YouTube Videos: How to Add Background Music Legally and for Free

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If you are a freelance writer, you need not restrict yourself to text. Thanks to the internet, you can create short videos that you can upload to YouTube and other video-sharing sites and share them with millions of internet users.

According to Alexa.com traffic rankings, YouTube is the third most popular site in the world. Thousands of YouTube videos are uploaded, viewed and shared every single day. In addition, each YouTube user spends about 20 minutes per visit either viewing, uploading or sharing videos.

You can use online videos not only to entertain your audience but also to attract traffic to your sites and to promote and sell your products and services. However, unless your video is exceptional and stands out from the thousands of other videos on display, no one is likely to watch it.

An effective way to distinguish your video from the thousands of other videos in your niche is to add background music. You can purchase royalty-free music tracks from websites such as www.shockwave-sound.com and www.royaltyfreemusiclibrary.com. However, these sites charge a fee.

Fortunately, YouTube has now added a new feature called AudioSwap, which provides an easy, legal, and free way to add background music to YouTube videos. AudioSwap contains an extensive list of songs and more songs are being added daily. Therefore, you now have the option of adding free background music to your YouTube videos without violating copyright laws.

How to Use AudioSwap to Add Music to YouTube Videos

Adding music using AudioSwap is simple.

  • Log in to your YouTube.com account and click on โ€œMy Videosโ€.
  • Click on the โ€œAudioSwapโ€ button below the video to which you want to add music.
  • Browse the music library and select the music in the “genre”, “artist” and “track” sections.
  • Select a track that is at least as long as the video.
  • Click on the “Preview” button to play the video with the selected track.
  • If satisfied, click on the “Publish” button below to add the new track to the video.

Precautions While Adding Music With YouTube AudioSwap

Once a new soundtrack is added by clicking “Publish”, the original audio track on the video is permanently replaced. Therefore, save the video with the original soundtrack elsewhere before replacing the soundtrack.

The audio track can be replaced as often as necessary, however, once it has been replaced, the previous version is permanently lost.

When a new track is added, AudioSwap removes all other soundtracks in the video. So, you cannot use this feature to add music in your videos containing commentary or narrative.

After adding background music to the video, you can share your video with other users on YouTube and also embed it within your site or blog.

(25 July 2012)


Rohi Shetty is a medical doctor, Vipassana meditator, writer, editor, translator and blogger. His short stories and articles have been published online and in print.

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