How to find free MP3 files and songs on the internet

By Editorial Team

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • a computer

  • an internet connection

find free MP3 files and songs on the internet

This is a simple and effective way to find free mp3 files online using google. It's really simple, fast, and easy to understand.

All you really need to do to find free MP3 songs online is use google. Once you've built a search string that will tell google exactly what results you want to find, it's simple. I'll break down how to do that step by step. First you need to open a program where you can type some text. I'd suggest notepad. Or you can just go to right away and compile the search string there in their search box since that's where it's going to end up eventually.

The first thing you need in every search is the phrase: intitle:"index.of" This basically tells google that you only want to return pages that have the words index of in the title. Almost all index of pages do. An index of page is just an auto-generated list of files in a directory on a web server that is shown to you when there's no webpage to show. It sounds pretty technical but you've probably seen one before. See the attached screenshot for an example.

Next you need what you're actually searching for. Let's say you're looking for Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. Then you'd want to type smoke.on.the.water. The periods tell google that any character (or nothing) is acceptable in its place. You'll need this because files on the internet can't have spaces in their names so it could be called smokeonthewater or smoke-on-the-water or smoke_on_the_water. So far your string should look like intitle:"index.of" smoke.on.the.water

The search string so far

Now you need to specify the file format that you're looking for. You do this by simply putting it in parenthesis like this (mp3). You may want to search for Windows Media Audio files too since those are a really common format for songs. Do be warned though that WMA files can contain DRM and copyright protection that will prevent the file from playing on your computer. Also wave files are an old but still commonly used file format for small files like sound effects. If you want to search for multiple formats, separate them with a vertical bar (it's above the enter key on your keyboard). So now your string should look like the attached picture. Sorry I couldn't continue typing it here but the ehow website can't handle vertical bar characters.

The finished search string

And finally it's conceivable that someone may have webpages named smoke on the water so we want to tell google to ignore all results that end in webpage formats. You can do this by adding -html -htm -php -asp to the end. Those are the 4 most common filetypes for webpages online and should filter out almost all non-audio file results. The completed string should look something like the attached picture (though all on one line)

Now all you need to do is copy and paste that entire string into the search box at and hit enter. You should get some results if it's a fairly common song. Use my sample string from the previous step as an example. If you're really lazy and don't want to retype it all, it's intitle:"index.of" smoke.on.the.water (mp3wma) -html -htm -php -asp but with a vertical bar between the mp3 and the wma in the parenthesis. That search finds almost 200 results! I'll explain the results a little bit. Usually you'll get results of pages representing folders on college web servers that are for student use. Students often upload music to their personal space and google's internet crawling robot finds and records their location. Also you may find songs in directories on small websites where the owner either wanted to upload the file so they could access it from anywhere or if they actually posted the song on their site somewhere. Either way, all you need to do is right click on the mp3 file you want in the index of page and click save target as and you will download and save it to your computer. If you don't get any results, the song may not be popular enough to have been put on an exposed web server. Do make sure everything is spelled correctly and there are spaces in the correct places in the string, etc.

Besides finding free MP3 downloads, do note that this also works for video files but not as well. For example a search for intitle:"index.of" dog (avimpgwmv) -html -htm -php -asp (but with veritcal bars between formats in the parenthesis) will find a bunch of video files that have the word dog in the file name. This can be useful for finding music videos or whatever else.


you can try searching without the periods and just search for smoke on the water but that can find results from multiple files at once. It may find a song with "smoke" in the name and a song with "water" in the name but not smoke on the water for example.