Video Soundtrack Music for Free

I’ve been thinking about making some instructional videos for my other site for a while now. Video technical issues aside, I know I don’t want to talk on it if it can at all be avoided. I don’t know how many tries it takes for you to record a simple voice mail greeting, but the last one I did needed more than 5 attempts. In any case, I don’t like the sound of my own voice, especially on recordings. So… silent? Silent would be OK, but a little background music would be better.

I could simply break copyright and use something out of my personal music library. It’s already sitting on my computer’s hard drive for loading onto my cell phone/mp3 player. Simplicity itself to accomplish and the likelihood of being caught, vanishingly small… But, it’s cleaner and less stressful morally to do things legally. Harder though. Where to find the music?

Being a minor copyright geek, I am well aware of the Creative Commons and their work to help creators license their work in a clear, user-friendly fashion. So, I thought I would start there. Going to their site and bringing up their search page brings you to Jamendo, a free-ish music “community”. Their music is all free for personal use (so, you can download and play it without concern). A lot of it is also free for inclusion in other projects, as long as that project is also released for free (share alike). That wasn’t what I was after however since I would eventually like to sell my work as a product. It may never come to that, it may always be small bits and pieces here and there posted online for free, but there is this other possibility and I would like to keep that open. So, share alike was not what I wanted either. What I wanted was “by attribution”. I wanted to give credit to the creator, but no money. 8) It’s not that I’m against paying a fair price for things I want to use, but even at these presumably low prices, if I start generating dozens of 30 second to 10 minute long videos the cost can mount up quite quickly. Plus there’s that licensing period thing which I don’t want to have to deal with.

Jamendo has “by attribution” music, but I could not find any way to search for that particular characteristic. So, instead of engaging in what might be a brute force search, I decided to “ask” Google with this search string: “instrumental music by attribution commercial use creative commons”. With the very first hit being http://www.stonewashed.net/free-music.html, a directory for finding other collections of free music.

First up was http://www.pacdv.com/sounds/free-music.html, a site mostly about sound effects, but also has some very nice instrumental music. I couldn’t find any information about a particular person/creator. The instructions say to give attribution to the web site. OK, as you wish.

Incompetech is Kevin Macleod who composes for free when he is not custom composing music for a fee. Interesting and a sizable collection to chose from.

Dan O appears to be a web designer for a living and makes music for love. There’s both instrumental music and songs with vocals there. The collection is relatively small at the moment, but it looks like he plans to post new material weekly so…

A link on Kevin’s site lead to http://www.freepd.com/, a site that seems to be mostly Kevin and few other friends.

So, now I’m all set with nifty music I didn’t have to pay for and a clear conscience as well. Maybe someday when my instructional DVDs sell like hotcakes, I can commission one of these talented composers to make some music just for me. 8)