While you could use any number of MP3 music files on your computer, these run the risk of running into allegations of copyright infringement. YouTube has an AudioSwap feature that you can use after the fact, swapping out the audio track from your video to something that has been pre-licensed for use on YouTube, but this also strips your video of any other audio you may have as part of your clip. If you’re mixing music with the “real” audio track from your video clip, AudioSwap is far from ideal.
In this way, how can you go about having some decent music playing in the background of your videos while avoiding copyright infringement and the less than desirable AudioSwap feature? Well, you’ll need to get some royalty-free music or free license music. Where can you find that?
With a little bit of research on my part, I found Free Music Archive. Let me preface this by saying that this post is in no way sponsored by that website and I am truly speaking from my own experience. I just think that it’s a great (free) online resource.
Hosted on the Free Music Archive is a huge library of royalty-free music spanning just about every musical genre that you would want. For the purposes of my Calgary Stampede highlights video, I looked up a track from the country music collection. Searchable by genre, the library also includes electronic, hip hop, jazz, historic, rock, soul, and spoken word, among others.
You won’t find anything by Kanye West or U2 on the site, of course, but there is still quite a range of tunes for you to consider.
Navigating through the site, you can preview the song from within your web browser and, if you like it, you can hit the download button along the right side of the table. The lists can be sorted by artist, track name, album, or genre, though you probably won’t be familiar with any of the artists.
It’ll take some trial and error to find the kind of music you want, but the price is right. Free music is free music and it’s all 100% legal. There are no worries about the DMCA or copyright violations.
The Free Music Archive may not be completely necessary if you’re looking for some tunes to improve productivity, but it’s a fantastic resource for podcasters, videographers, and other people who need royalty-free music.