Free MP3 audio files for octagenerians?

OK, so for reasons I can’t entirely explain, on Sunday night I got the idea that MP3 players would be the perfect gift for my parents. But an MP3 player isn’t much good without MP3s, is it?

They’re both able to navigate the Web and manage files on their computers, so I’d like to bookmark a couple of download sites for them. But they don’t like modern music, don’t like paying for stuff, and definitely don’t like sites with complicated interfaces, small print, or personal questions to answer.

Downloads should be in a format that can go directly to the MP3 player. If they have to convert or unzip anything, forget it.

Mom likes humor of the inoffensive, non-threatening variety, and stories of old ladies who travel and/or solve crimes. Dad likes… well, mostly I’m hoping he’ll be entertained by having a new gadget to play with.

Any suggestions?

This website has lots of free old time radio shows available for download. You might want to throw them a bone and donate a little bit. has tons of free audio, including “old time radio.”

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of free podcasts on iTunes (and elsewhere on the 'net). It wouldn’t be hard for you to sit down one day with the folks and iTunes and subscribe them to podcasts that they are interested in.

Indeed, old time radio sounds like a good choice. There’s plenty of it out there in mp3 format (in the public domain), from various sources including those garygnu and ZipperJJ linked to. is one source of free audiobooks that they could download and listen to. (Here are a few that one Doper particularly recommended.)

God bless you; you are a better son than I’ll ever be. The thought of trying to explain how an mp3 player works to my octogenarian parents scares the bejeesus out of me! It’s all I can do to talk them through downloading an email attachment over the phone…TRM

Thanks for the great suggestions! I foresee some old-time radio and audiobooks in my own future, as well.

I find a little intimidating for casual browsing. It’s great if you already know what you’re looking for.

I’ve had iTunes for years but I never realized there was all that free stuff in the store. “Store” to me means a place you pay for stuff. I hope it’s possible to install it without giving them payment information, because that could be a sticking point.

More like it was late at night, a few days before Christmas, the price was right, and it was something I thought they might enjoy but would never buy on their own. I didn’t really think through all the ramifications.

We can do that now?:eek:

The best converstion program I have seen is dbPowerAmp. It’s not free but it so simple and it has one of the best CD rippers out there.

I mean there are excellent CD rippers like Exact Audio Copy (EAC) that are free and just as good, but dbPowerAmp is very easy to use.

If you want to convert a file just right click on the file and choose what format you want.

It’s possible. I download podcasts all the time but I’ve never given them my credit card.

The Free Music Archive is worth having a look at. It has an exceptionally clear and user friendly interface, and a range of musical genres.

Well, that was a failure. I’d hoped that the player would sync up with iTunes. (From the help files: “You can connect any iPod or a third-party digital music player to your computer and then sync it with songs from your iTunes library.” Well, it doesn’t say “every third-party digital music player.”

OK, I can show them how easy it is to click on a link in Firefox and save a file to… huh? Why doesn’t the stupid thing show up on the drop-down list?

It shows up in Windows Explorer, so I’ll just show them how to drag and… where do Firefox downloads go again? Oh, there they are. Now where are the iTunes downloads? Jeez, they’re in another state, virtually speaking. Now we just have to drop them in the… Oh, great, I can’t drop anything directly into the device’s root directory, I have to open another folder. Now, where did those downloads go?

Well, at least you can use it as a flash drive. Oh, right, you already have more flash drives than you know what to do with. Did I mention it has an FM tuner? No, not AM, just FM.

Voice notes! You can record voice notes! Right. Just like the cell phone feature that no one ever uses.