Want to listen to a live recording, but don't want to risk potential problems from using a file sharing network like Kazaa or Morpheus? The Live Music Archive offers thousands of hours of free, legal music, available on demand.
The Live Music Archive is a joint effort from etree.org and The Internet Archive to preserve and archive as many live concerts as possible for current and future generations to enjoy.
All music in the Live Music Archive collection is from "trade-friendly" artists (e.g. bands like the Grateful Dead, the Cowboy Junkies and others who encourage fans to tape and swap concert recordings). The site itself is strictly noncommercial, meaning there are no charges to access, download and enjoy the music.
To avoid potential legal quagmires with the recording industry, The Live Music Archive does not allow musicians to post commercial releases on the site.
You can browse the Live Music Archive or search by keyword. What's available? Most of the music is from lesser-known or obscure bands, but there are some gems from well-known bands, as well. Here's a sample of some excellent concerts:
- Grateful Dead at the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, June 10, 1973
- Cowboy Junkies at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, July 14th, 2004
- New Riders of the Purple Sage live at the Astor Theatre, June 20th, 1976
Most of the music is available in MP3 formats, in both downloadable and streaming versions. Other formats are also available for audiophiles, including Ogg/Vorbis and Flac. The site offers a useful help with downloads page if music via computer is new to you.
The Live Music Archive is just one of several sources of free audio available via the Internet Archives. Other audio collections include Open Source Audio, Presidential Recordings, Conference Proceedings and a number of other categories.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.