Chapter 20. Adding Music

In This Practice

  • Finding good bed music for your podcast

  • Striking the right balance between music and dialogue

  • Fair Use 101

You're ready to kick off your podcast. You could do what Ron Moore does on his Battlestar Galactica podcast and welcome your listeners to whichever episode or special treat he is introducing you to, or you can search for a good opening theme.

But if you want that opening theme to be Bear McCreary's primal, tribal opening to Battlestar Galactica, there may be issues. (No, frak that — there will be issues, as in legal issues!)

This means you need to know where to find good music for your podcast, and while you're shopping around, you may want to think about having the music — especially if you really like it — playing throughout your podcast. This kind of music is also commonly referred to as bed music — a track dedicated to providing an aural backdrop for your podcast. Music‐as‐backdrop can remedy incurable ambient noise and set a pleasant atmosphere for your show hosts and guests — but a little bit can go a long way.

Where to Find Good Music

As mentioned elsewhere in this book, good music that's available free (or at least affordably) to podcasters isn't hard to find, provided you know where to look.


Magnatune ( is a favorite site for many podcasts; it offers quality mp3 downloads of independent musicians of all genres, of all backgrounds (see Figure 20-1 ). Users can perform a search for a style, a specific instrument, ...

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