I'm honored to take part in Phlow's year-end list-making tradition - it's a very cool and important project for the future of netaudio culture. As 2009 comes to a close, we have more free music at our fingertips than ever before, which is mostly good but it also means it's still easy for good music to get lost in the shuffle. Thankfully there are some amazingly attuned digi-crate diggers out there - like the Phlow Magazine team - who are determined to uncover every single mp3 gemstone the world wide web has to offer.

WFMU 91.1-FM founded the Free Music Archive with a similar curatorial mission - to extend radio's promise of "free public access to curated audio" into the digital era. Since our beta-launch in April, the Free Music Archive has become a platform for esteemed curators of all stripes - not just radio stations but also venues, festivals, magazines, museums, arts organizations, historical projects, and some of the world's finest positive curatorial forces in netaudio (shout-outs to Phlow, BlocSonic, Creative Commons, Weirdo Music / WM Recordings, Cash Music, Free Albums Galore, Oddio Overplay). In less than a year, the FMA library has tripled in size to include nearly 15,000 songs. And - as our homepage says - "it's not just free music; it's good music".

In other words, it was extremely difficult to pick just five highlights out of so many thousands! In fact, if you'd've asked me this morning, or after I had a chance to dig through all the other fantastic recommendations in this series, I probably would've had a completely different list. Anyway, here are just a few of the many things that I personally loved this year, not representative of the tastes of the FMA as a whole, but if you want thousands more check out freemusicarchive.org or follow Free Music Archive Twitter.

Jason Sigal/Managing Director of the Free Music Archive at WFMU