For those dipping their toes into making videos or putting together a podcast, one of the biggest challenges has always been where to find quality music to use that is free for you to use.
You can’t just post anything!
Youtube has been on top of flagging music in videos for almost a decade – any popular music is immediately flagged, rendering all of your hard work useless. Now Facebook is catching up. Facebook video is still a sort of “wild west” when it comes to social sharing, but you can no longer expect a blank slate to post whatever you want.
So where do you get free music?
I have three places I go for music I can use in my videos. These places all have music that is completely free, just be sure to pay attention to the copyright information for each track to know how to credit the artist.
The Free Music Archive has been around for years, and has a massive library of music from artists all over the world, in every style you could possible need. Pay attention to the licences for each track you want to use, as there are several different types, and there are virtually no tracks on this site that you can use without giving credit to the artist. Take a look at their very handy licence guide here to know what you are downloading. Some tracks you can remix, some tracks can’t be used commercially. To avoid potential trouble, always follow the licence provided in the tracks you are using.
Knowing that creators struggle to find quality music, Youtube has put together an amazingly useful library of music that you can use for any project. As far as licencing goes, it is much more simple than what Free Music Archive offers. You simply have to check each track to see if there is a little Creative Commons icon in the track you are downloading. Any track with the icon requires that you give credit to the artist. Anything without one can be used any way you like!
This site is a massive list of all songs currently under the Public Domain in the US. Any song published before 1922 is considered in the Public Domain and free to use as you like with no restrictions. It takes a little more effort to pull the audio for music, as the site does not contain the audio itself, it is just a list of songs you can use for your project. In some instances, a song can be written in 1894, and performed by someone later on – you may not have the rights to use their recording of that song, so you have to be a little careful when your audio was recorded. Still, this is an unbelievably awesome resource for anyone who can use old music in their videos (and there is some really great stuff from before 1922)
So go dig around! Make a new folder for your music library, leave some room on your hard drive and collect some stuff that will help make your video or podcast that much better, without worrying that you are breaking some sort of copyright law.