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Bandcamp, Soundcloud And The Portability Of Music

October 12th, 2009 | 17 Comments | Categories: Music News · New Music Strategies · tips for musicians |

For many years,  musicians have been looking for decent ways of hosting, embedding, distributing and selling music online. The shops that sell MP3s, on the back of iTunes success, are myriad. As are the sites that let you upload a few tunes and put them on your profile, ala Myspace, Reverbnation etc.

But two services are now becoming essential in the web-savvy musicians tool-kit – BandCamp and Soundcloud.

I’ll blog about Soundcloud tomorrow, but let’s start withBandCamp:

BandCamp is largely designed for distributing what used to be thought of as ‘albums‘, ‘EPs‘, ‘singles – the look of the site says ‘finished music‘ to me. You upload your tunes in CD-quality audio format, and then they make all the different resolutions of file that people might want, and let you decide what to do with them, which ones to charge for, how to licence the music, and then redesign the page. The results are then embeddable, sharable and sellable. It’s brilliant. If you’re selling MP3s online, you need BandCamp. Simple As.

Here are the Bandcamp embeds for my 3 albums up there so far (my entire solo back catalogue will be there ASAP):

Please feel free to take them and embed them on your site – you can download the 128kbps versions for free, or if you feel so disposed, download the higher res versions and pay what you like.

The higher res files will sound clearer, fuller, deeper (advisable with solo bass), but do grab the 128k versions first, or listen to the embeds, to make sure you like what you’re getting – I’d rather you didn’t end up paying for music you don’t like 😉

Any help sharing the word about these albums being out there is always appreciated, so if you download them, please tell your friends.

Here are three more records that are on Bandcamp that I love, and think you might really enjoy too:

…the last one, Gustaf’s album, is out this week, and is available completely free. He’s going to be selling a limited edition CD version too, which given Gustaf’s awesome design/art skillz is surely going to be a thing of great beauty. But for now, it’s free. Get it, it’s beautiful.

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17 Comments so far ↓

  • Sigurdór

    Bandcamp is totally great!
    I’ll check out your music there a.s.a.p!

    Cheers!

  • Mike Outram

    Agreed on Bandcamp; it’s a very simple site to use and great that it hasn’t got ads everywhere (anywhere!). I’ve used it so far to put some little guitar lessons on my site. It’s a winner!

  • Daniel Simpson Beck

    Bandcamp is great, yes indeedy. After you put your music up the other day I used the share option on Bandcamp to tweet about Behind Every Word. Soon my friend Si fell in love with your music. From the UK to NZ to OZ in barely more than the time it takes to listen to the music. How’s that for fast distro? :)

    I just thought I’d give you a heads up on an email I got from bandcamp a few weeks back (my band is on there too). In the email they said they would be getting rid of the 128k MP3 downloads soon. They give a bunch of options to take if you still want to have your music available for free. I can forward the email to you if you’re interested.

    Oh and is that the tabla slapping technique again in Me Myself and I? Love it.

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  • Darren Landrum

    Bandcamp is easily one of the most intelligently designed services I’ve ever seen, from an end-user perspective (ie, as a listener, not as a musician – not yet, anyway). The only thing I wish they had was some form of music discovery tool where I could browse through bands by tags defined by the bands and their fans. I understand that that’s not the point of the service, though.

    Here are my two favorite Bandcamp discoveries:

    http://20minuteloop.bandcamp.com/

    Yep, the very same band featured in the Bandcamp intro video. Hey, that doesn’t mean they’re not good. :)

    http://humphreysandkeen.bandcamp.com/

    They’re good is, bru! Dubber pointed this one out, and I really like this album. Now I have to go back and collect the older Able Tasmans stuff.

  • James Corachea

    I’ve just been faffing around for days trying to get a WordPress plugin for purchasing music to work on my site.

    I had heard of Bandcamp but, thinking that it was just another social networking site that I’d have to update, I never gave it much of a look. Maybe if I can integrate it with my website it might be a better option.

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  • Brennig

    Thoroughly brilliant use of a technical tool. I shall be talking to @inLight, a band I have an interest in, about this. Thanks Steve. And thanks for your work too.

  • sygo

    Thought id share how I totally integrated the Bandcamp service directly on my website. As Bandcamp comes with no branding, its easy to make it look as you never ever leave the website.
    Check it: http://www.lowpitchmusic.com

    Gotta love the work of those guys at Bandcamp!

    Sygo
    Lowpitch

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  • Melissa Axel

    Very excited that bandcamp now allows physical and bundled sales (buy the CD, download now before it’s mailed to you) … will have to look into integrating right into own website, that’s a fantastic idea too.

    Cheers Steve, nice to cyber-meet you through Manisha, happened to be reading another blog of yours just hours before I got the tweet from her! :)

  • steve

    Mike, that’s a great idea! I love what happens when people with a ‘use’ find the tech that fits it best, even if that tech seems targeted somewhere else.

    guitar lesson embeds is ideal. :)

  • steve

    Daniel, thanks, I’d love to see the email – it’ll be interesting to see why, and what their alternative is… I’m always open to things getting better :)

    Thanks so much for sharing the music around – that’s the lifeblood of the future of music. The ease with which we can share the good stuff we’ve found is so great. We just need to make it part of our standard reaction to good music: “love that, must tell people!” :)

  • Daniel Simpson Beck

    I have sent the email via your contact form.

    Interesting though: it was sent to me a month ago and it said the changes would happen in a week… Perhaps they’ve had second thoughts? I don’t know, they haven’t sent another email since. It is possible that some people have asked that they don’t do it. I wasn’t too sure what to think when I read it. Would be interested to hear your take.

  • steve

    Thanks Darren, I love the Humphries and Keen album – gorgeous stuff!

  • Darren Landrum

    It’s not a social networking site at all. It’s a music hosting site with a great and highly configurable embeddable player and some really slick features for buying downloads. You can even put extras as files in download zip files, like videos, for people who buy your album download. They also have a system for download codes you can hand out to people, as well as a system for collecting email addresses in exchange for getting a free download, should you choose to do something like offer the lowest-quality version for free.

    This is all a nutritious part of a balanced social marketing strategy, but Bandcamp itself is not actually a social networking site.

  • steve

    Yeah, I need to put that in place too – going to ditch my other web-shop altogether. :) Bandcamp rules! Nice to meet you too!