As you probably know, you are cannot use music freely in your movies or a podcast for that matter. You must gain permission to use other people’s material and often this will also cost you money. There are of course alternatives, but to put get a grip on different licensing rules or finding good free music, takes time. Therefore I have tried to gather some links, to make things easier for you.
So without further ado, a list of royalty free music
The Vimeo Music Store is a brilliant tool to use when in search for music for your videos. Although there are several free items available via the Creative Commons, there are actually a few songs that you can pay for either personal use ($1.99) or for commercial use ($98). The Vimeo Music Store is a nice consolidated catalog of music from all genres, and the best part about it is that each song on the store is available to use for your videos. This way, you do not have to do as much digging. However, you will have to lurk around if you want to findfree royalty free songs, and it’s a little harder if you want to use them commercially without paying a dime.
I recently discovered the beauty of SoundCloud, and the fact is this – they have an entire section of their site devoted to the Creative Commons. What does that mean for you? Well, my friend, it means there is a ton of music out there waiting on you to use it in a personal project. SoundCloud also offers quite a bit of search classifications, so you can find songs with CC licenses that allow for commercial use or without the share alike option. It seems like a good deal to me, and I’ve been using their music for quite a few projects lately.
The Vimeo Music Store pulls some of their music from the Free Music Archive, but I decided to go ahead and throw it in as a separate entity for a couple of reasons. One, it seems like the Vimeo Music Store doesn’t include all of the songs on here, for it constantly updates. Two, it also seems like there is some differing information between the sites.
For instance, I used a song that I got from the Vimeo Music store for free, and on their site, it said I could only use it for noncommercial purposes. However, when I saw it on the Free Music Archive, it said I could use it for commercial purposes with attribution. Either way, both are excellent sources of music, and I would recommend this site for sure. Granted, I cannot guarantee everything on this site will be available for you to use.
We couldn’t have this article without mentioning Kevin MacLeod, the mastermind behind Incompetech. MacLeod’s website offers quite a bit of music for your royalty free needs, and it is absolutely fantastic. He does offer a PayPal donation system (as does AudioNautix, actually), so if you feel the need to support him, you can do so. However, his music is great for whatever you need, and there is nothing else I can really say except that you should go give it a listen.
After submitting my answer to MUO answers (which included the Vimeo Music Store), I went back to see if anybody else had brought anything to the table. Fortunately, someone did, and that was MUO reader ha14, who suggested AudioNautix, another site for royalty free music. The site offers everything including tracks for cinematic works and documentaries, but what i really liked about it was simply how easy it was to understand the usage rights of this music. You can pretty much use it for anything, so… go do that. Right now.
Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public domain) music… Put simply, our mission is to set music free.
Public Domain 4 U has music available for download from before 1922 that is now in the public domain.
This huge database of songs is always my first stop when I’m looking for music for a podcast or video. There is so much music, categorized into dozens of specific genres, that I collect song after song in my playlist. It’s hard to know when to stop. Then I go back and pick the one that best fits the project.
The music is published under a Creative Commons license. You can use the music for free with after signing up for a free producer’s account with the site. They only ask that you give the musician credit and a link.
Podsafe Audio has a large selection of free downloads. They’re categorized into 25 genres, such as big band, hip hop, religious, and world — so there is a wide variety of musical styles.
My only criticism of the interface is that you can’t play music clips online. You have to download each song to listen to it. If you’re browsing through dozens or hundreds of melodies looking for the right one for your podcast, downloading each one can add a lot to the time.
Find open-source, out-of-copyright and Creative Commons music at this site of the Internet Archive that might be just what you’re looking for. The site has converted a collection of music from 78 rpm records and even the cylinders that preceded disks to computer files and has even taken the noise out of many of them. There are many genres to choose from and a usable interface.
Flashkit offers more than 7,000 royalty-free music loops. The site has different levels of rights: freeware, linkware, shareware. The license type is listed in the author information. In my random sampling, I didn’t hear any physical instruments, only electronic tones, and the site has a search box but no categories, so finding the right sound may take longer than at some of the other places.
Free-Loops offers more than 7,000 musicians’ loops, including many drum beats and various instruments. The interface is easy to navigate, and you can play the loop on the site to find out if you like it or not. You can download them one by one for free or pay $9.95 to download all 7,000. Looperman offers a very usable interface, with musicians’ loops categorized by musical genre, instrument, and beats per minute. It even has sound effects. The loops are free, but you have to sign up for a free membership to download.
Looperman offers a very usable interface, with musicians’ loops categorized by musical genre, instrument, and beats per minute. It even has sound effects. The loops are free, but you have to sign up for a free membership to download.