51-Places to put your music

16 Sep 2014

Putting your music on a website will only do you any good if either you already have your own audience or are prepared to do a lot of marketing. For people like me who aren’t attractive and don’t tour, we have two and a half strikes against us already.

I’m leaving this page as it is mainly as a historical overview. I will try to update the bigger events, like the ascendence of soundcloud and the demise of createspace mp3 distribution.

Personally, although I used CDBaby to press and distribute CDs back when people cared about those, they have definitely kept up to date and are a great resource to learn how to promote and market your musical products. Once you sign up with them they can distribute your stuff to many streaming services and collect the tiny royalties from them. (You also need to be signed up with soundexchange if you plan to collect money from streaming services.)

What little I collect from streaming comes via Spotify, for whatever that’s worth.

A lot of people disagree with me but I still think an ASCAP membership is a must if you really want to make a career out of music. They are a lot more than just a royalty collecting service and have a lot of resources to tap into.

9 Nov 2013

Over the last many years audio site startups with all kinds of ambitions have come and gone. Within the last few years one site keeps getting mentioned and used more and more by professionals: Soundcloud. As mentioned below, the site still has “legs” and is getting more feature-rich and robust. It has sensible tiers and pricing for amateurs and professionals. Although it’s not really oriented for sales of mp3s; you’re better off elsewhere for that, but for parking tracks and controlling access to them, it’s the best one I’ve found in general.

31 Oct 2010

OK, you’ve created your fantastic tracks/remixes; now, how to get them out there so that the world can marvel at them?

There are lots of ways. A real simple one, if you’re already into Myspace, is to use that service’s artist features. I don’t use them or know much about them, so I’ll have to refer you to there if that’s your route. If it is you probably already know a lot more about it than I do anyway. A lot of famous and successful acts have a big presence on that site, so I’m not going to get all snobbish and look down my nose at it. (But I am snobbish enough to not want to use it myself.)

Besides that, there is no lack of music-specific sites that offer all kinds of web labels, etc. to surf. But I don’t know if there’s very much information about: what sites are out there to upload, promote and possibly “monetize” your music.

I think a lot depends on your genre: that is, if you’re a folkie/filkie, rap/urban/hip hop artist, or in some other special category, you probably have your own favorite sites already. For instance, it appears that one of the main sites for dance producers is beatport.

I guess I fall into some other category then. If you’re interesting in hearing my tunes, great. If not, I expect you’ll move on rather than waste your time harshing on them.

I’ve already looked at this a little bit, and wrote my impressions in a MS Word file. I’ve converted it to this fancy OpenOffice ODT format (since that’s what WordPress seems to approve of) and I’ll stick it here until I can convert it to “proper” HTML.

Here it is in “odt” format (if you have Open Office Write): Places to put your music (OpenOffice Writer format) (and on this page I talk about Open Office if you don’t already know about it.)

(Incidentally, I removed the section about “Caution about last.fm”. I never saw the alarming popups that I once did and I have to believe they weren’t related to that site. So I’m back to recommending them.)

This is a summary of places on the net for musicians to upload and share and/or possibly sell their music. It’s mainly oriented towards musicians who have the “albums composed of individual tracks” model rather than “DJs creating dance music/remixing” model.

Warning!

These sites and their rules, parameters and viability are changing all the time, there’s no claim made that this is 100% accurate or up to date in any way, please use at your own risk. In fact sites and features change so quickly you could spend full time just keeping this page up to date — and so far I don’t see any offers of a full-time salary to do that.

soundcloud

I still love bandcamp (see below) to death, but for a higher octane tool for moving audio files for professionals, check out this site. One of the best things about it is its wordpress integration is even cooler than bandcamp’s (at least at the moment.) See http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/soundcloud/

In 2010 I can see a steady stream of improvements and enhancements to soundcloud. Professionals seem to be taking notice as well.

bandcamp

I just happened on this a little while ago. I wrote a few notes which you can read in the posts section on this site: My notes about bandcamp.com

“last.fm”

Big streaming site still seems to be in operation as of Sep 2014. I think I still have tracks available there but I am certainly not paying much attention to keeping the site fresh.

Site

Deal

Notes

last.fm

Free streaming/merchant site

Pretty advanced. Allows you to decide how to stream/charge/allow
downloads/promotion.

“Createspace” – no longer distributing mp3s as of Oct 2014

This was an interesting experiment. Not a music site per se; the place where you upload your digital music so it can be sold on Amazon. I guess the model wasn’t working for them. createspace.com still exists but not for distributing mp3s.

“Soundclick”

Site

Deal

Notes

soundclick.com/
timpscott

pretty flexible and well-working interface. Has pay option for tracks;
artist sets price; they get 30%. Songs can be priced as low as
0.25, albums from 2.99

Needs some work. 2008 31 Oct: Put up a couple songs… There’s always work to be done! Need to set up albums, singles to sell,
re-encode “broken” songs, upload new icons/images,
causing browser crash, etc.

Formats:

Images:Songs 100x100px jpg

“Soundcloud”

The free version of this does limit you to 120 min of “cloud tape” (i.e., audio time). I filled that up pretty quickly so actually opted for the “Lite” membership option. For €29 per year (“how much is that in ‘real’ money, ho ho”) you get 240 min of storage time, more player widget options, and better statistics showing who and how many have downloaded/streamed your tracks, etc.

Site

Deal

Notes

soundcloud.com

Basic membership is free. First paid tier is €29 per year.

Limitations:
not a store. Just a place to dump songs. also not able to organize in terms of albums. Cons: seem to have to upload songs one at a
time. But does have a sets feature to group songs…

2010 5 Jun: this site apparently has legs and is getting more and more sophisticated and capable in 2010. They created a player which I can embed in my WordPress.com pages which of course endeared them to me mightily.

A better place to park tunes than skydrive. No size limitations on files. People can go there andplay files immediately…skydrive they have to download them.
Cool embeddable player. (You grab the HTML and paste it into a web page.)

Formats:

Audio:
any. .wav, .mp3, .ogg, .wma, you name it

Images:
any

Skydrive

This is also just a big file sharing site – this one is part of Microsoft (their “Live” suite). Since I’ve adopted dropbox and made more use of soundcloud, I’ve basically abandoned the need for this.

Site

Deal

Notes

skydrive.live.
com

They’ve increased the free storage space to 25GB – but the stupid thing limits each file to <50 MB. So if I want to store a large amount of data I have to split up the files using WinZip (fortunately it’s simple in that application) and upload the pieces in groups

2010 2 Sep: This may be OK for other kinds of filesharing, but soundcloud is miles ahead in terms of features musicians and producers need. Video people are going to have a problem with the 50 MB file size restriction…I may be a nice guy and upload some of the tunes as OGG files to a skydrive folder for Live people to download…

On 2008 Nov 7 I uploaded the “Synthetic” group and 6 of the
“Primordial” group to a couple of Public folders and only announced them on the Live forum.

20081210
They fixed the problem of it going down a lot, but they still need to fix the problem of it not sending the links out when you select that option.

drop.io

A place to drop large files – it’s hard to figure out from their site but there appears to be a 100MB size limit (unless you sign up, etc.)

Site

Deal

Notes

http://drop.io

Not sure what the maximum size is … it’s hard to tell from the site. But it doesn’t appear to have a 100 MB per
file limit?

Dropbox

This is extremely interesting. Just happened upon it in summer 2010. You download a small client to your Mac or Windows machine. You then create a local folder on your desktop that basically mirrors a common folder in the “cloud.” You can customize the access to the common folder so that it is either available publicly or to specific people. As you move files to the folder on your local machine, the client automatically uploads them in the background.

Even in the early incarnation it’s in, it seems hassle-free and effective, even for very large (GB) files. I was leery of sticking yet another unknown client on my machine but it seems to be well-behaved and not malignant as far as I can tell.

Free users get 2GB space free; paying users can get as much as they want. This is much better for moving large files than drop.io or other equivalent services.

CDbaby

This place is unique in that it’s designed to give you a place to sell physical CDs. I’ve used their service for years and it’s the best of its kind (if not the only one of its kind that survives…)

Site

Deal

Notes

cdbaby.net
(this is the URL to get to the artist area)

Originally only a place to sell physical CDs. However, they do ship the audio files to a large number of online stores (iTunes, Rhapsody, etc.)

In the last few years they have added the ability to buy digital tracks individually. The problem is that the name is still hanging in there and won’t attract new people (you wouldn’t think of “CD Baby” as a place to buy downloads.)

Links:

All my released (physical) CDs

http://www.cdbaby.com/all/rasputin

other

(probably need to be completely free to be interesting here)

Lulu

Print-on-demand house

Virb

Free to sign up

Pay option

Customization option

Sheesh..These guys
seem to be enamored of the minuscule (2 pixel high) fonts. Allows
a lot of customization.

Rhapsody?

iTunes?

Napster?

Ampcast?

Reverbnation

Jamendo

Free/CC site

Archive.org

Very huge archive of
free albums, tracks, samples, etc.

Page#51 / last modified 20101031

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