Friday, June 27, 2008

How to find & download hard-to-find music

How many versions of the song 'Blue Moon' have you heard of in your life? A few at least, I'm sure. After being asked from a friend to find them a particular cover of that song from the mid 1950's, and who didn't know who covered it, I decided to write up this tutorial.

Knowledge is power and knowing a few tricks makes this all a breeze. I want to share with you all a couple ways of going about finding hard-to-find, if not impossible to find, music. BTW, the legality of downloading music online without paying for it always seems to be a grey area for discussion, but if you can't find a song on iTunes or at HMV, what then?

Okay, the easiest way to find a particular song quickly and easily online is to visit..

Seriously, type in the song you are looking for into YouTube and be surprised by how many videos are using that song for accompanying audio. What then? Check out:

Just copy and paste the address from the youtube video into their website and out pops JUST the MP3 audio! Now, I admit the audio quality may not be fantastic, but beggars shouldn't be choosers. I just told my friend how to do this, he quickly found the cover of the song he wanted on Youtube, and had himself the MP3 file in minutes. ....Steve saves the day yet again.

But what about BRAND NEW music on a local band's website that isn't released yet? Maybe they let you listen to it on their site, via some online flash player, but they don't let you download it. Who knows why, but you want to download their songs. ..How?
The below method isn't as easy and isn't guaranteed to work.

  1. Okay, first visit their website. ie:

  2. Go to the page that is playing the music. ie:

  3. Right click and select from the pop-up menu, "View Source"

  4. A bunch of code should now appear in a text editor. Search (Control-F) for ".swf"

  5. There may be more than one result, but among all the choices make you best guess at which one controls the music or just do the next step for all of them. A good chance it's the right one is if the full text result is "bandsname mp3.swf". "Menu.swf" likely isn't.

  6. Test it out by modifying the following " mp3.swf" and copy it into your browser's address bar. You should hear music or see a play button appear.

  7. Again, in your browser's address bar at the top of the screen, modify and then enter the following: " mp3.xml" You'll notice we simply changed the file extension from .swf to .xml

  8. If all goes well, you should have MORE computer code appear on your screen. If you get an error, retrace your steps, try a different .swf file name in the page, or you may need to be a bit clever to continue on your own.

  9. Among all the code, do a search again (Control-F) for ".mp3". If you find anything, you win!

  10. Copy the entire contents of the text string you found, ie: "bandsname mp3_files/01 songs name.mp3" back into the address bar with the band's website address if one is not specified. ie:

  11. This should download the song for you! If you want to list what other songs they have in the directory for download, try the following: "". You can then just click on any file to download it if it all works out for you.

Okay, so I hope that all was a bit interesting for you. I don't promise it will work for all web pages or bands, but the basic idea there will work for many of them. No, I won't provide you with any band sites that this hack might work on,.. but I will suggest to you a band that does have great music--- c0ndu1t


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