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BeatPick: great soundtracks, nominal fee

February 13, 2014
Richard Blanco reading “One Today”
Music by Lawrence Blatt from BeatPick
A musical soundtrack can add a lot to your live presentation, voice recording or video. If you are presenting at a conference or your media will be posted online, you’ll need permission to use the music. It’s not feasible to get permission to use music heard on the radio, so what can you do?

Most of us don’t have the musical talent to compose original music or mash something together from sound loops. We need to find music that is available either (1) with a Creative Commons license or (2) for a reasonable fee. There are several repositories, and the one I recommend is called BeatPick. I have used it successfully on this blog and in my multimedia class for several years.


Here’s how BeatPick works:

  • Launch the website and click the big “Search” button to get started.
  • Choose genre, mood, and instrumentation – then search.
  • Preview the selections, choose one you like, and click the “License” button.
  • If your project fits the Non-Commercial/Non-Profit/Student category, click “Go” next to that item.
  • Choose production and distribution options to receive an “Instant Quotation” of £1.00 (about $1.50) for a license.
  • After submitting payment information you will quickly receive an email with a link for downloading the music.

Many of the tracks on BeatPick used to be licensed for free, but apparently the group began receiving a large number of frivolous requests. On January 1, 2014 they began charging a minimum fee for a noncommercial license. This nominal charge should reduce their volume, and provide the added benefit of making the licensing process more official.

Don’t let BeatPick’s tiny fee turn you away – it’s worth much more!

BeatPick has LOTS of GOOD music. I have tried other sites, and my experience is that they offer fewer titles and – on average- a lower level of quality. If you insist, here are some options:

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