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Finding legal free MP3 music files to download can be time consuming since you usually only find a few here and there. Fortunately for free music addicts there is now one place to feed the need for free MP3 files by the thousands.
How to get the free MP3 music files:
To get your hands on some of about 400,000 free MP3 files visit Sideload.com. You can browse the most popular list, browse alphabetically, or just use the search. When you find something you want to download, click on the song title. A window will open with a download link. Depending on how your browser is configured you may need to right click on the link and choose save as to download instead of play the MP3 file.
What does sideload mean?:
If you register for an MP3tunes Locker you can click the SL button to load the MP3 files directly into your account instead of downloading them. If you don't have a paid MP3tunes account you may also still want to download them MP3 files while you are at it, since you won't be able to download from your locker. Otherwise, you wont be able to load them onto your MP3 player or burn them to a CD. The free MP3tunes locker accounts only allow you to load MP3 files from the Web and play them online.
Are all these free MP3 files really legal?:
The only MP3 files that get into the Sideload.com collection are those that are directly available for free on the Web. Sideload.com assumes these are legal unless the copyright holder or an agent of same makes a formal claim that they are not legal to be made available for free.
The last question in their FAQ explains all of this. I can't decide whether to applaud them for using the wording of the DMCA to make the case that all their files are legal until proven otherwise, or to boo them for taking advantage of a loophole to justify any content that may not be legal. Personally, whether they are technically legal or not, I am sure there are MP3 files on Sideload.com that the copyright holder did not intend to be free downloads.
What are the risks in downloading free MP3 files from Sideload,com?:
I do believe the majority of MP3 files on the site are legal, and it is certainly safer to download from Sideload.com than from the various P2P networks. I would not say there is zero risk in downloading the MP3 files, that is left up to you to decide.
Where else can I find free MP3 files?:
Mark Harris, our Digital Music Guide has a list of the Top Free MP3 Music Download Sites.