Everything You Need to Know about the YouTube Audio Library

12 July 2023
Reading: 6 min

When it comes to creating top-notch YouTube videos, sound plays a crucial role in grabbing and holding viewers’ attention. From catchy intros to well-timed sound effects, audio is a powerful tool that can elevate your content. But finding free music and sound effects that won’t get you into copyright trouble can be a challenge. That’s where the YouTube Audio Library comes in. With a huge selection of royalty-free audio tracks, this resource allows content creators to enhance their videos without worrying about legal issues. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the YouTube Audio Library.

What is the YouTube Audio Library?

The YouTube Audio Library is a collection of audio tracks, including music, and sound effects, that you can use in your videos. The beauty of the library lies in its free license, granting you the freedom to use the tracks without the fear of copyright strikes or demonetization. It’s a win-win situation for creators seeking high-quality audio content while adhering to legal guidelines.

Everything You Need to Know about the YouTube Audio Library

What can you find in the YouTube Audio Library?

YouTube’s Audio Library has two main categories: free music and sound effects. In the free music section, you’ll find thousands of tracks in a variety of genres, moods, and lengths. Whether you need soothing melodies, energetic beats, or soulful tunes, the library has you covered. 

In the Sound Effects category, you’ll find a wealth of options for enhancing your visual storytelling. The library lets you search for sound effects based on categories such as alarms, cartoons, horror, sports, transportation, and more.

Everything You Need to Know about the YouTube Audio Library

Free Music

Under the Free Music tab, you can find thousands of music tracks that are free to use in your videos without the risk of copyright infringement. The library provides various filters to help you find the ideal track for your video. You can filter tracks by genre, mood, artist, duration, license type, and recency. This allows you to understand what to expect from each track listed.

You can also manually enter a keyword or phrase in the search field to find tracks that match your specific requirements. For example, if you’re looking for music containing a specific instrument, you can search using the instrument’s name.

Sound Effects

If you need to enhance your video with sound effects, the YouTube Audio Library offers a wide range of options. You can find sound effects for various categories such as alarms, ambiances, animals, cartoons, crowds, doors, emergency, foley, horror, household, human voices, impacts, office, science fiction, sports, tools, transportation, water, weapons, and weather. The library allows you to filter your search based on track title, category, and duration.

Using the audio on other platforms

While YouTube doesn’t explicitly prohibit creators from using the audio from its library on other platforms, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Since the audio files are available under a Creative Commons license, you are generally free to use them on other platforms as well. However, proper attribution to the original artist is required, even on those platforms.

If you plan to use snippets of your video on other platforms, make sure to include proper attribution as specified in the YouTube rules. It’s also a good idea to double-check the permissions for each track you want to use, as there may be restrictions on using the track outside of YouTube. To avoid copyright claims and strikes, it’s best to reach out directly to the artist and obtain the necessary permissions beforehand.

How to use tracks from the YouTube Audio Library

To take advantage of the YouTube Audio Library, follow these steps:

  1. Access the Audio Library from the left-hand panel of your Creator Studio dashboard or visit the dedicated YouTube Audio Library page.
  2. Look for relevant music tracks or sound effects by browsing or using the search function. You can sample tracks by clicking on the “Play” icon.
  3. Once you’ve found the audio track you want to use, click on the “Download” button to save it as an MP3 file to your computer. You can also “Star” tracks to add them to your favorites for.

Limitations of the YouTube Audio Library

While the YouTube Audio Library offers a wide selection of music tracks and sound effects for free, there are a few limitations to consider:

  1. Limited selection: The library contains about 1,600 audio files, which may limit your options. Additionally, since the tracks are free to use, many creators may use the same selection of songs and sound effects, making it challenging to create videos that stand out.
  2. Finding the perfect fit: You may not always find songs or sound effects that perfectly complement your video. If you aim to make a big impact on YouTube, investing in unique audio tracks that align with your content may be a wiser choice.

Reasons to use the YouTube Audio Library

Despite its limitations, there are several reasons why you may want to consider using tracks from the YouTube Audio Library:

  1. Lower risk of copyright strikes: The audio tracks in the library are available under a free license, ensuring that you won’t face copyright-related issues if you follow the rules. This provides peace of mind and avoids potential trouble in the long run.
  2. Affordable solution for novice creators: If you’re just starting out and have budget restrictions, the YouTube Audio Library offers a cost-effective alternative to add relevant sounds to your videos. As you grow your channel and generate more income, you can consider investing in paid alternatives.
  3. Lower risk of demonetization: Using audio from the YouTube Audio Library won’t result in your videos getting demonetized, as long as you provide proper attribution and obtain necessary permissions for any modifications.


The YouTube Audio Library is a game changer for content creators looking for high-quality audio without legal complications. By leveraging its vast collection of free music and sound effects, you can enhance your YouTube videos while minimizing the risk of copyright issues and demonetization. With the ability to customize your search and find the ideal audio for your content, the YouTube Audio Library empowers you to create exceptional videos that engage your audience. So let your creativity flow and explore the library to enhance your content.

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