Introduction: Getting Free Music Legally (and Converting It to MP3 Format)

Picture of Getting Free Music Legally (and Converting It to MP3 Format)

In this instructable i will show you how to get free music without downloading it or instead of hooking it up to the headphones jack you could hook it up to your record player and transfer your vinyl to MP3.

Step 1: Tools

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1)LAME "LAME ain't an MP3 encoder"
2)Audacity "open source cross platform sound recorder
3)Weird cable

Step 2: Get Audacity

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Start Internet, then go to and search for Audacity then download it.

Step 3: Setup Audacity

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Follow the instructions to install Audacity.

Step 4: Download LAME

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Go to Sourceforge.netand find and download LAME.

Step 5: Configure LAME

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Now just follow the pictures Search for lame.exe go to the folder you downloaded it to.

Step 6: Plug Cable In

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Plug the cable in to the front headphone and Mic jacks

Step 7: Now Turn Them Into MP3's

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Follow where i click then enter the id3 data where i do id3s hold the data like song title and author

Step 8: Final Thoughts

Remember to open a new Audacity window every time on the id3 data doesn't stay the same. I don't know whats wrong but in stem seven you find some internet radio and when the music starts you hit record.


WylomD (author)2015-05-18

I always use total video converter for mac to convert my audio files to mp3 format.

IamRV. (author)2015-01-06

Want to download latest music ? Checkout this video. Download your favourite songs for FREE

LasVegas (author)2007-02-25

Recording music off from internet radio is not legal. It's stealing the music is exactly the same fashion as downloading it.

trebuchet03 (author)LasVegas2007-02-25

Ditto.... Unless you're just converting your vinyl to digital format (as stated in the intro).

LasVegas (author)trebuchet032007-02-25

...but not in the final step... It would also be nice to explain, step by step, the process rather than how to install the programs. Also... That mp3 posted in the final step is not legal.

not__you (author)LasVegas2009-03-01

"don't do that. it's not legal." Doesn't anyone have morals anymore?

Super_Natural (author)not__you2012-09-07

I believe most people have morals and it is an innate sense to want to do what is right, to help the person up that stumbles in the street, etc. Laws are only as good as the people that right them and enact them. I imagine there are instances when one may be morally correct but against the "law'. Plus this particular topic is not black and white on what is legal and what is illegal.
Let me offer an example, I just watched an interview of the lead singer of a band out of the Bay area that would prefer their music be downloaded off the internet (I guess one could say stolen) as it is free-market. Like others have stated before, musicians (and the artist stated this in the interview) rarely see much from the purchase of their albums or mp3s. They would prefer to be heard, have people come out and see them live and spend their money on a t-shirt, sticker, even their music at their vendor stand in the show. You are making certain assumptions I believe...correct me if I'm wrong...that you are ripping off the artist that used their creativity to bring this music about.
Also, it's a tricky world to uphold one's own moral code. Do you buy any Kraft or Nestle products? If you did any research on these companies you would probably immediately stop if you were to stick to your morals. Kraft is rated #2 on the 10 worst companies on the planet for overall social and environmental record, Nestle #6) Do you ever shop at Wal-mart? The Multinational Monitor has them on their "Worst Corporation" List for 5+ years and they got the Greenwash Award for public deception. Nestle for instance has won the "Most Irresponsible" corporation award, practices aggressive takeovers of family farms, are involved in child slavery lawsuits, not to mention the whole Gerber baby food fiasco.(some of their water brands alone include Arrowhead, San Peligrino, Perrier & ice creams Dreyers & Haagen-Daz - you can find a list on wikipedia;-). As we are more capitalist and consumerist than true democracy every dollar is a vote!

icanryme2002 (author)LasVegas2007-02-26

the only way to really sho it step by step is to have a step for each picture so to follow the steps follow the pictures

mrmath (author)LasVegas2007-02-25

I'm no lawyer, but I disagree. I know that it's not illegal for me to record my radio using a tape deck. The FCC has ruled that any signal that comes into our house can be recorded for personal use. I remember this from when HBO first came out and people were recording movies. Back then they sold for $75 or more, and movie companies felt as if they were losing millions. If I extend that ruling of recording signals for my personal use to using my computer recording FM radio, it's not illegal. That is as long as it's only for personal use. Keep going, and recording internet radio, where you KNOW that royalties are being paid, I don't see how it's any different. Note, we know the FM stations we get pay royalties, and that's why it's legal. The record companies get money. If the internet radio station is legit, and is paying royalties, and you're recording for personal use, I don't see how it's illegal. All that being said, it has to be for YOUR personal use. You give that song away, and that's illegal. You share that song on a peer to peer network, that's illegal. Play that song at a public event (think djs), that's illegal. Please remember, I'm just expressing my uneducated opinion here. I'm definately NOT trying to start a debate about who's right, or start a flame ware. I'll be the first to admit that I could be wrong, but I could be right That's for the courts and the lawyers to determine. But for me, what it boils down to is royalties and personal use. If the royalties are being paid, and you're using it for your own pesonal use, I believe it's legal.

smithy813 (author)mrmath2008-05-14

sounds right to me, although my now you have probably forgotten about this post, it's the one about internet radio,. fyi

"If the internet radio station is legit, and is paying royalties, and you're recording for personal use, I don't see how it's illegal." The payment from internet radio play is on a 'per play' basis. It is not intended to be a sale of a copy of the song. It might be technically legal, or not, that is up to the juries, which are composed of people like you and I and the rest in this thread... Note that there is a disagreement among those here in this thread, there will also be disagreement in the jury pool. If it is decided that it's legal to record it and keep it for future play, it may very well force the 'per song' payment to be double or more what it is now. Personally I only listen to music that nobody expects me to pay for. And I play it for my friends too. Free music is awesome. What if everything were free?

trebuchet03 (author)mrmath2007-02-26

The FCC has ruled that any signal that comes into our house can be recorded for personal use.

Yes, which is why it's fine for you to record radio etc.... Now enter the digital age, where every time you make a copy, there's no quality loss.... Enter DMCA. The laws that govern recording radio waves and non digital media forms are different than the laws that govern digital streams and digital media.

Keep going, and recording internet radio, where you KNOW that royalties are being paid

Royalties are payed on basis of how many people are listening (that's one method). So, the royalties are paid for that song to be played on that radio station at that time. The royalties when you play the song for yourself or with friends etc. are not being paid.

All that being said, it has to be for YOUR personal use.
So why can't you record a concert you're attending? Well, you can if you were a deadhead fan :P But unfortunately, unless you have explicit rights from the owner - you can't. As such, the way the laws were written, the same goes for digital media. You never paid for the media you copied from a stream. TiVo was big fuss before it came out... but the MPAA calmed down when it was agreed that there would be no digital output for copying elsewhere. I'm pretty sure things have changed since then though (as far as DVRs are concerned) :P

I know... I know.... It's terrible, that's not how things should be. I agree. It's been an uphill battle for the consumers and there's not much representation for them :P

spanjunkie (author)trebuchet032007-03-06

I'm guessing that the reason why you can't record the concert under the same laws as the stream coming into your home is because the concert you would hypothetically record isn't coming into your home...

trebuchet03 (author)spanjunkie2007-03-06

No, it's because you're not given the permission to have a copy (well, in most cases - not all). When you buy a CD or a DVD - you're not buying music or a movie. You're buying a license to listen/watch. This is why a backup of your media is perfectly fine.

Andrew546 (author)mrmath2007-02-25

"You give that song away, and that's illegal. You share that song on a peer to peer network, that's illegal. Play that song at a public event (think djs), that's illegal." one more thing to add to that list. Posting the song to an online collaboration site for other to download, thats illegal.

VIRON (author)Andrew5462007-02-28

Is it ever illegal to use a calculator?
Here's a number.
Save it, (maybe on a big old floppy disk from 1980, ha ha).
Look at it with a text editor.
Believe me, it's JUST a number. There's no hidden code. Prove it.
If your word processor can't handle long numbers, try a different one.

(you may want to skip all the math below if you can't do it)
Subtract each digit from 9 and save that.
Add a random number and save that.
subtract a random number and save that.
Add some digits and save that.
Take away some digits and save that.
add one to each digit and save that.
subtract two from each digit and save that.
Pick a number from 0 to 9 and change every, lets say 9, to a different
number, and save that.
add any number to this number, save it, do again several times.

Now, do we have a lot of big random numbers? If not, just try the one.

Import any one of those long numbers into audacity or cool edit ,etc as
You should see a bumpy line off center on the graph.
If it looks like a loud noise you made a mistake, so do this step over.

Otherwise, the noise is quiet, so pump up the volume and hit PLAY.

1.Guess how many numbers sound like this. Ooodles and Googols of them!
2.Can you write the math to calculate the number on a post-it note?
3.What if I wrote a book that sounded like this? I could!
But a book might make more sense if it sounded different than this.
4.This is not a copy. You can change EVERY digit and it may still
sound the same. And the sound clearly explains what kind of magic
is going on here.

I like to say American "Pi" = 0.12345678910111213...

What? You hear Pi-RIAA-ted music? Uh-Oh, time to wear the tinfoil hat!
Music just plays in your head sometimes. Don't worry. Listen for a while, then mute the sound and turn on a fan or FM radio static. You'll still hear it!
When you start to freak out, call a doctor.

Fionn (author)VIRON2007-03-06

Very cool...

VIRON (author)VIRON2007-02-28

oops, still not clear. Look at the big number in calcul8.txt, then import it as raw audio as directed and it will sing a song about making music with calculators.

VIRON (author)VIRON2007-02-28

Oh, I forgot to tell you what that is all about. Using a digital calculator (or digital computer) to calculate digital sounds. In this case digital means numbers. Sometimes it means fingers.

but listening to it is legal. There is such a wealth of stuff on the internet that a lot of people are grabbing as much of it as they can and bit-hoarding it. Imagine the millions of disk drives that have nothing but hoarded music. It's only music if it's listened to. If you are a bit-hoarder, legal or not, how much of your hoard do you actually listen to?

theicemanx (author)2010-08-06

Well all I will say is you get Caught then dont come crying here for sympathy........................... have a nice day!!

freakinslop (author)2009-07-14

or you can just go to :)

Doctor What (author)2007-11-13

you know, there is a certain sound recorder out there, one which i am not at liberty to mention, that can record the sound that you are listening to, from a hypothetical streaming music site, and can record from the beginning to the end, without stopping at sixty seconds.

uberchoob (author)Doctor What2007-12-11

Audacity will do that. BTW you don't need to use a cable to patch the signal back in. All you need to do is:

Get your source ready to play

open audacity and set the source to "what you hear" instead of mic or line input

hit record on audacity

play your source audio

SHIZAM, instant 'free' music without the patch cable. The program will take the signal straight from your sound card and record it on file.

I know the "what you hear" source is available in the latest beta version (1.3xx I think?), but I'm not sure if it's available in the "stable" version (1.2xx).
I've never had a problem with the new beta, it's just a pain since the saved file format isn't backwards compatible, so if you save a file in beta, you can't open it in the stable version.

sk8er6 (author)uberchoob2009-06-24

theres a very easy way to do this without getting that double ended headphone cord. you can even use the stock "sound recorder" that comes with windows. And I don't see how recording internet radio is illegal when its not illegal to dub tapes of real radio.

talons (author)uberchoob2008-01-01

I didn't see a "what you hear" option. Only line in, aux, mono, stereo etc I have the newest beta version. Am I doing something wrong?

uberchoob (author)talons2008-01-02

not sure, I'm on vacation right now, but I'll check out the program as soon as I get back.

uberchoob (author)uberchoob2008-04-25

Thanks nf119, Stereo Mix is the new name for the old "what you hear" option. I've used audacity regularly with about 7 different computers and they all support Stereo Mix.

nf119 (author)talons2008-01-08

Some sound cards don't have this function. Try Wave, Wave Out or Stereo Mix (if they are in your list). Wave and Stereo Mix works for me. Basically just test everything in you list.

McElmire (author)2009-06-15

So aside from all the politics of music that's been discussed, you've gone into pretty good details other than the cord used. Where did you get it and what is it called?

TwistedParadox (author)2009-04-17


Anonymouth (author)2007-03-10

There's an easy way to get around all of this. You can avoid a lot of hassle by just STEALING the damn music. The S.W.A.T. team is not going to bust your door down. And don't feel guilty about hurting the artists. The fact is the artists never see a dime in royalties until they've repaid all of the money fronted to them by the record companies. The record companies have tons of little dirty tricks hidden away in their obliquely worded contracts to keep as much money as possible out of the artists' hands. Artists make their money from touring, merchandise sales and publishing (assuming they write their own songs). The label has to pay the songwriter for permission to put each song on each cd manufactured (this is works out to about $0.60 per cd - the label keeps the rest - think about that when you drop $12 or more on a cd at a music store). Music that's freely passed around helps artists by turning people on to their music without requiring access to mtv or radio play. People hear a band's music and if they like it, they go to shows to see them live. That's where the artists make their money. Stealing music hurts big acts like Madonna or U2. Therefore I take the moral stand not to steal their horrible music. So there you go. Don't feel sorry for the big 3. Find good music and support the bands directly.

pyromanizak (author)Anonymouth2008-05-14

thats not someone very smart to post on a public website. but still that is true

jimtran93 (author)pyromanizak2009-01-14

dude, #@%$ being smart -_- u have to admit, tons of people do it.. and it is now made easier because of iTunes removing the security thing on songs....

That's a very good argument for artists adopting a new distribution model. It isn't a good argument for stealing music. But I entirely agree with the spirit of your post, that it is better to support bands directly than to support a corporate middleman that keeps the lion's share of the profit.

like radio head you can get it for free and if you like radio head enough you can buy it. that way if your a real fan and support them you will purchase there tracks. and well they have sold a couple mil so that says something.

Aeshir (author)Anonymouth2007-03-10

Bravo mate! I look forward to my next Limewire spree!

reine (author)2008-06-29

another topic....and the same: a part from some rare, expensive, and ultra speciallised software running only on windows(R) (and some windowsPC based games), you REALLY don't need that lame operating system any more! Try a UBUNTU GNU/Linux system: even Photoshop for windows can now run on linux with the last version of WINE(v.1.01), included in the distrib. then you won't look for softs for this, for that. Lame(i mean the MP3 one!), audacity, running natively, double fast at least, and all the tools you can dream off. I read: .mov, .mp3, .oog(much better), .wmv, etc...EVERYTHING!, even things under DRM. And, not to forget: Audacity, Firefox, OpenOffice, VLC(reads everything), creative commons, and so on, were NOT created by MICROsomething, they were ported to winwin$oft, to help you, abused people, to test what is freedom in your computing uses (you LEGALLY own free software). hoping you will see the light , you won't be decieved. Keep on trucking, Reine from f.....g France.(scuse, english not perfect!).

jonathan95123 (author)2008-06-09

vista is best for this because you can mute system sounds and others... rak is right just get a program to download it... im using firefox with downloadhelper, works great

raykholo (author)2008-05-15

nice and simple way to get free music: download it-- from or also does music videos, but you cant download directly... so, get the new realplayer that allows you to "download video" from any website. this is how i got a lot of spongebob episodes on my laptop (different site though) it saves as an flv file. you can convert to avi or mpg with "Pazera Free FLV to Avi Converter 1.1" find it by googling it

icanryme2002 (author)2007-03-07

the windows sound recorder limits at 30 second and audacity limits at something like 700 hours then you can't convert what you record to MP3 without LAME.

Aeshir (author)icanryme20022007-03-10

Sound recorder records for 60 seconds. Lol.

smithy813 (author)Aeshir2008-05-14

it's still to short, for anything really.

atars (author)2007-03-09

For those who believe stiling music is soo bad: The problem is that greedy Millionaire artists keep wanting to squeeze every penny out of the people that to begin with put food on the table. Should there be a limit (at least in your conscious) when you say i have made enough money! i got everything i need & want and for a while I'm not going to care if some people "borrows" my music,movies,etc.; just for the simple fact that I'm so dam talented and like it when people admires my work....." I guess these people in conjunction with the government have the last word; and some of us live in fear, believing we are some type of criminals and that greed in any level of our society should be protested and if you found your way by stealing music good for you!...just don't get caught; those monkeys still don't understand why we do it.

Joe_6-Pack (author)atars2007-03-11

I feel that it's how you define "stealing." To me, if you have something, and I take it from you, and you no longer have it, I have stolen from you. If you have something, and I take a copy of it from you, then we both have it - that's sharing. And isn't sharing one of the core morals we learned as children? And it's not that I'm stealing money from the artists because they weren't going to have my money in the first place, so they have lost nothing. If anything, they should thank me for allowing them the opportunity to share, which is a good quality to have. It actually helps to strengthen the unwravelling moral fabric of today's society. So remember, STEALING is bad - SHARING is good. It's our duty as concerned consumers to remind the greedy millionaire artists how to share. They'll be better for it in the end.

What if what I have that you take from me is the ability to make money at my chosen profession? Maybe my music SUCKS and nobody would buy it if they heard it first. What if the only way I can afford to make music to share is to get money for it? Maybe my music relies on expensive technology (instead of talent) to produce... and I need to make money to use that technology? OK, I'm being a little facetious, but there are many sides to the issue of filesharing.

I agree, that using expensive technology does need the inflow of money to help, but... like all publicity even bad publicity is good publicity. If I copy/steal/borrow your music, and I think it's great and tell all my friends about it, you stand to have a greater chance of somebody paying for your things. I have a friend that has invested over $8000 in his recording studio equipment, and he's good, but not many people know about him. So he and I give away his music. And that has helped a bunch. The law of advertising says something along these lines (each field of advertising is different, but these are rough numbers)... If I advertise to 10,000 people, I can expect 1% to respond to that ad. So thats 100 people. Out of those 100 people, you can also expect 3-4% of them will buy something. So that again is only 4 people out of 10,000. Odds are not good, but it is a numbers game. So if you have your song P2P'd to over 1 million people, and only 1% of that visit the website/store, thats 10,000 people responding by visit to the website, or store to look at your CD. Again, about 3-4% of them will buy the album/song, so that's 300 sales. $10 a CD, $3,000 for you. So why did that happen? Because somebody borrowed/copied/stole your music. It's not justifying what some consider illegal. I have read a few reports that showed that many people who downloaded music have eventually bought that album. I for one hate the idea that I need to shell out $20 to get one song off a CD, and I don't agree that somebody who has 6 songs on a CD worth $20 should be allowed to sell one song to me for $1. That tells me your album is worth $6 and not the $20 advertised in the store. Anyways, I hope this makes sense.

Sure, stealing helps promote music. But not all music can BE sold if it is available free from someone who stole it. Sure, letting audience members freely tape and trade music helped the Grateful Dead to become hugely successful, and helped continue their popularity into the third generation of fans and on into the future... But the Grateful Dead's marketing strategy might not work for everyone. The point is that the Dead CHOSE to let (some of) their music be free. Ethically, everyone has the right to choose for themselves what do with their own property. Depriving someone of their choice is similar to extortion, robbery, theft, slavery, rape, etc... all of which are crimes that deprive the victim of their right to choose for themselves.

john12692 (author)Joe_6-Pack2007-11-02

I'm speechless (in a good way) and for me thats saying something. as "TheDarkNinja" said: "OMG that is the best definition I have read". Why can't other people see it that way?!?

TheDarkNinja (author)Joe_6-Pack2007-07-21

Quote from Joe_6-Pack ... To me, if you have something, and I take it from you, and you no longer have it, I have stolen from you. If you have something, and I take a copy of it from you, then we both have it - that's sharing. ....... And it's not that I'm stealing money from the artists because they weren't going to have my money in the first place, so they have lost nothing...... End Quote

OMG That is the best definition I have read!!!

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