(c)2008 Lone Wolf Sullivan
MUSIC SITES ON THE INTERNET: A Guide for Musicians
I'm a writer, songwriter, and studio musician. Years ago I owned and managed a musical talent agency, so I understand the music business, although it has changed drastically. Nobody really knows what's going on now, because it's in a state of flux. I've written this Guide for the same reason I've written other internet guides: there were none on the internet until I came to the rescue.
There are dozens of Music Sites on the internet. Most are quite similar. They distribute songs and sometimes Music Videos, mostly from members. Songs can be sold (usually involving paypal) or be made available for free.
Membership for the sites is usually free. But some charge, although they typically have a free membership option with fewer features. One site categorizes it's free membeships as "charitable". Sleazy! Remember that in show biz artists get paid, and only amateurs pay for "vanity publishing"--so avoid paying. Most staff on music sites are philistines, geeks, and nerds who know less about the music business than you. Virtually none of the sites are in the big league, or even the minor league; most are amateurs. Some are actually run by malicious assholes who might try to ruin your career on their site--and on other sites. It happened to me. But usually you'll feel you're dealing with a Nazi version of Little Miss Manners at the Mickey Mouse Club.
As an Artist, the staff deserve your polite contempt. Don't tolerate any bullshit from them. If you are unhappy with their behavior, put them in their place. They need you, and with dozens of music sites to join, you don't need them. However, don't forget that many music sites do not make a profit, and some are run by artists just like you. Courtesy is essential, but respect must be earned. Music sites HATE me for telling you the truth about their sites, but frankly my dears, I don't give a shit because I have given up on the internet as a useful way to promote a music career. The internet is an adjunct at best.
Songs are usually in the form of MP3s, although some sites sell CDs. Most sites have members' profiles and photos, and many sites also have blogs, forums, and sections for advertising live gigs, and merchandise for sale such as T shirts. Site design varies tremendously, and navigation is often difficult. Some websites seem to have been designed by the Marquis de Sade when he was drunk. If you get lost, FAQs are usually a waste of time and customer support will only respond to your queries half the time, if at all. Before attempting to upload any Mp3 or video files, check to see if your account allows it, the format is supported, and your file size is allowed.
If you have some first-rate great song with hit potential, don't put them on the internet. You'll just get ripped off. Save your very best songs for CDs, radio, TV, and movies--where you can make a fortune from your great songs. I will never put my million dollar songs on the internet, only my mediocre ones that give listeners an idea about my music for free. At this point, charging for MP3s on the internet is like busking: Cyber-busking on amateur music sites.
You are a professional with aspirations. Behave like one. This means avoiding anything for amateurs: contests, prizes, and especially having your songs rated and commented upon by non-customers. Can you imagine Madonna or Prince entering a competition, giving away their songs for free, and allowing non-customers to rate and comment on them? NO! Fans can buy your songs or not. Period. You may wish to promote yourself with some free MP3s, but don't behave like an amateur or you will get nowhere. Some music sites have a demeaning rating and comment feature, and these sites should be avoided unless the ratings can be disabled.
Most music websites don't have many members or much traffic. So it's a good idea to join many sites. The internet music business is different from ordinary show biz, in that members are expected to find listeners and customers. This is done by "inviting friends", joining groups, and so on. It's a very stupid set-up.
It's a good idea to register a "domain name" and link it to your favorite music site profile. It costs less than $10 per year, and you have your own web site! GoDaddy.com has a good reputation as a registrar, but there are many others. Eventually you can create your own genuine website using this domain name and an arrangement with a hosting company such as DreamHost.com or HostBaby.com. Also, when on music sites make sure the URL ends with your stage name so it can be found in a google search.
The other thing to remember is that music sites are also for listeners, music lovers, the customers. Often sites have two separate sections: artists and fans. A good site should have many more fans than artists. Usually there are separate log in procedures. On some sites artists must or should have profiles in both sections.
You should have a unique image for your career, photos, and videos. It's show biz, so anything goes! You can be your natural self if you wish, but since you're an artist it should be easy to dream up an image you like and sells your music. Your image can be changed, but never underestimate the importance of it or your stage name.
Finally, it is my opinion that NOBODY has ever been a true success in the music business without making it in the real world first. This may change in the future. But for now, try not to neglect the real world. Whether you are in a live band or are a songwriter/studio musician, try to get a record deal with a reputable company. Or have a product--a professional CD--to distribute in your area, to friends, fans, and music business executives. You can upload and download CD quality songs on the internet, but it's not the same as a CD "product". Some internet sites specializing in CD quality music require you to snail mail them your CD.
* CastMP3.com is a good site based in Geneva. It's one of my favorites, although it doesn't get much traffic. Songs, photos, videos, blogs can be uploaded. The upload limit is based on your star rating, which is determined by your popularity. The negative aspects of this site are CastMP3 is slow to load, and songs are rated. "CastMP3 is an online professional services center available to help all artists all around the world to distribute and share their multimedia art (music, video, photo). This service is available at http://www.castmp3.com/ in English and http://fr.castmp3.com/ for French speaking users."
* Silentway.com: This site offers "Technical consulting, recording and rentals". But it also has Tony Brooke's excellent "DIY FYI: A Step-By-Step Guide For Musicians". It's free, very detailed, with excellent advice for musicians. There are many specific internet sites recommended. It's only Brooke's qualified opinions, and I don't agree with all of them, but it's definitely worth reading and considering. It starts: "First and foremost, write some good, original music. Do not skip this step or you will go nowhere. Period. Then practice, practice, practice."
* MyMusicSite.com is a good website for independent artists to sell their music online via downloads and ringtones. There is no limit on the number of songs, albums, and photos that can be uploaded for free. Fans can listen to 30 seconds of a song for free, but must pay for music downloads. Artists set the the price, and MyMusicSite collects 20 cents for every song purchase. URL links to music videos can be added to your profile. Staff are friendly and helpful. "MyMusicSite.com is an online music community helping independent artist sell and promote their music...MyMusicSite.com helps music lovers discover new and hidden talent. Users of this free site can search for music through genre, artist name, album name, etc. In today's day and age, there is no need for a Major Record label for you to have a lucrative and successful career in music. In fact, it is even to your best advantage to do this on your own (in this case, with our help). Doing this on your own enables you to keep more control over your property and keep more of the profits."
* Besonic.com is a good site. Only 5 songs can be uploaded for free. Videos can also be uploaded. "BeSonic.com is the No.1 MP3-promotion platform for artists of all genres. As a listener you'll get free access to the hottest music on the web."
* Bandbuzz.com is a good site. Countless songs can be uploaded. "BandBUZZ was developed to enable millions of internet users to discover new, independent music without the intervention of slick marketing reps or data analysts." After you upload your MP3s you are prompted to add a photo. If you do, it creates an error and you must start at the beginning and upload your MP3 again.
* MP3Lizard.com is a good site based in Finland. 7 songs can be uploaded for free. "AfterDawn.com ranks as the world's largest digital video technology site in terms of audience reach and by page impressions. AfterDawn Ltd also operates large freeware software download site called Filepedia.com and a video game site Blasteroids.com."
* Soundsauce.net is a good site. Countless songs can be uploaded. "SoundSauce's aim is to give global unsigned artists the opputunity to have a web presences which they can then use to promote their music. This is built up on two main principles 1) That artists can have their own webpage without any prior web knowledge 2) They can have this web page for free."
* Mp3.com has a great name and was once popular, but hardly exists since it was sold to a new owner. "A slick, all-inclusive music site, MP3.com is fueled by an active community of musicians and fans who live to spread the word about music. The site caters to artists looking to promote their material and connect with listeners, and to fans that thrive on discovering new music and expressing their opinions."
* Broadjam.com is OK. You can upload 3 songs for free. Broadjam sends countless emails to you every day, so it is probably best to disable this "feature". "Broadjam Inc. provides web-based promotional tools and services for independent musicians, the music industry and fans around the world. One of the world's largest web communities focused on independent music, Broadjam.com hosts a massive online database of searchable songs by artists from all 50 U.S. states and over 150 countries worldwide." To upload songs, Broadjam allows you to input much information, such as the mood, the exact length of the song, and so forth. You don't have to add most of the information, but it supposedly helps fans locate what they are looking for.
* Garageband.com probably should be avoided. CDs can be sold. Nothing can be edited. "iLike is the Web's leading social music discovery service and the dominant music application on the Facebook, hi5 and Bebo platforms. With more than 23 million registered users, iLike helps people share music recommendations, playlists, and personalized concert alerts."
* Sonicgarden.com is a good site. You can upload many songs and music videos there. "Participation in the Sonic Garden online Music Community & ALL Programs are FREE"
* Filemoon.com is OK but leaves a lot to be desired. "Upload your Files for FREE with FileMoon.com Simply register at the left, upload your files such as MP3s, Videos, Music, pdfs and more!" The site probably belongs in the "shit list" because of the crazy navigation design. It is difficult to log in or find anything.
* Sweetwater.com is the world's leading retailer for buying musical and recording equipment. It is safe, secure, and has a great reputation. Their site offers Forums, a Trading Post, technical support, and other features. When I learned that Sweetwater was supporting my old Kurzweil K250 synthesizer (rare and expensive) I emailed them about a replacement fader knob. Sweetwater promptly mailed me a new knob AT NO CHARGE! What more can I say?
* Musicians4bands.com is OK, if you are able to access their site, which is not guaranteed. "There's a clue in the title! ;-) For anyone who is wondering what this site is all about, we are a musicians classifieds site. Hopefully you might find that one band you've been looking to join, or if your band needs a new member, you might find them here! I did!" Too often Mp3 uploads are disabled "due to spam problems".
* MP3unsigned is OK. 3 songs can be uploaded. "Mp3unsigned.com was created to showcase unsigned bands, allowing them to distribute free mp3 downloads, and to get feedback from other musicians and listeners. There is no charge to signup, and artists can put 3 free mp3 tracks on their page."
* Projectopus.com is a great site located in Vancouver, Canada. Songs can be uploaded, but they are rated, reviewed and commented upon by others. Yech! The staff are artists, very helpful, friendly, and nice. "We have two goals: 1) Make it incredibly easy for bands to self-publish music, find their audience and then get paid for the sale and licensing of their music, and 2) Make it incredibly easy for fans to find music they love and support the artists that make it."
* Audiostreet.net is questionable. I joined, but was unable to log in. Ever. "In a nut shell, we provide a complete web solution for the artist that wants to make managing their online presence simple and cost effective. We do this in addition creating one of the largest sites on the internet with Free Music Downloads and Free Music Hosting." It takes forever for the site to load. The site belongs in the "shit list".
* IntellectualMusician.com "is a website built and maintained by musicians, for musicians. The basic idea is simple, gather a superior group of extremely talented and well educated musicians and give them an outlet to share their knowledge. The site itself currently has two main pillars: The homepage is a collection of articles, lessons, and commentary on the craft of creating and performing music. The forum is an on-line community that, as well as offering help and support to aspiring musicians, is a wonderful place to hang out and discuss music and life with people of similar interests." Too many pop-ups on the site.
* TheOrchard.com: "Delivers digital music, video, new media and brand services globally helping Labels, Retailers, and Brands attract cusomers...Over one million songs from around the world, spanning every genre and era--from cutting-edge indie bands, to top Billboard hits, to iconic global superstars, to historically significant regional music. The Orchard serves as a trusted partner to thousands of labels worldwide."
* SongwritingCompetition.com: This website is home to the International Songwriting Competition (ISC). ISC accepts original songs from musicians, artists, groups, and songwriters at every level from amateur to professional via mail or online. Each year ISC assembles an outstanding judging panel with over 50 celebrity and industry professional judges and 20 categories to enter your songs into. Judges for the 2008 competition include Chaka Khan, Tom Waits, Ricky Martin, Loretta Lynn, and top executives from record companies, etc. You may enter your songs into these categories: Pop/Top 40, AAA (Adult Album Alternative), Rock, R&B/Hip-Hop, Country, Americana, Gospel/Christian, Blues, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, Jazz, Latin Music, Instrumental, Dance/Electronica, Comedy/Novelty, World Music, Children's Music, Lyrics Only, Teen, Performance, and Music Video. ISC takes submissions for most of the year--from April to November 30 each year. Finalists are announced in February each year, and Winners at the start of April (for each previous year's competition). "ISC gives away $150,000 in prizes, including $25,000 cash for the grand prize winner alone, and the opportunity for songwriters to have their songs heard by the most prestigious judges for any songwriting competition in the world." 2008 is the 7th year of the competition.
* Intimateaudio.com: "A web site devoted to intimate musical recordings and self-produced artists. Includes Real Audio streaming broadcast of indie artists, exclusive interviews, free online guitar lessons & loads of DIY info! Hosted by Dale Turner (West Coast Editor of Guitar One magazine, GIT instructor, and author). This site serves as a listening and discussion forum for musicians, audiophiles, and music aficionados interested in intimate musical recordings."
* MusicBizAcademy.com is "For Independent Musicians in the Business of Selling, Promoting or Doing Music on the Internet...free online musicians directory of musicians resources, including talent agencies, CD manufacturers, music biz e-zines, musician tutorials and more."
* MusicDish.com "is an e-journal that tackles the emerging issues facing the online music industry as it enters the digital era. Renowned for its analysis by industry experts and audio interviews with leaders in the new industry, the publications also features one of the largest indie review sections and columns on succeeding in this controversial & precedent setting industry...Get the news & analysis, insider commentary, interviews & spotlights, musician career tips and hundreds of reviews by email. once per week."
* Insound.com is "The first online music store dedicated to indie music selling CDs, vinyl, LPs, mp3s, band posters, band t-shirts and more." It started in 1998 and has a large, eclectic, and often rare collection of legal MP3s.
* CNET music.download.com: Hosts well over 100,000 free and legal MP3s. Songs can be uploaded. Many great songs are available for steaming, but not all "free tracks" can be downloaded.
* Spin.com is an online version of Spin Magazine. There are a large number of free and legal MP3s. This site features "Music Breaking News, Music Reviews, Music Industry News, Artist News, Live Festival News, Music Blogs, Music Festival Coverage, Fashion" and more.
* emusic.com "is an MP3 music and audiobook subscription service. Start your free trial and download music and audiobooks that play on any MP3 player." emusic is an alternative to iTunes and has more than 2,000,000 songs for sale from 13,000 independent labels. There are some free and legal downloads--but there is no index, and the free songs come and go frequently.
* thedelimagazine.com offers "music recipes from the big apple". It's a peculiar site with new band coverage plus free and legal MP3s. It's very focused on New York City.
* Spinner.com is now owned by AOL (America Online) Their slogan is "slightly left, always right". Free and legal MP3s are available here that are often unavailable elsewhere. The Blogs feature both MP3 posts and newsworthy information.
* Kazzong.com recently relaunched its website with a new design and new features. There is a Download Shop, a Chart that is updated daily, and a Playlist feature for favorite tracks. Kazzong empowers "music artists to sell directly to fans anywhere on the web, including official artist websites and MySpace profiles." The site is based in Munich, Germany.
* Dmusic.com "wants to help you get your music career off the ground. Let us be your Digital Record Label, allowing you to be in charge. Dmusic.com is now your one-stop shop for independent musicians! We offer hosting, legal, design, production, and distribution services to help you get your music to sound, look, and be professional." The site is difficult to navigate and you'll probably have to rename your files to upload. My MP3s would not upload. Firefox cannot be used as a browser to upload. This site probably belongs in the "shit list".
* Aristopia.com is OK. You can upload 3 songs. "At Artistopia, music artists, musicians, and songwriters across the world come to display their talent and professionally manage their music careers."
* Epictunes.com is a good site. Countless songs can be uploaded. "Artists sell your music online either through mp3 or CD. Listen to our unsigned music podcasts, bands and online radio for new music. Epictunes has now had to bring back a charge for all new artists and bands. Sign up now and start Selling Music." I uploaded 10 songs allowed for my free account. To make way for a new song, I deleted one old song, but I was not allowed to upload the new one. Several emails to staff about this, but no response.
* MyTunesLive" states "Our web based interface will allow you to play a personal mp3 library from any wired device. Simply upload your files, and then play them from any computer with an internet connection. You can also use our site to play more than one song on your myspace profile!" Unfortunately, once you join you learn: "Unless you upgrade, you will have to find hosting for your mp3 files and then enter the URL into these boxes. A URL MUST START WITH http:// and MUST END with .mp3. For more information on URL's, Click here. If you rather upload your mp3 files, then you may want to upgrade for a ONE TIME payment of $10. Sideload is a great place to get URL's." Translation: If you have a free account, you can use the URLs for 5 of your songs to link them to MyTunesLive. The problem is getting URLs that will work is very problematic. Forget it!
* Audigist.com is OK. Uploading songs could be problematic if you are not using Flash 8. Plus all uploads must be approved, which takes a day or two. "Audigist is THE place for musicians, bands and independent record companies to sell their music for one of best royalty rates on the internet!"
* Purevolume.com is a good site. Countless songs can be uploaded. "Each artist has a profile that typically contains basic info, updates, photos, shows and music for streaming. Artists have the option of making each of their songs available for free download." It seems the password cannot be changed, and you have to use the strange one given when you join.
* Apollotunes.com is a good music website. 5 songs can be uploaded for free, 10 for Premium members. Make sure your mp3 files are encoded with a bitrate of 192kbps and a sample rate of 44.1kHz. You can upload to the profile player but a $5.00 fee per album is necessary to upload to the store. "Of the 100% sale of music, 50% goes DIRECTLY to the artist, 25% stays with ApolloTunes, and 25% goes into our Profit Pool that is divided on a yearly basis between all our Premium Members."
* Masscharts.com is an OK site, with no staff support. Countless songs can be uploaded. But they cannot be edited or deleted. . Like a few sites (such as Multiply), unwanted songs are just given a "not visible" status, then a replacement is uploaded and given a "visible" status. Contact can only be made from the masschart site--but staff have never responded to my queries "MassCharts gives bands/artists the platform to be seen and heard and the tools to sell their music. In MassCharts music community you’ll find like minded unsigned bands/artists and have your details available for venues, promoters, record companies and management."
* 96decibels.com should probably be avoided because they work, "directly with artists and rightsholders to verify ownership of the songs, test for audio quality...Before any songs are Weedified, the rights to the material must be cleared." No thanks.
* Cycast.com is a site in Ilsenburg, Germany. You can upload countless songs and Music Videos for free. Unfortunately, the songs and videos are rated and commented upon. This rating nonsense is for amateurs, so I deleted my account as soon as I noticed the ratings. The site calls itself a "portal" and proclaims: "Cycast--your stage on the Internet! You are a musician, composer, movie maker, author, comedian, writer, or you have a other special talent."
* Arkade.com states: "Make your music available to the world in 20 minutes. Today artists are doing it for themselves and the Arkade is the solution." Business and technology writer Sean McManus recommends Arkade.com as one of the best sites for selling your music. A maximum of 12 MB can be uploaded for free. It's a bit confusing, but songs must be uploaded, then edited in the "music bin", then moved to your "music page".
* Amazingtunes.com promotes itself as: "If you're an unsigned artist or band, get discovered with amazingtunes. Create a profile, upload songs, find new fans. Choose to sell your music, and you'll keep 70% of the revenue." The staff live in an attic in the UK. Difficult to navigate, and their pop-up is necessary to listen to music. Things tend to be slow on this site. Top blogging and web business site Mashable.com has namedamazingtunes as one of the top 30 music sites on the web.
* Artistsfirst.net states: "Sell albums (physical and digital), exclusive content, realtones, video and merchandise directly to your customers from any website." I uploaded my theme song. It's on the site, but it's not available on the site, and the procedure to make it available does not work.
* Audiolunchbox.com sells only CDs. Mail your CD to Audio Lunchbox, 191 Sklar Street, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694
* iTunes.com is run by Apple and calls itself "The world's best digital musicbox" where you can download music, TV shows, movies, and more. iTunes has a catalog of over 2,000,000 tracks, fair prices, and easy navigation. Since it launched in 2003, the site has captured 75% of the market and sold over 1 billion tracks.
* Cobramusic distribution.com states: "Cobra Music Distribution gets independent CD's in the hands of radio station programmers and store managers. Not just here in Atlanta, all over the country. We'll also include you in Cobra Music Distribution's online superstore. The kind of promotion you've been dreaming about…for only $29.99 a month." New members supposedly get free MP3 uploads (100 Mb) and other features.
* Soundonsound.com is a site based on a popular Uk musicians' periodical. "Welcome to SOUND ON SOUND, the world's premier music recording technology magazine. Based in Cambridge, England and independently-owned, we've been around since 1985. This web site houses our continually-expanding archive of highly informative articles (from January 1994) that chart the impact of technology on the music production and recording processes." The site is useful for researching musical and recording equipment. However, the internet version cannot compare with the magazine. For example, there was no database entry for a rack unit I was researching, but the magazine version had a 5 page feature review of it.
* HarmonyCentral.com, Inc. "is the owner and operator of the most popular site on the internet for musicians--Harmony-Central.com. Harmony-central.com is the leading Internet resource for musicians, supplying valuable information from news and product reviews, to classified ads and chat rooms. This all-in-one Web site gives musicians benefits not available through traditional physical retail channels and provides extensive product information. Harmony-central.com has always been about responding to the needs of musicians. And musicians understand the value of harmony-central.com: the site currently attracts more than 70,000 unique visitors daily, and over 1.2 million unique visitors each month."
* BeatsDigital.com is "the place for digital DJs and dance music fans to download high quality, legal MP3s in all genres of dance music and electronica. It's our mission to provide digital DJs with the fastest dance music download store anywhere on the web!"
IndieTitan.com "is dedicated solely to providing Independent artists, musicians and producers, the means by which to distribute their material, develop their fan bases and market themselves to a global audience, all for ABSOLUTELY FREE. IndieTitan.com exists to provide talented Independent musicians and artists a means by which to make a living off music sales, and to combat the many barriers setup by mainstream media and other large business conglomerates preventing Independent artists, musicians and producers from living off what they love to do. Make your own money, and keep every penny of it. You determine how successful you are by the number of fans you generate. You dictate how cheap or expensive your ringtones / MP3's are going to be. You determine your own ad campaign. It's all about the music." 10 songs can be uploaded for free. The only bad thing is songs are rated (voted for), and comments are allowed. You can supposedly upload song files with a maximum of 10 MB. However, anything more than 5 MB is problematic in reality.
* Boostindependentmusic.com is "the leading independent & unsigned online MP3 music store selling MP3 music downloads of independent and unsigned artists and bands for 69c a song. Register Now for Free to listen to new independent & unsigned music & buy or sell your MP3 music downloads online."
* CDbaby.com sells only CDs. "We only sell music that comes directly from the musicians. No distributors. Musicians send us their music. We digitize and warehouse, sell them to you, and pay the musicians directly. Cool thing: in a regular record deal or distribution deal, musicians only make $1-$2 per album, if they ever get paid by their label. When selling through CD Baby, musicians make $6-$12 per album, and get paid weekly."
* Soundmetro.com is not so good, but OK. "Soundmetro was started with the idea to provide a place for Music Artists of all types to help get Themselves and their Music heard. All Artists both "Unsigned" and "Signed" know what its like to struggle on a daily basis just trying to get their name out, their music heard and their face noticed in an industry where only one out of a million make it. Soundmetro offers many ways that artists can get the exposure level they want." The site has a silly time-consuming "intro" that cannot be skipped. MP3 files must be no more than 160 kbps.
* IACmusic.com states: "While we are looking for great music, we are not rigid on production standards or musical perfection here. Our emphasis is quality songwriting. We appreciate and we expect to get a lot of well-produced, radio-ready music, but we also want to encourage the art aspect - ideas that may not necessarily be in final form - great performances - original even if somewhat incomplete. IAC is a center for artist development." Complete bullshit. This site provides music. Some music can be sent by snail mail (at least 12 tracks) to be CONSIDERED for inclusion. Forget it.
* Indierhythm.com is "a CD megastore that is dedicated solely to Independent Music and the artists that create this music." * 7digital.com is "the UK's leading digital media delivery company, catering for record companies, artists, film and TV companies as well as other digital media owners throughout the world." * Intomusic.co.uk is "one of the UK's most established independent music download sites and has been successfully running for around 4 years. We sell both music downloads and mp3 accessories."
* Inzu.com sells your CDs and MP3s. Membership costs $10 to $100 per year.
* Isound.com is free to join and has 266,945 artists and 416,394 free MP3s. 4 songs can be uploaded for free, with a maximum file size of 7 MB. There is no support. And there is a lot of Isound bullshit on the site with too many "friends' requests" for some reason. Music Videos can be uploaded or linked to Youtube, MySpace, etc. But there doesn't seem to be a way to put them in your profile. Zero info about videos in the FAQs, and to repeat: there is no support, only a bullshit way to contact staff who do not respond.
* Imeem.com is a questionable website located in San Francisco. Users interact with each other by watching, posting, and sharing content of all media types, including songs, blogs, photos, and video. Imeem is a "social network" with anti-social staff. Navigation is too slow. Most songs play for only 30 seconds. Blogs cannot be copied and pasted, so what's the point? There is zero staff support. I emailed staff, but it bounced back. From the site I contacted the staff, but they did not respond. They can go fuck themselves. Avoid this shitty site.
* Last.fm is based in London and "is the flagship product from the team that designed the Audioscrobbler music engine. More than ten million times a day, Last.fm users "scrobble" their tracks to our servers, helping to collectively build the world's largest social music platform."
* Magnatune.com proudly proclaims "We are not evil, and consumers come to our web site to buy albums downloads and physical CDs."
* MusicForte.com was founded in 2003 and now has offices in New York, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco and Japan. They sell CDs and sheet music.
* Mvine.com or Unknown Public is "a creative music festival for the front room, covering all the most interesting areas of new music from around the world, including jazz, electronica, World Music, film scores, contemporary classical and sound art." Flaky site, I was unable to join because it would not accept yahoo or gmail as email addresses.
* Netunes.com "provides near-CD quality MP3s for many great tracks. Such FREE music downloads have become an accepted method of promotion for many artists both new and established. One song distributed for FREE is, indeed, the most cost-effective way for a new artist to begin to connect with new listeners and induce sales of their full CD. All NETunes' FREE music downloads have been authorized for release by the artist and are 100 percent legal and safe." You must send your CD to Netunes by snail mail for consideration.
* Payplay.fm has "over 1,852,000 songs from more than 115,000 artists are available from PayPlay.FM, new and cool download music store, powered by PayPlay technology."
* Ijamr.com is OK. It is "A totally free multi-destination community of Musicians and their Fans and Friends combined with an ever-growing Network of Website owners who can make money by carrying the iJamr Music Grids on their sites." Music exists only in "Albums", so you have to plan ahead for your uploads. You cannot contact staff, if there are staff. With a lot of work you can find the email contact, but your message will bounce back. The FAQs are useless, as is usual for most websites. They do have a snail mail address, but don't waste your time.
* Secondlife.com "offers extraordinary opportunities for emerging artists and established musicians to perform in front of a global live audience. Here's how to get involved."
* Mojopie.com is a site for musicians interested in audio recording. Project studios, recording gear reviews for musicians, music reviews, and recording techniques are featured. There are forums for discussing gear and techniques. Mojopie is better than the much larger and popular gear site I despise and will not name. It is dominated by creepy "geeks and nerds", whereas Mojopie is strictly for musicians. I know all about recording equipment and techniques, and I found both sites very boring. But musicians looking for recording information and enjoy discussing equipment would enjoy the site. The staff are recording musicians and are quite friendly.
* Tagets.com costs money to join. "TAGETS is an online music sales system dedicated and designed for the artist to sell their music directly to their fans. You, the artist, are in control of your own sales and distribution."
* Trackseller.com does have free accounts for artists. "Trackseller manages paid music downloads for musicians of any kind and all around the world." You will probably have to rename any files you upload. There is a 25 MB upload limit for free accounts.
* Tradebit.com sells music, but also books, movies, and other stuff. "Tradebit Inc. is a 100% privately held company and focussing on digital goods and online promotions. We are truly Internet-driven and prefer to write good code on various backend systems. We serve files and provide additional services around that. We keep pace with the fast-moving internet world since 1995 and we satisfy our customers."
* Tunecore.com "keeps things simple. We don't ask for "membership," we don't have minimums or maximums, we don't insist you stay only with us or even deal with us for a set period of time. Opt out at any time." There are too many security pop-ups. It seems that music cannot be uploaded, just linked to music elsewhere. Justin Mitchell says, "We accept MP3 and AAC files with a sample rate of 320kbps. But we highly recommend the use of WAV files because they offer better sound quality and a smoother upload experience. Music is not on our site, we deliver your music to online stores such as iTunes, Amazon MP3, Napster etc. Singles can be distributed through TuneCore. TuneCore calls any group of songs, whether it be 1 or 100, an album. So you can release a single (one song album)."
* UBL.com "provides its member artists with a personal home page, streaming audio and video, tour calendar, photo gallery, news blog, email list management, a custom online storefront from which to sell physical and digital merchandise, and more." 4 MP3s can be uploaded for free. Your name cannot contain more than 12 characters, and the site would not accept my email address. In other words, it's not easy to join!
* Amazon.com is an American electronic commerce (e-commerce) company based in Seattle, Washinton. It started as an on-line bookstore in 1995, but soon diversified to product lines of VHS, DVD, music CDs, MP3s, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, etc. Amazon has established separate websites in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China and Japan. It also provides global shipping to certain countries for some of its products. In other words, it's like Walmart, a site to be avoided by serious musicians.
* Worldmusicservice.com is an "online music marketplace!... buy music directly from artists and SELL MUSIC ONLINE FOR FREE!. World Music Service is a music market place where artists sell material which they rightfully own and which downloaders legally buy or obtain for free. we provide music artists of all types and nationalities with an equal platform from which they can sell and promote their music with complete freedom and control and no ownership or royalty infringements."
* EmuBands.com is a Digital Distribution service based in Glasgow that allows independent record labels and unsigned bands and artists to sell their music through major online stores such as iTunes, Napster, HMV Digital, Virgin Digital, Tunetribe, etc. Artists maintain 100% ownership of their rights and EmuBands pass on to them all of the royalties generated by sales of their music. Formed in 2005, EmuBands offers an efficient low-cost service to help you get your music used in TV, films, commercials, and video games. EmuBands requires either CD Audio files on CD or WAV files. No MP3 files. Upload your Wav files, or snail mail them your CD.
* OurStage.com allows "the fans decide. Upload your music and have thousands of online listeners vote on what they think is the best new sound. You can even win prizes." No thanks. Fans can buy my music. I don't want their comments or votes. Prizes are for amateurs. The site has a time-wasting "intro" before you can log in.
* Audiolunchbox.com lets you keep 65% of all your music's sales when you decide to link up with this website. "Audio Lunchbox was founded in April 2003 by 4 guys with a common vision: to increase exposure and availability of great independent music. Audio Lunchbox is not just a digital download site, it is a lifestyle. We strive to make the purchase of digital music quick, easy and affordable. When you download from our site, your music files are not restricted by DRM (Digital Rights Management). Do with them as you please, as long as it's for personal use."
* CDwow.com is a site in England for selling CDs. "CD WOW! is a small company dedicated to customer satisfaction. We are without doubt the least expensive supplier but we pride ourselves on our commitment to service and our discounted prices does not mean reduced service levels! Currently trading in English, German and Swedish, with specific sites reflecting the differing charts with local products and showing local currencies in Pounds, US, Australian & HK Dollars, Euros, and Swedish and Norwegian Kronas. Launched in February 2000."
* Earbuzz.com lets you keep 100% of the profits when you sell your albums and individual tracks through this site. "Founded in 1999, earBuzz.com is the ultimate tool for independent artists to sell high quality music and is the first and only music store on the net that returns 100% of the CD and Download purchase price back to artists. We encode the music ourselves from the artists' CDs, so there's consistent quality on every track with 256-bit and no 3rd party aggregates. We don't .zip albums - helping to discourage album sharing. Your purchase at earBuzz protects and helps artists continue making music as they get 100%." Electronic Musician wrote: "EarBuzz is #1 in 'recoupment from music sales' for artists on the internet."
SHIT LIST (Get These Scumbags off the Internet!)
* CDfuse.com is shit! The evil administration is arrogant, idiotic, fascist, prudish, insulting, vindictive, and whatever other pejoratives you can imagine. They are only interested in money and treat members with abuse. The evil owner of CDfuse.com, Jose da Silva, used his influence at MySpace to have my account deleted. Get these sleazy motherfuckers off the internet! They belong in a prison or a zoo.
* MySpace.com is not a very good site for music--probably because there are so many artists on the site. Photos, blogs, videos, and only 6 songs can be uploaded. The videos usually don't play well, if at all. The site is constantly breaking down, and you will NEVER be able to communicate with the staff, except to constantly report the inevitable site problems. MySpace is an enormous broken site run and maintained by fascist motherfucking robots. The unstable environment is not a safe place for any uploads or blogs. This evil bloated Beast will eventually delete your profile for no valid reason, with no records, and offer no explanation. You can count on it.
* Multiply.com is an evil imitation MySpace and has many major defects which make it a site to avoid. There are few members, almost no traffic, the text is too small to read and cannot be changed, and virtually nothing can be found in a Google search. In other words, it's not really on the internet. It's basically a closed site, cut off from the web. The staff do not respond to your messages, which is worse than MySpace, which at least sends automated responses. You're supposed to "invite friends" and promote yourself on the site. You can upload all the songs and videos you wish, but nobody will listen or watch them. There are also sections for photos, blogs,and reviews. The fascist motherfuckers on this site deleted my account BECAUSE OF THIS REVIEW. For musicians, Multiply is a useless pseudo-site because it's really not on the internet.
* Soundclick.com is an evil fascist site run by arrogant, overbearing motherfucking assholes. They are very sick scumbags, sleazy and dishonest, criminally incompetent. The abusive staff make this the worst shit hole on the internet, so it should be called Auschwitz.com. You can upload songs and videos but the site design makes navigation confusing and difficult, especially for uploading and finding your own songs. I've complained to staff many times about this major defect, but they don't care and tried to blame me. I offered Soundclick constructive criticism, but they attacked me with insults. When I complained about their behavior, they deleted my account. MP3 songs are converted to a measly 128 kbps. Soundclick promotes a free converter that never works. Don't waste your time with it. Videos are plentiful and easy to find. However, they are converted from stereo to mono, which is idiotic for a music website. Your music will be low quality on Soundclick, unsafe and insecure. But if you are a masochist who enjoys being abused and treated like a child by fascist motherfuckers, then this is the site for you!
* Mailboxdrive.com is an evil nightmare site. You can upload countless songs and videos. 'MailBox Drive is a website to get music codes for all your music. From your IPOD or other Mp3 Player to your cds (ripped to mp3 files before uploading) you can use MailBox Drive to upload your songs and get a music code you can use to play music on every social network and any other website.' A huge 'MYsPlayer' ad constantly pops up when you enter the site. I uploaded FIFTEEN (15) of my songs to this site. However, I was unable to log in. There were no responses to my emails to staff. Eventually I received this prompt on their site: "NOT GETTING PASSWORD? MP3 NOT WORKING?? If you havent logged into your account in the last 30 days, your account could be removed. Please register the same email address again and reupload. Make sure you keep your account activated, or upgrade to a paid account to prevent 30 day deletes." Lone Wolf would love to strangle to death these crazy, destructive motherfuckers! Deleting your account for no good reason is probably only the tip of the iceberg in madness for this sleazy shit hole. Avoid it! Boycott it! Your songs and account are not safe and secure, and it's bad karma to be associated with evil motherfuckers.
* Mymusicstream.com was launched on 29th July, 2005 and deserves to die. Unfortunately, this site has an amateur ratings and comments feature, which I found out the hard way. Some asshole rated one of my songs 1 out of 10 and wrote an extremely insulting, abusive comment. I complained to the staff, but the sick evil motherfuckers supported the abuse, so I had my account deleted. I would not have joined if I had known about the comment feature, which cannot be disabled. This website should be completely avoided, unless you are a masochistic amateur.
* eBay.com: If you buy your musical and recording equipment from the online auction website you WILL be ripped off. eBay will support the criminals and not help you. eBay owns over 25 similar or related companies. They own Paypal (definitely not your friend) which will also support the criminals, so you have no protection, just bullshit. The evil eBay Empire is like a mafia monopoly on the internet. Kijiji.com is just another evil subsidiary of eBay. Craigslist.com is also partly owned by eBay. It is unique in that comments are allowed to be posted as well as ads. The comments are libelous warnings about items listed for sale. I ran a volunteer ad in the "Pet" section and a crazy criminal posted 6 (SIX) libelous non-ads harassing me with personal attacks. The fascist clowns on Craigshitlist supported the harassment! They treated the crime as a deadpan joke, went through the motions, but they were just playing games with me. They are very sick scumbags. Don't say I didn't warn you about buying your second-hand equipment online. DON'T!
* Youtube.com: This evil automated machine has far too many videos on its enormous site, and all videos have MONO audio. Do you really want your stereo song to be heard in low-fi mono? After all the time, work, and expense of creating your song and music video, do you really want the world to see it in low-quality video with low-quality mono audio? Of course not! So avoid this evil website. Yes, you can use Youtube URLs and codes to post Youtube videos on some music websites, but you will only be degrading your musical reputation further. Youtube is a lawless jungle, apparently with no staff, and definitely no support. With great difficulty you can send the administration a message, but they will never ever respond--except you will receive an automated notice that informs you that anything you email them will be treated as spam! Staff never receive your emails! I'd like to call the staff "motherfucking scumbags", but there's really nobody there. Technical problems, abuse, and criminals hacking into accounts are commonplace on this site. But the administration expects members to get "help" in FAQs and Forums for ALL problems. Repeat: Youtube has low quality, many major problems, and no staff. Avoid it.
* Fuzz.com should be avoided. The site has too many problems, and the staff is one of them. For example, some idiot added a "this song is not cool" comment to one of my songs. When I demanded the negative comment be removed from my song by the administration, I was told they would not because the comment was "positive"! I deleted my membership, but I'm still a member. "FUZZ is a new breed of music company -- combining a powerful artist promotion platform, a feature-rich interactive community of artists and fans, and a next-generation music label."
* Filemoon.com leaves a lot to be desired. "Upload your Files for FREE with FileMoon.com Simply register at the left, upload your files such as MP3s, Videos, Music, pdfs and more!" The site belongs in the "shit list" because of the crazy navigation design. It is difficult to log in or find anything. I had 2 songs on the site but they disappeared. When I asked support for an explanation, they replied, "After a period of time either 30-60 days if the file has not been downloaded it is automatically deleted. I believe this is what happened to your files." In other words, your songs are unsafe and insecure on Filemoon. Furthermore, songs are not "files", they are Art. When I asked Filemoon for an explanation for this idiocy and invited them to submit information about their site, they did not respond.
* Alternativeprogression.net should be avoided, unless you want to waste your time. It seems to have several names: alternativeprogression, purevolume, and showcaseyourmusic. "ShowcaseYourMusic.com has no flashy distractions to waste time because in the music industry time is money, the industry professionals like to move swiftly through our no nonsense site, find what it is they are looking for and go about their business."
* Musicfreedom.com is difficult to access with your computer. Too many "errors". EVERYTIME I try to access the site, I get: "An Unrecoverable Error Has Occurred! We'll Get Our Team of Geniuses Working on It Right Away." Don't hold your breath waiting.
* Channel4.com asks: "In an unsigned band and yet to sign a record deal? Sign up to 4unsigned and bring your music to the Channel4 community." This is bullshit. The site is mostly video and entertainment, extremely difficult to navigate. I found no way to upload the 3 songs they advertise. I did upload one music video but it was rejected as "inappropriate". The video is posted on a dozen other sites.
* Totalband.com costs to join and attempting to use the site usually causes my computer to freeze. "We are your total solution because we offer fantastic benefits, like a free domain name eg: 'yourband.com', MP3 WebPlayer + CD store to showcase your songs,DIY SiteBuilder + GigBook with auto e-mail flyers!"
Lone Wolf Sullivan is a writer, songwriter, and studio musician.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
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