Every so often I need a cue for a video that I’m working on and inevitably I’ll say to myself, “It’s faster if I just compose something myself.” That’s never the case in the end since it always takes longer than you’d think, especially if you want something that’s really a custom-fit for the situation. That said, the thought of having music created for me via artificial intelligence goes against my nature as a musician.
I must admit that I have to rethink that position somewhat after taking a look at Jukedeck, a website that uses AI to compose custom pieces designed as background music for videos.
Jukedeck let’s you select the time of the piece, then provides a number of choices in terms of the instrumentation (piano, folk, electronic, ambient, among others), and the mood (uplifting, melancholic, among others), and then in 30 seconds or so, spits out a piece of music that you can then download after you’ve registered.
The company is the brainchild of CEO Ed Rex and his team of 15 out of Cambridge in the UK, where they’ve raised almost $4 million in venture capital in two rounds of funding.
This isn’t exactly a free service, nor should it be, though. If you’re an individual or a business with fewer than 10 employees that just wants something for a video you’ve made, it’s free if you give Jukedeck credit, and $0.99 if you don’t in exchange for a royalty-free commercial or non-commercial license. If you’re part of a company with 10 or more employees, then the cost is $21.99 per download, which is very reasonable. In both cases, Jukedeck owns the copyright and grants you the license to use the music, which you can’t resell or make it available for others to use, which is fair enough. You can buy the copyright to the music if it’s an awesome fit, and the cost is $199.
I tried Jukedeck a number of times and I have to say that the results were pretty good in a generic sort of way. Let’s face it, for most of the things that Jukedeck is intended for, it doesn’t require a film composer, and the results were a lot faster than even sifting through a library trying to find the ideal track.
I hate to say it, but this might be one time when the robots are actually on the right track.