Audio,  Video Editing Tips

Katie’s Top Ten Resources for Finding Music for Videos

So you make a cool video and you pop in your favorite song and try to upload it to Youtube… only for it to be BLOCKED. Because Youtube has determined that the content you used does not belong to you. Aaaaand because you used your favorite song that you don’t own nor have any ties to, you cannot dispute this claim and thus your video remains unseen. *sad face*. OR! You make a pretty cool video, but it’s also a little boring because there is NO music in it. Sound familiar?

If you had wanted to keep your favorite song in your video and do so legally, you would have had to have paid to license it. And according to wikipedia, “Licensing a well-known piece of popular music could cost anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the prominence of the performer(s).” (let’s face it, we ALL use wikipedia as a source)

What do we do instead? We use “Royalty-free”! also called”stock” music. And, because of the way and with whom it’s made – it can be used on a large scale by many people in many projects for low or no cost – yay!

Clarifying here before we go further, just because they are called “royalty-free” doesn’t mean they are “free-free”.

Now, where does one find “Royalty-free stock music”?

Here are the sources I use, my favorites in descending order.

10. Incompetech.com

 

Pros:

  • FREEEEE (with a caveat – see below)
  • Large selection
  • New songs added periodically

  

Cons:

  • You have to attribute the music in your credits to Kevin MacLeod which looks something like this: “8bit Dungeon Boss”
    Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/     Unless of course you want to pay for a Standard License and you don’t have to use attribution. The song I play for my Tuesday Tutorials is a standard license from Incompetech.com
  • I hear these songs EVERYWHERE. This is a common source of music and if you like a song, someone else has probably already used it in something. Which might be fine – we cannot consume the millions (billions?) of hours of media out there but, of all the music sites, I hear the most overlap with songs from here.
  • They are… well… not so much my style? Not bad but, of all the sites, I like the feel of these songs the least – even if I have some nostalgia about Incompetech because I was given this resource in college for my videos.

 

 

9. Purple Planet

Pros:

  • These songs are SO good!
  • Also free!
  • Note: for all the paid ones (which, you CAN buy these as well) you don’t have to give attribution

Cons:

  • Make sure you attribute their music to them or pay for the rights
  • Not updated regularly

 

8. Bensound

Pros:

  • Gosh I love these songs too
  • Some are free
  • New songs added

Cons:

  • A lot are “pay for”
  • The free ones you’ll hear around (like Incompetech.com)

 

7. Pond 5

Pros:

  • Lots of options
  • Good stuff
  • New stuff added
  • You can download tracks to play with and see if they’ll work in your video – they’ll just have a recording over them
  • Options for membership if you use a lot

Cons:

  • Still costs money ($20-$100)
  • Membership still $200/ month although it includes additional resources like stock video, effects and images

 

6. Audio Jungle

Pros:

  • Lots of options
  • Ability to hone your search (ie – you can search something with no sales so you can be pretty sure no one’s using that one yet)
  • New stuff added
  • You can download tracks to play with and see if they’ll work in your video – they’ll just have a recording over them
  • Good songs

Cons:

  • Still costs money ($1-$100)

 

5. Song Freedom

Pros:

  • THEY HAVE POPULAR STUFF (“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, Stuff by Nick Jonas, Imagine Dragons, Ariana Grande etc)
  • It won’t cost you 10,000-100,000 dollars!

Cons:

  • It still will cost you at least (720) to buy the yearly membership that they require
  • And $10 for every additional popular song you’d like to download and license

 

4. Facebook Sound Collection

Pros:

  • FREE
  • You don’t have to give attribution!

Cons:

  • I don’t think they update the music on here

 

3. Youtube Audio Library

Pros:

  • FREE
  • Many you don’t HAVE to attribute! (This is nice because I don’t usually do credits in my videos and like the sleek feel of not having to do a slide for music)
  • Updated regularly
  • Better than Incompetech songs

Cons:

  • You will have to SCOUR for something you like and to use
  • Because this is Youtube and easily accesible, you might run into others with your same music although I haven’t noticed it yet

 

2. Garage Band

Pros:

  • Create songs you can be sure NO ONE else will use
  • Full control of the song’s length, vibe, sound, build etc
  • Since these songs are yours, you shouldn’t have ANY problem contesting the content (if there were a need)

Cons:

  • Learning curve
  • You WILL recognize some of the loops in other songs
  • Need a mac (and I’m not sure if there’s a Windows equivalent)

 

1. Soundstripe

Pros:

  • The music is MWAH! Wonderful! My friend recently shared this with me and I am a convert.
  • They have a membership option
  • The price is VERY reasonable- $15 a MONTH- It’s worth it if you even only license just ONE song a month
  • Ability to create playlists with songs you like because (see below) you cannot willy nilly download songs

Cons:

  • There IS a price
  • You must type the project name and download the song multiple times with multiple licenses for multiple projects (but they address this saying it’s how their artists get properly paid – so the inconvenience is worth it)

 

Do you have any favorites I didn’t mention? Let me know!

Stay inspired, everyone!

 

Katie

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