Nine Good Sources of Public Domain & Creative Commons Audio
Since November when native support for audio was finally added to Google Slides I’ve had a marked increase in requests for recommendations for sources of classroom-friendly audio. Here are nine good options for finding audio files that are either in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license.
Dig CC Mixter offers thousands of songs that are Creative Commons licensed. The site is divided into three main categories. Those categories are Instrumental Music for Film & Video, Free Music for Commercial Projects, and Music for Video Games. Within each category you can search according to genre, instrument, and style. When you click the download icon on a file you will be prompted to copy the attribution information that is required to include in your project.
Musopen’s collection of free recordings contains performances of the works of hundreds of composers. The collection can be searched by composer, performer, by instrument, or by form. You can stream the music from Musopen for free. You can also download five recordings per day for free from Musopen.
Bensound (https://www.bensound.com/) offers about 250 music tracks that you can download for free. Those tracks are arranged in eight categories. Those categories are acoustic/folk, cinematic, corporate/pop, electronica, urban/groove, jazz, rock, and world. You can listen to the tracks before you download them. When you click the download button you will see the clear rules about using the music.
The Internet Archive hosts an extensive collection of music and other audio recordings that you can download for free. You should point out to students that they need to look at the usage rights closely when they find things on the Internet Archive. Not everything that is available to download for free is eligible to be reused for free.
The Free Music Archive provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. The content on Free Music Archive is used under various Creative Commons licenses. Anyone can download music from FMA for use in podcasts, videos, and other digital presentation formats. The music collections can be searched by genre or by curator.
Sound Bible is a resource for finding and downloading free sound clips, sound effects, and sound bites. All of the sounds on Sound Bible are either public domain or labeled with a Creative Commons license. You can find sounds for use in podcasts, videos, slideshows, or other multimedia creations.
SoundGator offers free sound recording downloads. There are twenty-three recording categories that you can browse through to find the perfect sound for your project. You do have to register on SoundGator in order to download recordings. After registering you can download recordings directly to your computer to re-use in your projects.
ZapSplat is a website that offers more than 20,000 sound effects and songs that you can download and re-use for free. The licensing that ZapSplat uses is quite clear. As long as you cite ZapSplat, you can use the sound effects and music in your videos, podcasts, and other multimedia projects. ZapSplat does require you to create an account in order to download the MP3 and WAV files that it hosts. Once you have created an account you can download as many files as you like. ZapSplat does offer a “Gold” account. The benefit of a Gold account is that you don’t have to cite ZapSplat and access to an expanded library of sounds.