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19 Best Free Music Sites to Download MP3 Files

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

It is not hard to find free background music for video editing, especially when you have a list of free music websites to download MP3, FLAC, WAV songs. It is equally easy to add background music to videos using apps on desktop or mobile.

But that begs questions: how to avoid copyright infringement with music? When shall I give credits to the copyright holder? To what extent can I use that piece of musical work? The related questions could go on and on. These issues have plagued content creators, especially when you plan to download free music to use in videos, which will later be published on YouTube, Facebook, etc. If you make one step wrong, your video may be removed or muted, not to mention the loss of views.

CC Music and Royalty free background music sites
Best Places to Download Free Music

So, Where Can You Get Free Background Music?

We have rounded up a list of more than 40 free music sites and narrowed it down to 19, based on their overall performance. No matter you are looking for music such as...

  • Public domain music
  • Royalty free music
  • Audios released under the creative commons

You will find these sites covering one or more types of above-mentioned music licensing (Jump to the bottom for a brief introduction).

Free Background Music - CC and PDM

A simple strategy to download free background music for video editing that has been proven to do the trick is to use creative commons or public domain music (PDM), which is also known as CC0 music. All CC-licensed music, CC0 excepted, requires Attribution. Some may not allow commercial use. But mostly, you can copy, distribute, display, perform and remix this type of royalty free music.

"As of May 2018, there were 1.4 billion works licensed under the various Creative Commons licenses." - From Wikipedia

Then, where to get music that is creative common royalty free? What are the best Creative Commons websites for music? Going to the official Creative Commons website is a good first step to consider. Also, there is free background music on YouTube under CC license or Public Domain. But to download background music royalty free in somewhere full of CC-licensed resources, below are the good and safe websites.

Licensing: Creative Commons, Public Domain, Royalty Free
Music formats: WAV, MP3, M4A

Exploring and listening to music on SoundCloud may have become a big part of people's lives. But besides being a platform for you to enjoy songs online, SoundCloud still has an amazing hidden feature for some people to unlock, some people who want to download royalty free background music from SoundCloud for even commercial use. You will find Instrumental music for videos and presentations, Creative Commons music playlist, background music free for YouTube, etc

All-around free music hub - SoundCloud
All-around free music hub - SoundCloud

What we like

  • A huge library full of Public domain track, CC-licensed songs and royalty free background music for videos.
  • What we love most about SoundCloud is that you can message the musicians of the remixes for permissions of use. Sometimes, you may even get some tracks that haven't been released yet.

What we don't like

  • Searching without filtering makes it time-consuming to dig further.
  • Some audio tracks are downloadable, while some others are not.

Free Background Music Playlists on SoundCloud

Licensing: CC-BY-SA
Music formats: MID, OGG, FLAC

If you are searching for free instrumental music to use in videos, this Wikipedia page with a list of hundreds of thousands of creative commons sound files is a good place to start. It charges no licensing fee to download CC resources to use as background music free. Sharing and remixing are allowed as well. Just make sure you are properly attributing the file. Seemingly, all creative commons music sorted alphabetically on Wikipedia is added in 2015 or earlier.

Instrumental background music on Wikipedia
Instrumental background music on Wikipedia

What we like

  • Provide free instrumental music in MID, OGG and high-quality FLAC.
  • A creative commons music library with abundant free musical works by famous musicians like Johann Sebastian Bach.

What we don't like

  • You don't have a choice in the output audio format.
  • There are no other types of free background music except for Classical.
  • The download button in MENU in the column "Click Arrow to Play" doesn't work from time to time. The weird thing is free downloading CC-licensed music is possible when the page is not fully loaded. Well, you have to be a genius with high APM (actions per minute).

Licensing: Creative Commons, Royalty Free
Music formats: WAV, MP3

Looperman is more of a community where musicians clustered together than purely a royalty free music downloading site. If you are looking for free background music for YouTube video, there are over 1.6 million audio clips in total, under Creative Commons license, although not uploaded by famous artists. Better still, you will find free downloads of music software, Virtual Studio Technology plugins, VSTi instruments and some other audio tools.

Music loops, vocals, beats free for videos
Music loops, vocals, beats free for videos

What we like

  • Millions of royalty free audio tracks in various types, like loops, vocals, acapella, rapping, beats, etc.
  • You can search music by keyword, genre, category, date, tag, BPM (Beats per Minute) and even comments.
  • An active forum that allows you to post for help. For example, invite someone to rap on your song. Also, you can find valuable things like collections of hit tunes made with Looperman.

What we don't like

  • Login is required for free background music downloading.
  • You have to post a comment to download any music under Tracks.
  • Nearly all audio clips in Loops are WAV files, while those of Acapellas are MP3. This is not a "dislike" point. It's just a little strange.

Licensing: CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-SA
Music formats: FLAC, MP3

ccMixter should be counted as one of the best ways to download free background music, given that it provides a Creative Commons music library with 29968 sound tracks, all of which people can access without sacrificing Email address. It is also a hub where musicians upload their musical works. Especially, there is a standalone website for you to freely dig instrumental music for video, find free sound clips for commercial projects, or download music free for video games.

Free download FLAC MP3 music for videos in ccMixter
Free download FLAC MP3 music for videos in ccMixter

What we like

  • Large amounts of copyright free music for video, video games, etc.
  • Don't have to register and log in for background music download.
  • Detailed music information like number of recommends and reviews.

What we don't like

  • Old-fashioned user interface. New design for tabs like Samples, A Cappellas and Playlists are still in beta.

Licensing: CC4-BY
Music formats: MP3

This time, you will see a special website with 100% Creative Commons music - Audionauti. All the hundreds of royalty free music that you can free download in this background music library is composed and produced by one man - Jason Shaw. Music under Creative Commons license on this site can be used even for commercial purposes, provided that you credit with a href="" Creative Commons Music by Jason Shaw on

Search free background music created by Jason
Search free background music created by Jason

What we like

  • Clear and straightforward interface.
  • There is a separate New Stuff tab for the most recent songs by Jason.
  • The download button is right there with each audio clip. You don't have to click several times to get into a download page.

What we don't like

  • All audio tracks are in MP3 format only.
  • Limited search options compared with other background music sites.
Licensing: Creative Commons
Music formats: WAV, MP3

Whether you want to find royalty free music for YouTube videos or download good background music free for creating e.g. game video, is a safe place to go. is a CC library of multiple types of music. Free download of music is allowed for everyone even for commercial use, depending on the author's decision. What's more, you need to be extremely careful about the attribution. The texts should be exactly in the following format.

Royalty free music sorted by download statistics
Royalty free music sorted by download statistics

What we like

  • Daily updated download charts, showing you the download statistic of each song.
  • All songs are tagged with likes, numbers of downloads, play times, BPM, etc.
  • Royalty free music on Filmmusic can be sorted by topics (situations), like music for film, for video game, or for wedding.

What we don't like

  • Free license only allows you to download music in MP3.
  • The neural voiceover generator, although free service, is only available for registered users.
  • Three extra steps are needed after clicking the download button to finally get your background music saved.

An example of Attribution for - Total Happy Up And Sunny by Sascha Ende

  • Link -
  • License -

YouTube Audio Library
Licensing: Creative Commons
Music formats: MP3

If you ever tried uploading a video to YouTube, you will find out that YouTube offers a large audio library with Creative Commons Music and sound effects. You don't necessarily need to publish a video in order to use YouTube Audio Library. In fact, you can directly download songs or sound effects and use free video editing software to add the music to your footage. If you see the attribution-required icon, make sure to credit the artist in the description or in your video.

YouTube Music Library
Attribution required when you see that human-figured icon in YouTube Audio Library

What we like

  • It's easy to credit the creator: there are user-ready attribution for you to copy and paste into YouTube description.
  • You can directly add music from the Audio Library to a YouTube video after uploading.

What we don't like

  • For most of the music in YouTube audio library, the repeated section is too short, making the music boring when you hear it repeats every a few bars.


Licensing: Creative Commons, Public Domain

Music formats: MP3, M4A

MUSOPEN is our go-to source for classical music. You would instantly know what kind of music is curated on this site when you saw the pictorial collage of Mozart, Bach, Schubert and other great musicians. This non-profit site groups copyright free music under tags such as relaxing, energetic, fun, happy, sad and more. You can filter music by public domain and 6 types of Creative Commons. If you have a particular instrument in mind, for instance, bagpipes sound track for a road trip video with a Celtic touch, you can filter it too.

Musopen clearly indicates the license type of each work

What we like

  • There are tons of free music for YouTube videos and independent films.
  • Each piece of music is clearly labeled with licensing information, and you can click on the icon to check the official explanation in plain language.
  • The collection of Cello music is great. The curators have style.

What we don't like

  • Log in required to download music.
  • There is no audio resource under our favorite Banjo and Bass guitar category.

Internet Archive

Licensing: Public Domain, Creative Commons

Music formats: FLAC, MP3, M3U (playlist)

The Internet Archive is a non-profit online library offering public access to vast CC0 music, movies books and images. Depending on your video editing project, you can find old time radio shows, recordings of live concerts (our favorite), poetry readings, and music uploaded by users. The use rights can be found in the description offered by the uploader, and in most cases, it would be creative commons or public domain materials. This site offers customizable download options: batch download or select a single file.

Internet Archive
Internet Archive offers you many download options

What we like

  • Option to download lossless FLAC, or lossy mp3.
  • Option to change playback speed via online player.
  • Vast collection: 4.5 million audio (including 180,000 live concerts).
  • Batch-download the music with lyrics and cover art.

What we don't like

  • Can be distracting sometimes, not specifically focused on music.
  • Less suitable for videos that require a trendy music.
  • Searching music could be slow since it has an enormous database.

IMSLP: Petrucci Music Library
Licensing: Creative Commons, Public Domain
Music formats: MP3, OGG, FLAC, MIDI

International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), or Petrucci Music Library, is a virtual library that stores public domain music and scores. If you want a classic touch in some part of your video editing, say, adding an audio track featuring the Violin Sonata of Beethoven's, this site is a go-to place. There are 59,000 recordings by over 18,000 composers have been uploaded since its launch in 2006, featuring complete performances of Beethoven's, Brahms's, Chopin's, Debussy's and more.

Each mp3 file has a description of the copyright information, and you shall use the music accordingly. There musical editions out of copyright, as well as recordings uploaded by users under Creative Commons Zero 1.0, Creative Commons BY-SA-4.0 and so on.

IMSLP provides detailed information on each piece of musical work

What we like

  • Resourceful site for classical music fans.
  • You can even find multiple editions of a single composition with detailed information of the performers.

What we don't like

  • The search work would be time-consuming unless you have some knowledge of classical music.
  • You might get lost in the bibliographic data of great composers, and then realize you only went there to find background music for your video editing projects.

Do You Know?

Harmonice Musices Odhecaton (One Hundred Songs of Harmonic Music) is the first printed book of music in the world. It was published in Venice in 1501, by a publisher named Ottaviano Petrucci, and that's where this project gets its name.

Licensing: Public Domain
Music formats: MP3, WAV

FreePD is a no-brainer choice if you are overwhelmed by different license types of creative commons, or if you prefer not to credit the artist of the audio. This site offers more than 250 pieces of free music to add to videos, all in public domain. Though the collection is small comparing to other sites, you can quickly play back and pick suitable tracks under the categories of positive, romantic, electronic, comedy and more.

FreePD Music
The mood and genre of free music are indicated by Emojis

What we like

  • Each piece of music is described by Emojis that vividly indicate mood and genre.
  • No registration required to download background music.
  • There are some alien and suspense audios that are suitable for homemade horror movies.

What we don't like

  • Bad news for vocal music lovers: most audios are instrumental music.
  • You have to download audios one by one.
  • Cannot download WAV audio files for free.

Licensing: Creative Commons, Public Domain
Music formats: Mainly MP3 and WAV

Freesound hosts more than 400,000 sounds and melodies. Though there is a large amount of short duration of sound effects, we still consider this site one of the best places to find good background music for videos. If you dig deeper, you can find a wide range of sound types, ranging from field-recording sounds, nature music such as birds singing in the morning, rainy thunderstorm, as well as choirs, synthesized sounds and atmosphere sound.

It has specific tags to describe subtle emotions, making it easy to find the most suitable melody that fits the mood in your video. Try one of these tags: glimmer-of-hope, woeful, pathetic, melancholic.

FreeSound Background Music
Freesound surprises us with free music and fantastic piano recordings
FreeSound Music Tags
Use tags to easily find suitable music in Freesound

What we like

  • This site generates word cloud styled tags, which is handy to find music by genre and mood.
  • Meta information such as duration, sample rate, bitdepth and channels are listed alongside the music.
  • You can resort to the Similar Sounds function to find more melodies you like.
  • We enjoy reading how users describe the sound they uploaded. "Recording of a small river where the current makes the pebbles sing" — isn't this one beautiful?

What we don't like

  • Users have to log in to download the desired piece of background music and sounds.
  • Browsing by packs is less workable since the packs are ill-curated.

Royalty Free Background Music

Although it won't be a big case for you to access to a plethora of copyright-cleared music resources on the internet, however, they aren't always the safe road for you to ride on. Here's the thing: many SNS platforms like YouTube places strict rules for video uploads out of copyright protection. And the copyright-cleared music added to YouTube video remains the risk of copyright violation.

To keep yourself away from copyright infringement, remember to add royalty-free music to your video. We've wrapped up some top-notch sites that you can get royalty-free music from:

License: Royalty Free, Creative Commons
Pricing: standard commercial license starts from $49, and $299 for an unlimited license

Jamendo is a music streaming platform open to emergent and independent artists worldwide since 2005. There, listeners can download music for personal entertainment under Creative Commons. They also provide music licenses for commercial use specially designed for filmmakers and video creators at Jamendo Licensing. The licenses go from individual licenses per project to subscriptions with unlimited access to their huge music library with +240,000 royalty-free tracks. On top of that, Jamendo Licensing offers an ambient music subscription for businesses which includes 27 unique radios with all rights included, such as stores, restaurants, coffee shops, etc..

All music tracks from Jamendo encapsulate in high-quality formats of FLAC and WAV.

Jamendo Music
Featured soundtrack in Jamendo may inspire your mind

What we like

  • It owns a good taste in music selection and supports music tracks from indie artists;
  • You can find chilling music for YouTube video there;
  • Music category featured by themes & moods, genres, and instruments, etc..

Premium Beat
License: Royalty Free
Pricing: $49 for each track

Premium Beat, by Shutterstock, is one of the most go-to music sites you can access. In this exclusive music library, you are able to search premium music by collections, genres, moods, etc.. For your convenience, Premium Beat offers you three options to download the soundtrack: full track, music loops and short clips, which will be convenient to be applied in different scenarios. After the license is removed, you are flexible to download both high-quality WAV file and the compressed MP3 file in Premium Beat.

Premium Beat Music Library
Premium Beat Music Library

What we like

  • A wide variety of soundtracks to choose from;
  • Easily access to the track labeled by genre, mood, BPM, duration, artist, instruments;
  • Both WAV and MP3 licensed audio files can be downloaded.

What we don't like

  • There's no free trial available;
  • The price charged may be a bit higher than other platforms.

Epidemic Sound
License: Royalty Free
Pricing: personal plan starts at 15 USD; $49 per month for commercial plan

Epidemic Sound can let you access to over 32,000 background music tracks and over 64,000 sound effects. The audio tracks are classified by popular genres such as beats, pop, acoustic, etc.. Looking for chilling background music for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and Podcast? Epidemic Sound get all online SNS platforms covered for music copyright clearance.

Epidemic Sound
Electronic soundtracks labeled by moods in Epidemic Sound

What we like

  • Diversified background music tracks;
  • There's a 30-day free trial.

What we don't like

  • Monthly/annually paid subscription plan.

License: Royalty Free
Pricing: annual plan of $199

If you are seeking for some dope, innovative, or classic music for your video, Artlist could be your paradise - this site provides you with high-quality, indie music from artists all over the world. Artlist is the license contributor for music and SFX materials. When you subscribe to Artlist, you can make unlimited downloads from its music library where there are 12,000 and more songs. The category is growing with around 150 new sources added monthly. You are allowed to search for music filtered by mood, video theme, genre, and instrument.

Keep up with music trends in Artlist

What we like

  • Once the unlimited license is paid, the music can be used anywhere, incl. YouTube, without limitations;
  • Its music library is expanding, so you can keep up with the latest resources of music trends;
  • A trial account is provided to download song previews (with watermark, of course).

What we don't like

  • No short clips or music loops available. You can only get the full track music, and may need to trim the track for different uses;
  • Music sort by BPM (Beat Per Minute) found no place in the category;
  • SFX plan should be extra paid if needed.

License: Royalty Free
Pricing: audio tracks starts from $1

AudioJungle is a collection of royalty free music resources. Audio classified by music packs, music kits, etc. plus sound effects have added up to over 1,158,053 tracks that you can access to in AudioJungle. It's worth highlighting that the site is owned by Envato Market which is a themed marketplace selling digital products for content curation. Apart from what mentioned, WordPress themes & web templates, video effects, graphic assets, and so on can be reached in Envato Market.

Audio Jungle
Play the latest music track tagged by the price label

What we like

  • Diversified digital assets can be found in AudioJungle;
  • Easily search for music tracks by categories;
  • MP3, WAV audio files can be downloaded;
  • Give away free background music for videos every month.

What we don't like

  • Some tracks are overpriced (e.g. $999), so it would be a burden for your budget;
  • All soundtracks demonstrated on Audio Jungle do not register for YouTube Content ID, so you have to pay attention to the copyright claim.

What is Content ID:

Content ID by Google is a copyright management tool to identify content uploaded on YouTube. It works to detect whether there's a copyright infringement. If you want to own the copyright of the content you upload on YouTube, you may need to register an ID for that.

License: Royalty Free
Pricing: starts at $15 per track

Pond5 is an online contributor for royalty-free music collections. A plethora of music tracks from ambient to rock and creative sound effects are undemanding to get from Pond5. Besides offering a vast collection of the royalty-free music, they even get a special program for customers to upload mp4, webm, jpg, gif, png files in it, and Pond5 will search for the similar footage in its collection of stock for you.

Background music and sound effects can be searched in Pond5

What we like

  • Music category filtered by price, duration, tempo, mood, genre, etc., which would be easy to make your desired pick;
  • Download to preview the soundtrack before the purchase;
  • WAV, AAC, AIFF audio formats can be downloaded.

What we don't like

  • Some tracks are exclusive to membership only, and you may need to pay extra money on the license fee.

Amazon Music
License: Royalty Free
Pricing: range from $0.89 per track; $99 annually paid for unlimited downloads

If you are looking for a budget choice, then Amazon Music would be your safe pick. It offers you single MP3 tracks that starts from $0.89, so you can make payment on the single MP3 track at a time. Better yet, you can buy the music packs for the unlimited use.

Amazon Music
Single royalty-free soundtrack price tag on Amazon

What we like

  • Reasonable and competitive price tag for a single music track;
  • Both free and premium tracks can be founded.

What we don't like

  • It's demanding to look for your favorite music without category classification.

Music Licensing in a Nutshell

What are we talking about when we talk about free music? There are stock music sites peddling royalty-free songs, non-profit organizations digitalizing public domain works, and there are creative commons. In most cases, when we talk about free music, the work either falls into the category of public domain music, or music protected by free licenses.

Public Domain Music

In plain language, music enters into the public domain when no one owns copyright to it. There are several cases when it happens:

  • All rights have expired;
  • The authors explicitly declare to put a work into the public without copyright protection;
  • The artwork exists before copyright laws or there never were copyrights.

Please note, people automatically own the copyright for the work they created, be it a piece of music, a painting, a photo, or any other creative work.

There are no sound recordings in the Public Domain in the USA, as of 2020. Most of the public domain musical works offered online are compositions and scores. To illustrate, even if a musical work has entered into the public domain, it doesn't mean that the sound recordings of that artwork are in the public domain. People performing the artwork still retain rights to the sound recordings of that performance.

Creative Commons

According to the organization itself, "Creative Commons is a system that allows you to legally use some rights reserved music, movies, images, and other content — all for free."

Audios licensed as creative commons require you to provide attribution, unless it is licensed as CC0. If you are uploading the work to YouTube, you shall provide the credits part in your video, and/or in the description.

  Abbr. Description Attribution Required Allows Remix/Adapt/Build Upon Allows Commercial Use


No Restrictions




Attribution + ShareAlike


Attribution + NonCommercial



Attribution + NoDerivatives



Attribution + NonCommercial + ShareAlike



Attribution + NonCommercial + NoDerivatives



Note: Don't add audio to your video if that audio is NoDerivatives, i.e. licensed under:

  • CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivatives)
  • CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)

Here is why: Since you add music to a video, it means the music is transformed, and under ND, you cannot distribute the material if you transform it. If you lose temper at the nitty-gritty of all those types of CC licensing, the time-saving way is to use only CC0 and CC-BY music.

Royalty-Free Music

Free here means free of royalty, as opposed to "Protected or Rights Managed". You only need to pay ONE SINGLE PRICE, and can use the music as long as you want, or as many times as you prefer. For rights managed music, however, you have to pay royalties for recurring use. The latter is vividly termed as needle-drop licensing in vinyl times: imagine every time the needle of a record player dropped on a record, a fee is due.

As the music sites peddling royalty-free music bloom, the definition becomes blurred, partly due to advertising strategy. Some royalty-free music sites offer free downloading of music, provided that you give credits to the author (as you can see, that's CC-BY or CC-BY-SA). If you register and purchase the so-called extended license, no attribution is required. There are many subtle rules and the best practice is to consult the legal representatives of that site to nail down every detail.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the editor-in-chief of Digiarty VideoProc. With over a decade of experience, she specializes in delivering insightful content on AI trends, video/audio editing, conversion, troubleshooting, and software reviews. Her expertise makes her a trusted ally in enhancing users' digital experiences.

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