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Free Music Archive (freemusicarchive.org)
229 points by brudgers 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments



The listener-funded radio station that runs the archive, WFMU, is the single greatest radio station in the world.


> The listener-funded radio station that runs the archive, WFMU, is the single greatest radio station in the world.

Little known fact: the Go gopher mascot was originally a WFMU commission [1].

[1] https://blog.golang.org/gopher


Haven't listened to WFMU yet but KEXP.org of Seattle is also very good. They regularly post live sessions to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3I2GFN_F8WudD_2jUZbojA.

And BBC radio 6 isn't bad: https://www.bbc.co.uk/6music


I am a huge fan of KEXP channel on Youtube. Discovered many wonderful postpunk/experimental/alternative bands thanks to them. Glad to see someone share the sentiment.


KEXP live streaming from the Iceland Airwaves music festival every November is excellent, and they keep that archived.


I'll make a separate plug for KFJC, a radio station in the bay area. All the DJs have totally unique taste and the station is really good if you're into experimental or electronic music.

My personal favorite radio station, and their donation t shirts are awesome.


KFJC is a tremendous place.

If I may plug KZSU, on Stanford campus, as another college/community radio outlet in Silicon Valley.

...I worry all the time that, owing to the lack of affordable housing for the creative class, and the general lack of culture throughout the Silicon Valley, that there won't be enough energy to support all these radio stations.

If you're curious, don't be afraid to look into joining them! They both take on community members from throughout the area.


I no longer live in the area, but I aso enjoyed KZSU a lot. It seemed a lot less music focused and felt more like an NPR. They had some really awesome segments, like I remember one in particular about having students look at themselves in a reverse mirror.


KFJC achieves more consistency with its music shows, whereas KZSU is more of a grab-bag. Music shows that fill certain niches, experimental talk programs, and other things like sports broadcasts.

It's certain not to give someone a consistent sound that they'll like, but it usually puts out interesting stuff.


Thanks for the tip! In return, for people who are into this sort of thing but don't know about these (listener-supported radio stations/streams and free music archives):

-Radio Paradise [1]

-SomaFM [2]

-Jamendo [3]

-Magnatune (not quite free but close enough) [4]

-And all the Icecast streams [5]

[1] http://www.radioparadise.com

[2] http://www.somafm.com

[3] http://www.jamendo.com

[4] http://www.magnatune.com

[5] http://dir.xiph.org/


by definition public radio is in the public interest, not many ad supported stations can claim that.


WFMU is a community radio station. That's distinctly different from what "Public Radio" usually means in US discussions. Public radio stations don't usually do projects like this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_broadcasting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_radio


While true in general, public radio has quite a quantity of paid-third-party-ads these days. And they don't just say "supported by [corporation, tag line]", they are full ads, just read by the public radio hosts.

There's one radio station group that has consistently been fully public interest with neither ads nor corporate nor government conflicts-of-interest: the Pacifica network which has affiliates around the country http://pacificanetwork.org


Thanks for the link. WFMU also runs no ads and has no corporate sponsors.

"WFMU’s primary source of support comes from listener contributions made during our annual on-air fundraising marathonand revenue generated from our annual Record Fair. WFMU does not accept underwriting or corporate sponsorships. We receive some support from foundations and government grants, as long as they do not contain conditions that determine our programming content or restrict our independence."

from: https://wfmu.org/about/

I donate every year. It's a great cause to support.


I remember listening to WFMU's station manager recount one of the times he had to fire a (volunteer) DJ: the DJ was selling ad time on his show. He got away with it for a while because his show was not in English.

It seems that ads were also a motivation for the long-running show JM in the AM to leave the station.

> WFMU, licensed as a non-profit radio station, adheres to the guidelines of charitable and non-commercial radio. With the move of ‘JM in the AM’ exclusively to NSN, the program, its host, its content and its reach will be allowed greater creative flexibility and sponsorship opportunities. [1]

[1] http://www.nachumsegal.com/historic-jm-announcement-made-mor...


just discovered it this year; cannot believe i went this long without knowing about it.

also the web 1.5ish site and comments board brings me a lot of joy, reminds me of the spirit of the earlier web, in keeping with the free form nature of the programming itself.

everyone should donate if you listen!


For the ones who like rock n' roll, there's radiomutation.com with the best rock shows ever. Have a look.


As a former DJ at WFMU, I'm excited to see people are checking it out, it's a great place to invest some donations too, with great perks. The FMA started around the time I had a show and also ran a copyright/IP meetup in New York, where we had a presentation about it. Since then, I've been a user of the FMA for music in videos I've made for startups and it's one of the best sources for attribution-only work if you need music for your project (even commercial work). There's a great interview with Jason Signal who started FMA here https://rhizome.org/editorial/2009/may/01/interview-with-jas...


I'm proud to say I worked with WFMU and Cuban Council on the initial release of this project.


They seem to kind of hide the licenses for each individual track, which is odd since the licensing is the site's USP. Does seem like a great curated archive of fine music, though.


The search page is slightly obscure (though semantically obvious): http://freemusicarchive.org/search It allows to search by license criteria, for example use in commercial derivative works.


Really glad to have stumbled upon this. Brilliant collection. Also, I'm happy to see that the Last.fm scrobbler I use works seemlessly with this. https://github.com/web-scrobbler/web-scrobbler


I love this archive. The choice of music is excellent and also the design of the site is really pleasant. I've spent hours in different genres.


Yes, the design is pretty simple and elegant


It should try to use Flac / Opus, not mp3.


Flac/Opus may have benefits, but I think the Free Music Archive is optimizing for accessibility. Pretty much anybody can play an MP3 out of the box. I don't think one can say the same about Flac/Opus.


Can my web browser play FLAC or Opus out of the box? Mind, I'm not going to tell you what my web browser is. Because that's why they picked MP3: if you're using MP3 you can confidently say "yes" because it's a computer in 2018.


> Can my web browser play FLAC or Opus out of the box?

Flac isn't really for browser playback, but for lossless backup. Normal browsers should play Opus fine today. Some crippled ones might not, but for that there are projects like this as fallback:

https://github.com/brion/ogv.js/

So I see no reason not to use Flac and Opus for music services.


You just said Flac is for lossless backup. Losslessback is not equal to the user experience.

Kind of selfish of you to think Flac should be a standard where some people wouldn't even know what it is.


People don't know what HTTP is.


What user experience? Any music archive or store can provide two functions: download for backup purposes (lossless codec is good for it), and on-line playback (for which lossy codec makes sense). Both can be called user experience and both have value.

People don't need to know what it is by default. But they should be able to make lossless backup if they need to.




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