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Once created to be the driving force of human advancement as a method of sharing information across the globe, most people primarily use the internet for entertainment these days. Be it scrolling through social media, reading top-ten articles, or accessing content, the internet has become the go-to place for fun and enjoyment. With it being so easy to share things across the internet, many websites have evolved to offer three primary entertainment mediums for free, with those being literature, gaming, and listening to music.
There is an ocean of content out there across each of these three mediums, with so many opportunities to read, play, or listen to high-quality content for free, if you know where to look. Here, we’ll be looking at some of the more popular websites at which you can find the best free things on the web.
Finding great literature for free
Tapped-In gives the low-down on Project Gutenberg and how you can use it to read eBooks for free.
There’s nothing quite like finding an enticing book and losing yourself in the characters and the story. While the internet is teeming with informative websites that all but relay the information within non-fiction tomes, top-quality fiction can be hard to come by. Many people will go onto blogs to tell short stories or recount tales but to find a truly interesting and entertaining bit of fictional literature online, you need to dig a little deeper.
Luckily for anyone reading this article, you’re just a couple of clicks away from delving into some superb fictional writings. At Litro, our Fiction section is filled with editor’s pick stories, all of which we deem to be of great quality and very entertaining. The FlashFriday section features shorter tales for those of you who just want a quick read, while the TuesdayTales and SundayStories tend to be longer for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the work of the author.
Another great website for literature is Project Gutenberg. Focussing on older works for which the copyright has expired in the United States of America, the website is loaded with free eBooks that have been proofread and digitised by volunteers. There aren’t any fees, and you don’t even need to register, meaning that Project Gutenberg is a truly free-to-use eBook service, but small donations are appreciated.
Finding great games for free
Ninja Kiwi’s 2011 Bloons Tower Defence 5 is still one of the most popular flash games online.
As much as buyable PC game discs often provided a higher quality gaming experience (with a triple-A price tag), online browser games used to be just as entertaining and enjoyable. Easy to access with simple controls but quirky gameplay mechanics, online browser games were the go-to way of having some quick fun for many people.
Now PC gaming is dominated by game storefronts from which innovative new paid games can be purchased, but there are still remnants of top-class gaming for free online through the traditional method. One of the best online browser gaming websites is Kongregate. It gives you access to fan-favourite games like the arena combat sensation Swords and Souls as well as the ragdoll sandbox game Mutilate-a-Doll 2. For those returning to the form of free gaming, Kongregate also boasts a library of classic series like Bloons Tower Defence and Learn to Fly, with Bloons TD 5, Learn to Fly 2 and Learn to Fly 3 still sit among the top-rated games.
Those who are looking to engage in some online browser gaming but prefer even more traditional games to these video game-type titles can turn to bingo online. The classic live game has seen a resurgence online, bringing in a new audience primarily due to the offering of free bingo. The free bingo online games don’t require a deposit to play and offer bonus cash as rewards to newcomers, meaning that the free play can turn into real winnings – although there are playthrough requirements that are worth bearing in mind. To further open the door to free gaming, bingo online also offers five more free bingo rooms to those who do wish to make a deposit.
Finding great music for free
For most people, listening to great music means that you need to find a platform that offers tracks from some of the world’s most popular artists. It’s also nice to hear a unique remix or cover now and then, but for the most part, people want to hear music from bands and singers that they know and follow. So, when looking for the best places to get great music for free, you have to turn to the big-name, mainstream offerings.
Spotify is recognised as the biggest music streaming platform available, boasting over 40 million songs and a free account service. With Spotify Free, you can listen to the majority of the music library – except any new releases for up to two weeks – can use it across computers, phones, and PlayStations, and allows for mobile streaming. The sacrifice to having the free account rather than the paid Spotify Premium account is that there will be advertising breaks between songs and you don’t get access to new releases straight away or offline listening – which really helps if you have smaller data plans.
One of Spotify’s closest contenders is SoundCloud. Making its name as the home of up-and-coming acts, DJ remixes, and covers, SoundCloud needed to step into the subscription pool to make some money off of its listeners after signing with major labels Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music. The platform currently boasts over 150 million tracks its community of creators and professional musicians and is free to use. In a comparison between the free service and the premium SoundCloud Go, it was found that the adverts on the free version aren’t as aggressive as those on Spotify or YouTube, with the overall premium experience being very similar to the free version.
Many would automatically rate Spotify above SoundCloud, but due to the ocean of unique tracks, the inclusion of many big-name artists, and less aggressive advertising set-up, it’s difficult to argue that SoundCloud isn’t the better free service. Of course, both platforms offer a multitude of songs for free, so it really comes down to your own personal preference, but if you like discovering something a little new or different, SoundCloud may be the way to go.
As you can see, there are many great ways for you to enjoy high-quality literature, gaming, and music completely free of charge.