The Internet is a great place to get a free music fix. I'm not talking about downloading ripped music albums or songs using P2P networks or the like, but legal options that people have. This includes listening to songs on YouTube, tuning in to Internet radio stations, or making use of free music platforms such as Jamendo.
Noisetrade has not been on my radar before, and from the looks of it, it is closest to Jamendo even though there are some differences to be found. Both have in common that you can listen to music online, download the music that is offered by artists on the site, and also tip artists to support them.
One of the core differences between both services is that there is no option to tune in to radio stations on Noisetrade.
When you visit the main website you instantly get a selection of new and notable artists that you may want to tune in right away. You may be surprised that you find independent artists here, but also well known ones such as Sheryl Crow or Matisyahu.
When you click on an artist you are taken to that artists page that highlights the available albums and songs. You need to click on an album here to open a page with options to listen to all songs offered by the artists or to download them right away.
Here you can also tip the artist, use sharing functionality to spread the word, watch embedded videos, access information about the songs or artist, and look at upcoming shows and tour dates.
Even better: here you find options to connect to the artist, which often include links to the artist's official website and social networking accounts, contact options to contact the artist , manager, booking or public relations, and to buy the music online from various sources.
The music buying may require explanation. While you can download some songs or even entire albums from artists from Noisetrade directly, and tip artists to reward them directly, it is usually the case that some works are not offered on the site. The "buy music" links let you buy albums or songs from the artist that are not necessarily available on the website.
So, if you like music of an artist you may use those links to buy more music by that artist on other platforms.
The site is not the easiest to navigate. While you can use the search on top to find artists or albums, it may not yield that many results as most artists featured on the site are independent ones that are not that well known.
Probably the best way to explore the site is to enter a genre instead in the search form as you will end up with artist and album suggestions related to that genre.
You can alternative click on the genres pulldown menu to filter by popular genres such as alternative, rock, pop or jazz directly.
Downloads are not direct. You have to enter an email address, country and zip code to get a download code emailed to that account.
Noisetrade is an excellent website to discover new artists. The quality of music is extremely good, judging from the artists that I sampled on the site.