Jamendo and FreeSound: Two Awesome Sources for Creative Commons Music and Sound
Sometimes it’s an unfortunate reality in filmmaking that you may not have time to work with a musician to score your project, nor to go out with a field recorder to obtain all the sound effects you need. It’s at times like these that Jamendo and FreeSound are my CC-licensed lifesavers. Each site offers a substantial catalog of audio media some of which you can use freely with attribution, some of which you can only use non-commercially with attribution, and some which the artist has released to the public domain. Jamendo also has options for relatively reasonable paid licensing for various project types, as well as a handy-looking iPhone app:
As for the paid licensing, the costs depends on the type of project you will be using the music for, how long you want to license the music for, and the regions where your project will be seen. License fees tend to range anywhere from around $25 to about $1190 (or more if you want to cover what they call “Cross Media”), and the artists gets a 50% cut. Jamendo has a page that goes into all these details here.
FreeSound is essentially what it says it is: free sound. All you do is sign up for a free account and you can download sound effects and music samples to your heart’s content. Unlike Jamendo, FreeSound does not offer paid licensing for their media, but they do provide information on the CC licenses they use. Usually you’ll find files in AIFF, WAV, or MP3 format, but you will occasionally come across an OGG or FLAC that needs to be converted.
I love the fact that there are sites like these where artists can share their media and receive attribution and/or direct compensation for their work. But I wonder, do you think Jamendo’s 50/50 split with their artists is fair? Would you like to see FreeSound offer a paid licensing option? And have you used Jamendo or FreeSound for your projects? If so, what has your experience been with these sites?