Dig for hard-to-find tunes
Obscure music buffs and fans of free streaming content will be glad to know that an Internet program still exists to satisfy their needs. Soulseek offers a bevy of music and other files for free download.
If LimeWire had wings
Soulseek harkens back to the heady days of Napster, Kazaa, and Limewire, when peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) was all the rageSince 1999, it’s provided a safe space for fans of unique, obscure, and hard-to-find music to share their passion and interact.
Logging on to Soulseek is like being thrown back in time. The interface is basic, but charming. Community is a strong component of Soulseek, so make sure you share files and don’t just leech off of others.
The program may seem a bit quirky at first, but once you play around with it, it’s easy to find those pre-war songs, new underground tracks, or self-released albums from nearly unknown bands that never went anywhere. You can find what you want by entering the 'Search' tab and double click on the result you want to begin downloading. The 'Transfers' tab shows you the status of all current uploads and downloads.
The slightly tricky part occurs when you see something you want that is grayed out. These are configuration issues - usually related to your router or firewall - and are Soulseek’s least charming quality. There are many ways to correct the problem but it is an extra step.
Where can you run this program?
It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Is there a better alternative?
No. For fans of obscure and niche music, Soulseek is your best option. But if you are curious, other P2P programs worth checking out include aMule and WireShare.
Soulseek offers a unique service for sharing non-mainstream content. Add to this the fact that it is free to use and ad-free and it is basically an Internet unicorn.
Should you download it?
Yes, if you love music that is hard to locate and don't mind the idea of subverting the mainstream music industry. If you are more of a Taylor Swift fan (aka easily accessible music) or don't feel comfortable independently sharing files, then this is not the program for you.
- Free to use
- Ad-free and spyware-free
- Compatible with various OSs
- Ability to ban individual users from downloading your files
- Strong user community
- Mainly used to share music
- Comes with bloatware
- Graphics are old-fashioned
- May not be legal in every country