Category Archives: Powerpoint

High Impact Sound Effects

For many years UniqueTracks sold sound effects series directly on its home website.  Starting this month, we are launching a new site dedicated only to sound effects and motion video backgrounds.  The site is called High Impact Sound Effects. is dedicated to bringing you the best in big-value, low-priced, professional sound effects, royalty free

High Impact Sound Effects Series

The High-Impact Sound Effects Series is a four volume set of audio imaging sound effects. Each volume includes over 300 effects. This specially-priced Sound FX package will deliver just the right shot of audio adrenaline for your media projects.


High-Impact Sound Effects Series

Volume 1 Radio Imaging
Volume 2 TV Production
Volume 3 Multimedia Elements
Volume 4 Game Design FX

Blastwave FX is a major supplier of professional sound effects to Hollywood and the game production industry. Its design and engineering teams push the sound envelope with innovative product formats, rich metadata, multi-channel libraries and the highest resolution audio that technology allows.

Blastwave FX Premium Sound Effects

Podcaster – Podcast Production FX and Music Loops
Webtones – Buttons, Clicks, Beeps, Sounds for Flash Production
Spoilers – High Definition Commercial Beds
Drones – Expressive, Dramatic Low Register Sound Beds

Each volume in the ArtLoops series presents 40+ broadcast quality animated backgrounds. The set is geared towards International Relations, High-Tech and Business projects with a series of volumes offering animated national flags, globes, and world money. There is also a unique set of all alpha elements.

ArtLoops Video Backgrounds 6 Volume Series

Volume 1 High-Impact Tech
Volume 2 National Flags
Volume 3 All Alpha Channel
Volume 4 World Money
Volume 5 Subtle Expressions
Volume 6 Global Connections


How to best use stock media in your production

UT0403_product-01Stock media companies provide ready-made media content that can be legally added to your work in a matter of minutes.

What is Stock Media? – Stock Media includes photographs, illustrations, video footage, music recordings, sound effects, Flash animations, website templates, PowerPoint backgrounds, and clipart.

Many stock music companies refer to themselves as libraries because, like a library, they carry a broad array of materials that tries to satisfy a wide range of tastes and needs.

Licensed Not Sold – With stock media, what you are really buying is a license that gives you permission to use the material you’re interested in.

Once you have a license you don’t, in fact, own the material. It is still owned by the stock media company. They remain the copyright holders. Your license lets you legally use the material in your production.  There are two main types of stock licenses.

  1. Rights Managed – The price of a Rights Managed license depends on how you wish to use the media you’re interested in.  For instance, is it going to be used in a national advertising campaign or is it for your company brochure?  Is it being considered for a PowerPoint presentation or is it going to be used in a motion picture?  Each usage has a different price.A Rights Managed license also takes into consideration how long you will use the media. Periods usually range from 3 months to several years.  If you are going to include the material in a product, your license will be based on how many pieces you plan to manufacture.  With a right managed license, at the end of the license period, you no longer have permission to use the media. Your relationship with the company ends (unless you extend your license).
  2. Royalty Free – Royalty free means you are not charged a fee for each separate commercial use of the media. You can use the material as often as you’d like for as long as you’d like. You pay an initial fee for the license and are then free and clear of any further licensing restraints. Licensing is fast and easy, with one price you acquire synchronization rights to use the music as background music in your production.

A Rights Managed license is more expensive Why? Usually, the production values for Rights Managed media is higher.  The media has more of a professional sheen than royalty free media.  Also, in some cases, for instance, a Rights Managed photo, the stock company will remove the photo from circulation for the period of your license.  No one else can use it.

This is a huge advantage for Rights Managed licenses. It protects against simultaneous use – so your competitor won’t be using the same photo as you to launch their ad campaign. When you use royalty free content, there is no such protection. The same photo or music track may be being used by hundreds of companies at the same time.

The question to ask is…is this important to me? Do I care if another company is using this image or this particular web template? If you do, then you will want to pursue a Rights Managed solution. If on the other hand, it really doesn’t matter to you, then you’ll want to take a serious look at royalty free media because it is so much cheaper.

Stock by any other name – Rights Managed recordings are also known as “needle-drops” in the stock music world. This name came from the days of actually lowering a phonograph needle onto a record to place the music into a production. With compact discs in the 1980s, it started to be called a “laser-drop”.   Both terms are confusing.  I find Rights Managed to be a much better description.

Royalty free is sometimes called “buy out”. I’ve also seen it referred to as “copyright-free” but this is really an error. The material is in fact fully copyrighted by the stock media company.

UniqueTracks is a stock music company that offers Rights Managed licensing.  This means each license is written for your exact usage.  We began licensing stock music in 1998.  For more information about our recordings and music licensing packages, please visit us at

Copyright law for Photographers

While reading Geetesh Bajaj’s Powerpoint blog on his excellent Indezine website, I came across a Powerpoint presentation that I think would be useful to all media producers who struggle with copyright and licensing issues.

The powerpoint presentation deals exclusively with copyright infringement as it pertains to photography and is the work of PACA (the Picture Archive Council of America ). It lays out the basic copyright law but it is the case studies that are included that really make this document worth your time. You get to see actual infringement cases, what the infringement charges were, and you can see side-by-side, the actual photograph and the infringement photograph. Other points…there is no fixed % an image can be changed to avoid infringement. That is a common myth that circulates within design studios.

The presentation deals with Fair Use, the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), ISP Safe Harbor and the public domain. All in all, it’s a really good document to know about if you are ever unsure about your usage of a photo or any other work which you want to use but don’t own the rights to.

A good take-away from this presentation that I would emphasize is that often permission and licensing is easily obtainable directly from the source. In other words, instead of going into competition against a photographer, by recreating a photo (the composition), it is cheaper in the long run to contact the creator and obtain permission to create a derivitive work.

The PACA presentation can be downloaded here

Seth Godin’s mistaken PowerPoint advice

Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, and a ton of really great books on successful marketing, wrongly recommends that presenters should include music from their personal CD collections in their public PowerPoint presentations.

The blog post entitled Really Bad PowerPoint, offers five rules to create amazing PowerPoint presentations. Rule number four states:¦

Sound effects can be used a few times per presentation, but never use the sound effects that are built in to the program. Instead, rip sounds and music from CDs and leverage the Proustian effect this can have. If people start bouncing up and down to the Grateful Dead, you’ve kept them from falling asleep, and you’ve reminded them that this isn’t a typical meeting you’re running.

You will breaking copyright law if you give a PowerPoint presentation following Seth’s advice here. Unfortunately, you cannot just rip your personal CD collection and attach those tracks to your slides. When you purchase a CD you are not licensed to use the music for anything other than your personal enjoyment. To use music in a commercial vein, you need to obtain permission from the music’s publisher and the recording company.

This shows that even a savvy guy like Seth Godin can be fuzzy about copyright laws. It makes me wonder how often this practice goes on in corporate America. How often have you seen a PowerPoint presentation accompanied by music that the presenter ripped from his/her CD library?

Stock Music companies like UniqueTracks offer fast and easy music licensing to media producers who in turn, integrate the music into their DVDs, videos, podcasts, radio and TV advertising, Flash and Powerpoint presentations and music-on-hold programming.

Indezine – a great Powerpoint site

Geetesh Bajaj’s web site is one of the premiere PowerPoint information sites on the Internet.

Besides being a reference for all things PowerPoint, the site also offers many free PowerPoint templates that can be downloaded right to your desktop.
An Example: free PowerPoint templates – origami 04.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Geetesh has also recently added a stock photo library to the site – Indezine Photos. Prices are incredibly low from $7.95 for 1.1 X 1.7 inch sized photos to just $12.95 for a supersized 15.6 X 23.4 sized photo. The choices are superb and the prices can’t be beat. If you use royalty free stock photos in your production work, then you should definitely check out this site.
Indezine Photos.