If you are creating a podcast, you will likely use a variety of audio sources. Your primary recording may be your own voice, and editing software like Audacity has access to sound effects, but adding additional audio can make your podcast more interesting. Depending on your podcast content, you may want to add music or audio segments of interviews, speeches, radio programs or other podcasts.
Although the Internet is full of audio sources, not all are available for download. Many are copyrighted, and some are in file formats that are not easily edited.
This page offers some ideas of sites that include Creative Commons material and material that is archived for public use. According to their site, “One goal of Creative Commons is to increase the amount of openly licensed creativity in ‘the commons’ — the body of work freely available for legal use, sharing, repurposing, and remixing. Through the use of CC licenses, millions of people around the world have made their photos, videos, writing, music, and other creative content available for any member of the public to use.” Free Music Archive site is a good source for background music.
Some of the following feature Creative Commons material (note only those with the CC logo are Creative Commons), but whenever using audio that you did not create, be sure to cite the source following the citation style of the course. In audio recordings, this can be embedded in the text of the recording or as a works cited at the end of the recording. Speaking of giving credit, this list is composed of suggestions from UNE’s Barbara Swartzlander, Research and Teaching Librarian and the UNE reference librarian staff.
- The Associated Press (AP) Archive includes footage and recordings of major historical events as well as current news.
- The National Archives links to audio and video footage including to presidential library collections. Search for audio, specifically.
- Archive.org, a massive collection of audio and some video that is readily available for download in mp3 format.
- Old Time Radio features radio programs and music from 1900s, for example, detective radio show Dragnet, super hero show the Adventures of Superman, comedy show Abbot and Costello, and frontier drama Fort Laramie.
- Audio Books and Poetry includes recordings of novels and poetry that is often categorized as classic. Some examples are The Odyssey, Jane Eyre, Dracula, and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- Music, Arts & Culture includes digital music collections that can be searched by year. The collections might also be searched by genre. A few examples are Boston Public Library’s 78 rpm collection and the Archive of Contemporary Music.
- The Library of Congress Archives have a variety of audio recordings including the National Jukebox which includes playlists from or of music from different time periods in American history.
- A site that links a collection of resources focused on Maine history and preserving the experiences of Mainers is the Maine Memory Network, which includes reflections from Mainers about their experiences in Maine and around the world.
- National Public Radio (NPR)
- StoryCorp is a collection of short conversations and stories that are less than five minutes long. The recordings feature interactions that capture specific points of view or experiences, for example, a conversation between an American soldier and his Iraqi interpreter, a conversation between a man convicted of murder and his victim’s mother, and a conversation between a student protester and an anti-protester at a political protest that almost turned violent. (To download these files, click the “share” button and select download.)
- NPR also includes several interview-based podcasts such as Fresh Air and archived essay collections such as the This I Believe series from the 1950s and a special collection of NPR’s reporting on and just after 9/11.