Have you ever watched a video online or a television commercial and question how and/or where do they get the awesome, high quality music playing in the background? The individuals/companies behind the media had to acquire what is known as royalty free music. What is royalty free music?
Websites that provide free audio files usually come with a catch. You have to pay additionally for licensing. You can always download the audio files for non-commercial use, but the only way to avoid a potential lawsuit is to pay extra. There are also websites that provide free audio downloads without licensing information. I would suggest avoiding these sites all together if you plan on using their music commercially. You might be thinking “why would anyone copyright free music?” Well, you would be surprised to know that many of these sites get their music from untrustworthy sources. Some even upload copyrighted music and offer it for free.
If you are looking for royalty free music online on a website where the playback quality is short of outstanding in your opinion, then you should probably leave. It is true that some websites provide low quality playback intentionally to prevent persons from wanting to steal their music. However, you may find that they may not have a choice in the matter, as the original audio file may already be of low quality. As of late, the more trusted sources that offer royalty free music are using tagged audio files for track previews. What I mean by this is that they provide tags or identifiers throughout the track, as this has proven in recent years to be the most effective way to preventing audio theft online. An example of this could be the website’s name being repeated every four bars throughout the preview.
Websites that do not give any kind of information pertaining to licensing are likely untrustworthy. If you are especially cautious, you may want to contact the website owners about this. Any trustworthy website should have a contact system; most are named the “Contact Us” link.
This may be the most important thing to look out for. If a website can’t provide a preview of what you might be interested in, then you are probably wasting your time there.