22 July 2007

12 Things to Like and Dislike about Remix Sites

Love it when remix sites feature:

  1. creative commons licensed (e.g. attribution, non-commercial) remixed packs, which allow remixers to post their remixes to other places
  2. real singing (decent singing a capella vocal tracks are rare, rapping is more easily found)
  3. users can upload sample packs and tracks as well as remixes (peer to peer remixing)
  4. listeners being able to comment on submitted remixes (compliments and constructive critiques are the real reward for publishing one's remixes, otherwise why bother?)
  5. remix packs being made available using FLAC compressed audio files (smaller file sizes without loss in quality)
  6. remix contests (a bit of friendly competition can be fun and educational)
Hate it when remix sites:
  1. take remixers for granted (yes it's a privilege to remix someone else's creation, but it is also a great privilege to be remixed)
  2. demand full commercial rights to remixes without compensation (I still can't believe that some are actually trying that!)
  3. disallow publishing of remixes anywhere else but on their site (it essentially buries the remixer's work on one site)
  4. have remix contests where you can't listen to all contest submissions (listening to other remixers work is inspirational as well as educational)
  5. disqualify remixes from being posted because of some unpublished selection criteria (that is wasting the time and emotional energy of the remixer)
  6. feature ratings systems, which can be too easily subverted or hijacked (if it's too easy to subvert the system, might as well not have it)
In the end, there is only one way to make remix sites "behave well": Remixers have to vote with their feet - I mean vote with their browsers. That means abandoning sites with bad policies and congregating at sites with good policies - even when the musical quality might suggest otherwise. If good remixers congregate at sites with good policies, good original content producers will follow.

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