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Audio,  Video Editing Tips

Katie’s Top Ten Resources for Finding Music for Videos

We so cute

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.

My tutorial music I bought from here

10. Incompetech.com


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



  • 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.

Now I have the theme song to Captain Planet in my head...

9. Purple Planet


  • 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


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

If you listen closely, you'll here some of these in my videos and in my clients'

8. Bensound


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


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

Pond5. Pond5. Pond5. Pond5. Pond5.

7. Pond 5


  • 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


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

Audio Jungle. Audio Jungle. Audio Jungle. Audio Jungle.

6. Audio Jungle


  • 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


  • Still costs money ($1-$100)

You can get A Thousand Years on here!

5. Song Freedom


  • 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!


  • 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

I actually haven't been in here for awhile

4. Facebook Sound Collection


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


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

Once you've been around these music sites for a while, you come to recognize the songs everywhere

3. Youtube Audio Library


  • 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


  • 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

The Pirate Pool Movie has a bunch of my handmade Garage Band songs... at least we didn't have to pay for them...

2. Garage Band


  • 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)


  • 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)

Personally my fav

1. Soundstripe


  • 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


  • 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!


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