The QiRanger Adventures

Travel Videos: Music

with 11 comments


There are several things that go into making a good travel video, and one of them is music. I’m not a musician and have very little talent in this area, but I do know that adding a layer of music to the finished project enhances the experience to the viewer. But using music in videos is quite tricky.

If you’re making something for home use, you can pretty much do what you’d like, since no one will see the final project. However, if you’re like me, and want to put the video up on YouTube (or in public), there are several things to consider.

First, you need to pick music that fits the subject matter. Second, you must have the rights to use the music. It’s the latter where many get into trouble. As a content provider on YouTube, one can pretty much use any music you find, since YouTube has made agreements with the major record labels. But as was seen with BMG, these deals can cause some headaches down the road. You see, for a while, BMG allowed songs to be used on YouTube. Then they stopped. So if your video used one of their songs, then all of a sudden, it was pulled. It created a huge headache for content providers.

A better road to travel down is using Creative Commons licensed music. But here, there is also a problem. Many artists will allow you to use their music for free, provided it’s not for commercial purposes. This is great most of the time, but I make some money on my videos by using AdSense, which is a commercial endeavor. As such, I can’t use Creative Commons licensed tracks without extra permission.

What I end up doing is using Royalty Free music. iMovie comes loaded with a ton of tracks and I can create my own in Garage Band. Don’t have a Mac? Don’t worry! Most of the time I use music from Kevin MacLeod or Jason Shaw. Both have hundreds of songs you can use and they only ask that you credit them. There are also other options, like using Sonic Fire from SmartSound, too.

In short, use your music to accent the final piece. Make sure it fits and complements the project. Overall, you’ll end up with a great product.

Next week: Research


Written by Steve Miller

July 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

11 Responses

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  1. Thanks for this post Steve! Very helpful, we often have a hard time with music for our videos because we weren’t sure where to get it from. Good tips!


    July 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    • Glad to be of help. Music can be such an important factor when creating a travel video. With all the work one puts into it, it would be a shame to have it pulled off the Tubes.


      July 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

      • Yeah I would agree. But since we definitely don’t make money off of our videos, we could use the non-commercial tracks without any problem? Or should we avoid using them to prevent any problems in the future?


        July 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm

        • The only issue is if down the road you want to make money off the video.


          July 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm

  2. Another good website that I found which has a lot of Creative Commons music of various types is CCMixter. Go to or


    July 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    • Good tracks, but again… non commercial use only.


      July 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm

  3. Yes some of them are non-commercial. However, if you go to the site, and go to the Dig tab, you can search specifically for songs which are Creative Commons licensed for free commercial use.


    July 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm

  4. I’m very glad to hear it ,Thank you


    July 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm

  5. if you’re looking for curated, quality Creative Commons music, we have 20,000+ tracks in all sorts of styles up at


    July 17, 2010 at 6:35 am

  6. Op Sound going by there license page can use there tracks for commercial use (correct me if I’m wrong)


    July 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

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