We've tested and ranked all the best free music downloaders so you can find the right one for you.
There are some real advantages to downloading music rather than streaming. First of all, you can choose which music player to use, like iTunes, MusicBee or VLC. Second, you have more control over your music collection: subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music constantly add and remove songs, which means your favourites can disappear overnight. Finally, it’s easy to back up your music library or share music files with friends.
With a wide range of free music downloaders available, choosing the right one will depend on your needs. For example, if you prefer torrents, the right software should ensure lightning-fast and ultra secure downloads.
Other programs let you download music directly from YouTube or SoundCloud. We’ve tested and ranked the best programs out there so you can focus on expanding your library and enjoying your music.
Be sure to only download music that you’ve already purchased or that’s freely available online.
You might also be interested in our guide to the best YouTube to MP3 converters, which are designed specifically for the video hosting site.
The best free music downloaders at a glance
The best music downloader available right now is:
Audials One 2020
Audials One isn't free, but it's the most comprehensive music downloader we've tried. It takes you back to the good old days of recording songs from the radio; just specify a track you want, and it will scan online radio stations and 'record' it live when it's played. Audials One also serves as a hub for all your digital streaming services (music and video) and can even download from YouTube.
1. Any Video Converter Free
A music downloader for saving tracks from YouTube
Operating system: Windows, macOS
There are a number of programs that let you download music from YouTube, SoundCloud or Facebook, but very few support as many sources as Any Video Converter. In fact, the software lets you paste a link from any of over 100 popular video, music, and social media sites to quickly download content to your computer.
Any Video Converter supports downloading high-def files up to 4K and even includes a basic editor for clipping and merging audio or video files. The software also supports native ID3 tag editing, so you can organize your music files according to artist, album and genre. Finally, Any Video Converter can output audio to MP3, AC3, OGC, WMA, M4A and many more, allowing you to choose your preferred file type.
With an easy-to-use and intuitive interface, a huge range of supported sites like YouTube and SoundCloud, and multiple output formats, Any Video Converter will help you keep your music collection growing and fresh.
Read our full Any Video Converter Free review
2. SCD 2
A music downloader specifically made for SoundCloud
Operating system: macOS
SCD 2 is a SoundCloud downloader for Mac with a straight-forward user interface and a number of advantages over the competition.
First, you can download up to five songs at a time, which means less time waiting around for new music. Next, if you have a SoundCloud account, you can configure SCD 2 to automatically download your favourite songs. And don’t worry about new favorites, they'll get added automatically. Finally, you can download entire sets or playlists in one go – just paste the URL and the download starts.
SCD 2 also has an integrated browser, so you can find all your music, manage your SoundCloud collection, and download MP3 files all from one place. If you prefer to visit SoundCloud in another browser, an add-on allows for one-click downloading. Finally, an accurate progress bar lets you keep track of multiple downloads, and integrated notifications will let you know when your music is ready.
Download music quickly and easily with this free torrent client
Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Vuze may not have the simplest user interface among torrent clients, but it’s one of the most powerful and makes an excellent music downloader. The app’s developer made sure to include all the features you’d expect from a torrent client, like magnet link support, bandwidth limiting, and IP filtering. Plus, by choosing between beginner, intermediate and advanced interfaces, you can show or hide advanced features like proxy usage and per-file peer filtering.
Vuze also has a number of traits that help it to stand out. First, it supports RSS subscriptions and will automatically download new torrents as they’re added to a feed. Next, the Vuze Remote web app lets you manage your downloads from any computer or smartphone. Finally, a metasearch will take any query and run it through a database of popular torrent sites. Add to that a robust rating and comments system, and you’re sure to find the song you’re looking for.
Once users get used to the wide range of features, Vuze is sure to become their go-to program for downloading new music.
Read our full Vuze review
Another torrent client that makes a great music downloader
Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux
For those looking for a simpler and more streamlined torrent client, qBittorrent has everything you need to download torrents quickly and securely, and nothing you don’t. It’s completely free, with no ads or hidden fees, and 100% open-source. When it comes to exchanging files online, this transparency can give you some extra piece of mind.
There are a number of handy features here for finding and downloading music. For example, the search feature supports user-made plugins to expand its capabilities and search the most popular torrent sites. This also means you can stay away from pirate sites, which certain ISPs monitor. Like Vuze, qBittorrent also lets you manage your downloads remotely by setting up a WebUI. You’ll need to select a port and enter your IP address each time you want to connect.
qBittorrent is great for beginners or users looking for a simple interface without any bells and whistles, and is free of pesky advertising.
Read our full qBittorrent review
An old-school peer-to-peer client that searches multiple sources
Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
FrostWire combines two powerful methods for downloading new music: peer-to-peer (P2P) torrent sharing, and cloud-based downloads. FrostWire is a fork, or off-shoot, of LimeWire, created after the latter imposed stricter sharing protocols for audio files. Since that time, it has gone through numerous evolutions, and several useful features have been added.
An easy-to-use search bar connects you to a large P2P network of users sharing content as well as cloud-based sources like SoundCloud and Archive.org. Once you have your search results, you can check you’re getting the right file by streaming directly from the cloud source or by previewing torrents before they finish. Plus, you can easily navigate the file directory of any torrent and select which audio files to download, saving you both bandwidth and disk space.
A built-in media library and player makes managing, growing, and enjoying your music collection a breeze. For users looking to leverage both torrent and cloud-based downloads, this is the program for you.
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