SoundCloud and YouTube bookmarking are great ways to listen to free music without illegally downloading it. YouTube, it turns out, contains more than just videos: The site is also full of music. Not all the music is properly licensed, but a majority of it is legit and ready to use.
However, your Playlist on YouTube isn’t so great for music playback, so you might do what many users do and just bookmark the page. To do that, just drag the page into your browser (for example, Chrome). To listen to it later, just open Chrome (or whatever browser you’re using), click, and play. This is much easier than opening Chrome, opening YouTube, opening your Playlist, and on-and-on.
Besides bookmarking, a SoundCloud account is handy. You don’t need one to listen to tracks, but it’s recommended if you want to expand your ears to more music. Plus, SoundCloud has the highest quality MP3s, so if good sound is important to you, SoundCloud is the way to go. But, as with YouTube, it’s not the greatest for organized playback, so once again, you should bookmark the page.
How to Find Free Music on YouTube and SoundCloud
Find a track, either from Pandora or Spotify — or from memory — and Google it. Make sure you include full name of artist and accompanying artists and the full name of the track (example: Pet Shop Boys — Vocal). The first result on the page will usually be the music video. Then you will probably see “audio-only” versions below (almost all of them will be from YouTube). Below those will be the SoundCloud results.
If very little shows up, do a Video search (click Videos in the Google header) and you should see some results. Then, play some of the versions. Obviously any “official” release will have the best sound quality, but outside releases can have optimal sound as well, so do some clicking and playing (make sure to find a track that is playable in 720p or higher).
Advantages and Disadvantages of YouTube Bookmarking and SoundCloud Tracks
The biggest disadvantage is that YouTube sometimes deletes tracks. So does SoundCloud. Plus, the rarity of a track often corresponds with the likelihood of finding only poor-quality versions of the track.
But the advantages are readily apparent: This is a free music library you can control. You do the “digging,” as they say in DJ culture, and this opens up a lot more music for you to stream.