One of the hardest parts of creating decent digital stories has been picking music that’s OK to use for most situations. There’s a lot of Creative Commons music out there but it’s difficult to find and/or poor quality.
Step forward the Vimeo Music Store.
It’s an easily searchable music library intended for use with video projects with pretty high quality tracks and available under a range of licenses (including CC and payed for personal or commercial use).
Some tracks lack a little polish in production but unless you’re really pushing the production values boat out they are perfectly listenable.
Also, see the Video School for another reason to love Vimeo.
Some other options
There’s plenty of sites. Jamendo and Soundcloud have loads of CC licensed tracks but I’ve had problems using both sites which would make me hesitate recommending them to people just starting out with digital storytelling.
With Jamendo, you have to look hard for music that’s of a decent quality in their CC section. There’s nothing like shoddy music for ruining the look of your movie!
Soundcloud has some reallly interesting stuff on there but the styles tend to revolve around electronica, not great if you;re looking for something with a world-music vibe or a wee bit classical. Also, searching is a pain. Some users choose some wilfully obscure tags for their tracks (granular cameltronica’s a fave).
I do feel a little cheap dishing out those criticisms as they’re both great ways for musicicans to get community exposure for their work.
Alternatively, dispense with music altogether. Freesound has gazillions of CC licensed sound FX. try layering these together with a voiceover track to add some classy ambience.
More stuff on digital storytelling
You can find some more information and ideas about digital storytelling on my other blog, Electric Chalk.