Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Melody is Worth a Thousand Words - or More #edtech

In honor of American Idol, tonight I thought I would turn our attention to music.  Yes, my dirty secret is out - I have been a fan of the show since Season 1.  Partially, because I dabble in music a wee bit myself.  Some years ago, I picked up a guitar and taught myself how to play Irish folk music.  As a "musician", I have been on both sides of the copyright fence.  Now, I was never good enough to make any money off of my hobby, but I used to post my music to back when it was a site for artists and long before Creative Commons.  I was thrilled when people would download my music and happy to let them use it in anyway they wished.  However, if my livelihood was based on my music - let me be frank - I would be absolutely furious if my craft was being stolen.  Yes, I said stolen!  The whole Napster debate is over since they went to their new model - but file sharing continues to be a major issue.  This is in part do to the fair use freedoms that educators sometimes tend to take too far.
Well, thank goodness for Creative Commons and sites like Jamendo!  This site shares thousands of songs and make them "available under one of the six Creative Commons licenses.  They authorize free download and enable the artists to promote their music while protecting their rights."   You can create and embed playlists (as you will notice I have done below), download the files locally for use in presentations and if you want to use the files outside of the Creative Commons license structure you can (ahem) purchase and license the file in a number of different ways.  Either way, you can sign up for a free account.  If you just want to use the Creative Commons license a basic Jamendo will work well for you.  If you are a musician who wants to share your work and maybe make a buck or if you need a Pro account (also free) - the same goes if you want to license the music.
Two issues I have with thesite.  First, it's a little difficult to figure out how to sign up for a free vs pro account.  Second, the advanced search engine to locate music leave a little to be desired.  Otherwise, encore Jamendo!

Royalty-free music for professional licensing
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