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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 Music (previously American Song & African American Song)
    http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/14753
    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
    http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/12015
    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
    http://search.alexanderstreet.com/world-music
    World Music is a Web-based resource that streams over 1.5 million audio tracks from about 130,000 albums, plus 22 videos. The content ranges from 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
    http://www.dramonline.org/
    The Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM) is a collaboration between New World Records, Composers Recordings Inc., 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. More than 4,000 albums from over 40 independent record labels and archives, documenting over 7,500 compositions from the catalogs of the New World, CRI, Albany, innova, Cedille, XI, Pogus, Deep Listening, Mutable, and other 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 (formerly Jazz Music Library)
    http://search.alexanderstreet.com/jazz-music
    Jazz (formerly Jazz Music Library) is a Web-based resource that streams over a half-million audio tracks from about 45,000 albums issued by 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
    http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/11985
    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
    http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/15121
    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.
Open Audio Collection Websites
Below is a guide of quality, freely accessible, collections of online audio.*
  • American Memory Audio
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/browse/ListSome.php?format=Sound+Recording
    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
    http://ccmixter.org/
    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
    http://www.freesound.org/
    The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of downloadable Creative Commons licensed sounds. Freesound focuses only on sound, not songs.
  • Internet Archive Audio
    http://www.archive.org/details/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
    http://librivox.org/
    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
    http://mashable.com/2011/02/06/free-legal-music/
    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
    http://www.loc.gov/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
    http://soundlearning.publicradio.org/subjects/history_civics/
    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.
  • UCSB Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
    http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/
    Wax cylinder recordings are the first commercially produced sound recordings, and UC Santa Barbara has digitized nearly 8,000 of them for your free listening pleasure.


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