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Experiment 2 - Open Source Music

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I discussed experiment one (using pay what you want) here and it had, let's say, mixed results. After an initial boost from being highlighted on techdirt things fairly rapidly dropped back down to previous levels, thus proving that, for me at least, obscurity is by far the largest hurdle to overcome.

But I did learn something important, and that's that "pay what you want" is not a particularly comfortable experience for a lot of people. People aren't sure what's "fair", to the point that some people told me they hadn't downloaded it at all because they couldn't decide what a fair price was. I pointed out that I was quite happy with nothing, but they weren't...

I'm going to return to experimenting around pricing later in year but for now I'm starting on a different experiment. Inspired by this article on techdirt I'm intending to get take all the original multitracks (the basic wav files) and make them available for people to use whatever bits however they wish. Like the riff from Dirt? Help yourself. Want to use the whole vocal line from Welcoming arms? Go right ahead. (an acknowledgement would be nice though)

There are three challenges to this though: 

1) the sheer amount of time it's going to take me to upload 55Gb of 88.2 24bit files.

2) Choosing where it should be uploaded to. I'm thinking a torrent site but with the pirate bay now being blocked in the UK (and not being particularly techy and not knowing how to get around that)  the obvious target has gone.

3) Getting word out that it's there. Back to the old obscurity problem.

Now obviously no-one can help me on the first one, but any advice or suggestions on the second two would be greatly welcomed.



initiated Jul 7, 2012 in Connecting with Fans by drew stephenson (3,370 points)   3 10 22

2 Responses

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one minor suggestion - upload the music in FLAC format.  it's lossless, and only about half the size of a .wav file.  It's trivially easy to convert from flac to wav or mp3, and flac is a free and open format.


also, I think organizing a "contest" of sorts would be helpful.  I imagine the developtment costs behind would make something that big unfeasable, a blog or site where people can upload, upvote or compare tracks and have them ranked might inspire some friendly competition among fans. (also, don't be afraid to have some sock puppet accounts at first, no one likes to be the first one to the party, so if it looks like a good crowd has already shown up, they might be more likely to stick around.  (This stratigy worked for reddit.)
response added Jul 9, 2012 by Kyle Clements (2,460 points)   3 9 17
@kyle_clements  Cheers Kyle, The competition is a good idea, have to think about the logistics side of things (web-tech is not my forte). Not sure about the FLAC idea though, the advantage of .wav is that it's the format used in pro-tools, logic and cubase so that's going to be directly importable to most of those programs

I'm not great with web development either, but a few years ago I used a bunch of WordPress plugins to organize a "contest" for a gallery page on my own website where people were invited to vote my images up or down, there was very little technical knowledge required, all the hard work was done for me, I just had to find the plug-ins and upload the media.  

I'm sure Audio is a lot more complicated to integrate into a website than images, but you never know, someone out there might have already done all the hard work for you.
@kyle_clements Yep, i've been looking at the plug-ins for blogger and I think I've got a plan. I just need to find the time for the uploads. Pesky day job keeps getting in the way!
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Make the torrent, add OpenBittorrent and Publicbittorrent in the trackers part (make sure to allow DHT/PEX) then share anywhere (Dropbox?). You can also paste the magnet here. Should be a piece of cake dealing with the 55Gb. Now, I agree with the flac suggestion to make things better but still, 25Gb is not something ppl will put effort into downloading just to mix, at least I don't think so. So why not make a torrent with 128kbits mp3 so ppl will fire up the 25Gb torrent later and pick up specific files they are willing to use?

As you said obscurity is the first step to overcome and I'm interested on how artists can develop ways to get past that part. It's particularly hard in this day and age when your time is fiercely disputed by many many other sources of entertainment, work, social relations and so on. Good luck.
response added Aug 22, 2012 by ninja s (1,270 points)   1 4 3
@ninja Good shout about the lightweight and full fat versions. Will definitely give that a go.

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