This article will discuss how to make background ambient music for a song, I'll cover use of music servers and the various software and hardware that will work with those.
Background music isn't an actual genre, though a few of the most popular music sites will call their music "ambient", "ambient video", and so on.
It's simply background music that's not to be distracting while you're doing other things in your music player. These will add interest without becoming annoying.
The Internet is crawling with these services, but you might also want to find out who your preferred music service is, and why they are your preferred music service.
A music service is an online service that allows you to play files and manage the music you own for free. Many music service companies also sell CDs (or other digital media) and digital download packages (for those who have a home library of music).
There are many free music services, and the old stand-bys are TuneIn, Google Music, and Yahoo Music. Just type in your music service and let the music server pick your favorite artists, songs, genres, and even playlists you created.
You can, of course, use some of these services to play your own files too, but these would need to be hosted outside your web server (this isn't just a trick, as I'll explain in a moment).
The server would need to have an entry in the Apache or Nginx web server (more on that later), but the file would need to be in the path (think in, say, /music.mp3 ). This isn't a web server issue, this is a server level issue: you're in control of the music file, not the music service.
But here's the good news: there are companies out there that host background music (and quite a bit of other stuff) for just $10.00 per month. The big name in this arena is Symphony, and their partner, SongSqueak.
So you can rest assured that your royalty free background music will be played, and play well. In fact, it's played on many commercial projects (including radio stations).
You can host your music anywhere you like. All you need is a computer with web hosting capabilities.
If you're planning to upload your music in advance, such as before an event (perhaps to be played during the event), you will want to host your music on a web server.
For instance, consider my music server - I built it to have static IP addresses, and use the server name on the website (music-server.googlecode.com) as the HTTP URL.
If you are going to use your music as background music during an event, for instance, you can host your music on an Apache server, so your background music will be available for everyone watching.
Even if you don't want to use your own server, you can host the music files on a website (maybe through a free web hosting service like SiteGround).
Then all you need to do is type in the URL, and the music server will start playing.
Many, many companies are out there that host music servers for their customers, with prices ranging from free to $10.00 per month.
The free music services include NPR, WKQX, Google Music, and SongSqueak, the $10.00 services include SongSeeker and YouTube Music, and the $20.00 services include EasyAutoDNS and YouTube Connect.
All these music services allow the music to play, but with one major caveat: the music can only play one song at a time, unless you pay $20.00 to have unlimited song listening time.
If you're just listening to the music in your favorite player, you'll be fine on the free services.
In the modern world, you're not guaranteed to have music on when you want it (you might be on a conference call, for instance, or you might not have any background music).
Additionally, there is the issue of copyright. With copyright laws changing often (with the DMCA currently in force), it's important that you get the music playing quickly.
If you delay the music, or the music stops playing, then you run the risk of being sued by the copyright holder for copyright infringement.
That said, background music is much more than a copyright infringement issue.
Most background music plays automatically (by recognizing the client, and playing the right song), and music can be a powerful tool in boosting the mood of a party (or an interview, or a sports broadcast, or just the mood of a household at night).
Will my company pay $20.00 per month to have the background music playing? Probably not, but it will get you the music playing.
Remember the $20.00 per month? You might not use that money, but perhaps your business would benefit from having the music playing as background noise.
I think the general rule of thumb is that you should play background music whenever you want to make a statement. For instance, if you are trying to demonstrate the power of your product in your testimonial video, you should have music playing in the background.
If you're trying to get the attention of the audience, you should have music playing (so the viewers can hear your voice, too).
If you are trying to set a mood, and are feeling overly formal, you should have music playing (so you can have the proper "in the zone" demeanor).
Background music can also add to the atmosphere, when you are being too formal and you need to break it up.
But sometimes, it's just nice to relax and just have a little music in the background.
You don't need music in your commercial, for example; you could have the right music playing in the background as a way to add to the emotion of your commercial.
With all that in mind, here are the common situations in which you should be using music:
If you're an example maker or a video producer, you could also use background music in the video to make it more dramatic.
Finally, some final thoughts about background music.
If you have good music on your computer, and you don't like the ads that they play for you (in the way that YouTube does with their advertising), then I recommend that you pay for the music.
The royalty free services that are available (SongSqueak, NPR, and Google Music) are great, but I think it's important to pay a little money for the music that you like.
It's the principle of the thing: music is important.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don't hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.