Royalty Free Music – What Every Media Producer Needs to Know

It’s now easier than ever for us to make our own ‘media’, whether it’s on Myspace, Facebook or Twitter, a podcast, a website, even making movies or TV shows is now relatively simple, with digital cameras cheaper than ever, and video editing easy to do on almost any computer. More and more people are making their own productions, and they want to use music as part of them. While music has never been easier to find with download stores all over the web, using this music legally in your own productions can be a minefield – and expensive if you get it wrong! There is a quick, easy alternative that’s used by everyone from home moviemakers to major broadcasters, it’s called Royalty Free Music.

So what is it? The easiest way to understand it is to look at the problems it is designed to help you avoid. As a media maker, using music without the correct licensing can be a risky strategy, landing the unwary producer in legal trouble for copyright infringement, with all the hassle and expense that involves. Let’s say you’re making a video production (a sales video, a YouTube video, TV show – it doesn’t really matter), and you want to include a famous song as part of your soundtrack. You need to obtain permissions from the songwriter and recording owners (or their publishers), and doing this can cost a lot of time and money. You will also probably have to pay “per use”, which means if the song is in your soundtrack 3 times you pay 3 fees, if your Video gets shown 3 times on TV you pay 3 fees for that as well. Royalty Free music is a way around this by providing music that’s “pre-licensed” for you to use in your media productions as often as you want, without paying more fees.

Is Royalty Free Music good enough? A quick internet search will show you plenty of websites with music available to use. They range from small one-person businesses to large corporations, and the music quality varies among them. However, many of them are great quality, with music written and performed by established music industry professionals who also write and perform on chart songs, major movie scores and so on. You’ll easily find superb quality music, so it pays to look around and have a listen to what’s on offer. Many sites offer Hi-Fi quality previews of their music, often of the full length tracks, so it’s easy to hear the music in Hi-Fi quality and make a choice.

Most sites will have an easy way to search their music by style, speed, genre, making it easy to find the right music for you. Then it’s simply a question of paying a small one-time license fee, and downloading the high quality mp3 or wav file. Most of the license terms on the various sites are broadly similar, but be sure to spend a moment reading the license terms to make sure they are right for your project.

Royalty Free Music is a quick and easy way to add high quality music to almost any media production. The simple licensing gives you the reassurance that you are free from legal worries. It’s widely used by media producers of all types, including web designers, independent media producers, also by national TV broadcasters and major Hollywood movie companies. Licensing music this way is inexpensive, but the days of ‘stock music’ sounding cheap are long gone, and a quick search is bound to find you some stunning soundtracks!

iPod Music Downloads – Free or Cheap Download Is Better?

iPod music downloads are available to music lovers either for free or at a cost. It can be perplexing to users as to why some sites could offer music downloads for free while some charges a fee. Let’s dwell a little deeper into the world of online iPod music and find out whether it is better to download free music or pay for your iPod music downloads.

When talking about free iPod music downloads, we are referring to downloading music files directly from sources such as Kazaa or LimeWire. These sites are essentially file sharing networks or what we term as peer-to-peer (P2P) networks where the music files are shared.

Now, there are some concerns associated with downloading free music from these networks. One potential problem could be the legality of the iPod music downloads. There could be instances where copyrighted music is uploaded and shared. This is in direct violation of copyright laws. Users could be toeing the line when downloading these copyrighted music files. While this may be true, there are millions of files that are uploaded by amateur musicians and singers who use these sites as a platform to share their music and songs and to launch their careers. These files are completely legal to download. In fact, talent scouting folks do scour these sites in search of the next Big Thing.

There are a host of other shortcomings you may have to deal with if you are considering if you should get some iPod music downloads from these specific sites. The security and protection from attacks of adware, spyware and viruses, or rather the lack of it when downloading the iPod music files is a cause for concern. The downloading speeds could be incredibly slow and the audio quality of the songs and music can be exceptionally poor. Some users have also complained that the songs are incomplete. You wouldn’t want to trade your precious time to download such iPod music that isn’t worth listening to. So it seems that there is some truth in the saying, “There aren’t any Free Lunch in this world.”

On the flipside of the industry is another group of iPod music downloads sites that have recently emerged. These sites offer users memberships to access millions of music and music video download files. It’s not free definitely, but you would be surprised to know that the price of lifetime memberships costs lesser than what you would be paying for a full-length music video DVD at some stores. Word has spread among the online music community that the problems discussed earlier about downloading iPod music files are non-existent at these download sites. It makes sense now why increasing numbers of people are turning to these sites to satisfy their iPod music hunger. Learn more at my blog about which are the iPod music sites that are fast gaining status as top sites for iPod music downloads.

The content of this article is provided for the purpose of education and illustration only and is in no way associated with Apple, iTune, or any company or subsidiary of Apple. This article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog or website. The author’s name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

Finding Royalty Free Music For A Movie Soundtrack

I admit when I looked into using royalty free music for my movie I was a little confused. I thought royalty free music was totally free. The more I studied up on it the more I began to understand that it is and it isn’t in a way.

One way to ensure the music for your movie soundtrack is royalty free is to create it in-house. There are more and more independent filmmakers that score their own movies using programs like Apple’s GarageBand that allows users to create their own original music. This removes any chance of your movie being hit with copyright infringement over music because this is your own original music you’ve created.

If you’re a person that doesn’t feel you have a single musical bone in your body to work with a program to create your own music there are filmmaker friendly websites that allow you to download free original music to use in your movie. Sonnyboo.com is one of these cool sites.

As of the writing of this post all that Sonnyboo.com requires is that a filmmaker credits the songwriter and the music used. That is not asking too much in return for being able to use royalty free music. I did not end up using the free downloads, but I respect filmmaker Peter John Ross for providing music downloads gratis to other filmmakers.

Next I checked out some companies on the Internet selling royalty free music in all types of genres from rock & roll to world beat for very affordable prices. One company I purchased music from that I recommend is StudioCutz Music Library (www.studiocutz.com). They have high quality music in a wide variety of styles.

I have purchased royalty free music in the past that was used in the reality video series America’s Wildest Bachelor Parties. They are easy to work with. This comes directly from their website:

“Each music library license will vary to a certain degree, however, as a general rule royalty free music simply means that you have purchased a “lifetime synchronization license” for a given song or group of songs. In other words, you have the right to synchronize the music with your audio and/or video productions an unlimited number of times without incurring any additional expense.”

You can type “royalty free music” into a search engine to find companies that provide music. Many of these companies offer the choice of purchasing one song or an entire CD. I listened to tracks, but none of them felt right for the Consignment soundtrack.

It’s funny that there I was being so damn choosy over music when I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on tracks. I had dreams of a soundtrack to rival a Quentin Tarantino movie, but did not have his production budget. At the end Slice of Americana Films was able to secure a hot original soundtrack that the budget could afford.

It took a few favors to make it happen, but that’s the way it has to come together when you’re making indie movies without a safety net. You have to rely on good people around you that believe in your project. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing CUE MUSIC: