Podsafe music can be found in many locations on the web including: artists web sites, mp3 blogs, open source music communities, podcast directories, netlabels, P2P networks and BitTorrent hosts. A quick search for "podsafe" in a podcast directory like PodcastAlley.com reveals a rich and diverse array of productions featuring podsafe music. Unfortunately it becomes extremely time consuming for podcasters to source available music and listen to it. Recommendations by listeners and fans play an important part in the podcast production process.
Artists, netlabels, podcasters and people writing on the web can make it easier for others to share works by using appropriate categories, keywords and tags for example: podsafe, Creative Commons, Copyleft, Open Source, etc. To see how this works take a look at these tagging tools and methods:
- Delicious Tags for File Types
- Podcast Tags
- Technorati tag:podsafe music or podsafe
Equally the embedding of meta-data in audio files should include enough descriptive information to ensure the integrity of a file. These files will end up on people’s hard drives, mobile media devices, and file sharing networks. ID3 is a tagging format for MP3s. See the following links for creating audio file metatags:
There’s a vast amount of ‘free’ legal music waiting to be discovered online and it’s impossible to list every resource. The sites I refer to here represent a tiny fraction but even so it’s clear to see the potential pool of available music podcasters can draw from. It shows there’s a strong cultural movement that is rapidly taking advantage of new media technologies and confirms podcasting’s role as an important music delivery component. This compilation aims to highlight several key areas involving podsafe music:
Sources of legal music downloads suitable for podcast productions.
Collaborative music making communities producing and sharing podcast friendly content.
Methods of music content distribution including RSS, streaming media and P2P networking.
Initiatives and innovations that disseminate, support, and harness podsafe music.
Examples of individual podcasts that show the quality of available music and presentation.
Netlabel and Indie band marketing methods and services.
The spread and development of Creative Commons and similar licenses for music.
The effect DIY music and remix culture is having on the music industry.
Access to vast amounts of free legal music to enjoy!
The following links are all sources of podsafe music at the time of writing. This may change and I advise checking all licenses before use. Some of the resources are relatively new and are still growing in terms of how much content is available. Examples of podcasts using podsafe music are included so you can enjoy the fruits of labour. Many of the sites have links to similar resources and a little searching below the surface will reveal more gems. The range of musical styles and services will hopefully provide something of interest to most people. The list of resources will be updated from time to time.
List of Podsafe Music Resources
12Rec is a German CDR and netlabel with Creative Commons licensed free music. They have an interesting selection of bands in a variety of musical styles.
15 Megs of Fame is a community where artists and bands post mp3 files of their music. Listeners can leave comments and rate the music which is free to share under a Creative Commons Music Sharing License.
Accident Hash has regular podcast shows featuring podsafe indie music.
AGNULA Libre Music is a database of music works which have been put by their authors under a license which allows free redistribution and usage. Artists may upload songs for free hosting in the database. Libre Music supports open content distribution.
Amplified podcast aims to bring attention to indie artists in any genre of music. Featured artists have links to their websites.
Association of Music Podcasting (AMP) provides support for music podcasters wishing to deliver permission-based, legal music. Members have access to music that musicians have submitted to the AMP library for inclusion in individual podcasts. There’s a good selection of member podcasts to choose from.
AudioFeeds.org indexes independent music that is freely and legally available online. Podcast feeds are shared using a Creative Commons – Music Sharing License which means you can download, copy, share, trade, distribute, and publicly perform (e.g. webcast) any of the availabe files. The service is designed help promote the use of XML Audio Feeds as a means of distribution in the Independent Music scene. All submitted content is strictly moderated and podsafe.
Big Contact offers tools to help you Find, Listen, Share, and Create Podcasts, MP3 Blogs, and Online Radio. Users can also add a streaming media player to their existing sites. The community is based around sharing music with Creative Commons licenses.
Big Sonic Recordings artists offer their music for free under Creative Commons licenses. Every artist has an online store full of merchandise that you can purchase if you wish to support them.
Black Sweater White Cat is an over-the-air radio show heard on WBCR-LP, 97.7 FM in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The show is all about copyleft music from across the internet and across the world. Music for the people, by the people, distributed by the people. This link searches for playlists hosted at the Internet Archive.
Camomille is a free music net label created by Genshi Media to promote the distribution of high quality, professional music through the use of the internet. Features idm electronics mixed with new age and emotional hip-hop and states a CC license in its terms.
CC:365 – Creative Commons Three Sixty Five a project/podcast created by Grant Robinson that highlights a CC licensed song every single day of the year.
CC Mixter is a community music sharing site featuring songs licensed under Creative Commons, where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.
CcWiki – Music Podcasts maintains a list of music podcasts featuring exclusively CC licensed music.
Comatronic is a netlabel focused on distributing quality electronic music for free under a creative commons license.
Comfort Stand is a netlabel and music community that allows sharing of tracks under Creative Commons Licenses.
Common Content is an open catalog of Creative Commons licensed content. The site has topic categories and a search engine for finding content.
CommonTunes is a community directory for freely available music. Musicians and bands can add links to their music to add it to the community. They can also upload music files for distribution via bittorrent. There’s a site search engine and content can also be browsed using tags.
Copacetix Creative Commons Licensed Music provides original short pieces of music that that are suitable for use in podcasts. The pieces are created in various themed styles and distributed in MP3 format, royalty free.
Craig’s Music where unsigned artists and bands can gain exposure by uploading songs to be featured in the regular podcast shows. A useful resource for finding acts although copyrights need to be clarified.
Creative Collective is an artist’s collective site, where you can interact with music in any way you want. Feel free to share your work, built upon other peoples work, express your opinions, make suggestions, and upload/download files according to a Creative Commons Licence.
Creative Commons Audio features artists, tools, netlabels, and works supporting CC music.
Dying Giraffe Recordings is a label releasing music under a Creative Commons license. Artists keep the rights to their music and get 50% of the profits from selling CDs. See the FAQ for details and philosophy.
ElectroBel is a Belgian underground electronic music community with thousands of copyleft songs released under a Creative Commons license. All works can be freely distributed and used for all non-commercial purposes.
Electromancer Podcast Arena showcases various styles of electronic music tracks which may be used in Podcasts under the terms set out in the Electromancer Podcast Terms & Conditions.
Epsilonlab is a Montreal-based audio-visual label dedicated to promotion of innovative electronic music and digital art. Releases include CDs, DVDs and a constantly-evolving repertoire of downloadable audio-visual files. Content is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Experimedia is a net-label and online artists community with a diverse spectrum of quality electronic music. All works are are licensed under a Creative Commons license.
Fading Ways is a Canada & UK indie-label that distributes new releases and label samplers via a Creative Commons license. The Mission Statement makes good reading on the reasons for their copyleft releases.
Free Sample Zone is a netlabel published by Chenard Walcker with many albums worth of his material. His compositions are created using cut and paste sampling techniques and released under a CC licence. All the releases are free with complete artwork and liner notes.
Gnomoradio is a free music player and peer to peer file sharing system that currently runs on GNU/Linux and other UNIX-compatible systems. Other platforms are in the pipeline. Artists can promote and share their music freely on the network. There are links to artists websites with podsafe music at the bottom of the page.
Icompetech has a growing collection of royalty-free music compositions in MP3 format. There are categories for Piano – Orchestral – Bach – Beethoven – Space Opera – Acid Jazz – Disco – Latin – Polka – Rap/RnB – Reggae – Rock/Pop – Experimental – Holiday/Christmas – Demo/Other. All music is available under a CC license and may be used for commercial and non-commercial projects.
Indy is a free Windows application for discovering and promoting new independent music. Artists and fans can submit details of websites and tracks for inclusion to the Indy database. On launching, Indy downloads new media which you give a star rating as it plays. As you rate each song it uses collaborative filtering to track your musical tastes relative to other Indy users. This feedback is used to deliver music more closely matched to what you like.
IndieFeed Podcasts provides single-song podcasts by independent artists in genres ranging from hip-hop to blues. Artists are encouraged to use CC licenses.
iRATEradio is a collaborative filtering system for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X that downloads and plays music. As you rate music it automatically finds more free music that you’ll like by finding people with similar music tastes.
Jamendo is a new model for music artists to promote, publish, and be financially rewarded for their works. Artists distribute their music under the Creative Commons licensing agreements. The public can freely download, listen, copy and redistribute any music from Jamendo in accordance to the licensing agreement chosen by the artists.
Knobtweakers is an all-legal mp3 blog aimed at the electronic music audience focusing on club tracks, experimental, or moody electronica, techno, house, electro pop, drum and bass, etc.
Legal Torrents is a collection of Creative Commons-licensed, legally downloadable, freely distributable creator-approved files, from electronic/indie music to movies and books, available via BitTorrent. This is a good source of netlabel compilations especially electronic/indie music.
Loca Records is releasing music under a CC license that enables music writers to develop music collaboratively and equitably and then release it into the commons.
Magnatune considers podcasting of their music to fall within their Creative Commons license. Select an album, select the “license” link and then go to “Non-commercial use" to download 128kbps MP3s.
Microtonal Podcasts makes available music by contemporary composers from around the world, with a focus on Microtonalists.
Musique-libre.org is a portal and community for free music downloads and artist information. All music is published by community members using various copyleft licenses which means the tracks can be downloaded and shared legally. Music podcasters will find the combination of clear licensing information and music streaming very useful when looking for show material. Free membership offers a range of community features designed to facilitate music discovery, promotion and distribution.
MyVirtualBand.com is a collaborative music community committed to the idea of open source music. You can download "completed songs" (currently in the form of Podcasts on MVB Radio and on the Featured Songs page) and distribute, display, or perform them.
Netlabel Catalogue is a list, index, directory of music labels which offer you free downloads from their pages.
Netlabel Charts tracks and publishes a list of music releases on a monthly basis.
NINJAM AutoSong Archive of online jam sessions available to stream and download using Creative Commons licenses. Derivative works may be created from the lengthy improvisations making this a useful source of fresh musical ideas and content. The audio files are in MP3 format.
Opsound Pool features a pool of sound files released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (a copyleft license similar to those used in the free and open source software communities) — a few works are placed in the public domain.
This means you are free (and encouraged) to download works, make copies, share them, include them in other works, remix and rearrange them, and even sell them.
The Attribution-ShareAlike license requires that you attribute the works to their original authors/musicians (attribution), and that any derivative works (anything you make using the sound files) be licensed under the same license (share alike).
Podsafesound.com is an initiative by Fluox, a Dutch independent musician and podcaster. It’s a blog with pointers to great music, put online by other independent artists or labels, for you to listen to and enjoy.
Podsafe Music Network is a comprehensive source for podsafe music. Founded in the summer of 2005, PMN brings a large group of podcasters together with a wide variety of all-podsafe music and the artists who produce it.
Pod Safe Audio provides a location where musicians can upload music under the Creative Commons license for use in Podcasts, Mashups, Shoutcasts, Webcasts and every other kind of ‘casting’ that exists on the ‘net.
Polymorphic Music is a free netlabel interested in all types of music. The site has a Flash jukebox to listen to artists and you are free to distribute the original musical content as you wish.
Positron! Records is a Net label where artists have the option of releasing their works under a Creative Commons license.
Remix Reading is an artistic project based in Reading, UK. Its aim is to get artists (working with music, video, images and text) to come together and share their work, be inspired by each others’ work, and ultimately to create "remixes". All material on the web site is released under a Creative Commons license.
Songs from the Commons is a podcast series focusing on the Creative Commons movement and music. Lisa Rein showcases the new creative frontier in a step by step guide to copyright issues affecting artists and the public. Weekly MP3 shows feature a mix of informative interviews, soundbytes and quality music released using CC licenses. Music only versions are available for download.
So Healthy Music is a Cologne based label releasing music under CC licenses.
Sub Pop Records states on the info page: "While we’re unable to give you blanket permission to use any ole song you want from our catalog, you may incorporate any of the songs that are freely available as MP3s in the multimedia section of this website http://www.subpop.com/scripts/main/multimedia.php into your podcasts. HOWEVER, we do reserve the right to change our mind about the availability of any song for any reason at any time. Fickle, no?" (from the info page).
SoundClick CC License the music community website that features both signed and unsigned bands. This link takes you to the CC music genre that boasts over 200.000 CC licenses. All tracks can be streamed from the page with links to the artists webpage. You can search SoundClick for CC music using the following links: Google – Yahoo! or type site:soundclick.com into this Creative Commons Search Engine.
Tempo Of The Down podcast features artists freely sharing their music using Creative Commons or Copyleft style licenses and other similar methods of distribution. Genres include chillout, dub, ambient, new lounge and triphop.
The Fake Science Lab Report is a podcast show where the audio is free to share under a Creative Commons Music Sharing License. It covers current topics in the digital music industry and features new and exciting artists from all genres.
The Revolution is another excellent Creative Commons music podcast. Produced by Grant Robertson it covers a range of musical styles.
Thinner/Autoplate is a German net label distributing dub inspired electronic music in the form of mp3 files under a Creative Commons License.
uhort.no has a list of music that is cleared by the artists on uhort.no for use in Podcasts. The terms for use are that the Podcast mentions the artist and that the music was obtained at uhort.no. You also have to inform uhort.no (email@example.com) and the artist where to obtain the finished Podcast.
Uwe Hermann’s Creative Commons Music Podcast a Creative Commons music podcast playing freely available (podsafe) music by various artists and from various music genres such as electronica, celtic, world, classical, acoustic, pop, rock, and many more.
V-fib Recordings offers free CC-licensed compilations of underexposed music, from both the past and present.
Related Podcasting Resources
Blogs discussing podsafe music issues
- Podcast NYC – Blog the official blog of the media master for the podcasting website PodcastNYC.net.
- How To Find Podsafe Music useful tips and insight from Ipod Army
- What Licenses Make Sense (To Me) Victor Stone shares his personal views on the ccMixter experience in terms of CC licensing. His insight helps to clarify important decisions in the application of various CC attributes.
- "Where ‘dja Get It?" is a Bit By Bit podcast show (10 mins) talking about online sources of podsafe music.
- Commons Music is an organization attempting to switch both public and private interests to the idea of "voluntary collective licensing" for music and (in the future) movies downloaded through online and peer-to-peer networks. Here’s the blog.
- Creative Commons Musicians’ Corner licenses and legal concepts explained (audio page).
- Downhill Battle is a non-profit organization working to end the major label monopoly and build a better, fairer music industry. Downhill Battle presents the Reasons
- EFF CAFE the Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression (CAFE) exists to empower the creative community in the digital age by protecting the public’s access to and use of audiovisual technologies. Click here to find out more.
- Indie Music Feeds Aggregation and Promotion highlights online services engaged in the promotion of independent music not usually heard via corporate media channels.
- Music Lovers Union supports artists who make their music available with fair licensing terms (e.g., those making Creative Commons-licensed music available).
- Public Domain Music a reference site to help identify public domain songs and public domain music including royalty free music you can use anywhere and any way you choose such as performance, sing-along, film, video, advertising, business, or personal.
- The Free Music Movement promoting the unrestricted dissemination of music.
- The Open Knowledge Foundation protecting and promoting open knowledge in a digital age.
Generosity and Copyright: Creative Commons and Creative Commons Search Tools an article by Laura Gordon-Murnane that looks closely at the history and development of copyright law, CC licenses and resources.
Legal Guide for USA Bloggers also provides links to worldwide resources for copyright, digital music, podcasting, radio and intellectual property.
Podcasting Legal Guide provides general information based on U.S. law (Creative Commons).
United States Copyright Office provides information about copyright law and copyright registration.
Mp3 Blogs and Free Music Downloads
- Fingertips the intelligent guide to free and legal music on the web.
- More than One Million Music Tracks from Different Sources a metalist of music download sources.
- Mp3 Blog Top List a toplist of sites tagged with ‘mp3blog’.
- One Million Free & Legal Music Tracks! a fantastic compilation of legal music resources.
- The Tofu Hut Mp3 Blog List another great compilation of categorized audio blogs.
- Wikipedia mp3 blog background information about mp3 blogs.
Podcasting Tools and Web Hosting
- AudioShell is a freeware MS Windows Explorer shell extension plug-in that allows you to view and edit music files tags directly in Windows Explorer.
- Analog X Tagmaster is freeware that lets you edit the ID3 tag in MP3 files.
- Bitty Browser lets you embed a miniature browser in any web page with the capability of streaming a podcast feed of your choice.
- CC Publisher is a freeware appplication that allows you to upload Creative Commons-licensed audio and video works to the Internet Archive for free hosting. It also helps you tag your audio and video files with information about your license.
- iPod Audio Pages website provides useful information about how to use audio on the iPod efficiently.
- Podcast Hosting Services a guide to free and premium audio visual hosting services.
- Podcasting News for announcements of podsafe music from netlabels and podcasting developments generally.
- Podcasting and RSS is a list of useful tools and services.
- Podcasters Yahoo! Group is a mailing list for podcasters and podcast listeners to communicate about podcasting for the iPodder platform. Share links to newly discovered podcasts, your experiences with podcasting software, or ask questions about what you need to put together a podcast of your own.
- Podvox practical voice recording tips, help and resources for podcasters.
Search Engines: Tools and tips for finding music safe to share
To narrow your search for podsafe music try using the phrase "This music free to share under a Creative Commons Music" including the quotation marks. This phrase refers to the actual text used in the CC logo placed on websites. You can use this with any popular search engine, just remember even the same search engine may produce different results regionally ie Russia, Japan or the UK. See this list of GOOGLE worldwide : Languages and countries.
Searching more effectively
Using a search tool like TurboScout.com allows you to access multiple search engines without the need to re-type your query. Try it with "This music free to share under a Creative Commons Music" to see how it can speed things up.
Alternatively if you’re tired of Google’s page rank system and want a drastic remix of the results, try the same search on Shmoogle where all results are equal. Click here to run the search, hit F5 refresh to remix the results.
Here are some useful media search tools:
- BPI Radar is a tool that music consumers can use to easily and instantly distinguish whether an album was released by a member of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
- Creative Commons/Yahoo! search helps you find photos, music, text, and other works whose authors want you to re-use it for some uses — without having to pay or ask permission.
- List of Media Search Engines includes audio, bittorrents, blogs, bookmarks, CC content, forums, playlists, podcasts, RSS, tags, TV, video, Wi Fi.
- Meta-Search for podsafe music at http://podsafe-music.gada.be/ (permanent tag search link)
- MSN Search Creative Commons music contains:mp3
- MSN Search Creative Commons music contains:mp3 (RSS)
- MSN Search podsafe music contains:mp3
- MSN Search podsafe music contains:mp3 (RSS)
- PodNova podcast search engine and directory.
- PodRazor podcast search engine.
- Podscope search for spoken words within any audio or video file.
- Podcast Tags search tagged podcasts.
- Podzinger a search engine that lets you search inside the audio of podcasts by using speech recognition technology to convert speech into text.
- RIAA Radar is a tool that music consumers can use to easily and instantly distinguish whether an album was released by a member of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
- "This music free to share under a Creative Commons Music" site:garageband.com a Dutch Google search for artists sharing legal music on Garageband.com
Podcast Promotion: Submitting podcasts to search engines and directories
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