Top 25 Free Music Streaming Sites

(Updated September 2015)

While there are several free music download sites out there, not everyone wants to store a gazillion songs on their hard drive. I certainly don't. I'm more likely to stream than download (unless there's a free iTunes gift card involved). If you're looking for the best to stream free music online, I found 25 great options for you to choose from.

These include streaming giants, like Spotify and Pandora, and Internet radio stations for all your music, news and sports needs. And yes, some of the sites allow you to download music if you want to grab it to go.

Behold the 25 of the most reliable sources for free music streaming.

25
The Sixty One

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If you're in the mood to expand your music palette or try something different, check out TheSixtyOne.com. You can stream individual songs with an option to download free music or buy your favorites. Want to see what the community is digging? Check out the "popular" section.

24
Magnatune

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As someone who receives tons of music from musicians daily, the sheer volume can be overwhelming. Magnatune makes this process seem easy. They sift through hundreds of music and pick the best 3%. The small batch that makes the cut becomes available for free, unmetered streaming and download access on Magnatune.com.

23
MySpace Music

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Don't make that face. MySpace Music has worked its way back into the online music conversation since rebranding itself. The erstwhile leader in online music streaming recently went through a massive makeover and is gradually returning to its music roots. As such, you'll find a rich reserve of music available for free streaming on the site. If you're fishing for music from relatively unknown artists, as I tend to do from time to time, go ahead and give MySpace Music a whirl.

22
Google Play Music

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Everyone knows that Google Play prices songs at 99 cents a pop. Unbeknownst to many, you can also listen to your favorite artist's music online for free on Play. If you'd like to sample albums or experience entire songs for free, give Google Play a try. You can stream music from Google Play on your browser, smartphone or tablet. Google Play also allows you to share songs with up to 1000 friends.

21
AOL Radio

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Powered by Slacker, AOL radio provides access to thousands of free online radio stations across various genres. It does offer many of the same options as Slacker. What sets AOL Radio apart, however, is that you also get a nifty music guide to help contextualize your listening experience.

20
Musicovery

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Musicovery's bread and butter is mood-based music personalization. Simply name a mood--energetic, calm, dark or positive--and Musicovery will start streaming a playlist based on your selection. You can also narrow your choices to specific genres or search a mood, genre or artist. I ran a search for "Chingy" and landed on the "positive" side of the mood spectrum, so there's that.

19
MP3.com

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MP3.com is no stranger to the free online music space. The site is famous for free downloads, but it also gives you the option to stream tracks at no cost. MP3.com also has a solid content bent, so users get a combo of current events and free music.

18
Live 365

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Live 365 is a desktop jukebox with thousand of stations at your fingertips. It's free with advertising or $5.95 for the ad-free VIP package. A subscription is required for the free trial, but you won't have to enter your credit card information.

17
Datpiff

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If you're a hip-hop or R&B fan looking for full-length mixtapes, you'll love Datpiff. It boasts a huge library of mixtapes, including several exclusives. Mixtapes open in a pop-up window so you can continue to browse other sites as you listen. Yes, you can download each mixtape if you prefer to take it on the go.

16
Jango

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Jango is a free music streaming service that serves up options based on your tastes. Type in any artist or select from a list of popular choices ranging from Eminem to Drake. Genre stations allow you to stream free music online, whenever you like. You can also build your unique station or listen to everyone else's radio station.

15
8tracks

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8tracks.com allows anyone to build a playlist or online mixtape consisting of 8 or more tracks. You can add a title and artwork and share with your friends. Not in the mood to make your own playlist? You can also stream playlists by other members of the 8tracks community. Playlists are grouped by activity (chill, party, relax) or genre (well, take your pick from rap to alt-rock). Bonus points: Playlists usually have fun titles like "A man with a guitar" or "That's my sh!t!" So act accordingly.

14
Mixcloud

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Mixcloud asks listeners to re-think radio. That's not just marketing speak; Mixcloud lives it. Imagine a world where online radio means long-format playlists (about 20-30 minutes) from some of the best disc jockeys in the world. While Mixcloud doesn't boast the big name of today's on-demand platforms, it does offer millions of mixes, radio shows and podcasts. Whatever your taste in music--hip-hop, jazz, soul--funk--you'll find something worth your 20 minutes on Mixcloud.

13
Jamendo

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With no login or subscription fee required, Jamendo is one of the best free music streaming sites online today. While it's not likely to replace any of the more established streaming platforms, Jamendo is a great supplement to add variety to your music discovery routine. Yes, you can also download every track you hear and share them with your friends.

12
Soundcloud

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Soundcloud wields a massive repository of music across a wide range of genres. You can stream as much free music as you can handle or upload your own tracks to share with others. Originally created for musicians, Soundcloud has grown in popularity since launching in 2007. It attracts independent artists and big names alike. The UI can be challenging to new users, but if you don't mind digging around you'll find plenty of tracks to enjoy gratis.

11
Playlist

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Free streaming? Check. Artist stations? Check. A vast catalog of tunes? Check, check, check. Though not a big name service, Playlist can compete with many of the popular platforms. With or without an account, you get to start streaming songs immediately by entering an artist, genre or track. It builds a station based on your entry and you can thumb up or down to customize your station. An account is required to save your station, but that's a small token to pay for free music.

10
Grooveshark

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Grooveshark is completely free and that's always a good start, right? Well, it also has the added bonus of featuring several rare tracks that you may not find on other free streaming music sites. I've had the pleasure of using Grooveshark for research and I'm always stunned by how many under-the-radar albums and I find on the site.

Update: Sadly, Grooveshark is no more.

9
Last.fm

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You remember Last.fm, don't you? It's one of the pioneering leaders in the free online music space. Last.fm has somehow weathered the vagaries of the music business and remains a relevant choice for music consumers. What I like about Last.fm is that it's perfect for both downloading and streaming. Grab and go or stay and stream. In the words of Colbie Caillat, you don't have to choose.

8
TuneIn

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TuneIn is perfect for those who want to sample multiple radio stations from one device. Tune in to TuneIn and you immediately get access to over 100,000 radio stations and millions of podcasts. TuneIn lets you listen to new music, sports, politics and much more from anywhere. But you're not confined to mixes; you can also stream individual songs and tune in to your local radio station in any genre.

7
Radio Tuna

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How could you not love a music service that dubs itself Radio Tuna? Your gateway to thousands of songs, Radio Tuna prides itself in making online radio easy. It truly is. Just click on any genre and you get a wide selection of sub-genres (for hip-hop, you get options like Gangsta, Conscious, Crunk and even Screw) and enjoy. Register for a chance to store your favorites under "My Tuna."

6
Rdio

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Rdio is packed with all the bells and whistles of music streaming, including: customized stations, favorites and recommendations. You get even more features with any of the paid options also available. One free feature that makes Rdio an intriguing option is "remote control." This feature allows you to control your account from another device/gadget. Just be sure to download Flash and/or unblock it from your browser for optimal experience.

5
Slacker

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Slacker is one of the best online radio stations around today. The site design, library and features make it a rival for paid platforms. Slacker gives you access to all the music you can eat...anytime, anywhere. You can stream on any device for free. Raise your experience by subscribing to enjoy ad-free music and customize your listening experience. It allows you to skip up to 6 songs at a time. The skip count resets after you start a new station.

4
Songza

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Songza takes music personalization to another level. Need focus-enhanced instrumentals to soundtrack your homework? There's a playlist for that. Need a virtual transport to an idyllic park? There's a playlist for that. Need a little coffee house chatter, odd as it may seem, there's a playlist for that. With no subscription required, you'll be streaming in just seconds.

3
iHeartRadio

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iHeartRadio is one of the best sources for free online music. Much like Pandora, it offers music recommendations based on your tastes. Just enter any artist or song on iheart.com, it analyzes your entry and builds a radio station around similar artists. iHeartRadio also doubles up as a free Internet radio station. You can listen to the hottest hits on New York's Hot 97 or jam out to Houston's 93.7 The Beat, no matter where you call home.

2
Pandora

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Pandora is the godmother of free online music sites. A descendant of the Music Genome Project, Pandora gives listeners access to customized radio stations featuring artists in just about every genre. Simply plunk in the name of your favorite artist to punch your ticket to streaming heaven. Pandora is free with ads.

1
Spotify

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Spotify, arguably the biggest name on this list, offers a range of streaming services from free to paid. Albums, playlists and staff picks are all available on the big green circle. You can stream it online or take it on the go via your Android or iPhone. If you don't mind the occasional commercial and can live with shuffle play, then you can listen to music for free on Spotify all day, every day.