by S. Housley
Nothing really polishes a podcast more than background music or theme music. In the music world, these music segments are referred to as intros and extros. While many enjoy streaming Internet Audio and recording songs they like over the Internet, these songs cannot legally be used in a podcast.
Podsafe music refers to music specifically for podcasters. The music is licensed in such a way that podcasters can purchase a license to include the music in a podcast without incurring additional fees or expenses. In order to use traditional music that is heard on the radio in a podcast, podcasters may have to pay royalties for each time the song is played. Some music files licensed under public domain or creative commons are exempt from royalties and these songs are available for use in a podcast, but generally when searching for music to include in a podcast it is probably best to stick with music that is specifically designated as "podsafe".
Where to find Podsafe Music:
Fortunately the popularity of podcasting has spawned an industry of "podsafe" music. All podcasters need is an Internet connection, and they can have access to a variety of songs and musical clips that are deemed podsafe and available for use in podcasts.
If you want your podcast to have a distinct sound and you lack the talent to create a theme consider using Podcast Themes. Podcast Themes can create a unique musical theme for your show. Podcasters will own the rights to use the podcast theme and the podcaster will not be required to pay royalties for the themes use in podcasts.
PodSafe Audio promotes music that is licensed under Creative Commons. Musicians can upload their music to the Podsafe Audio website. Podcasters can use the music files in their podcasts, they just need to credit the musician in the podcast, for the musical clip.
Instant Music Now
Instant Music Now provides professional digital quality background theme music for purchase. Podcasters must voice over the music in intervals of 30 seconds or less. In other words podcasters cannot allow any music segments that exceed 30 seconds in length without any additional commentary.
Opuzz provides royalty free music to podcasters. Music clips can be purchased for as low as $ 2.99, there are no additional licensing fees for the use of purchased music clips.
Indie Podcasting podcasts offer a way for webcasters, broadcasters, and podcasters to find quality music content from new Independent and unsigned musicians. The promo podcasts and artist directory contain only 2 minute versions of songs, these clips can be used in podcasts but the artist should be contacted about the clips use. Those wishing to play full versions of the songs on the air or promote them in a podcast should contact Indie Podcasting for additional licensing information.
Sound Effects - Partners in Rhyme
Partners in Rhyme provides royalty free sound effects, that can be downloaded and used in multimedia projects. A note of caution however, podcasters should be aware the Partners in Rhyme website does include a disclaimer, that the sound effects are believed to be in public domain but Partners in Rhyme is not responsible for verification, meaning if you use a sound effect and it violates a copyright you will be responsible.
Neosounds provides royalty free music tracks that start at $ 6.95 per clip and sound effects are available at $ 1.65 per clip. NeoSounds complicates things a bit though; if the licensee uses the music or sound effects in public (as in podcasting), the "Licensee" is required to fill in and submit a cue sheet to a local performing rights organization (PRO). There are no additional fees associated with submission of cue sheets.
Adding music and sound effects to a podcast does not need to be difficult. There are a number of podsafe music directories that allow for podcasters to locate theme music or
sound effects to enhance their podcast. This new industry understands the complexity of licensing professional music and the majority of these repositiories provide royalty free music clips for podcasters to use in their shows. Music and show sound effects give show a professional edge and really make it difficult for listeners to discern the difference between a hobby and a studio broadcast.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio recording and editing software.