27 May 2007

7 Ways to Send HUGE Files

Mashable.com gives a quick review of services, which allow the sending of large files - very useful for people collaborating on a mix or remix. 7 Ways to Send HUGE Files: "Gmail users can now send up to 20MB of attachments to each other. But we want more! Here are 7 awesome services that let you send files of more than 500MB."

The good news: quite a bit of large file sending can be done for free.

25 May 2007

Remixing contests and licensing

Just a quick note of caution for artists submitting any work to websites for contests or even just for hosting; Always read and understand the "terms and conditions", "rules" or whatever else it may be called. You may be agreeing to give up any rights to your work whatsoever.

Some sites essentially state that a mere submission/upload makes that site the full owner of the submitted piece. For example over at peak hour music's rule page, there is language deeming any contest entry (not just winning one's) as a "work made for hire".

I'm not a lawyer, but how one legally gets to "work made for hire" without any compensation for that work is mysterious to me. Oh yes, there's language covering for the case, that a court may throw the "work made for hire" clause out, by stipulating full and unconditional copyright assignment from the remixer to the contest site. Personally I would really hate having made a piece of music, assign all the rights to that music to someone else without any compensation and have someone else profit from it.

Note: No direct link to that site. It's easy to find via Google, if you really don't mind creating and submitting a remix under licensing conditions like that.

16 May 2007

Information Society: Beat Mutation Syndicate

InSoc Beat Mutation Syndicate | Information Society: "The Insoc Beat Mutation Syndicate provides you with an opportunity to make your own remix of and InSoc song. Using the DOWNLOAD link to your right, download a Remix Pack (either as a zip file or as individual .mp3’s) and create your new musical masterpiece. When you’re finished, use the UPLOAD link to send it back to us. If we like it, we will post it here and/or on our myspace page."

Their license doesn't seem to specifically forbid non-commercial posting of remixes based on their remix packs. Overall the licensing looks rather remixer friendly, i.e. less restrictive than for example realworldremixed.com. However the licensing is not specifically creative commons based, like for example aminortheory.com.


SampleSwap.org: "Download 4.6 GB of free audio samples (drum loops, vocals, synths, instruments, sound fx...) Free professional quality audio samples. Zero advertising.

This AIFF/WAV collection is currently 4.6 GB (9,823 sounds) including 1,860 techno, hiphop, trance, and drum 'n' bass loops / breakbeats, 2700 drum hits, 2040 sound FX, 570 instrument samples, 810 vocal samples, 748 melodic loops, and more."

Looks like a great resource for mixers and remixers.

opsound: free love, free music

opsound: "Opsound is a gift economy in action, an experiment in applying the model of free software to music. Musicians and sound artists are invited to add their work to the Opsound pool using a copyleft license developed by Creative Commons. Listeners are invited to download, share, remix, and reimagine."

Gotta love their tag-line!

Funky Remixes

This one looks very interesting: Funky Remixes: "A Free and Legal Music Source | Free Remixes... Listen, Download, Rip, Remix and Share: artists like the Beastie Boys, Chuck D, David Byrne, Paul Westerberg and many others are mixing up the copyright laws of music. They want you to have free access to music.

Why? To allow fans and musicians to rip, remix and share music, free and legally, in support of ongoing music creation, promotion and evolution.

A copyright revolution, fueling a music evolution."

The site seems young still, but looks like it will be worth following, although I prefer sites with remix packs rather than only finished mixes. Found a great David Byrne tune there.

10 May 2007

OurStage - let the fans decide

Loveshadow just made me aware of OurStage, a slick community and music sales site with monthly contests for independent artists in music as well as video. It appears the contests are open only to US residents, but the remainder of the site may not have that restriction.

Popfolio.net - pay for play - advertising model

Here's another interesting business model being attempted. According to the FAQ on their site, Poptopus is intended to work like this:

"Registered artists contribute their original songs to our system, which we then enable registered bloggers to play on their website.

Bloggers choose what they want to play on their blog from our selection of songs. They are then given a snippet of HTML code for the Poptopus player that they can easily copy and paste into the code for their site. From then on, everyone who reads their blog can also listen to their selection of music powered by Poptopus.

Like most other 'free' services, Poptopus income comes from advertising. We think it's only fair that we split the revenue with you as artists and you as bloggers.

Of course, Poptopus isn't limited to blogs. It will run on virtually any website. All that is required is for the browser to have the latest version of Flash player and speakers!"

So another attempt at combining music with ads. I wonder if there's much in it for advertisers or hosting web sites. It's still in private beta testing, so it remains to be seen, how this idea will take shape and if this business model has a chance of succeeding.

09 May 2007

As Other Music, Others Embrace Downloads, is Big, DRM-Laden Online Music Out?

Peter Kirn has a very interesting entry in his "create digital music" blog: Create Digital Music » As Other Music, Others Embrace Downloads, is Big, DRM-Laden Online Music Out?: "Listen to the mainstream press, and the story goes something like this: most online downloads have DRM. Then, major label EMI announced it would drop DRM from iTunes songs (for an additional per-song cost, at a higher bitrate). EMI, says this mainstream narrative, is the exception to the rule.

That’s missing an entirely separate narrative that’s unfolding, which is that many, many smaller labels are embracing new, smaller music stores."

The article and especially the discussion that follows in the comments section is quite interesting to follow in the context of business models for recorded music.

08 May 2007


ACIDplanet is a community site mostly geared at users of Sony Acid software. There are regular remix contests and users can upload their own original work as well. Looks like a technically accomplished and well featured site.

I don't find the licensing terms very attractive though. I'm not a lawyer, but here is how I understand some of the relevant parts of the terms and conditions:

All contest entries become the property of the site owners (Sony Creative Software) - including their ability to re-publish the remix in any medium they please without compensation of the remixer. The remixer doesn't get to do anything else with their contest submission, not even post it for free somewhere.

Uploading original material gives the site owners a permanent license to republish that uploaded material in many ways including as an included free item in an otherwise commercial offering. It would appear that they could very well release a CD with one piece of crappy software and 20 fantastic tunes from the uploads to acidplanet.com, charge 20 dollars for the software and include the songs for free. So people might actually buy the CD just for the music and the original creator would never see a penny.

I generally won't cover remix contests on sites with such one sided licensing terms.

05 May 2007

Medl remix contest

From vocoid.com : "Medl is giving you a chance to make a new melody with medly. Using the great Creative Commons tools at ccMixter, we're releasing the parts from all the tracks on our album, Medly, for your mixing and mashing pleasure. Use the raw audio to come up with a new take on our track, and if we like it, we'll include it in a remix compilation."

ccMixter - best general purpose remixing site?

This remixing site may very well be the best general purpose remixing site out there at the moment. I think the licensing concept is spot on. It allows music to flourish legally, while optionally preserving commercial rights for original artists and remixers alike:

ccMixter "... is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons, where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.

Remixers If you're into sampling, remixing and mash-ups grab the sample packs and a cappellas for download and you can upload your version back into ccMixter, for others to enjoy and re-sample. All legal."

DNTEL remix contest

Sub Pop Records is running a Dntel remix contest until May 29th, 2007. The "remix pack" is just an mp3 file of the vocal track. They are allowing creative commons style distribution of the remixes.

04 May 2007

MI7.com contest features prize of 3 days at Real World Studios

MI7 has announced a song contest. From the news item on their site: "... mi7.com, one of the fastest-growing communities on the internet, today opens an incredible new contest for musicians everywhere. In conjunction with the world-famous Real World Studios, MI7 is offering one lucky artist the chance to record in this legendary studio, where music history has been made over the past 20 years. Not only that, entry to the contest is free! All you have to do is create a profile at mi7.com, upload some songs, and let the other members vote on them."

More adventures in voting ahead? The top prize looks very nice, though ...

02 May 2007

Peter Gabriel gets into ad supported music downloads

Peter Gabriel is involved with a site called we7.com, an interesting attempt at a new business model for music makers and consumers. Downloads are free, financed by advertising. Music makers get paid proportionally to how many times their product is downloaded by consumers. A subset of consumers on the site are intended to become "tastemakers", who pre-screen all submitted music and with their votes determine if a submitted piece of music will be accepted into the we7.com catalog.

The fundamental premise sounds sensible enough, however it's success will not only be determined by market acceptance, but by how well the site can avoid being manipulated. Let's hope they will have better success at eliminating such manipulations than realworldremixed.com, which is also closely associated with Peter Gabriel.