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Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3

GUEST,Nick Dow 27 Oct 17 - 05:49 AM
Vic Smith 27 Oct 17 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 27 Oct 17 - 06:27 AM
Howard Jones 27 Oct 17 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 27 Oct 17 - 07:28 AM
Newport Boy 27 Oct 17 - 08:00 AM
Rob Naylor 27 Oct 17 - 08:42 AM
Richard Mellish 30 Oct 17 - 04:16 AM
Richard Mellish 30 Oct 17 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,matt milton 30 Oct 17 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,matt milton 30 Oct 17 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,matt milton 30 Oct 17 - 08:30 AM
DaveRo 30 Oct 17 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,matt milton 30 Oct 17 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Oct 17 - 01:50 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 17 - 03:05 PM
Reinhard 31 Oct 17 - 03:31 AM
Howard Jones 31 Oct 17 - 03:48 AM
Howard Jones 31 Oct 17 - 03:59 AM
Jason Xion Wang 31 Oct 17 - 04:54 AM
Will Fly 31 Oct 17 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Mathew 01 Nov 17 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 01 Nov 17 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,matt milton 01 Nov 17 - 06:43 AM
Will Fly 01 Nov 17 - 07:00 AM
Howard Jones 01 Nov 17 - 08:57 AM
punkfolkrocker 01 Nov 17 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 01 Nov 17 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,matt milton 01 Nov 17 - 04:10 PM
GUEST 01 Nov 17 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Mathew 02 Nov 17 - 12:39 AM
Howard Jones 02 Nov 17 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,matt milton 02 Nov 17 - 06:14 AM
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Subject: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 05:49 AM

My wife's new car only has a USB port for music. Not a problem if you can be bothered to recode all your music.
A quick bit of consumer research (with your permission).
What is the viability of releasing some or all of our recordings in MP3. Is it already being done? Would you be interested in buying your favourite artists work in this way.
Thank you (in the full knowledge I am a bit of a techno dinosaur)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Vic Smith
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 06:11 AM

Converting music from disc to .mp3 via your computer is easy-peasy. You need a piece of free software that you can download and install on your computer. I use Freerip which with "rip" the music from the CD you place into your computer and ask you what format you want it converted to and you choose .mp3. That software will automatically save the music on to your computer or if you have a memory stick you can choose to save the .mp3 tracks directly to that.
Email me or phone if any of this is not clear.
best wishes
Vic


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 06:27 AM

Thanks Vic. Do you believe there is a market for MP3. only releases?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Howard Jones
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 07:09 AM

Young People seem to prefer downloads and CD players may be becoming obsolete. Older people (myself included) seem to prefer to own something physical, partly because you don't own a download, only the right to play it. However if something is only available as a download then that's better than nothing.

My current band's albums are available both as CDs and downloads. Most purchasers prefer CDs (they also get a free download with it) but some purchase only a download. We sell these through Bandcamp. Digital copies are also distributed through iTunes etc through CD Baby. I've also digitised an LP which is no longer available in physical formats and this has sold enough to justify the setting-up costs with CD Baby.

Of course these businesses take a share of the sales. However if you sell downloads directly from your own website you may need a licence from MCPS unless you own all the rights in both the recordings and the songs. This isn't cheap, so it's probably better to go through a distributor.

MP3 is a compressed format with some loss of sound quality. When you go through a distributor they usually offer a choice of formats including lossless ones.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 07:28 AM

Thanks Howard. Could not have asked for a better answer.
kind regards
Nick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Newport Boy
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 08:00 AM

Just a small correction. Ownership of downloads may be different if you're using Bandcamp or similar - I wouldn't know, never having tried these services. When I buy a downloaded track or album (mostly from Smithsonian Folkways) I own it. I choose the .flac lossless format but mp3 is also available.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Oct 17 - 08:42 AM

Howard Jones: Young People seem to prefer downloads and CD players may be becoming obsolete. Older people (myself included) seem to prefer to own something physical

I think younger people do, too. At least those seriously interested in music. From about 8-9 years ago, many of the young indie bands I came into contact with, had started releasing limited edition VINYL versions of their EPs, albums and even occasional singles.

Over the last 2-3 years the trend has grown massively. All my kids and most of their friends have turntables as part of their music systems. I have to take inventories of my own vinyl collection when any of my children have visited, as there is a tendency for them to walk!

OTOH, I've yet to encounter any folk artistes releasing new albums on vinyl :-) .


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 04:16 AM

Is the USB connection really the only one, with not even an analogue audio input socket that can be connected to a portable player? If so, which kind of USB: the kind that is the external interface for a storage device and expects to be connected to a computer, or the kind that expects to be connected to a storage device such as a USB stick? These aspects determine the mechanism for transferring the tracks.

Whatever the input arrangement, other formats such as WAV, FLAC, etc ought to be accepted as well as MP3 so, depending where the tracks are coming from, you probably don't need to recode them but only to transfer them. If you're taking them from CDs you do need software that can "rip" them. (To me that word suggests "rip off", implying illegal copying, and indeed copying from CD to some other medium may be technically illegal, though in practice you're unlikely to find yourself in court for it.)

There might be yet other possibilities: perhaps the car would accept an external CD drive with a USB connection.

Anyway I trust you have already RTFM.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 04:19 AM

PS Sorry not to respond explicitly to the original question, but I think it's not too critical what format the music is distributed in: CD, download or whatever.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 08:17 AM

Nick, if you don't know Bandcamp or CDBaby websites, it's worth you having a look.

You can use both of course, but I use Bandcamp a lot and I buy MP3 albums from there.

I get the impression it's very easy to set up a Bandcamp page. The nice thing about Bandcamp is that listeners as well as recording artists can set up pages too, so you can "follow" other listeners with tastes similar to yours - hence Bandcamp in effect provides a certain amount of salesmanship by default.They take a cut of your sales, I believe, but less than Amazon and iTunes.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 08:22 AM

"OTOH, I've yet to encounter any folk artistes releasing new albums on vinyl"

Lots of them are, actually! Stick in the Wheel, Jon Boden, Lankum off the top of my head, and I'm sure I could quickly find plenty more by Googling. Fact is, you can make a good return on vinyl as people are prepared between from around ?12 to even ?25 for a record. But it is riskier, as it's a big financial outlay (vinyl pressing costs) for a musician as compared to CD. And I doubt it's worth it (economies of scale) unless you are going to get 250 or more pressed up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 08:30 AM

Nick, here's a link to a very recently released trad folk album that I like a lot, by Laura Smith & Ted Kemp:

https://laurasmythandtedkemp.bandcamp.com/album/the-poachers-fate


You can see that there's the option of buying either the CD version or the MP3 download. You can also see Laura & Ted's upcoming gig dates on the right hand side.

Under "Supported by", you can see thumbnail photos of all the customers who have bought it and click on those thumbnails to see what other albums they have bought. (Note: those thumbnails only display purchases who have signed up for bandcamp accounts - you don't have to sign up for an account in order to make a purchase - so chances are more people than the amount displayed will have bought Laura & Ted's album via Bandcamp)

I think Bandcamp's very nifty for genre-specific music. I don't buy CDs anymore, but I regularly browse Bandcamp using search-terms like "traditional english music", so any folk recording artist not on Bandcamp is potentially missing out on parting me from my money!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: DaveRo
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 08:45 AM

GUEST,Nick Dow wrote: My wife's new car only has a USB port for music.
Does it not play music from a portable device over bluetooth? That's much more common than using USB - it's a technology that pre-dates the smart phone.

Doesn't affect the requirement to get it onto the portable device in mp3 or other digital format, of course.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 08:45 AM

"you don't own a download, only the right to play it."

I don't follow you there Howard. When you pay for an MP3 album and download it you very much do own those downloads. You can get your MP3 collection insured and everything, just like a record collection. Are you not thinking of streaming services there?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:50 PM

Thanks everybody. I'll give Laura a ring. She want's a song from anyway, and I have not got round to giving it to her. All interesting stuff by the way, I'll keep investigating.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:05 PM

Digital media seems to be better for the environment. No plastics used for a start and no transport costs involved. Just my 2p.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Reinhard
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:31 AM

I still like to buy CDs as the sound quality is better than MP3s and they often have extensive liner notes on the songs and lyrics.

But I do like buying CDs from Bandcamp. First, (I hope) the artists get a bigger share of the amount I pay compared to Amazon or iTunes, and I can add one or two pounds to the price if I especially like the artists. Second, shipping CDs from the UK to Germany usually takes one to three weeks, but I can immediately download an MP3 version, so I don?t have to wait to listen to the album.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Howard Jones
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:48 AM

In reply to Matt Milton:

I think it may depend on where you download it from, but in many cases you simply have a licence to use downloaded material, rather than owning it, and that licence can be revoked if you breach their conditions. I recall a case where a woman had her Kindle wiped by Amazon because she'd downloaded ebooks from a different location to where she was licenced for and was in breach of their copyright agreement. The licence may be linked to your iTunes or Amazon account and may not be transferable - Bruce Willis was reported to be suing iTunes so he can pass on his record collection to his children.

Do you own your record collection?

I think if you purchase a download direct from the artist you are probably OK. I think Bandcamp may be OK as well - they reserve the right to remove downloaed material for copyright reasons (eg it turns out the artist didn't own the rights) but they recommend you copy it to your own device so it is safe from them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Howard Jones
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 03:59 AM

Vinyl is certainly making a come-back and folk bands are issuing albums in this format. Pilgrims' Way have released their last two albums in this format:

Pilgrims' Way

However this is a very different question to what Nick is asking about.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 04:54 AM

You don't need any additional software, just WMP would do the work


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 06:52 AM

My car has a CD player and two SD card slots. Each slot will take a card that holds 250 mp3 tracks - maximum card size is 2Gb.

I select the tracks I want from my iTunes library (currently many thousands of tracks) and use a program called Switch to convert any non-mp3 tracks to mp3. Car stereo systems can make mp3s sound reasonably full. I don't use the CD player.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Mathew
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 05:24 AM

As a young person I do not listen to any cds, ever.

My laptop doesnt even have a cd/dvd drive.

I think we should look beyond cds and mp3s and investigate the world of "streaming"

As a young man I get all of my music this way. I was able to get my hands on mp3s of the old stuff but I would rather stream everything if I could.

Also Will, SD cards come in many sizes these days. They get much larger than 2Gb. The one I use in my DSLR is 16Gb, but I've seen 32Gb and higher.

Good on you Nick, ideas like this will help our music survive for much longer.

(PS. all of my music is available via streaming and MP3 download, I don't think I'll ever do a CD)

Mathew


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 05:31 AM

Hi Matthew,
Please help this old fart out by explaining a bit more about 'Streaming' just the basics I'll Google the rest. Thanks for replying.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 06:43 AM

Mathew: in the interests of research, do you mind me asking how much money you have received via streaming services, and how listens have you had via streaming?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 07:00 AM

Hi Mathew - I also use 32Gb cards in my DSLR - but my Bose car system only takes cards up to 2Gb in size. (The car is 10 years old!).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Howard Jones
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 08:57 AM

'Streaming' is where instead of purchasing a track to download, you simply listen to it over the internet. For the user this might be free, or they might pay a subscription so not to be interrupted by adverts. When you play a track on Spotify or iTunes without making a purchase, you are streaming.

For the musician, it doesn't pay too well. I've just looked at my sales report from Spotify who have recently paid me the princely sum of $0.00720538 for a streamed track. After CD Baby's cut and Paypal and currency conversion fees, the rest is to be split 5 ways between band members. We're not going to get rich! Of course, if you are a global star whose downloads are measured in millions then this starts to add up, for the rest of us ...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:13 PM

Me.. If I could get off my arse...
I'd upload to youtube for streaming mp3 quality sample tracks and work in progress demos;
then upload lossless flac/wav/HD finalised & mastered tracks to other main musician sites for either direct purchase,
or Amazon wishlist donations,
or variations like perhaps voluntary paypal donations...

That's my idea of the future for indie / vanity publishing music production and distribution...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:27 PM

Got it. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 04:10 PM

I strongly suspect streaming potentially negatively effects album sales. If there's two albums I want to buy, but I'm strapped for cash and can only afford one, I will buy the one that isn't available to listen to for free on Spotify.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 10:33 PM

I believe the new way things have been going is that streaming gets more people out for live shows, which makes you more money etc.

Album sales have been going down and streaming isnt going anywhere, I think artists are going to make 90% of their money off of live performances in the future.

Streaming gets the word out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,Mathew
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 12:39 AM

I think punkfolkrocker has it right


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 05:52 AM

I think Guest at 01 Nov 17 - 10:33 PM is right. When my band released its first CD our main objective was to raise our profile. We were therefore happy for it to go onto streaming sites, despite the pitiful financial rewards. I am pleased to say that not only did we cover the cost of making the album through sales but we got gigs from it we probably wouldn't have done otherwise, and are now much better established well beyond our local area. From that point of view streaming has its place, but as a loss-leader in the hope that it will lead to income from other sources.

For the listener streaming is a good way to try out unfamiliar artists without committing to purchasing an album. If I find something I really like I'll probably go on to purchase it anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Releasing Folk in MP3
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 02 Nov 17 - 06:14 AM

Yeah, but you can stick an EP on Spotify to "get the word out"; it doesn't have to be your debut album. I've noticed that even big major record labels are still quite strategic about timing their streaming releases, delaying placing new release albums from big name chart acts for a few weeks.

And, of course, the more vocal that professional musicians are about things like Bandcamp, the more that becomes the default place for "getting the word out". In fact, it unquestionably already IS exactly that for music where listeners are a bit more savvy. I'd say that for electronica or death metal or underground hip-hop, Bandcamp is actually more of a first destination than streaming services. (Although let's not forget that Bandcamp, soundcloud and eMusic ARE streaming services to an extent). Folk acts need to make folk listeners more savvy, in that sense.

I've recently got back into house and electronica music, having lost interest in it in my late 20s when I first got into folk. Really, it's only Bandcamp's networking/recommendation facilities that prompted that, introducing me to labels like Long Island Electrical Systems and Acid Waxa. I will also routinely browse tags like "traditional folk" on Bandcamp. Spotify and other exclusively streaming services lack that kind of functionality: I can't discover new music nearly as easily/accurately with them.

Interesting "community" things like this happen on Bandcamp, which can't happen on Spotify:
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2016/01/14/giving-the-gift-of-metal/


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