A podcast sounds better with a bit of music in it. Or some special audio effects. But the problem is that legally you can’t just use any mp3 file from your music library since you will be breaching the copyright of the original artist. So move away from using your favourite bands – and look into the wide range of “pod-safe” or creative commons audio that are out there on the web.
Here are several websites that are worth a look – some provide whole music tracks, others provide sound effects.
Jamendo is a community of free, legal and unlimited music published under Creative Commons licenses. You can search by genre and style. Over 280,000 tracks on the site at the time of writing.
Free Music Archive
The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads.
Like the two sites above – AudioFarm is an interactive library of audio downloads. As well as music it also hosts radio shows/podcasts from around the world.
ccMixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want. If your students are into sampling, remixing and mash-ups they can use the files from the site to remix, then upload back into ccMixter, for others to enjoy and re-sample.
Soungle is a free site for finding all kind of sound FX and musical instruments samples from their online library. Search results of a keyword search are displayed ten to a page. Clicking on play icon allows you to preview a file. Download button instantly downloads the sound effect or musical instrument sample file.
The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds. Freesound focusses only on sound, not songs. You need to register to download, but it’s free.
SoundBible.com is the encyclopedia of free sound clips, offering free and royalty free sounds. They update regularly.
Don’t forget the Creative Commons Search Engine : http://search.creativecommons.org/ which you can use to search many different creative commons sources from one page.