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The Digital Student: Music

Music and sound effects

Music and sound effects

Steaming or downloading music from unofficial sources is illegal - but there are lots free and legal ways to stream music. If you want to download music or use it on your mobile, you may want to consider a premium service. Many of these offer student discount.

Music

Music for personal use

Free websites and apps

The services below offer free music streaming supported by advertising. This means that as long as you have access to the internet, you can freely listen to music legally interrupted by the occasional advertisment. As these services do not support downloading on free plans, they can use a lot of bandwidth if you are using them on your mobile. 

Service Offers Web address

Vevo

Vevo

  • Streaming only
  • Music (ad supported)
http://www.vevo.com/

Spotify (free)

Spotify

  • Streaming only
  • Music (ad supported)
https://www.spotify.com/

Deezer (free)

Deezer

  • Steaming only
  • Music (ad supported)
http://www.deezer.com/

Premium options for students

It can be cheaper than you think to legally access the latest music. This page lists some of the top UK services for legally subscribing to music.

Service Offers Web address

Amazon Prime Music

Amazon Prime Music

  • Streaming
  • Music download
  • Apps
  • £7.99 a month
  • Student discount (6 months free then 50% off)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prime http://www.amazon.co.uk/student

Apple Music

Apple Music

  • Streaming or download
  • No ads
  • £9.99 (£4.99 student discount)
  • Premium quality
http://www.apple.com/uk/music/ https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT205928

Spotify

Spotify

  • Streaming or download
  • No ads
  • £9.99 (£4.99 student discount)
  • Premium quality
https://www.spotify.com/ https://www.spotify.com/uk/student/

Deezer

Deezer

  • Streaming or download
  • No ads
  • £9.99
  • Premium quality
http://www.deezer.com/

Sound effects for academic work

If you are working on a video, presentation or other multimedia project that requires sound effects, it is best practice to avoid copyrighted material. This means you can freely circulate your work without breaking the law. Most of the sound clips you find on a Google search are not usable without breaking copyright. The websites below provide access to thousands of music and sound clips that you can freely use in your work. It is important to check the license of each audio file carefully as some will require attribution and some may not let you adapt the clip as you require. It is really important to avoid copyrighted material in anything you intend to publish. 

Don't forget - if you are using any sound effects or audio clips in academic work or presentations, it is good academic practice to still cite your sources. 

Confused by audio licenses? Make sure you check our handy guide

Service Offers Web address

Free Music Archive

Free Music Archive

  • Music
  • Audiobooks
  • All files are licenced under Creative Commons or similar- check individual licence for permissions
http://freemusicarchive.org/

ccMixter

CCMixter

  • Music
  • All files are licenced under Creative Commons - check individual licence for permissions
http://ccmixter.org/

SoundCloud

SoundsCloud

  • Sound effects
  • Music
  • Users must check the permissions of each file - all are not freely available for use
https://soundcloud.com

Other useful pages: