. The results, well, let’s just say, were impressive.

    Style wise, the website has a great interface. It is easy to navigate and the front page provides a wellspring of info, including recent additions, popular songs, and news. Finding songs couldn’t be simpler, with users able to sort either by curator or genre.

    For this particular exploration, I chose to browse the “Rock” section (other genres include: “Country,” “Pop,” “Jazz,” and “Electronic”) and was tickled to see the things divided up by the particular sub-genres of “Garage,” “Post Punk,” “Indie Rock,” “Industrial,” “Lo-Fi, Punk,” and “Noise Rock”. As for what’s in each category – after all, content is king, right? -  to give one a taste, “Garage” offers such bands as Sic Alps, Modey Lemon, and Crystal Stilts, while “Indie Rock” sports music from the Vivian Girls and Daniel Johnson. Needless to say, it’s quite the in depth setup.

    Once on a particular “artist” page, users can go track by track or play the entire page. The curator pages on the other hand (KEXP, dublab, KBOO, ISSUE Project Room, and CASH Music are aming the others currently taking part), offers such features as recent additions, links to particular blog posting, and the always popular social networking aspect of “fandom.”


    And, that’s basically it. It’s easy, organized, and offers a plethora of music, or any OCD loving music fan’s wet dream. So, what are you waiting for? Get over there and check out all the music you may have missed, and maybe even discover some new favorites.

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