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The Free Music Archive: Great Resource for Legal Audio Downloads

“It’s not just free music; it’s good music”

That’s the slogan you’ll find at the top of the home page for the Free Music Archive, an excellent resource we recently discovered for high quality, legal music downloads.

The Free Music Archive is a library of music collected and curated by a variety of radio stations and independent record labels from around the U.S. and Canada. Together, they offer artists and listeners a new way of sharing and licensing music.

There are over 45,000 songs available in the archive, which is searchable by genre, artist, curator and even usage. As you browse for songs, you’ll visit artist pages, where you can read bios, find tour dates and follow links to home pages where you can discover even more about the music and artists.

Each song found in the archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that normally might be cost prohibitive, especially if you’re selling slideshows to clients. Downloads from the FMA are free, and typically the only requirement for usage is that proper credit is given to the artist. If you choose, you can also “tip” artists for their work if you really like what you hear. Tips can be as direct as sending donations to a PayPal account, or simply buying albums.

Using songs from the FMA in Slideshows
The FMA’s library is quite extensive, but it’s worth noting that different tracks offer different usage rights. In order to make sure you are staying legal when making your shows, you’ll need to create an account and use the advanced search features.

When searching for tracks, be sure to check the “Filter Results by Use” options for “Sync to Video”. If you plan to sell your slideshows, also check the option for “Commercial Purposes”.

In case you’re not sure about how a song may be used, don’t worry, the FMA helps you with that. Each song page features a “Licensed Under” link which will show you info about usage, restrictions or any specific credits that may be required when using a song.

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As a member of Photodex's events team, Dylan specializes in teaching pro photographers and slideshow hobbyists alike how to use ProShow in their business. He's an avid student of photography and enjoys Austin's eclectic mix of music, art and nature.