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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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Free Music & sound effects for podcasts

Free Royalty Free Music Loops, Free Royalty Free Sound Effects

A couple months ago we completed the first four podcasts our company has produced, for internal training purposes. I’ve mentioned previously some of the testing we did to get them produced, and I’ll probably go into more detail in the future on what process we ended up with and how we intend to move forward. For now, I just want to point out one aspect that took us longer to agree on than I anticipated: music.

Music tastes are really subjective, so it can be hard to get people to agree on what to use. There were only two of us that had to agree, so it could have been worse, but we were trying to find something that wasn’t too intrusive, that we could use repeatedly across different podcasts (a theme, basically), and that wouldn’t drive people nuts when looped. Each of us grabbed our favorite examples off the web and we put them up to a vote. I chose mine from Partners In Rhyme (who have a pretty good selection, IMO – I’m considering getting one of their CDs). My co-worker got hers from the audio section of Microsoft’s Clip Art site. I also just found this site, off the MS site. All have some good stuff.

All of these sites let you hear samples (they’d be dumb not to), and all contain Royalty Free music, which is important if you don’t want to break the law or pay a lot of money. The PIR site has pre-made loops – the MS site is a crap shoot in that department. The link at the top of the post here takes you to a page on the PIR site where you can get free Royalty Free loops, which is nice. The MS site is all free, but you may have to make your own loop out of it (which I ended up doing, and it took forever to get it to sound smooth). You also have to watch that you’re getting the right audio format; stay away from MIDI unless you’re willing to download a separate tool to convert that to WAV or MP3, or some other usable format.

We ended up with a sort of soft “hold music” kind of loop that had just a bit of a future newsroom feel to it (at least that’s how I thought of it) that complimented my co-worker’s voice very nicely.

Does anybody know of any other sources of free music loops? Please share! Post any you know about in the comments.

[Update: found two more sites that are promising:  This one has free loops, and this one has one free score a month (though it looks like an ad banner on the site).]

[tags]podcasting, free music, corporate training[/tags]

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