Apple Quietly Cancels its Free Download of the Week Promo

After an impressive 11-year run, Apple has seemingly canceled this promotion — but fear not, there are other free music alternatives!
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Apple headlines are hard to ignore, but Cupertino's latest move may have flown under the radar for most consumers. As MacRumors reports, Apple has quietly ended its Single of the Week promotion, which has been offering a free song download every week since its inception in 2004.

The promotion has become a topic of discussion in Apple's forums, and although there's been no official announcement from Apple, users have noticed there hasn't been a free single since the start of the new year. Moreover, one user claims than an Apple employee confirmed the end of the music promo.

Earlier this week, Apple was promoting an iTunes Radio stream of The Decemberists' new album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. The album, which is currently on pre-order for a January 20 release, was available for streaming in its entirety for free. While it's unclear if this will be Apple's new modus operandi, it does fit in with the company's rumored strategy, which is to make a big push for its streaming services.

Other Free Music Options

If you're a die-hard music fan who wants free music, you shouldn't worry too much about this development. There are still many (legal) outlets for free music downloads.

  • NoiseTrade: Launched in 2006, all music on NoiseTrade is free in exchange for your name, email address, and postal code. Listeners can tip the artists (musicians receive 80% of your tip) or share albums they like on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.

  • PureVolume: PureVolume is a community where artists and their fans can interact directly. Part streaming platform, part music news site, not all songs available on PureVolume are free to download, but artists do have the option to make their tracks available for free.

  • Amazon: Although Amazon doesn't have a weekly single they promote, finding free tunes on Amazon is as simple as performing a search. Moreover, the Seattle-based retailer is known for its aggressive promotions in which full albums sell for $5 or less. Prime members can also enjoy free streams via Prime music.

There are also the other streaming music options like Spotify, Pandora, and the like, and some stores, like Starbucks, will offer free selections on a regular basis.

Deal hunters can also take comfort in knowing that Apple's App of the Week is still in tact. This week the free app is Marvel Pinball. Nevertheless, now that Apple's MP3 download of the week has come to an end, what will be your backup options for discovering new music? Let us know below.

Louis Ramirez
Contributing Writer

With over a decade of experience covering technology, Louis Ramirez has written for CNET, Laptop, Gizmodo, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @louisramirez.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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The way I get free music legally is to use Streamripper with Winamp. Just tune in to my favorite internet radio station and start ripping. "Recording" music from internet streams is equivalent to recording TV with a DVR which had been found to be legal for personal use. A common problem is that it may not separate the tracks exactly at the beginning. I minimize this problem by sorting tracks by time recorded and then use MP3tag to rename them with a track number at the start of the name. If you record to CD, burn without gaps. I'll set it up before I go to bed & have hours of music by the morning!