Dirk Metzmacher November 19th, 2013

Thou Shalt Not Steal: Free Music for Your Videos and Websites

Photos, videos, music - all these types of content come with strings attached. There are legions of lawyers just waiting for you to make that tiny mistake. So, if you are looking for multimedia content to use in your own projects, you cannot be too careful. That's why we constantly scour the web for sources of free content. Today, we want to introduce you to a variety of services for free music. Don't be afraid. We're not talking about borderline content such as Midi tootling. In the following article you'll find high-grade contemporary music. Promised...


Website: https://pixabay.com/music/ Pixabay is a great resource to download free content for your creative works. Previously, you can only download images from this site, but recently, Pixabay released a new feature that allows its users to download royalty-free music. Music collections on Pixabay are well-arranged. Users can filter songs by categories such as genre, mood, and movement. Each music file can be previewed before you download it. Pixabay itself adopts a CC0-like license, allowing you to use the content you downloaded from its site for any purpose, including commercial without crediting the author.


Website: incompetech.com Genre: Blues, classic, disco, jazz, latin, pop, reggae, rock, soundtrack, world License: Creative Commons License Features: No-attribution-license, if you pay Getting to speed with Incompetech is easy. The service shows its genres to the left. If you know your musical taste, results are at your fingertips. If you are looking for music to express a certain mood, Incompetech has you covered, too. Are you looking for something aggressive, mystical, uplifting? They call it feel, and they support a plethora of them. Incompetech searches by mood are not restrictable to a genre. freie-musik19 Search results are presented in list form. You can preview the title from there or initiate the download directly. Without the need for registration mp3s will land on your local drive. Now copy the "credits" and you're good to go. freie-musik20


Website: dig.ccmixter.org Genre: Electronic, classic, pop License: Creative Commons Attribution Features: Quite a few songs with lyrics dig.ccmixter.org is the search-engine part of ccMixter. Look for “Podsafe Music” or “Free Music for Commercial Projects”. The top of the list will be populated with the most recent entries for immediate preview or download. Or you choose to see additional information first. freie-musik1 The best part here is, that you are not only able to use the title as is. Instead you could change tracks, remix the piece or exchange areas with other content. Searching can be done by use-case. freie-musik2


Website: freemusicarchive.org Genre: Electronic, pop, rock License: Creative Commons License Features: Sortable by mood and license The website freemusicarchive.org comes with a separate area with music for videos. Here we could sift through the most recent highlights or filter the contents by mood. We could search by genre, length or even tempo. Make sure to check the license as it will vary. freie-musik3 The player is neat. Once started it doesn't stop even though you might be continuing your search throughout the service. Simply click the Plus to detach the player from the website. Downloads come as mp3 files to your local drive. freie-musik4


Website: mobygratis.com Genre: Electronic, techno License: Free via an „Online Application System“ Features: These are handmade by Moby himself Who doesn't know Moby? What you might not have known is, that Moby offers large parts of his portfolio as soundtracks for non-commercial film projects. You can search his works by album, instrument, temnpo, mood or genre. freie-musik5 To get started, you need to register an account. On registration you are supposed to name the titles you intend to use and what you intend to use them for. This is not a very convenient way of getting your hands on professional music, but hey, Moby is a star. You should be grateful, that he is nice enough to even make that free offer. freie-musik6


Website: musopen.org Genre: Classic License: Public Domain Features: Not for Easy Listening, this is serious music This service is for the serious among us. Sift through the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin or Schubert. Clicking on „Music Recordings“ reveals a long list of composers, interpreters, instruments and eras to start with. You'll refine the search in later steps. freie-musik7 Downloading is simple. You can concentrate on individual parts of the tracks, if you are on the lookout for the real deal, seriously... freie-musik8


Website: audiofarm.org Genre: Rock, hip hop, dance, electro, blues License: Creative Commons Features: Game sounds The Audiofarm concentrates on whole albums. Clicking on one of the many genres results in a list of albums. Click on one and the player will immediately start playing the first track. From there we could create our own playlists across several albums or simply download the title or use the embed-code. freie-musik9 If you are more into free searching, simply make sure to change the filter from „All Audio“ to "CC Audio". You are bound to discover some real cool rap tracks as well as high-grade songs. Information on licenses is given directly beside the player. freie-musik10


Website: beatpick.com Genre: Blues, Classic, electro, pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, punk, soul License: Depends on your intended use-case Features: Research service Beatpick is on e of the larger services, sortable by genre, mood, language, instruments. You can even choose whether the song shall be sung by a male or female voice or not at all. "Sounds like" lets you search for music resembling your favorite musician. "Song Topics" lets you select music by topic covered. freie-musik11 Clicking „License Song“ brings up a list of possible use-cases. Depending on whether you want to use the tracks for a game, a film or a non-commercial project, licenses and costs differ. freie-musik12


Website: opsound.org Genre: Blues, electro, disco, rock, pop, classic, game sounds License: Creative Commons Attribution Features: 8Bit music This one is an example for the heck of a minimalistic website. Click on „genres“ or „artists“ and choose from a plethora of results. Tracks can be downloaded as WAV-files. freie-musik15 The whole archive is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. This means you can freely use, even remix or sell the tracks. The downside is, that this service completely lacks a search function. You'll need to dig in manually to find the pearls - with random success. freie-musik16 (Translation from German: dpe)

Dirk Metzmacher

Dirk Metzmacher is a professional Photoshop trainer, book author and designed with over 10 years of experience. He is also a creative mind behind Photoshop Weblog, a blog about techniques, tutorials and resources related to Adobe Photoshop.


  1. As long as I know you can always use 15 seconds of any track for free ;)
    I dont think you really need more then that on the website.

    U just find nice tune cut best 15 sec and put in on lope ;P

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