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Search for MP3s with Google

Below you will discover how to search the Web for MP3s and other media files. The first segment provides you with a quick search method and the Google search bar...it does not get any easier. The secornd part goes into the mechanics of what is actually going on during the search. By studying such, you can learn how to optimize future searches. Either way, you know have a great instrument for searching the Web for media files...use you new found power ethically. Play fair and do not steal music.

Find MP3's via Google. Copy the line in bold below, and paste it into a Google search bar:

-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) "Nirvana"

Just substitute the term "Nirvana" with any band or singer you might be looking for, and your search will lead you to open indexes that contain downloadable music files. You may want to try the search without the " " for greater results. Please respect the rights of the artists and do not copy illegally.

What's the safest and fastest way to download a ton of music from a specific artist?

It seems that of all techniques used to download music, a simple Google search may be the most underrated or least common -- yet it's one of the easiest, fastest, and most reliable. You really ought to try it if you ever download music over the Internet.

Bookmark this URL: intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) - Google Search

After all, a search will certainly yield at least a moderate collection of downloadable MP3s. Sometimes you'll even find compressed RAR or ZIP files with whole albums of artists you couldn't even find CDs for at your local music store. A little practice goes a long way, so let's briefly explore this search technique.

* Note that you are downloading music and files at your own risk. We take no responsibility for your decision to download potentially illegal music and/or viruses.

The Query - How it Works
What was that URL we linked to? If you're new to the subject forget what query means or what Google is capable of doing. What we're interested in here is music. Once you click the link above you'll notice the search bar on Google will read:

intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) thievery corporation

Three distinct pieces of this URL may cause some confusion.

intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) thievery corporation

For all sites on Google, we're looking for the text index of in the title portion of the pages. This title usually indicates that the page is a directory index (or "folder index" if you prefer) that was added to Google's search index. In other words, you'll see the directories of web servers, and not the web pages that are on that page. This allows you to download any file easily and view several files at once.

Next, on the actual pages we're seeing, we look for the phrases last modified and parent directory, as well as the words description and size. This further eliminates doubt as to whether this is a directory index. For an example of a directory, see this folder on Mozilla's FTP. This was the first result when searching for intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size firefox.

The bit in parenthesis: (wma|mp3) specifies to only show pages with either MP3 or WMA files. So in theory, this query will search all sites with MP3s or WMAs in an index listing. So you're just seeing a bunch of people's music folders.

The last part of the URL is simply my search query. In this case it was thievery corporation I was searching for.

The Results
The worst part about this technique is clicking through the different sites while you try to find a valid list of files that can be downloaded. It may not work at first, but you'll find that after a few different searches and some scouring through the results, you'll be better at finding music with this technique. Don't forget to check the cached version of a page if it looks like it may have been taken down.

Warning: Many sites will try to capitalize on this by creating pages that look like indexes, but are clearly advertisements or full of junk. The best way to eliminate these pages from your results is to carefully analyze the authenticity of an index. Does it have logos? Advertisements? Pictures? The more text and less pictures here, the better. You want an index, not a web page.

Hovering the mouse over a link indicates that the path is a link to genuine MP3 file and it may actually be here. Right click, Save As, and you've probably now got yourself a full audio file off a lightning-fast connection.

If the "index of" matches the URL's current folder name, and this is definitely a link directly to an MP3 file.

Sometimes you'll find whole CDs in these index listings as RAR or ZIP files, so keep your eyes peeled for these especially. You could even alter your search query to use the phrase (ZIP|RAR) instead to only look for archives.

The search technique in this article has several perks over many other methods for finding music to download:
- Maximum anonymity. Most of these sites are from random servers all over the world, and administrators are probably not even aware the music is on the server or accessible to the public.
- Fast. Most of the indexes will have a very fast connection speed since you're using a leechable HTTP server or FTP.
- Portable. You won't need to install any programs or configure a router, which makes this the ideal technique for some workplaces or when you're not at home.

Make it Even Easier, Maybe
There are sites (like this one) that automate this process with queries of their own, but you may find that Google works just fine. It may be handy to either keep this query handy: intitle:"index of" +"last modified" +"parent directory" +description +size +(wma|mp3) *perhaps through memorization* or just bookmark the results page and refine the search as needed.

Another site worth checking is The Hype Machine which puts the music in a player so you can stream it and listen on-the-fly.

This post was inspired by this story, which has more tips on this subject. Thanks for reading.

If you liked this article, you may like this one, explaining how to get music from a Myspace page onto your computer, a CD, or an iPod.


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