More Music Sources for YouTube Videos

Hard to find free, royalty free music. There's free. Then there's royalty free. But a lot of royalty-free music is not free. See?

It can be difficult to find decent, royalty-free music without paying a fortune. Here are some new options if you’ve had your fill of Kevin MacLeod:

  1. DanoSongs has a bunch of instrumental background songs, ranging from acoustic and orchestra to pop and country. Scroll down on his site to hear and download clips.
  2. Shockwave-Sound has a bunch of songs and sound effects.
  3. JewelBeat has a nicely organized collection for various uses — world, motivation, video games, humor. They sell in $99 packs, but are available for individual download for 99 cents.
  4. Smartsound: it allows you to customize songs using a drop-down menu.
  5. PartnersInRhyme has some expensive sets, but a few free tunes with no royalties.
  6. DiggCCMixer is a “creative commons” search engine that allows you to search its library with an option: “free for commercial use.”
  7. The Music Bakery has nice royalty-free music, but it’s fairly expensive. But, really…. 5-seconds for $34?
  8. has tunes (thanks Urgo) and some nice covers on YouTube.

Be sure your license allows you to post on YouTube when you’re earning money on your videos (which is considered commercial use).

And some additional sources for free, royalty-free music:

US Army Captain (Alleged Murderer) Leonard John Egland’s Suicide Spot: Royalty-Free Photos

Because I'm tired of seeing this photo

Hey media. Here are some free royalty-free photos of the “last stand” of Leonard John Egland in Warwick, PA (here’s the location on Google Maps). I’m kinda tired of seeing this dang mug shot, so help yourself, media. They’re all on Flickr noted as “creative commons” with attribution, so use away. Just please stop showing us that face shot. It’s freaking me out. Some choices:

  • Photos of the media circus around him (as if I’m any better)
  • The crime scene of his alleged suicide (very uncomfortable)
  • The intersection (with machine-gun armed police) before he was proclaimed dead
  • The Lukoil where he was last seen- that may be his car. Not sure.

Hey I was sleep deprived after 2 basement-runs due to Tornado warnings. And it’s hard not to get a bit obsessed when a SWAT manhunt is taking place just miles from your house. So I’ll admit… I drove around a while until I found the crime scene… it was a bit of a circus, with some parents even bringing their kids on their shoulders. I thought I was smelling either floods or death, but it turns out my car was just stanky.

Apparently Egland was last seen at the gas station, then fled on foot. He didn’t get far, or else he did some kidna loop after playing Rambo for a while… because the spot they were investigating was just a few hundred feet from the Lukoil on Almshouse/Sugarbottom/York Road in Warwick (very close to the Warwick tavern). That location had been reported a good 6 plus hours before he was proclaimed dead.

For a while we were warned to “lock our doors,” because an armed murderer was loose (although most of my information was from the web, as local media felt that lame flood-aftermath footage was more important). I’m not sure Egland was planning to gun folks down, and was pretty specific in his murders (unless you count the two police offers at whom he shot but didn’t severely harm). He went for his ex, her husband and his mother-in-law… then himself.

The crowd gathered like it was a circus performance. Then again, can I judge?

The guy had just returned from Iraq and I suppose he didn’t want certain people raising his daughter (who he dropped off at a hospital before fleeing, scaring folks, and eventually killing himself). The girl told hospital workers that her grandma was in heaven. She lived just a couple miles north of me.

Okay- for therapeutic relief I did amuse myself editing his face into random shots this afternoon. But none of these Flickr photos are digitally altered accept obviously the one of him peering out the window at the Doylestown Starbucks. Yeah, that’s fake. The rest are real.

Great way to end a week, right? An earthquake. A hurricane. Two tornados. Then you wake up to a military-trained murderer cruising your neighborhood armed and dangerous. My wife said she heard three gunshots some time in the afternoon, and I went driving around kinda hoping I’d spot him and run him over before he hurt anyone else. I recognize that’s not a very normal way to spend your Sunday.

Very relaxing.

Leonard Egland crime scene August 28, 2011. U.S. Army Captain who allegedly killed 4 people then himself

Dramatic “Royalty Free” Music Sites

If you’ve worn out Kevin MacLeod’s Incompetech, but looking for free, royalty-free music here’s a new alternative… some dark, intense, orchestral and dramatic options. Check ’em out:

Also a bunch more courtesy of YouTube’s BattlefieldDoktor via JourneysofLifeBooks: (click here to search royalty-free for commercial use tunes)

Make Your Videos Suck Less

Mkay I’ll provide some recently discovered, cool resources to make your videos suck less in a minute. First I’m going to rant, and you’ll either skip it or find it more insightful than the how-to-make video resources.

I once asked a voiceover professional how he got to where he was, and if he had any advice. “Well, you know Kevin,” he said, “it’s really an innate ability that can’t be learned.” I hadn’t heard something so ridiculous since my mom’s friend said, “Kevin I hear you want to make a career in radio or television. Don’t worry you’ll outgrow that.”

If you have nappy hair and zombie eyes you might want to consider an alternative passion than making videos. Otherwise, you're probably capable of improving.
If you have nappy hair and zombie eyes, find another hobby than making videos. Otherwise, you're probably capable of improving.

Yes I’m an unwitting optimist who believes a) people are inherently good, b) people can change for the better, and c) that most of us would be more successful if we focused on what we enjoy instead of “well rounding” ourselves. Schools would do well to help us figure out what we’re innately good at (and passionate about), and direct us that way. Likewise employers, instead of trying to “round everyone out” for the corporate ladder, ought to determine what gets a person excited, and hone that passion. We’ll all still have to perform some mundane tasks to accompany our thrills, but why turn a great engineer into a lousy manager of engineers? Go read Strengths Finder if you don’t understand what I’m talking about (you wouldn’t be the first or last). Last night I was reading Emotional Intelligence, and was reminded that IQ may correlate with life/career success, but is only about 20% predictable.

Don’t get me wrong- getting a well rounded education isn’t a mistake. I’m glad my dad talked me out of going to a school for video and film (I remember drooling over the Emerson brochure and loathing the idea of taking more biology, math and stats courses) instead of getting an undergraduate degree. He later urged me to pursue business school, when I discovered that my passion for writing wouldn’t likely cover rent much less a mortgage and kids. Two years of misery, but it certainly has since saved me from a lot of stupid mistakes.

Now where was I? Oh yeah- some video tips.

  1. If you haven’t read Steve Garfield’s book, “Get Seen,” check it out. Or visit which looks like a suitcase from a well-travelled carpetbagger in the Great Depression… smacked full of widgets, stickers, callouts and labels.
  2. The Shirtless Apprentice remains a favorite collection that makes learning fun.
  3. Just discovered an ad for New York Video School via the web. Thinking about it, but that virtual commute might kill me.
  4. Nice website for royalty free sound effects is Fxhome. You gotta weed through some expensive software to find it because my bookmark vanished. Schwing.
  5. Watch any YouTube video not in the top 100 most popular. Tee hee.

What’s Better than Free AND Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects?

What’s better than my previous list of free and royalty-free music and sound effects? A longer list, which includes video effects too! Thanks to you, we’ve got a few new ones to share. Let me remind you that I’m tagging this entry “hellen keller” so we can all find it easily later using the Orb of Knowledge we call Google. I’ll use fuzzy pickle too, since that’s even more memorable. So search willvideoforfood, hellen, keller, fuzzy, pickle. Or come to willvideoforfood and search those terms.

not obsessiveOr bookmark these links if you’re one of those hyper organized, early potty trained middle children… who pretends to exert futile control over the universe by keeping everything in its perfect place… And can’t relax when there’s a tissue on the floor. My wife, Jo, and babysitterofnalts fall into this category, and I’m deeply grateful for their OCD. When I need to find a triple A battery, I check one of the ziplock bags and save myself 20 minutes of whining, only to end up at Radio Shack buying another pack. What? This is a friggin’ blog. I can meander. It’s not like you have anything else to do right now.

Let’s clarify the difference between free and royalty-free:

  1. Free means you can download the music without paying the artist.
  2. Royalty-free means you can have perpetual commercial use without having an issue down the road. This is far more important, because if you use copyrighted music and don’t have a Creative Commons (see “more” below for a quick explanation of this) or royalty-free agreement than you’re breaking the law. That can get you booted from websites, restrict the use of your contents upstream (like television), and get you sued.
  3. Free AND royalty-free is rare, but some amateurs aren’t interested in commercializing their work or simply want to market it. Let me know if you’ve found definitive sites for these people. There’s a desperate need for a nice exchange between well-known video creators and hungry musicians looking for exposure.

mullet bandNote that $10-$30 per song is a fair price for good music that brings a video to life and isn’t used on 100s of other videos. I’ve spent more than $500 buying every GarageBand loop CD (try Mixcraft and Beatcraft if you’re not an “out of the closet” Mac user yet). So I can compose my own music fairly easily (to time with my edited video, retain control of how it sounds, and live in the bliss of of being above copyright infringement.

I’ve yet to buy a canned collection of music because many are too expensive (hundreds of dollars) or simply too cheesy. And most of our videos won’t earn even the $20 price on YouTube. It’s like buying $20 lemons to make $10 at a lemonaid stand. Not good bid-ness unless you have a big hit, monetize it in other ways or have a rich aunt.

Now onto your contributions (and I’ll add to these if you send more). I’m especially interested in finding more individuals like Kevin MacLeod that offer some of their music for easy and free download, and without royalties. If you’re a musician and you’re not signed, I’d strongly suggest you do this to select pieces. Once you do this, you can’t exactly revoke that permission (I don’t know if this would effect a record label’s interest in picking you up). But it’s excellent marketing.

FindSounds: This is a delightful search engine that serves up a simple interface for finding, sampling and downloading sound effects. And it’s free to use. BUT if you want to be safe, you need to find the original source and read the terms of use.

SmartAssMusic: Not free, but royalty free. Limited selection and confusing navigation bar, but a few really professional pieces for a decent price (around $20). There are a few free ones, but you need to register and credit the site. More importantly, these free ones are not for commercial use (so buy if you’re a YouTube partner).

Detonation Films: Ever wonder where Davideo gets his explosions when he doesn’t feel like making them himself? Here’s the site. But you’ll need to know how to overlay these on your footage, which is too much for my caveman brain.

Continue reading “What’s Better than Free AND Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects?”

Where Can I Find Royalty Free Music, Sound Effects and Video Footage?

Pickle phobia maria pickle girl mauryNo knocking Kevin MacLeod from He’s saved us from many default musical loops and countless copyright infringements. But now and then, we need a bit of variety. And here are some additional options for music, sound effects and even video footage.

To help you return to this post, I’ll add the words Helen Keller. Then you can just do a Google search for Helen Keller and WillVideoForFood, and you’ll be back on this page. See, Helen Keller couldn’t hear or see, so she’s not a name you’d expect to see as a mnemoni, and… oh never mind. You’ll remember it.


  • I’ve got some of my Nalts themes (recorded using every loop I could buy for Garage Band).
  • Jonathon Mikel Taylor Roberts has a nice MacLeod-like site at
  • Candace Bilyk has “project loop” to encourage more royalty-free artists to promote their music. She also has some of her own songs on her site.
  • DigitalPh33r (a creator for identifies two sources, and does so without sounding as angry as usual. He credits
  • Then there’s RoyaltyFreeMusic, which seems a bit pricey for the amateur and a bit cheesy for the pro.
  • The MusicBakery is a mixed bag. Some fantastically cheesy 1980s music mixed with some robust classics. Prepare to dig, but you may find something worth the $30-$50 price tag for a song download.
  • was also hot and cold, but I quite like this contagious whistling song called “Easy Stroll.” Prices range for $3 to $30 per clip, depending on how much you want.
  • Free Sound Project is one that’s a bit more complex, but interesting. Sounds not songs.


  • DigitalPh33r lists
  • PartnersInRhyme has a nice mix of free and pay-as-you-go sound effects… all royalty free.
  • I’ve also used SoundDogs before, and you’ll need to dig around but usually find what you need.
  • Avoid the CD-ROM collections since they’re usually not royalty free, even if they’re inexpensive.