With all my gift budget tapped, I tried to save some cashola by searching the (extremely picked through) Christmas music offerings at the library. Bad call.
Instead I’m turning to Magnatune, the brainchild of John Buckman and "the first real internet-era record label." (USA Todays’ words, not ours.) Basically, they actually share profits with their artists, and at the same time, offer listeners streaming music along with free and totally legal music for the taking. You’ve probably never heard of most of it, so don’t expect the White Stripes, but there’s a pretty nice variety.
In the spirit of the holidays they’re offering free downloads of a Christmas compilation album that’s perfect soothing background music. It features Magnatune’s top artists like Kitka, which is the women’s vocal group you might recognize from Putamayo Kids’sgreat world music albums. But make sure to click around for other great holiday finds. There’s sure to be something for everyone. And the best part is that using this site will not result in a stocking full of coal. -Kristen