Monthly Archives: April 2015

Using YouTube Audio Library for Production Music


One of the hidden costs of any video project (and the least expected from a client point of view) is licensing music to go along with the video. You simply cannot drop in any music, post and hope for the best as the potential lawsuit resulting from incorrect use of copyright music could be enormous. Google however has a solution for some folks that may or may not be appropriate or helpful in your own productions. Within the YouTube “Create” section there is a link to the YouTube Audio Library. Here you can listen to and then download free music for your video productions.

Finding the YouTube Audio Library isn’t always intuitive to everyone. If you are a habitual poster of video content, then you’ll probably know your way around the YouTube Dashboard. If you navigate to your “Video Manager” page, then on the left navigation there is a section called “Create”, and under that heading you will find a link to the YouTube Audio Library. Alternatively, just Google “YouTube Audio Library” and you can’t miss it.

There are three “tabs” that you will need to know about.

First, there is the Free music tab. This is the most interesting one, as here you can download royalty free music for your production. You can use the music in your production and the video will not be flagged by YouTube’s now powerful copyright protection engine. The horizontal line shows how popular any particular music track is. The number of tracks available is limited but may well grow given time. It will be fairly easy for the content to quickly become tired through use, and many of the tracks may just quite simply not be suitable for your productions, but it is a good starting point to look for something. All of the music in this tab can be used in videos which you may be monetizing on YouTube, but since this is very unlikely in your case, this is less likely to be relevant to you.

The next tab is the Ad-supported music tab. Here we have a range of music which cannot be monetized, because the folks who have put it there will be applying their own conditions to it. For example, they may apply advertising to any videos which use that music and posted to YouTube. That’s the deal. It’s their music and they have the right to decide how they want it used. So beware. When browsing this category, if you click to open the track you will see a description of how you can use the work. As a user of YouTube myself, I wouldn’t ever see any need to go in there at all, as I don’t generally want other people dictating advertising on my videos. The conditions which can be applied to each piece of music vary. For example, videos using the music may be blocked in certain countries, blocked by region or even worldwide. Videos may be unviewable only in one specific country due to differing copyright laws in that country.

The third tab is a place where you can get free Sound effects for your video project. This is a very limited collection of sounds which may or may not come in useful for your next project. Totally free and no issues with copyright on YouTube*.

*All above assumes posting to YouTube. If posting to any other location / platform, you are strongly advised to take legal advice.

So if you are looking for some music for a video, you may well look no further than YouTube itself for that music. It could provide the sound you require quickly easily and of course, free. Be careful though. Understand the difference between free and ad-supported. Above all, understand that this only applies to videos posted to YouTube, and that copyright might be an issue beyond that platform. For further information see this Google support article.


Not the Best in my Book!


 I needed to produce a Photobook. I normally use Blurb, especially if I want to sell on the book. However on this occasion I wasn’t really thinking about selling the book. It was specifically going to be a prize for a photo challenge at work. I was going to get 8 copies. I built the book from scratch on Shutterfly, with 34 photographs in it, in a 20 page photobook, hard bound. I was building it in my spare time, and it took over two days of spare time to do. I was pretty pleased with the end result. They folks who were going to be getting it as a prize we’re going to be pretty chuffed. When I was finally happy with it, and I normally check these things over again and again, then spell check, then check it again, because I’m like that, I finally went to my cart and pressed the purchase button. And that’s when it all went wrong. For some reason the cart wouldn’t complete. So, thinking it was a browser issue I went to Chrome. Did it again, to no avail. Same result. Then I got a chat help pop up, so I used it. After about half an hour of chatting and waiting and explaining, I was no further forward, the person on chat simply said I am not authorised to complete your purchase for you so you will have to phone the number below. So I did. After some time I got through to someone in customer service and explained the whole issue again. It seemed that this person knew immediately what the problem was because they had an issue with the system not recognising a UK postcode. So I asked if I left the cart and phoned back tomorrow they would be able to help me. No sir, this problem will take two weeks to fix! TWO WEEKS? 

So there we are. Shutterfly, have an outstanding fault on their website which currently doesn’t recognise a UK postcode and therefore cannot take my order for 8 books. The overall total was about £390 but there was a voucher code and it was what I thought an impressive £203 to pay at the end of the day all in. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for a day or so before deciding to take a look at Blurb. I didn’t really fancy reconstructing the book from scratch all over again, particularly since it took two days on SF. 

The day I eventually decided to try Blurb, I couldn’t believe it. It was quicker, it was easier, more flexible page design, with more options, plus of course, there’s the additional element of being able to sell the book and set profit etc., which although wasn’t the plan, you never know how things might change. But what really grabbed me when I finally got the blurb version finished. It was £221 with no discounts, so effectively, after all that, Blurb was better value, quicker delivery too. 

So in summary, Blurb is cheaper, more vfm, faster, and easier to use. Although I have created with SF in the past and been very happy with the book quality, I will more than likely stick with Blurb as this experience has proved to me that Shutterfly may well be a big name, but definitely not the best in my book (pardon the pun).

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