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Dear Netlabels

Since things are a little slow this week, I think it’s time to get something off my chest.

It’s been real fun, netlabels. I have gigs of free music and it’s mega awesome. But we have some problems. It’s getting harder and harder to pick the good from the bad in a me-too sea of wanna-bees and also-rans and never-wheres and I have a few suggestions to help make it easier for you to turn music fans into becoming YOUR music fans.

Host your own material

Seriously guys, I’m not going to wait 85 seconds to download something I haven’t heard and am not sure I like. It’s only a few bucks a month and it’s worth the nominal investment if you really want people to download your artists’ material.

Provide Download Options

Yes, zips are nice, but don’t go too far one way and disallow single track downloads as well. Zips can be messy if you don’t know what you want.

Provide a Streaming sample (or even the whole thing!)

It is trivial for a listener to let a record stream in the background to see if they like the whole thing. Using a service like BandCamp also gives you an embeddable streaming flash widget that gives you stats and lets you embed the player in all kinds of spammy places. It’s really cool.

These meager suggestions may seem nit-picky, but your selection of artists material and the ability for people to hear your artists’ work should be the most important thing on your mind as a netlabel owner. As an open question to the readers, is there anything that burns your biscuits about how you absorb netlabel data?

13 comments to Dear Netlabels

  • Chippaze needs more flash player and stand alone tracks. We already have the single section for those tracks, but anyway. I agree with all written here.

  • I’m definitely a stickler for proper ID3 tags- It sucks importing songs and having to retag every single track on the compilation in order to keep things organized.
    I don’t mind downloading EPs track by track. Longer form releases really should be zipped, though. Anything over, say, 6 or 7 tracks would benefit from it. I know people will make the argument that if you really want the music you’ll take time to click every track, but the truth of the matter is that some people just won’t take the time to download 15 tracks individually or install DownThemAll!, and that’s one less person who’ll hear your release.
    The whole Bandcamp idea is excellent. Definitely a fan of streaming a whole release if it’s going to be free anyway.
    It’s also nice to include album art with the release for those of us that have mp3 players that support displaying album art. It looks far more professional to see the art on one’s iPod instead of that generic musical note icon.
    Basically, treat every release like it’s a professional release- go the extra mile to make it look great and be as accessible as possible, and people will be more likely to check out further releases from you.

  • Homeless Ninja Robots

    i totally agree with this, we are working on in ;)

  • Re: Bandcamp Ive also bought music through it, so its not a free only tool.

  • Bandcamp needs to write a letter to the Webfilter High-Council and get themselves off the “Porn” category blacklist…

  • erm…working on it >_<

  • I barely have the cash to pay for the bandwith the zips use for the ammount of d/ls were getting these days, let alown allow streaming of music on kittenrock. nice options if you still live with yr mum/dont have a dead end shitjob! :)

  • I couldn’t agree more with all of this. Proper ID3 tags, files with track numbers, and everything inside a properly named folder inside the zip are all things I’m after from netlabels. Also, as a windows user I get urked by MAC_OX folders inside the zip — is there an app for macs that keeps those from showing up?

    Also, the bandwidth for my server plan currently allows up to 13 terabytes a month. I sell hosting plans for $50 a year. I haven’t seen Battle of the Bits go over 25gb/month yet. So how much bandwidth does kittenrock actually use?

  • Krock is one of the labels ill give a pass, because its been so good for so long, but maybe bandcamp would help labels on a budget.. or!

  • is the shit!

  • Hell yes.
    I have some trouble with money and therefore i can’t host our mp3’s on my own servers yet, although SGX is actually hosting it, so it’s not on a “public” archive or whatever…

    i really agree that it’s really difficult to find great music. the diversity of the internet today makes it really difficult indeed.
    as soon as (our new site) is finished we will have made some great changes to our site, which definitely will improve on this..