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They Might Be Giants Open Their Own Music Store 281

Posted by timothy
from the there-must-be-giants dept.
slothdog writes "They Might Be Giants have opened their own music store, featuring "highest quality" (256kbps LAME) un-DRM-encumbered mp3's. There are only two CDs currently available (at $0.99/song or $9.99/album), but presumably more will be added as time goes on. Looks like a great way to directly support the artists."
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They Might Be Giants Open Their Own Music Store

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  • Sounds good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spacecadetglow (790516) <spacecadetglow AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:16AM (#9603888)
    Hey, if I can download particle man, then all is good in the world.
  • Haven't gotten to look at the site yet. I hope they have "Particle Man" and "Blue Canary"
    • Nope. :(
    • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Flounder (42112) * on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:26AM (#9603959)
      "Blue Canary" is actually called Birdhouse in Your Soul. Both "Birdhouse" and "Particle Man" are off "Flood".

      Currently, only two TMBG albums are available. "NO!", their children's album, and "They Got Lost", a collection of rarities. But I'm going to assume that they will eventually have all of their albums available. Of course, I already have all of their albums on CD (and several on vinyl).

      • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TexasDex (709519) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:53AM (#9604079) Homepage
        I'm sure they'll distribute their own music... unless they don't own the copyrights to it!

        Sadly this is more often than not the case. Recording contracts are generally "contractual work" and due to recent changes that were snuck into U.S. copyright law this definition is now binding. If the artists did this for a record label they'll never own it, and have to pay to sell their own music. Which would be such a horrible shame.

        I don't know what sort of label TMBG played under, so this may not be the case. They may be free to sell their music whenever they want, and are just starting slowly. I sure hope so.

        • Do you have a link to the contractual thing? I'd heard that before, but I thought I also heard that it had been struck down/not passed.
          • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Informative)

            by EvanED (569694) <evaned.gmail@com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @01:49AM (#9604246)
            The change of the "work for hire" definition was snuck in via a technical amendment to The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999.

            AFAIK, it has not been struck down.
            • Re:Nice. (Score:4, Informative)

              by Lumpish Scholar (17107) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @09:48AM (#9605462) Homepage Journal
              The change of the "work for hire" definition was snuck in via a technical amendment to The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999.

              AFAIK, it has not been struck down.
              The parent posting is indeed informative; it was all I needed to find this [austinchronicle.com] incredibly informative article from August 2000.

              It was also enough to turn up this [wired.com] other article from November 2000:
              The work-for-hire issue has been a sore point between artists and the recording industry for the past year.

              Last year the music labels successfully lobbied to insert into unrelated legislation a clause that prevents copyrights from reverting to their authors. Now, they've agreed with artists to recommend rescinding the change in copyright law.

              By adding four words -- "as a sound recording" -- deep within the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999, Congress essentially changed the work-for-hire section of the copyright code.

              Artists were enraged by what they considered to be back room dealing between the recording industry and Congress. Led by Sheryl Crow and Don Henley, musicians formed a coalition to begin negotiating with the Recording Industry Association of America and the government to repeal the additions.

              In October, President Clinton signed into law a bill that removed those four words.
              I wish a happy Independence Day to musicians everywhere.
        • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sharph (171971) <sharp@sauropod.org> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:15AM (#9604317) Homepage
          Fortunately we have independent artists like TMBG who do own their own music.

          Independent...as in...they don't have a label.

          They're not just starting to release their music. They've been doing it for a while.

          The RIAA doesn't represent the entire music buisness. Go check out cdbaby.com where other indie musicians are releasing their own work, without a contract.

          You don't need a label to sing a song. (or be good at singing a song.)

          And while we're on the subject of labels and contracts and stuff, let me just plug this now famous document in case you haven't read it: http://www.negativland.com/albini.html
        • If the artists did this for a record label they'll never own it, and have to pay to sell their own music. Which would be such a horrible shame.

          Don't forget that the record label puts up tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for studio time and marketing, which they most of the time lose to artists who make a crappy record or even blow their advance on coke.

          The record is a joint effort, and the label deserves to be rewarded for its speculation. What's a shame is that the standard contracts are "
          • Re:Nice. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kfg (145172)
            Don't forget that the record label puts up tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for studio time and marketing. . .

            Don't forget that the artists owe this back to the record company.

            . . .which they most of the time lose to artists who make a crappy record or even blow their advance on coke.

            They should sign better artists. The recording studio is most often payed directly by the record company, the money for such is rarely in the form of a "cash advance." They know better than that. Unless you'
        • Re:Nice. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by aka-ed (459608)
          If any rights are tied up, it's with Emusic, which distributes VBR mp3's of their catalog.

          Emusic used to have a TMBG "boutique" which also featured special free bonuses (no purchase necessary) every month.

          They still have an extensive catalog of TMBG [emusic.com], where you can get Canstantinople, Birdhouse in your Soul and Particle Man (all of them on Severe Tire Damage but there's no more boutique, which may be part of the reason TMBG wanted to move on.

          According to EncSpot, Emusic is not doing shabby encodes:
          Bi

      • I've just never gotten the buzz over TMBG. EVERYTHING they've ever done with the exception of the Malcolm In The Middle theme song has sounded like children's music to me that required approximately the musical talent of my mom to perform and/or compose (hint: my mom has no musical talent).
  • by MikeXpop (614167) <mike@NOsPAm.redcrowbar.com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:17AM (#9603893) Journal
    Will they be available to customers in Istanbul (not Constantanople)?
  • some day... (Score:4, Funny)

    by maxbang (598632) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:19AM (#9603910) Journal

    Some day middlemen will die and I'll get the money...

  • by 2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:20AM (#9603914) Homepage
    Some huge artist needs to join the bandwagon...

    without that, or some pepsi backing, it won't win the 'music store race'

    (where's limp bizkit, after their last album they would do something like this for the publicity)
    • Seriously. As nice as it is to see someone offering an unDRMed music download service, this is really just a band selling their own music. If it caught on, and tons of bands started doing it, that would be cool. Otherwise, this is of no consequence to anyone but TMBG's fans.
  • Dial a song (Score:5, Informative)

    by LurkerXXX (667952) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:20AM (#9603915)
    Don't forget their dial-a-song site!

    They've got some intersting old stuff on it.

    Dial-a-Song [dialasong.com]

  • wha? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:21AM (#9603917)

    please do not trade them with your friends or post them on-line as this service is how we are making a living

    I hope they don't honestly expect to make a living selling a handful of $0.99 cent tracks.

    I hope they don't honestly think that people aren't going to trade them with their friends.

    I hope they realize their terms of use is 404.

    Disclaimer: I never really got into TMBG (read: I don't like them).

    • Re:wha? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jeremi (14640) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:47AM (#9604051) Homepage
      I hope they don't honestly expect to make a living selling a handful of $0.99 cent tracks.


      TMBG has been around and "making a living" for literally decades. I doubt you need to worry about Them. They'll be okay.

    • Re:wha? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Whyever not?

      TMBG do have a large fanbase that would pay the $10/album rather than cherrypick the individual tracks. Those not-really-fans who do buy individual tracks probably wouldn't have ever bought the CD anyway. And even if they only sold 2 tracks to everybody they're probably still going to make more than they would from royalties on a whole album.

      They obviously believe that some people are going to trade them with their friends or they wouldn't have even made that statement. But they are _trusting_
    • >I hope they don't honestly think that people
      >aren't going to trade them with their friends.

      Yeah, I suppose there are crumbbums such as yourself that will try to ruin such wonderful efforts. I have 2 TMBG CDs I bought 10 years ago. I just bought one album online, and will probably buy the other one they're offering. Should I be asked for a copy, I'll gladly refer people to the web site. None of my friends are cheapskates. They can afford $10 for an album purchased directly from the artist.

      The wor

  • by cagle_.25 (715952) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:21AM (#9603923) Journal
    From the website:
    TMBG and the fine folks at homestarrunner.com are teaming up for a number of projects. The folks who brought you Strong Bad are working on an animated internet video of "Experimental Film" TMBG's upcoming single off "The Spine." John and John also recently sat down to an impromptu jam session with the Homestar puppet and performed "A Little Help from My Friends" and some Billy Idol songs nobody knew the words for. Hear TMBG music at www.homestarrunner.com (email #99)
    hehe.
  • by MagicDude (727944) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:22AM (#9603928)
    Music Store man, Music Store man Doing the things a Music Store can What's he like? It's not important Music Store man Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead? Nobody knows, Music Store Man Music Store man, Music Store man Music Store man hates Napster man They have a fight, Music Store wins Music Store man I-Tunes man, I-Tunes man Size of the entire universe man Usually kind to smaller man I-Tunes man He's got a watch with a minute hand, Millenium hand and an eon hand When they meet it's a happy land Powerful man, I-Tunes man P2P man, P2P man Hit on the head with a frying pan Lives his life in a garbage can P2P man Is he depressed or is he a mess? Does he feel totally worthless? Who came up with P2P man? Degraded man, P2P man Music Store man, Music Store man Music Store man hates P2P man They have a fight, Music Store wins Music Store man
  • by cosmicrob (577842)
    They've built a little birdhouse for my soul.
  • Almost... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bokmann (323771) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:22AM (#9603933) Homepage
    I haven't purchased a TMBG album since FLOOD (a lifetime ago, I know), but was ready to purchase both the albums just to show support. The little help window mentioned specific browser versions needed on Windows and Mac, and I would have preferred to either see Linux mentioned in that window, or some explanation as to why specific versions were necessary to download. Not sure what would happen with Mozilla, so I figure I'll wait until someone posts here.

    I also didn't like the '6 hour time window' in which to download my purchase... I'd like more time to resolve any issues that might come up doring download - in fact, I'd like them to create an account for me, and let me download them at any time - and possibly again in the future if for some reason I lose them.
    • by GnomeAttic (97126) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:50AM (#9604065) Homepage
      bitch bitch bitch.

      p.s. bitch bitch
    • Re:Almost... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AuMatar (183847) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @01:20AM (#9604148)
      Perhaps you should send these ideas to their contact email danamil@mindspring.com. I doubt specific versions are needed, usually versions on a website means "don't bug us if you use something older". And anything that works on Netscape 4 or later has a 99%+ chance of working under Mozilla.

      Think of this as the store version 1. They wanted to get something up, I'm sure they'll take ideas for improvements.
    • so buy them from emusic.com, where all those requirements are met and where there is more TMBG catalog available. By the way, you've missed out, there's some pretty cool stuff in their latest and greatest albums. I just bought They Got Lost and am listening to it now.
  • by nmoog (701216) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:22AM (#9603934) Homepage Journal
    Clicking on the "You dont have flash - click here for the text version" pops up a TMBG guy telling me "Get flash you hippie"

    Way to shame me into it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm not keen on giving out my credit card number to every single band's website. I've enjoyed lots of music I bought via Bitpass [bitpass.com] and have found the process to be easy and fast. I've even got a few bucks left in my account earmarked for the next indie band I like.

    If you're going to set up a store, please make Bitpass one of your payment options. Thanks.
  • by jdkane (588293) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:25AM (#9603954)
    Wow, and I'm not encumbered by the choice of which music to buy. I hope they don't add to much more music. It's just perfect as is! It's also great for the /. crowd: one site, one crowd, two CDs to rule them all.
  • by adzoox (615327) * on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:26AM (#9603958) Journal
    less people will know that They Might Be Giants have their own stuff.

    They would almost certainly be more profitaable in the long haul even if they get less from iTunes/Apple, but I guess having the two is a good idea too.

    They seem to be on all the major online stores and have their own - good move.

    What they should do is offer a discount of whatever they get from iTunes/Apple for those that have bought iTunes Music Store Songs.
  • Pricing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by magarity (164372) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:26AM (#9603960)
    I realize that simplicity in pricing is their goal, but it seems odd that little between track oddities lasting 34 seconds are priced the same as a 'real' song.

    TMBG put on the most entertaining concert I've ever attended. The skit with the puppet heads in the spotlight 15 feet over the stage was a scream. And lugging the glockenspiel all the way to Colorado for one note during one song was a nice touch.
    • Re:Pricing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by line.at.infinity (707997) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @01:08AM (#9604122) Homepage Journal
      It seems like iTMS is just as simple-minded when it comes to pricing. E.g. for the album "Pull My Finger [apple.com]," an album full of fart tracks that don't last more than 10 seconds* - much shorter than the 30 seconds preview - however they all cost 0.99 cents each.

      * To be fair, I should mention that a few tracks last longer than 10 seconds, including the best selling track on the album, "Yankee Doody Daddy," which is 1:18 long.
      • Re:Pricing (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cereal Box (4286)
        I find it humorous that Slashdotters go on and on about how terrible mainstream music is and then listen to artists who produce albums full of fart jokes.
  • Laws of Karma (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:26AM (#9603962)
    My band has given away online tunes free for a couple of years now. At least you can play it through the site, you can probably figure out how to save them with a bit of geekery and craftiness, I am sure.

    Despite giving away the music, we get at least a couple of CD sales through the internet every week!

    Karma seems to be working in this case, because people often email in and say they heard the band on the radio, loved the music, did a web search, listened to a lot of the tunes, and wanted to own a copy for themselves or as a gift.

    Not sure if this will work in 5 years if people don't buy CDs any more, but it's working for us at the moment.

    Shameless plug - go to www.oninvisiblewings.com to see what I mean. If you listen to some tunes and decide to buy the album, then you will have proved the theory! A good intoduction the music is A Formidable Marinade.

    Regards,

    The Baron von Babyface

    (with the face of a boy on the body of a middle-aged man)

    baron@oninvisiblewings.com
  • by IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:28AM (#9603977) Journal
    But their site is obviously not.
  • by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp@gmai l . c om> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:41AM (#9604027) Homepage
    They Might Be Giants were one of the first artists years ago to release an album ONLY in MP3 emusic.com which, while it's not as cool now, for a little while was pretty nice, it was cheap, DRMless and available in multiple formats at multiple bitrates.

    Beyond that though, they regularly put songs up on their website, including exclusive unreleased songs (similar to their dial-a-song service where you call up and hear a new song on their answering machine).
    • Not only did they do emusic, but they treated the emusic subscribers really well. For signing a year contract I got a signed copy of Mink Car, and a sweatshirt. Pretty sweet deal. I really dont think many bands are embracing the new technologies as much as they are. They did Emusic. They have 4 albums and 2 EPs on Listen.com's Rhapsody Service. They also have 6 albums and 2 EPs on Itunes. I'd say thats embracing technology. Seriously who compares? Metallica's Backstage area?
  • TMBG was one of the really early adopters of Emusic.com's service which was around long before iTunes and the new Napster. They even released an Emusic-only album.

    It looks like they're using some company named "Back Office Music" to provide the actual payment/delivery system. It would be interesting to know what kind of a cut they take for this service.
  • by acousticiris (656375) * on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:53AM (#9604078)
    I have to say the one major hurdle that has steered me away from downloading music from the iTunes and others has been the DRM. I'm sure there's few among this crowd that would disagree. I realize, I could still burn my downloaded music to a CD and do what I please with it, but it's really the principal of the fact.

    But my complaint comes out at lossy codecs. Maybe I'm just being too picky, but the less compressed the better. A few years ago I put my whole CD collection in MP3 format for my computer/portable listening enjoyment. All at 160K CBR using XING. Of course, with the availability of an ogg player for my handheld PC, I have converted again much of my CD collection to ogg format for my computer/portable listening enjoyment.
    If I hadn't had the uncompressed quality of the CD, I'd be stuck with my older MP3 encoded files. I had heard of a project earlier put forth where the company/band was releasing tracks in multiple formats, including FLAC (curious if anyone has a link or knows what I'm talking about?).
    I personally wish that others would go this route--more choice.

    I'm done complaining though. Seeing artists walk away from DRM is a great thing. Seeing them recognize the importance of the higher bitrate is also very encouraging. I hope this causes more of a rift between the good bands and the strong arm of the RIAA. It can only be a move in the right direction for consumers.
  • Makes a lot of sense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by line.at.infinity (707997) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @12:54AM (#9604083) Homepage Journal
    Makes a lot of sense to get rid of DRM since people can already buy audio CDs anyway which are DRM free. And might as well sell it in a format currently most popular amongst consumers, mp3, although I wish they'd also sell it in AAC format (comparable audio quality takes up less space on my hard drive).

    Regarding other artists that also give away free mp3s, I find a lot of artists on the Kill Rock Stars [killrockstars.com] label give away free full length mp3s, especially Stereo Total [stereototal.de] (factsheet [killrockstars.com]) and DeerHoof [killrockstars.com] (factsheet [killrockstars.com], Puzzling Music Archive [suchfun.net]).
  • News?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Err (21062) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @01:11AM (#9604134)

    Don't get me wrong, I love TMBG...

    But what makes this newsworthy?

    A lot of artists, like Stuart Davis [stuartdavis.com] have been selling high quality MP3s à la carte for song time. Most of Stuart's are ripped using LAME --alt-preset extreme, now --preset extreme, for even higher quality than TMBG's CBR rips. And, Stuart even offers free songs [stuartdavis.com].

    • Because we're nerds and TMBG, by the nature of their music, appeal to us. When the intersection of a popular (among us) band and current happenings in online music coincide, it's "News for Nerds," and thus /. fodder.
    • Who the hell is Stuart Davis? I'll go click your link after I hit submit here, but I honestly have no idea.

      The newsworthy bit is that most people on Slashdot know who They Might Be Giants are, like them (yay!) or not (philistines).

      It's sort of like when someone at Microsoft scratches their crotch, that's news, right? Your roommate does it all the time and no one cares, but someone at Microsoft is important.
  • by John Courtland (585609) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @01:28AM (#9604172)
    but I really wish someone would get up and offer unencoded raw music files. At 48,000kbps sampling rate. This lets me choose what lossy format I want to use, and I would seriously start buying entire albums like candy.
    • Ok first of all, thats 48khz, or 48,000hz, not 48,000kbps.

      Second, 44.1khz is fine for listening to music, because most lossy formats that you will want to use will lowpass under 22khz. CD's are 44.1khz.

      Don't mind me i'm just picky about stupid things.
  • I bought it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fname (199759) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @01:32AM (#9604195) Journal
    I just bought it for a few reasons:

    1) I like TMBG.
    2) It helps support the artist very effectively.
    3) If enough people buy it, it will send a message to the RIAA that selling unencumbered MP3s is a better business than selling all these DRMed tunes.

    By the way, no problems during the download process. Very easy, but not as seemless as iTMS. Still fun, and I was happy enough spending the $10.
    • Re:I bought it (Score:4, Interesting)

      by evilviper (135110) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:00AM (#9604273) Journal
      2) It helps support the artist very effectively.

      How sure are you of that, exactly? They pay to have the webpage up. They pay for the store. They have to pay a fee to the credit card companies for every transaction. They could quite possibly be giving a percentage to some producer, agent, etc.

      3) If enough people buy it, it will send a message to the RIAA that selling unencumbered MP3s is a better business than selling all these DRMed tunes.

      Yeah, that's what they'll see... They won't realize that it's merely the same price as iTunes, and lacking their beloved DRM. Thereby making iTunes seem even better of a deal.

      I'm sure, it won't send them the other message, that people are willing to pay massively inflated prices for music.

      $10 for a CD would be rather high. $10 for lossy digital files, with DRM, and no physical media, is unconscionable.

      Buy it if you want, but don't dilute yourself into thinking that by doing so, you are sending them a compelling message, that might convince them to be less evil.
  • by humankind (704050) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @01:43AM (#9604230) Journal
    TMBG is a band that has worked their asses off for years and years. While not "commercially viable" according to what corporate overlords dictate, they've managed to garner a cult following and become a success. I remember being in Manhattan more than a decade ago and I couldn't walk a few blocks anywhere in the city without seeing their flyers all over the place. If any group deserves success and attention, it's these guys.

    I heard them on Air America Radio the other day and they were great... I especially loved the bit where they "accidently" gave out the 1-800-AFAMILY telephone number of the right wing religious nutjob organization that apparently sent out a missive to people with Michael Moore's personal contact information and suggested he be harassed for releasing the "un-american" movie Fahrenheit 911 [michaelmoore.com].
  • I havn't bought anything from They Might Be Giants in a while, since flood I belive. I really liked their stuff from around that period, but havn't heard any of the offerings on the page. One's listed as childrens songs, which dosn't fill me with a huge amount of confidence. Children tend to not be the most demanding audience. The other is listed as rarities, and I've found that quite often those are rare for a reason, and not one that would lend well to wanting to put money down on it.

    But I am curious ho
  • That is cool. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:07AM (#9604292) Homepage
    You should also be aware seminal european electronic music label Warp Records does much the same thing with their catalog. [warprecords.com]
  • Seriously tho, my immediate reaction to this is of course very positive. I like the idea of cutting out the BS middle man and actually paying the artist directly. The idea that the artist in this case still actually owns their own music (which should just be a given) is rather nice. But it brings up some questions.

    I keep going back and forth with this in my head and I still haven't found a complete solution. Given that the "problem" if you will is that artists in the past haven't been able to equip themsel
    • I think that a band that concentrates on great music is going to get fans via word of mouth. Every band I hear is recommended by pals or random discussions I find on the net. What's on the radio may work for people who don't care so much, but when playlists are predictable to the hour, the RIAA suing people who buy CDs, and the general quality of music pandering to the lowest common denominator - I see the 'base' of the RIAA looking for alternatives.

      I highly doubt the RIAA would let their artists collec

  • TMBG Wiki (Score:2, Informative)

    by mnemonic_ (164550)
    This Might Be A Wiki: TMBW.Net [tmbw.net]
    (isn't that cool?)
  • by Tezkah (771144) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:18AM (#9604461)
    There's tons of The Smashing Pumpkins [billy-corgan.com] stuff that Billy (lead singer) got people to release. Some major stuff, like a 5 disc set of B-sides (Mashed Potatoes).

    Most of this stuff here was made by Billy himself, and given to an online fan with the message to "circulate this". He's a pretty cool guy, and he's going to be releasing a new album [billycorgan.com].
  • by 222 (551054) <stormseeker@@@gmail...com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:31AM (#9604501) Homepage
    Yea, Flood, the album everyone wants is already on Rhapsody. Its no itunes, i guess, but as a mobie tech, my music follows and i pay 10 bucks a month for as many new albums as I choose to support, and a crapload more. So uhh yea, once again, real isnt the company you want it to be, Apple isnt always the best choice, and ill always get modded down. Thx slashdot!
  • by Tem Noon (251591) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @04:01AM (#9604580) Homepage Journal
    I love "The Might Be Giants," and it's nice to see them taking this step, but not every musician can start their own on-line store. With Weed files, you just need to have the files on a web site.

    With Weed [sharenewyork.com], musicians always get to set the price of the song (usually about a dollar, of course) and get 50% from every sale. Weed publishers Shared Media Licensing, Inc gets just 15%. 35% goes to the people buying then sharing the music. (20%, 10%, then 5% commissions) And sites like ShareNewYork.com [sharenewyork.com] make it very easy to buy Weed files, upload them, and review why it's and great song, why you chose it. Whatever the cost of the song, if 5 people buy it, the song has paid for itself. It's also a great place to look for new songs, because most songs are posted with a few words from a fan.

    Weed files are legal to share, and will play 3 times for free (on Windows Machines. Macophiles, I feel your pain [sharenewyork.com]) They are ideal for new musicians, since it is usually free to get your music in this format, and the music must be original. Now that CD Baby has endorsed Weed, 65,000+ musicians can convert their files by oping in to Weed as part of digital distribution, again for free.

    Oh, and Heart's new Album, Jupiter's Daughter, is available in Weed.

    For some reason, this Weed - CD Baby deal [sharenewyork.com] is completely below the notice of the media. I think it's the biggest deal in OMD since MP3.com went public, but the media doesn't get it. Anyone see anything about it here on /. ? What's up with that? CD Baby gives that needed catalog of 100,000+ files. As a whole, CD Baby represents 230,000 songs, but it remains to be seen how many will opt in.

    With Weed files [weedshare.com], there's actual potential for income for everyone ... musician, distributors, and even fans! The better each does their job, the more everyone will make. Music becomes a capital investment. it makes new business models of music possible. Now is the time to get involved.

  • by zenmojodaddy (754377) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:53AM (#9604868)
    Sounds good to me. If more bands take control of their own output like this, that can only be a good thing. I used to think it might just be me getting older, but modern music really is rubbish: it's pre-chewed baby food and has to be, because there's so much money involved in marketing and packaging and lawyers that it has to be dumbed down for the largest possible audience just to make any kind of profit.

    What would work even better is if a band's CD also acts as a passport for added-value services on the website - so if you buy a CD, you can also download MP3s, bonus tracks, wallpapers, ringtones and so on from the website at no additional charge. Real fans buy the CD and get extra goodies. Passing fans just download MP3s cheaply and delete them if they get tired of them. Anyone who just wants to check out the band will pick up some MP3s from their favourite P2P network and either buy more or decide they suck, so it's not like the band loses out.

    See? No need for DRM if you DIY. I'm in a band myself... if we ever get round to recording anything, that's the way I want us to go. I'm too old to go selling my soul to a record company.
  • by dozer (30790) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:23PM (#9607119)
    I paid my $10.00 to download They Might Be Lost just before bed last night. It can download all night, then I have new music to listen to in the morning!

    Except that they give you a page with 21 download links on it! That's right: click on the first track, click save. Click on the next track, wait for the save dialog to show up, click save. Click on the third track, wait a LONG time for the save dialog... It's insane.

    But it gets worse. Each file wants to be named "tmbg_6134634563543_12.mp3" instead of, say, "12 - Reprehensible.mp3". I haven't managed to download any tracks yet so know about the tagging but, given the file names, I don't expect much...

    And, they give you only a six hour window in which to download everything! I was too tired to go through the hassle last night, so I went to bed. This morning, of course, I'm locked out.

    You've got to be kidding me. I still buy my music because I believe artists should be paid for their hard work (buying CDs direct from the band in small venues is my favorite). But, let me tell you, file sharing is one hell of a lot easier to use than this site! At least I can download all the tracks at once, have it work overnight, and they're usually named something sensible.

    Please contact me when I can click *one* link, then download properly named files. Anything else is just a waste of my time.

    Good thing I paid by credit card...

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