In spite of all of the uproar over how the internet is going to bring down the entertainment industry (by letting people listen to music for free - kind of like the radio), more and more music is being made available online, at no charge to the listeners. So, here are some places to go to hear your favorite groups, or something new.
YouTube. Although, because of lawsuits, YouTube has changed its policies to accomodate the demands of the record labels who still think making people purchase their music directly is the only viable business model out there, you can still find some good music on the site. In most cases the videos will be ten minutes or less, and they are likely to be recorded by amateurs from concerts or CD's - so they may not stay on the site for long. But for a one-time listen, YouTube can still be a good resource.
Myspace. I wrote about some of the changes taking place on this site a few days ago. It's a great place to find indie bands, originals, and new groups who are anxious to get their music out to new listeners.
SecondLife. Even If you don't want to do anything else on this 3D, virtual world site, it's still a good place to find free music - some recorded, and some live, from your favorite artists and new groups. Just use the search feature, and search for "dancing," or "live music," under the "places," and "events" categories. You'll be amazed.
Vevo. This site has taken the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," approach to making music free to the listeners. Like radio and TV, they get their money from the advertisers. This means that you'll have to tolerate the ads, but you can find top-quality music videos on demand that used to be available on the network schedules of TV channels like MTV and CMT. Check it out - this is my new favorite.
What are you favorite places to listen to music online?
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.