The digital landscape is changing. I’ve already mentioned before how the web is shaping businesses forever, music is no different. Creating a multimedia piece online is relatively easy now, with the rise of Youtube videos, and sites such as Qik and Animoto, make publishing multimedia content even easier. One of the problems many digital creatives face, is music licensing. If you want to use / share someone else’s music, you have to be careful.
Hopefully this compilation of free open source and creative commons licensed music will help you to find the tunes you need to compliment your project – and who knows maybe it will help to propel the artist(s) to stardom. Please read the license before you use the stuff listed here. An attribution license may not let you use something commercially – or if you are going to profit from it. Large artists are starting to go down that route, Nine inch nails and more recently Portishead after freeing from their record label (page 2 of their Myspace blog) have started looking towards creative commons licensing models.
Archive.org Open Source Audio
Opsound is a gift economy in action, an experiment in applying the model of free software to music. Musicians and sound artists are invited to add their work to the Opsound pool using a copyleft license developed by Creative Commons. Listeners are invited to download, share, remix, and reimagine.
Brad Sucks is the name of a one man band. All MP3’s are available for free download and can be mashed up and used in youtube videos / animations etc.
Employing the same strategy as Brad Sucks, Josh Woodward offers free albums licensed under Creative Commons.
Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts
ccMixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.
An electronic music community that offers Creative Commons-licensed tracks from genres like IDM, drum ‘n’ bass, and ambient.
This site currently has 19 pieces of music dedicated to the Public Domain, contributed by 1 composer.
SoundClick offers a search engine interface to find creative commons mp3’s.
I’m a big fan of the Magnatune approach to music distribution. Their offering allows you to use music in your project, whilst it is being created, then once you create something commercial, you can move to a commercial license.
http://www.freesound.org/ – Freesound focusses only on sound, not songs, which separates it from the crowd.
This is only scratching the surface. There are plenty of brilliant artists out there using creative commons licensing, now at least we have some great sites emerging online to find them. If you offer you music open source, stick a link in the comments for me, and I’ll get you added in here.