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This chapter is from the book

Using Music Skillfully

As an aspiring podcaster, you might be wondering, "Is it really necessary for me to learn how to use music?" Our answer to this question is, "Only if you want people to listen!" In fact, music accomplishes a number of important objectives that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish in any other way.

Of course, if you’re producing a music-centric podcast, the value of the music is self-evident. Don’t, however, overlook the importance of music in your talk format show. Skillfully deployed in your podcast, music can

  • Grab your listener’s attention

  • Establish a mood for your podcast

  • Add humor to your podcast

  • Enhance your podcast’s overall listenability

  • Makes your podcast sound more professional and polished

Occasionally, a highly targeted niche podcast will persist without music in much the same way that a quantum mechanics professor gets away with wearing two different socks—the content of what’s being delivered is so specialized and so targeted that normal rules become less relevant. Even in such cases (which, by the way, will not apply to the overwhelming majority of podcasters), a little bit of attention to aesthetic elements like music will pay large dividends in overall quality that listeners perceive.

One important caveat: There are serious intellectual property implications surrounding your ability to use music in your podcasts. We’ll be discussing these in greater detail later on. In the meantime, though, if you want quality bumper music you can use without worrying about licensing implications, here are a couple of sites that might have what you’re looking for:



Figure 3.1 shows the kind of options that will be available to you when you browse through these sites or others like them. (Google the term "stock music" and you’ll find more.)

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1 You can find music for your podcast on a stock music site such as shockwave-sound. com.

Both sites have high-quality content and both allow you to pay a nominal fee for virtually unlimited use. Most of the time, you’ll have the option of downloading an entire song or just downloading a 30- or 60- second clip if that’s all you’ll need (at a significant savings, of course). Best of all, both sites allow you to preview as many songs as you want, as often as you want, guaranteeing that the music you download will be precisely what you want.

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