Review: Find and play free music with Freemake Music Box

Find free music online with this free tool.

Like similar tools, Freemake Music Box is supposed to search the Internet for free music, but unlike many of them, it actually works fairly well. It doesn't tell you where the tunes are coming from, though some obviously came from YouTube (skips, scratches, and spinning-record videos are dead giveaways) while others seem to be sourced from Internet radio. It finds plenty of duplicates, but it also found obscure tracks. Some results were mislabeled, though that might not be the program's fault. Tunes often took time to load and play in Freemake Music Box, and rapidly previewing results to find a particular version crashed the program at one point. But it finds and plays all kinds of files, including higher-quality formats like FLAC that sounded quite good through hi-fi headphones.

Freemake Music Box's user interface has touches of Apple's style in its white tones and rounded corners. In truth, we didn't expect it to find much, so we started with a fairly obscure (but hardly unknown) artist as a good test. Freemake didn't disappoint, though. The first song sounded better than expected, too. Encouraged, we tried something harder...or so we thought. Freemake easily found twice as many results. It was a search for some corny old tunes that turned up the YouTube recordings. We never did find a couple of songs, though, despite seemingly good search results. There's no Log or Help file, apparently. On the whole, though, Freemake Music Box did a pretty good job.

We've tried similar tools that couldn't find anything but links to more software, but Freemake Music Box worked better than expected. Granted, the bar is low, and music lovers have many other sources for free tunes, including some "radio" sites with vast libraries and high-quality playback. And we'd like to know a little more about where Freemake Music Box's tunes come from. But it's definitely worth a try if you've struck out with other tools to find a specific song or artist.

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