It's been just over two years since Vimeo launched its Music Store. As far as I'm concerned, a great hit. More than once have I made my way through the huge amounts of widely varying music. Once in a while I bought a track for professional usage. But mostly I kept coming back for personal projects, and thus mostly for free music. I do however like my free music to have some quality to it. This isn't quite as easy. There aren't a lot of high quality free music sources out there. Today - we can add one source to that short list: YouTube.
YouTube has launched a library of free audio, and after perusing through a selection of the available tracks (at this time around 150 tracks) I can confidently say this YouTube Audio Library is a high quality free music source. While not everything is fitting to my personal taste, I found all genre's to have only tracks of a high standard. Something that cannot be said of Vimeo's Music Store - which not only has a lot of really good tracks, but also a huge amount of (in my opinion) simply bad tracks.
Even when getting down and dirty with the numbers the quality holds its ground. The files are encoded in MP3 format at 44.100Hz with a bitrate of 320kbps. Which is more than enough for most productions.
Unlike with free tracks from the Vimeo Music Store, these tracks aren't licensed under Creative Commons, but are just 'free' with their own license:
Your use of this music library (including the music files in this library) is subject to the YouTube Terms of Service. Music from this library is intended solely for use by you in videos and other content that you create.
By downloading music from this library, you agree that you will not:
- Make available, distribute or perform the music files from this library separately from videos and other content into which you have incorporated these music files (but not for standalone distribution).
- Use music files from this library in an illegal manner or in connection with any illegal content.
This means that whenever you use one of these tracks, they don't require you to credit the composer/conductor of the piece. However, when using a classical piece I'd personally still name the composer and give him/her due credit. With other tracks from the audio library this might be a bit tricky, since YouTube doesn't state anything on who created a track, which makes 'giving credit' impossible.
I'll be coming to the YouTube Audio Library in the near future for certain. That isn't to say that I won't head to the Vimeo Music Store whenever I need something more original. When in need of something truly unique, there's still only one way to go: have someone compose a piece for you.
Photo credit goes out to David Sidwell, who generously made this image available for free via SXC. Thanks to Marco Raaphorst for tweeting the news and blogging about it (in Dutch)