RedFerret lists one million free tracks.

Red Ferret is a monster resource for free legal MP3s — it claims to indirectly link to one million tracks. Some of the resources have been mentioned here, but there are plenty of sites that are new to me, like GigaTracks.

Mon, 06 Feb 2006

Hippocamp netlabel.

Hippocamp is a netlabel based in Manchester (UK) that releases all its music as free under a Creative Commons licence,

how do i send you music? email single track demos to the above email or send multiple tracks on cd only, data or audio, with your name and email/phone number on the disc itself if possible.

we receive a lot of demos. we do listen to all of them but cannot respond to each and every submission. if we like the demo and feel we can do something with it we will contact you. if you don’t hear from us it probably means we felt your demo was not right for us.

how is the music released? if we like the music we release it in standard mp3 format with no drm all the music is subject to a creative commons licence which means that although it is released for free and you are free to copy it the artist still retains certain rights.

I have not downloaded any tracks from this site yet, but with 156 release numbers already used (not all of them actual releases), there is bound to be something of interest.

Mon, 06 Feb 2006

V/Vm Test Records is releasing a free MP3 every day as a final goodbye.

V/VM Test Records will release a free MP3 every day for the rest of 2006.

Ten years of mouldy old dough has left me in this position where i can no longer move. Trapped by debt accumulated over that time as a result of running a no win label. There has never been a plan afoot at V/Vm it’s all been about instincts from day one. V/Vm 365 will be the last project i undertake. As it’s time to move on once this recycled audio slab is finally completed.

The idea is basically to create and upload free audio for one whole year and leave a massive big mess behind, warts and all for you to digest as you see fit.

There are also some Belgian new beat mixes available for download and a Caretaker microsite.

V/VM is a unit for measure, as well as an alias for James Kirby. A V/VM track will be featured on the next Acecast.

Mon, 06 Feb 2006

Spokane 7’s 300+ list of local legal MP3s.

The Spokesman Review’s Spokane 7 site has a large MP3 directory of local artists (local being Spokane, USA). Slim pickings for me, but do try The Side Project and Ramon 140 for some good electronica.

Thu, 26 Jan 2006

The Fat Planet MP3 blog.

Just discovered the Fat Planet MP3 blog this minute, another MP3 blog tracking free and legal MP3s. A quick glance reveals that it might be worthwile firing up FlashGot at irregular intervals on this site.

Fat Planet lists The Grates (my fair podcasting CD choice for June 2005), Jose Gonzalez (my CD for October 2005) and the brilliant Melodium (not yet played on Acecast, but in the everlong backlog of stuff to be podcasted).

No points to Fat Planet for bigging up Albert Kuvezin’s awful version of Love Will Tear Us Apart though. If the song was that precious to Albert he should have left it alone and so should Jose Gonzalez.

Fri, 23 Dec 2005

Erik Markus on “podjacking”.

If someone is stealing your enclosures and using them to promote their own site in an RSS-feed it’s called “podjacking”. Eric Markus has written an article on “podjacking” worth reading.

I have no problems with podcast directories linking and pointing directly to MP3 files; but if someone were to hijack my shows I would react. Note to hijackers — I mention the Acecast name a couple of times on my shows, so you would have a hard time pretending it’s your show. Another reason to speak on your podcasts, rather then just do a mix.

Here’s a snip from the beginning of Erik’s article,

My first shows got barely a hundred listeners. But by last month, my audience was approaching 1500 people. Those may not be huge numbers, but I was proud of the relatively rapid growth in my audience. It came from a lot of hard work.

Then, out of the blue a few weeks ago, my audience collapsed overnight - it dropped by some 75 percent. My podcast had been “podjacked”.

If you’re involved in podcasting, you need to know about podjacking. This article will tell you what podjacking is, how to avoid becoming a victim, and how to take action if it happens to you.

Erik later states that,

As a podcaster, the URL you create for your RSS feed becomes the doorway through which your entire listenership arrives. Every single one of your listeners will come in through this doorway.

This is not entirely true for Acecast. I get around 10-15% of my downloads through the latest full mp3 podcast (mp3) link on the sidemenu (that link is not in my RSS feed). Give your listeners a chance to download your latest show directly from a prominent place on your website if you are a podcaster.

Thu, 22 Dec 2005

Nineteen sites with free Celtic music.

Bard Marc Gunn has put together a list of Celtic music sites with free music. I used to get a free catalogue from Green Linnet in the pre-web days and have CDs from the likes of Sileas and Ingrid Karklins. Seems like Marc is not too impressed with Green Linnet tough, I list them way down, because their accounting practices and lack of payment to artists make me a bit unhappy with them.

Chivalry looks to be another interesting site in Marc’s list, with traditional songs like Spencer the Rover and Mattie Groves.

Marc’s site is “to be investigated”.

Sat, 26 Nov 2005

The Cylinder Preservation Project at the University of California.

Cylinder recordings … are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike.

… a digital collection of over 5,000 cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. In an effort to bring these recordings to a wider audience, they can be freely downloaded or streamed online.

… find out more about the cylinder format, listen to thousands of musical and spoken selections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and discover a little-known era of recorded sound.

The site carries a CC-licence and a short rundown on state vs common-law copyrights. Fresh site. Over 5000 tracks converted from cylinder to digital so far (not all to MP3 yet). Via Creative Commons weblog.

Wed, 23 Nov 2005

The Radio Plus John Peel show free MP3s.

Radio Plus features

free and legal mp3 downloads of songs that John Peel has featured on his Radio 1 show recently. All these tracks have been made available by the bands or record labels themselves, they don’t involve Kazaa or anonymous postings to alt.binaries.sounds or anything like that. The idea is that if you like the track, you’ll buy some of their records, which seems pretty sound to me.

Seems pretty sound to me as well, I call it fair podcasting.

I have played a few of these acts (Laura Cantrell, Noxagt, Mogwai) and have given Cornelius’s (matadorrecords) Point of View a four star rating for later inclusion on an Acecast. Marvin beat me to it though; Cornelius is on his playlist for Marvin Suicide’s show number 42.

Fri, 18 Nov 2005

Sub Pop Records.

sub pop records

Sub Pop Records has a few dozen free&legal MP3s available in their download section.

Sub Pop is one of the few labels to mention podcasting on their site; this is from the Sub Pop FAQ,

While we’re unable to give you blanket permission to use any ole song you want from our catalog, you may incorporate any of the songs that are freely available as MP3s in the multimedia section of this website into your podcasts. HOWEVER, we do reserve the right to change our mind about the availability of any song for any reason at any time. Fickle, no?

The Sub Pop site is on my backburner. I’ve already played Low’s Monkey and had plans for Sleater-Kinney’s Entertain (both available from as well).

Via this ole post from Podcastingnews.

Fri, 18 Nov 2005

The Bates Motel Norwegian MP3 blog.

The Bates Motel blog is tracking Norwegian music. The motel is looked after by Sindre Ness. Sindre writes in the dying “new-Norwegian” written language. General news, links to MP3s, streams and videos. Sindre seems to be more of a reporter than a critic. Not that it matters — I normally use something like Free Download Manager or LeechGet to scan these sites anyway.

A recent addition to my arsenal of sites, so no tracks checked out from the Bates Motel yet. But do download Hurra Torpedo’s version of Total eclipse of the Heart (video). Hurra Torpedo use white goods like cookers and freezers as their instruments. Nice.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

The large Tonspion MP3 site.

tonspion mp3 site

Berlin based MP3 music magazine rates itself as

one of the finest sources for free and legal mp3 downloads on the net for high quality music.

There are hundreds of thousands free MP3 files on the Internet! Most are published legally by artists and labels, with the aim of promoting new albums.

Tonspion reviews the best free mp3 tracks on the net, linking to the source of the download (the artist or the label) and thereby offering access to thousands of mp3s.

Even if you don’t understand our reviews, you can download the music, just by giving it a try. Klick on “Download MP3” at the end of each review and check out the MP3 on the label or artist websites.

A couple of tracks found through Tonspion will be coming up here at Acecast.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Electromancer is a resource for free electronic music.

Electromancer is a

community of unsigned electronic musicians and a resource where they can make their music available to visitors and other musicians. It provides a friendly and easy-to-use place on the world wide web where visitors, fans of electronic music and musicians alike can come to knowing that all the music will be electronic.

The site is run by Marvey Mills who wants to provide a good quality site for as little cost to the artist as possible.

I haven’t downloaded any tracks from Electromancer so far, so no recommendations yet. Via Podcastingnews.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Fingertips’ list of free and legal download sites.

The Fingertips Site Guide is another metasite listing free and legal music sites.

Several of these sites I knew about (like and the German Tonspion), the rest is “to be investigated”.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Dave Holmes’ list of “podsafe” music.

Dave Holmes lists dozens of both obscure and well-known podsafe music resources at Dave’s Imaginary Sound Space.

Unfortunately it becomes extremely time consuming for podcasters to source available music and listen to it.

The sites I refer to here represent a tiny fraction but even so it’s clear to see the potential pool of music podcasters can draw from. It shows there’s a strong cultural movement that is rapidly taking advantage of new media technologies and confirms podcasting’s role as an important music delivery component.

Time consuming? Yeah — you could say that. I have been through over 4000 tracks over the last year. Around ten percent I have kept and only two percent have been given a 4+ rating in iTunes. Via the Creative Commons blog.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Cactus Killer Radio podcasts and free legal mp3 files.

cactus killer radio

Cactus Killer Radio is playing indie music from dreampop to rock to gothic to new wave to folk to electronic from its own catalogue. I am not a huge fan of dreampop, but some tunes in these casts are breaking through my barrier of dreampop-resistance. The Phillip Eno project has also made some MP3s available. Why not start with

Sun, 25 Sep 2005

MXL DRK condenser mic with battery, cables and stand.

I wish this MXL DRK set (link to Millennium Music, do a google to find local suppliers or have a look at eBay for some great deals from the US) existed when I started to get my kit together. A decent condenser microphone, powered by a normal 9V battery (so need for “phantom power” from a mixer or preamp), a desktop stand and cables. All packed in a neat suitcase and ready to connect directly to your computer.

Looks like good value to me and expect to see more of these packages as podcasting takes (further) off.

Wed, 21 Sep 2005

Warren Ellis is giving up his Mixtapes.

Warren has just announced that his 25th Superburst Mixtape will be the last. Shame. Even if Warren did not speak, it was one of the best casts out there and it did introduce me to Penny Broadhurst.

Acecast first mentioned the Superburst Mixtapes in March 2005.

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

Indie Podcasters vs Big Radio (Slashdot).

I think I’ve never linked to Slashdot on (everyone reads Slashdot anyway), but here at Acecast things are different. So this piece on podcasters vs big radio from Slashdot might be worth keeping in the list of resources.

Not for the usual bunch of foolish comments (podcasting is not audio-streaming or “internet radio”), but for this comment,

Unlike mainstream radio, there is room for indies to compete with the big boys (read the article). But there needs to be more growth in podcasting as a medium. The podcast I listed earlier is a good example.

Bitz of Brin is a podcast by a 13 year old girl. She doesn’t talk about sex or tech. She doesn’t play electronica or alternative music. She wants to be a singer and features a cover of mainstream pop/country stars each podcast. Her podcast doesn’t appeal to geeks interested in tech. Her music doesn’t appeal to the thousands of alternative music fans turning to podcasts for their anti-*IA fix. Her main audience, frankly, isn’t listening to podcasts. Yet her voice is unique and part of the whole underground podcast movement.

Being single-minded and unique is the point of Acecast as well. Unlike certain podcasters I have never chased the silly “vote for me” races on different podcasting sites, I am not envious of the podcasts being listed in iTunes, the fools competing to come top of the iTunes listing (with silly names like “— …. topcaster …. —”).

Acecast is simply an experiment in playing the best free legal MP3s. And looking at the number of downloads of each show it is a success already — without any iTunes listing.

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

John Gruber of Daring Fireball on podcasting and Apple.

This lengthy piece from John Gruber on podcasting is worth keeping as a podcasting resource. Among other things John writes,

And consider poor Odeo, a startup (co-founded by Blogger co-founder Evan Williams) based solely on podcasting. It’s downright amazing that Odeo — the first serious podcasting startup — was beaten to market by Apple. It’s not because Odeo moved slowly; it’s because Apple moved fast.

I never understood the point of Odeo anyway. Recording audio over the net seems a particularly bad idea.

The other bit of good fortune is the name: podcasting. Good fortune for Apple, at least. Clearly the “pod” in “podcasting” is about the iPod. Apple couldn’t have come up with a better name for this phenomenon if they’d gotten to choose it themselves.

True. When I decided on naming my podcasting experiment Acecast, I thought long and hard about finding a name that did not have the “pod” as part of the site name. My thinking last winter was that the term “podcast” might later be replaced with something else, and if I then used “pod” as part of the name the site would look dated [it does anyway. Ed]. I was wrong about the durability of the “podcasting” term — but I am still happy with the Acecast name.

There is some other goodness in there as well — on Apple’s strange RSS, support of podcasting in iTunes and the broken 3.1 iPod firmware (my advice is to stay with 3.0.2 if you want smart playlists to work).

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

38 tracks worth downloading from the SXSW 2005 showcase MP3s.

All links point to the 2005 SXSW Showcasing Artist page for the artist mentioned, except in the cases where I could not find a page (which probably means that the MP3 is located in the “add-on” batch of 20 songs).

The music ranges from bluegrass (Runaway Planet), dub (Sub Oslo), Americana, pure pop, punk and loads of decent acoustic tracks. There are also a small handful of bands seeking to revive the glam-punk of The Boys (Ends, Bones, Real Heroes) and some good electronica tracks. If you have been listening to my podcasts you will have already have heard a third of these tracks; I recommend you get the rest as well while you can (this batch of MP3s will probably be taken offline when the 2006 festival comes along).

A dozen or so artists are not listed simply because I already had the songs. So no Jawbone or Kings of Convenience in the list.

Sturgeons Law applies; this is the top 5%.

I listened to every one of the 750+ tracks and brought the list down to those below. Should you prefer to download all 750 tracks there is a couple of torrent feeds at SXSW’s Fest4Pod.

I’ll see if I can get time later to include direct links for the MP3s; but for now you will have to go each SXSW artist page to get the MP3s.

Mon, 25 Jul 2005

The John Tracy Show podcasts.

John Tracy is podcasting using free legal MP3s over at the John Tracy Show. My recommended track from his latest show is

Thu, 14 Jul 2005

Staccato podcasts feature music that won’t get you sued.

I should have listed this resource ages ago, as it was one of the first podcasts using legit MP3s only. Matt May is using mostly Creative Commons licensed music in his Staccato podcasts. Matt’s track listings have been a little bit sparse lately, but do download

Thu, 14 Jul 2005

Canadian Broadcasting Indie Podsafe Podcast.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has started a music podcast featuring unsigned/independent Canadian artists only (iloveradio). I have listened to the first one. I will give it one more try before giving up (it’s professionally produced and all, but the DJ’s choice of podsafe music in the first show was not my cup of tea).

Wed, 08 Jun 2005

Marvin Suicide podcasts with podsafe electronic music.

A bit of reciprocal linkage for you (as Acecast is listed as recommended listening) — Marvin Suicide is doing podcasts featuring free and legal MP3s only (just like Acecast).

Mainly electronic music is played, but there is the odd non-electronic tune as well. What is really odd though is Marvin’s (not real name I suspect) voice — it is treated with a vocoder effect so Marvin sounds a bit like Cher mixed with Future Pilot AKA. There’s a fair bit of swearing on Marvin’s shows, so PG certified.

My recommended artist found via Marvin is Ecoplan.

Sun, 05 Jun 2005