Finding music for your videos

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We are often asked the question:  Where can I find music that I can legally use in my video or podcast? That isn’t horrible? On a budget of zero dollars or next to zero dollars?

Here are some options.

Get to know what you already have access to

Adobe Audition, for which there is a site licence at UQ comes with a library of tracks which can be used royalty free.  It is available online here.

Search for public domain content

Tracks found in are often marked public domain are yours to do with as you please.  Prepare to spend some time trawling as the content is diverse in both genre and quality.

Get to know Creative Commons

The Creative Commons licences allow use of a work with stated conditions like attribution for the artist and whether commercial use is permitted.  The Creative Commons Legal Music for Video page has a great list of resources.  Jamendo is a popular source of Creative Commons and commercial audio.

YouTube Audio Library

Youtube has a library of music aimed at youtube video producers.  Some can be used in youtube projects only, but some lists as Creative Commons.

There is a copyright free sharing channel on youtube.  You would need to double check any licence requirements, and that you are dealing with the actual owner of the music.

Pay for music


You can hire session musicians who can compose and record tracks for you.

There are plenty of musicians on fiverr who will record something for you for small change.  No guarantees here, but some vendors have a long history of good feedback.

You can hire a Czech orchestra!


Buy a licence to use the music for single, multiple or unlimited projects. Check the fine print, as there may be restrictions on the audience size for a particular rate.

MaPS use SonicFire and SmartSound for their commercial and school based video projects.

Shutterstock offer tracks at $49 each

Audiojungle have tracks at USD$9-19

PAY Royalties

Negotiate a licence to use a track in your work through a licencing agency like APRA.  This can involve paying recurring licence fees dependant on how much music you use, the category of your use and how much ‘territory’ your broadcasted work reaches.  There can be a requirement to provide reports of usage so they can distribute funds equitably to the copyright holders.

Get creative

Maybe you have time to put something together yourself?  Or maybe you have a musical friend who could help?  A simple single instrument track could be just right for your project, and all you need to do is turn up with an audio recorder and a pizza.

Tools like garageband can give you excellent results if you are prepared to invest some time, even if you aren’t an experienced music maker.  The loop library in garage band has sounds which you could use on their own in some situations.

There are plenty of apps you could experiment with on your phone or tablet which could suit some projects.  There is an online application called audiotool which might work for you.

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