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Recommended Multimedia Resources for Web Designers

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Premiumbeat.com – royalty-free music

Premiumbeat is the music equivalent of royalty-free image libraries.
It’s a useful resource, well-featured and very easy to use.

Let’s say you need a snippet of music to go with a Flash movie, online presentation, podcast, video etc..
You can’t rip your own from CDs, as that infringes copyright.

You may want a whole song, or a loop that will save bandwidth without sounding bad (tricky to do yourself).
That’s where Premiumbeat comes into its own.

Premiumbeat lets you browse a library of selected high-quality music and songs, organised into useful intuitive categories (including Corporate, Atmospheric, Chillout, Music on hold).

All tracks are available in full-length or loopable shorter snippets, and you can preview them online using a simple, effective Flash player.

Very easy to use

The thing I love about this site is how easy it is to start hearing a wide range of good-quality original music, using the built-in player (3 clicks).

It’s easy to find music by browsing or searching.
Content is categorised with useful keywords – see below…

Costs and licensing options are made very clear, and pricing appears competitive.
Overall, I think this is a great offering, which I would use myself for a multimedia project.

A useful amount of information simply presented

A useful amount of information simply presented
 
Simple online Flash-based player works well

Simple online Flash-based player works well
They also provide cute free Flash players for you to use on your site, which is very cool.
 

Improvements

If I had to say how Premiumbeat.com might be improved, I think its visual style could benefit from opening up, breaking out of the "blog" central-column style.

It just looks like a blog, which somehow cheapens the brand image.

I’d certainly make the side navigation (for browsing by genre etc.) more obviously navigation, rather than simple black-on-white text.

It also feel the site could be made to feel more live with the addition of some realistic visuals.
I’d do away with the abstract header graphic (which is nice but doesn’t tell you anything about the service) and add thumbnail graphics for the music itself.
These thumbs could be CD covers, photos or abstract images, anything that adds a characteristic signature to the track or producer.

50% scale screenshot of Premiumbeat

A site this useful should have a design that relates to what it does – it’s not a blog
 
About the author

Ben Hunt

Ben is the creator of Web Design From Scratch. He started writing articles about web design to kill time on a long train commute, and is now one of the most influential figures on the subject of effective web design. He has written three books and spoken at multiple conferences internationally.