What is podsafe music, and why should I care?

I just finished a conversation by email about how to ensure that an organization’s podcast would remain ‘podsafe’, though I didn’t use the term (if there even is one in French). For those Googling for a good resource, I figured I would add my voice to the choir with the following tips, good for anyone who wants to put music in their podcast. Caveat: I am not a lawyer (in fact, I think I might hate lawyers), so this is just general advice.

Never use songs from RIAA albums. Ever.
Try RIAA Radar to see if an album was published by an RIAA label. If it was, use something else. Besides, Radiohead doesn’t need the airplay.

Get permission.
What this means: Email or call the label or artist, or use a resource that has done the contacting for you. See below.

Use a good resource for getting permission.
Myspace works wonders for this; for some reason, artists that refuse to answer their email are neurotic about answering Myspace messages. They totally want to have Myspace’s babies.
Also, the Podsafe Music Network is an excellent resource that collects a bunch of songs from artists who have all agreed beforehand to make their tracks available for podcasts. Using the PMN, the time involved shifts from ask/response (which is done for you) to the time it takes to search for good music. The rating and categorization systems help. (Disclosure: I currently have a podcasting contract with Podshow, makers of the PMN. Love you guys.)

Use Creative Commons tracks.
Creative Commons is a license which some musicians use to facilitate the distribution of their music through the web.
What this means for you: CC music is freely and legally obtainable on the web, and can usually be podcasted with no problems. A few musicians use alternative CC licenses (there are quite a few of them) with different rules to the well known and commonly chosen ones. RTFM, YMMV.

Note: This document will change over time. I just wanted to get it up here. Feel free to comment/correct/criticize/suggest.





3 responses to “What is podsafe music, and why should I care?”

  1. Yulblog roll call

    I might have been absent but Yan was nice enough to e-mail me the participants of yesterday’s Yulblog meeting. Etait present autour de la petite vache: Marie-Jo, Patrick, Alex, Ulka, A.J., Alston, Julien, Ella, Yan, Jean-Pierre, Hugh, Marc, Lawrence, …

  2. Krash Coarse Avatar

    as much as I hate, … sorry HATE, HATE, HATE MySpace, i have to agree, bands seem to take notice over there. I feel like I need to wash every time I crawl away from that site…
    http://www.podsafeaudio.com/ is a decent Curry-Free site, for those with that allergy, and garageband.com and magnatunes.com are other interesting sources. The rules are different everywhere, be sure you understand the rules you are playing by! Each site or source has its own rules.

  3. Nico Avatar

    I find garageband.com to be the best site. Myspace is good too, but not much people like it (not my case, i think it’s good if you ignore the 15 year old girls showing their butts).

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