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Digital Audio Collections Guide

Below is a guide of university licensed and freely available quality digital (mostly streaming) audio online resources.

Table of Contents:

Licensed Streaming Audio Collections
These are amazing collections of streaming audio collections the UMN Libraries have licensed. These collections are restricted to University affiliates (requiring .x500 for off campus access).
  • American Song Authentication Required
    American Song is a history database that contains ~12,00 tracks that allow people to hear and feel the music from America's past. The database includes songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys. Included in the database are the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more. This release includes 763 albums, equaling 12,542 tracks.
  • Classical Music Library Authentication Required
    Classical Music Library is an extensive collection of recordings with a supplementary reference database that users may search and listen to music delivered to their desktop. Classical Music Library is cross-referenced to a database of supplementary information and features fully licensed recordings, thousands of program notes and composer biographies, advanced searching, and hundreds of recommended play lists themed by genres.
  • World Music Authentication Required
    Contains 50,000 tracks from genres such as reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres such as traditional music - Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more.
  • Database of Recorded American Music Authentication Required
    The Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM) is a collaboration between New World Records and New York University. DRAM facilitates research in American music by offering on-demand access to audio-streaming files of complete works by American composers. The 7,500 compositions currently in DRAM are drawn from the catalogues of the New World, CRI, Albany, innova, Cedille, XI, Pogus, Deep Listening, and Mutable record labels. Ranging from folk to opera, native American to jazz, 19th-century "classical" to early rock, and musical theater to contemporary, electronic, and more, DRAM's goal is to make available for educational use and scholarly research the widest possible spectrum of recorded American music.

    Alongside the high-quality music streams, complete liner notes, scholarly essays, bibliographies, and discographies are available for viewing on the Database. Playlists can be created by faculty to address specific curriculum needs.
  • Jazz Music Library Authentication Required
    Jazz Music Library includes such major labels as Verve, Impulse, Jazzology, Black Swan, Circle Records, Paramount, Concord, Fantasy, Milestone, Monterey Jazz Festival Records, Original Jazz Classics, Pablo, Peak, Prestige, Riverside, Stretch Records, and Original Jazz Classics.* The list of artists ranges from Buddy Guy, Charlie Parker, Chuck Mangione, Dinah Washington, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Grover Washington, Jr., Les Paul, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, and Peggy Lee, to Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Billie Holliday, Thelonius Monk, Tony Bennett, and many others.
  • Naxos Music Library Authentication Required
    The Naxos Music Library is an online collection of recorded music in streaming audio-- primarily classical music, plus smaller collections of world music and jazz.
  • Naxos Music Library Jazz Authentication Required
    Naxos Music Library Jazz is one of the most comprehensive collection of Jazz music available online. It offers close to 22,600* tracks of jazz from over 2,300* albums. Over 500* jazz artists are represented. You will need to download the FreeHand Solero viewer at http://freehandmusic.com/DoDownloadViewer.aspx Note: Firefox 2.x not currently supported.
  • Smithsonian Global Sounds Authentication Required
    Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries, produced in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, is a virtual encyclopedia of the world's musical and aural traditions. The collection provides educators, students, and interested listeners with an unprecedented variety of online resources that support the creation, continuity, and preservation of diverse musical forms.
Open Audio Collection Websites
Below is a guide of quality, freely accessible, collections of online audio.*
  • American Memory Audio
    Online audio collections from the Library of Congress' American Memory project. From Thomas Alva Edison's first cylinder recordings to oral histories about September 11, 2001, these recordings document the American experience.
  • ccMixter
    A community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.
  • Freesound Project
    The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of downloadable Creative Commons licensed sounds. Freesound focuses only on sound, not songs.
  • Internet Archive Audio
    This site contains over a hundred thousand free digital recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these files are available for free download. This resource is NOT UW restricted.
  • LibriVox
    LibriVox provides free audiobooks from the public domain. There are several options for listening. The first step is to get the mp3 or ogg files into your own computer.
  • Mashable
    This is a list of 10 online resources for free legal music. The resources connect to a range of indie, alternative, up and coming artists, and eclectic styles. Each site provides access to free mp3 downloads, with artist bios and reviews.
  • National Jukebox
    The National Jukebox debuts featuring more than 10,000 78rpm disc sides issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1900 and 1925. Access is free and open to all.
  • Sound Learning
    Sound Learning is a curated collection of Minnesota Public Radio audio content designed to support teaching and learning. Subject areas include History, World Religions, Economics & Finance, Language Arts and Science & Health.


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