The South-by-Southwest (SXSW) festivals and conferences kick off at the end of next week and that means it's free-music time. Every year, artists appearing at SXSW offer a track for free public consumption and this year brings the largest collection of music so far--over 5GB of MP3s (1,045 tracks at last count and more are reportedly on the way). If you'd like to sample some of this music while sitting at your computer, check out the SXSW '09 Music Player found on this web page. If you'd like it all, visit the (Unofficial) SXSW 2009 Torrent page. Currently there are two torrents running, made up, respectively, of 519 and 534 tracks. According to information on this page, more tracks are on the way so keep your eyes peeled.
SXSW has been offering these floods of music since 2005. If you've missed out, travel to Greg Hewgill's SXSW Showcasing Music Torrents page, where you can find links to torrents for the collections from 2005 -- 2009.
If this whole torrent business elicits a "Say what!?" download a copy of Transmission, a free and easy-to-use Macintosh BitTorrent client
More? Okay. I have a Sonos Multi-Room Music System that, coupled with the Rhapsody music subscription service, has completely changed the way I listen to music (and changed it in the best possible way). The folks at Sonos like to send up a flare via Twitter whenever they run across a great (or, better yet, free) deal on music--the idea being that this music would be terrific on a Sonos, but anyone with a computer can enjoy it. For this reason, those of you using Twitter may want to follow @Sonos.
Music jones still not satisfied? Last June, Webupon published Music Rule 2: Top 45 Music Websites That Deliver The Greatest Free Music. It's a great list that includes not only such usual suspects as Pandora, Last.fm, and the Live Music Archive, but a host of sites you've likely never heard of.
This story, "This Year's Free SXSW Music Flood" was originally published by Macworld.