Working with Royalty Free Music

When creating Multi-Media Content, Flash or Video Clips for a client’s web site or CD Rom Project, the last thing you want is to get him in trouble with the law. If there’s a need for music in a project, using royalty free music is essential.

Here are some general music tips that you may find useful:

1) Finding the right kind of music

There are hundreds of choices when it comes to royalty free music and making the right decision can be hard. After all, most TV production companies have music supervisors on staff whose only job it is to select appropriate music for projects. Selecting music is an art in itself. In general, you will find that your clients would prefer to use something they heard on the radio, something from their favorite album etc. Unfortunately, that’s copyrighted stuff and licensing an N Sync song for your next ‘how to’ video or CD-Rom may cost you a fortune. What you want to do is find buyout music that sounds similar to today’s popular music. It’s a little harder to find than your typical ‘canned’ music. A lot royalty free music may sound like music from a 70’s sitcom or worse, a cheap porno flick.

A good place to check out is http://www.buyoutmusictracks.com All their tracks are created by established record producers with grammy and gold record credits so you get music that sounds as up-to-date as what you may hear on the radio.

Our tip: Always use music that sounds just a little more energetic than you think you may need. You may listen to the music over and over while you’re putting together your project while the end user may only hear it a few times.

2) Less is not more in production music

When you are looking for background music for a project, choose music with some impact. I know it is supposed to be background music but if you choose high energy tracks, your whole project will leave more of an impression. Listen to a sampling of today’s TV commercials and you’ll find that most of them use very powerful music. You want your work to create an impact and keep viewer’s attention and a strong, powerful soundtrack can do that.

3) When ‘legal’ music is not legal

The usage license on your buyout music CD may be very liberal but it is not a license to steal. You can use royalty free music on all of your projects and as you have the legal right to use the music, your customers can be assured not to get into legal troubles.

However, that license is only extended to you, the purchaser. You cannot transfer that license by copying your CD and giving it to somebody else or by selling the CD. This may be news to you but there’s no such thing as a ‘used buyout music CD’ If you don’t purchase the music from the producers of the music, it won’t be legal still. So, next time you browse eBay for royalty free music, make sure you are buying a new CD, not a used one or it will be useless to you.

4) You get what you pay for

While we’re on the topic of Ebay: You may find offers for entire 4 or 6 CD libraries for $75 or other ridiculously low prices on Ebay. The truth is, these CDs may not even be worth that low price.

One good quality royalty free music CD will cost you between $29 and $69 (some even more) If it’s less than that, here’s what you are likely to get:

  1. Discontinued titles that have been around for 10, 20 or more and not only sound dated but may also have already found its way unto hundreds or thousands of other projects during the years to make your own project sound dated.
  2. Homegrown CDs that are created in somebody’s bedroom studio. You can easily recognize these CDs as they usually don’t have any ‘real’ instruments on it, only synthesized stuff. You can clearly hear the difference between those CDs and something produced in a real studio with real musicians. Our tip: Check out http://www.buyoutmusictracks.com for music. Each of their CDs is only $29.95 and each title contains between 30 and 48 real studio recorded tracks.

5) CD or Download?

With the event of high speed internet, you don’t really have to wait anymore to receive your Royalty Free Music CD in the mail. If you need tracks fast, you can now download buyout music from the net. You can choose only the tracks you need and get to use them within minutes. Single downloadable tracks usually cost a little more money per track than buying a whole CD. On the other hand, you don’t have to buy a whole CD if you only need one or two tracks.

My advice, if you are buying music to ‘keep on the shelf’ for future projects and for your customers to choose from, buy physical CDs. If you need just one or two ‘perfect’ tracks or if you are on a deadline, downloadable purchases may be perfect for you. I don’t know if I have to mention it, but purchasing a Mariah Carey track from Itunes or Napster for a buck does not entitle you to use the music. You have to download your music from a buyout music company so the track is licensed to you.

6) Make your own

You may think, ‘are you crazy? I’m not a musician’ You don’t have to be a music genius anymore these days. Programs like Acid and Apple’s Garageband allow you to create original music by using ‘loops’ Loops are pre-made musical chunks of drums, bass, guitar, strings, whatever, that you can put together like a mosaic to create your own music soundtrack.

The advantage is clear. By creating your own music with a loops program you can make absolutely sure that nobody else is using the exact same music on their project. This will give you ‘original’ music at Buyout Music Prices. All you need is a good musical ear and a couple of loops CDs to get you started. You can find lots of loops CDs and more info at http://www.acidmusicloops.com Their Groove Construction Kits are a great way to get started with music loops. And here’s the best news, you can download the Acid program for free. Just visit http://www.musicleads.net/articles/freestuff.html for free (and legal) downloads of Acid, Protools and many other great music and sound tools.

I hope that these tips were useful to you. You are free to use or re-print this article in your newsletter, ezine, or on your web site.

Free Music Downloading Sites For iPod – A Myth Or Reality?

To be free or not to be free, that is the question? I know this is a pun on Shakespeare, well sort of, but I couldn’t resist it! Unfortunately for music downloading sites it seems to be more of a myth than a reality. Read on to find out why!

Anyway, there’s a more accurate statement, which is “if it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t true.” And which applies to the possibility of free downloading sites. The problem is that there are free sites available but most of these, in fact, I would estimate well over 95% are “rubbish”. I can hear you ask, what you mean by rubbish? Well quite simply, you get free files, but you also get problems attached to them. These problems range from very poor quality download files and/or viruses or Trojans. Hopefully, you haven’t had the misfortune of having downloaded a virus into your PC from one of these sites as take it from me, they can be incredibly difficult to remove (but that’s another article.)!

I think its wise to define here what a free site means iin the context of sourcing music for your iPod.

A free download site will allow you to access files being shared over a user network and accessed from a portal that is controlled by a third-party. Unfortunately, these third parties often utilise the naivete of “surfers” looking to take advantage of “freebies” to download at best adware and at worst malware. However there are times when little jewels of portal sites can be found although these are as rare as hens teeth.

To be honest, music downloading sites that are free are really a myth. You are really going to be hard pressed to find a site of any decent quality that provides the music you want, no viruses and fast download speed. The bottom line is that you’re going to have to pay something!

The real question should be-what are my options and how much am I going to have to pay?

Well, that entirely depends upon several things including, your budget and how much you want to download.

You have several choices initially, you can opt for the pay per download system which includes sites such as Napster and iTunes and pay $0.99 per tune. You can go for monthly subscription sites (usually $10-$15 per month). I won’t be suggesting any here because I don’t think they are good value for money, or you can go for a category of music provision site for iPods termed as an unlimited download site.

Don’t get overly excited here simply because there is a cost attached to membership of such a site. These music downloading sites will set you back at least $35-$40 so they’re not free. However, what you do get, with the reputable ones, is the site should have a wide variety of choice, clean files (no viruses), bonus conversion software, fast download speed and excellent technical support.

After much trial and error and wasted time, not to mention one nasty virus which took me a day to eradicate I finally opted for the unlimited download site category.

Top 3 Reasons For Using Royalty Free Music Backgrounds

Tired of the same old music tracks? Or are you running out of ideas on the kind of music tracks that you wish to embed into your website background? Well, fret not because help is now at hand. There are plenty of reasons for you to smile now because thanks to the help of royalty free music tracks, you will no longer have to worry about lack of ideas on choosing the best songs to embed into your websites. Time to get real and discover the top 3 reasons for using royalty free music backgrounds for websites, blogs, videos and even your MySpace profile.

Before we get the ball rolling, let’s get the meaning of royalty free music straight. Royalty free music tracks are songs that can be downloaded and used over and over again without having to worry about getting in trouble with the law. Unlike copyrighted tracks, royalty free music are tracks that can be used and embedded into your blogs and websites. You as the purchaser are entitled to tweak and edit the tracks however you wish. Do you think that the track is too long? Then shorten it. Do you think that the track is too short? Then loop it. Either way, you are just tweaking the songs such that it suits your taste. The best thing about royalty free music is that you do not need to worry if you are infringing the law. The royalty free music track is rightfully yours upon purchase!

Check out these top 3 reasons for using royalty free music as background music:

#1 – As aforementioned, these kinds of tracks are reusable tracks. As such, you can edit as many times as you want and use it on websites and blogs. Since these tracks are not copyrighted, you are able to edit it to your hearts content. This is definitely not the case for copyrighted tracks like Justin Timberlake’s latest hits. Even if you have downloaded his tracks from iTunes, you are not supposed to distribute it or use it on other media. If you download songs illegally, it just makes matters worse. Hence, for the same price as copyrighted tracks, you are able to create your own songs using royalty free music tracks.

#2 – Fear that these royalty free tracks might lack the ‘oomph’ and quality? Well, you can believe me when I say that you will be surprised that there are pretty good tracks out there that sounds as good as those songs you might have liked from the radio. In fact, they might be twice as good! This is simply because these tracks are actually composed by well-known music composers and directors. Hence, you will no longer need to doubt the quality of these royalty free music tracks.

#3 – There is an abundance of royalty free music tracks for you to choose from. This would mean that you will no longer need to worry if you are running out of ideas on what to embed as your website background music. If you are not satisfied with the track that you have, do a thorough research and grab the ones that you like. Edit them and make your own masterpiece. With over thousands of sound tracks to choose from, there is no way you are going to bump on another person’s website with the same background music as yours.

Using royalty free music tracks makes your website look and sound unique. Being the odd one out does not always have to hurt.

Get Album Artwork on iTunes

Music lovers today are iTunes lover. Known to be the most popular digital media player used for playing and organizing digital music, iTunes plays a major role in the music industry today. With iTunes, you can download music, videos, TV shows, games, ebooks, audiobooks and other applications. However, even a popular application is not without flaws. Music lovers often complain of missing album artwork on iTunes. There are still some flaws where album artworks are missing from songs and albums you downloaded. Fortunately, there are ways to get album artwork on iTunes.

The first thing you can try to get album artwork on iTunes is to do it manually. You can right-click on the song, choose get album artwork and hope that iTunes have updated their database since the last time you scanned your library. If this fails, then you would need an application that can get album artwork on iTunes and at the same time, do everything from fixing misspellings, removing duplicates, organizing genres to fixing song details. There are several applications that you can choose from to do all this. There are free ones that you can download, free trial versions and those that need to be purchase before you can download. Before you download the first application you see on your search engine, examine first what it can offer to your music library. There are many sites that offer this kind of application but can only do half of the work. So, do your research well. Ask friends and other users. Check out which application provider is the best for you.

One of the most popular and talked about application to get album artwork on iTunes is TidySongs. TidySongs is a powerful program that will be able to fix your music library the way you want it. It can fix misspelled songs and details. It is irritating to see misspelled title and artist names on your music library and TidySongs will fix all of these. Duplicate songs can also be removed using this application. Even if they have different spellings, they can be searched and fixed. While fixing your music library, TidySongs can automatically fill in missing artist name, album released year and song genre. All of these are done without you needing to type anything.

Aside from all the things mentioned about TidySongs, there is one more great advantage in using this program. That is making your music look good by using album artwork. TidySongs can automatically download high-resolution album artwork for every song in your music library. Even if you still have misspellings, missing details and duplicate songs, album artworks can be downloaded and displayed on your computer screen to make your music library fun to use and arranged the way it is supposed to be.