Royalty-Free Media

You can create more engaging multimedia projects by including music, images and video. With the internet, access to all sorts of multimedia content is just a few clicks away, but there is a lot of confusion over what our current copyright laws allow. The resources listed below allow you to use their multimedia content, provided you comply with any restrictions and/or attribution requirements, which is often different depending on the media and the copyright holder.

Music

Music

Freeplay Music:

This is a great resource for students who are planning a multimedia-rich project.

  • How does it work? When you have made your selection, add the track to your “cart”. Be sure to select that you are using this track for “educational purposes”, which zeroes out cost-wise ($0.00).  The files will be downloaded to your computer and then added to iCloud, Google Drive or your iTunes program. Keep in mind that when the tracks are downloaded, they come in various time lengths, so the file will appear as “zipped”. You will have to “unzip” or “Extract all”, depending on which device you’re using.
  • Account Info: Requires users to create a free account. We recommend that students and staff always use their New Trier email address.
  • File Format: .MP3

Free Music Archive:

Inspired by Creative Commons and the open source software movement, the FMA provides a legal and technological framework for curators, artists, and listeners to harness the potential of music sharing.”

  • How does it work? Search for music by genre. If you are looking for instrumental music only, pay attention to the column labeled “Genre” and look for the word “instrumental”.
  • Account Info: Requires users to create a free account. We recommend that students and staff always use their New Trier email address.
  • File Format: .MP3

YouTube:

YouTube offers a library of high-quality 320kbps audio tracks and sound effects royalty-free.

  • How does it work? Go to Creator Studio > Create > Audio Library. Use the tabs at the top of the page to choose “Free music” or “Sound effects.” The bars next to the songs show how popular a track is. When you’ve found a track you like, click the arrow to download it. Make sure to follow any additional use requirements, like attribution.
  • Account Info: You will need to log in to a Google/YouTube account.
  • File Format: .MP3

Moby Gratis:

Artist Moby has a collection of 150+ tracks that can be used as a resource for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.

  • How does it work? Browse the catalog and fill in your application for the tracks you would like to use. You should receive a response to your application within 24 hours.
  • Account Info: Requires users to create a free account. We recommend that students and staff always use their New Trier email address.
  • File Format: .MP3

Musopen:

An archive of royalty-free classical music.

  • How does it work? Search the catalog or browse by category, then click on the download arrow to download the file. Depending on the license on the piece, you may have certain restrictions (i.e., non-commercial or no derivatives) or obligations (i.e. attribution).
  • Account Info: Requires users to create a free account. We recommend that students and staff always use their New Trier email address.
  • File Format: .MP3

New Trier MP3 Library:

New Trier provides a licensed library of MP3 audio tracks spanning all genres of music. These audio files are accessed through the NTHS network drive named “READ DROP (N:)”. In this drive location, there is a folder named “MP3s” – music tracks are organized in a series of hierarchal, nested folder. You need to be on the NTHS network to access this content. On an iPad, you will need the WebDAV Nav+ or the “MyWeb” app, depending on your year in school. One of these apps can be found in Self-Service or re-downloaded from the App Store if you already downloaded the app at an earlier time.

Sound Effects

Sounds & Sound Effects

SoundBible:  

A library of royalty-free sounds and sound effects ideal for creating multimedia content.

  • How does it work? Search for sounds, and simply choose your file format and download to your computer.
  • Account Info: None required.
  • File Format: .WAV or .MP3

YouTube:

YouTube offers a library of high-quality 320kbps audio tracks and sound effects royalty-free.

  • How does it work? Go to Creator Studio > Create > Audio Library. Use the tabs at the top of the page to choose “Sound effects.” The bars next to the songs show how popular a track is. When you’ve found a track you like, click the arrow to download it. Make sure to follow any additional use requirements, like attribution.
  • Account Info: You will need to log in to a Google/YouTube account.
  • File Format: .MP3

New Trier MP3 Library:

New Trier provides a licensed library of MP3 sound effect audio tracks. These audio files are accessed through the NTHS network drive named “READ DROP (N:)”. In this drive location, there is a folder named “MP3s” – along with music tracks, there is a “Sound Effects” folder with several volumes of material. You need to be on the NTHS network to access this content. On an iPad, you will need the WebDAV Nav+ or the “MyWeb” app, depending on your year in school. One of these apps can be found in Self-Service or re-downloaded from the App Store if you already downloaded the app at an earlier time.

Images

Images

Google:

You can simply go to Google search and type “copyright free images”. A library of photos will appear and across the top you will be able to search by category!

CC Search:

Search for Creative Commons licensed material from several online resources from one central hub. CC licenses vary; some allow for alteration, some allow for commercial use, others do not. It is up to the content creator. Almost all require attribution if used.  

  • How does it work? Enter your query in the search bar and select the site you would like to search.
  • Account Info: None required.
  • File Format: various

Pixabay:

On Pixabay you may find and share images free of copyrights. All pictures are released under Creative Commons CC0 into the public domain.

  • How does it work? You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist. However, depicted content may still be protected by trademarks, publicity or privacy rights. Pixabay images may be used on social media platforms.
  • Account info: Not required, but you can create an account for additional features.
  • File format: You can sort by images, vector graphics, and illustrations (video content is available as well)

Pexels:

All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.

  • How does it work? You can copy, modify, distribute, and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist. The only restriction is that identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive, unless they give their consent..
  • Account info: Not required.
  • File format: .JPEG

Library of Congress Digital Collections:  

Searching for historical image resources for the United States and for other places in the world (if it has become part of the Library of Congress collections).  For example,

  • How does it work? Search the catalog or browse by category, select your preferred download file format and click Go. Each item has Rights and Access information, as well as Citation information, though they make no claim that all of the material on their site is open for public use. It is up to the user to follow up on acquiring any necessary rights.
  • Account Info: None required.
  • File Format: Various

Wikimedia Commons:  

This is a great resource for images, as well as sound and videos.  It is searchable.  

  • How does it work? Click on your selected image, and then choose “More Details.” This will allow you to choose download sizes (usually a variety) as well as see permissions and attribution information.  Searching by category can yield additional images.  All images are Creative Commons, but some authors ask for attribution.
  • Account Info: None required.
  • File Format: Various
Video

Video

Internet Archive:

An Internet library offering access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.

  • How does it work? Search the catalog or browse by category, then select the file format you would like to download (Right-click, Save Link As…). Double check for copyright information/usage rights on any video you find. Not all fall under the Creative Commons license or public domain.
  • Account Info: None required.
  • File Format: Various

Pexels Videos:

A library of HD stock footage videos, free to download and use in any production.

  • How does it work? Search the catalog or browse by category, then click on the green download button to download the file. Fully free to use, no attribution required. One restriction: Identifiable people may not appear in a bad light or in a way that they may find offensive, unless they give their consent.
  • Account Info: None required.
  • File Format: .MP4

Videvo:  

An online collection of HD stock footage and motion graphics videos, free to download and use in any production.

  • How does it work? Search the catalog or browse by category, then click on the green download button to download the file. Fully free to use, no attribution required. They do appreciate social media mentions, though.
  • Account Info: Requires users to create a free account. We recommend that students and staff always use their New Trier email address.
  • File Format: .MP4