Self-Publishing Music on the Internet
First, I'm not a musician so it would help if you typed your responses real slow so I can understand.
I have two CDs that my brother made of his original music. He has asked me to either build a website for his music (for free or for sale, we haven't worked that bit out yet.) and/or put his music up on an existing website so that people will be able to listen to it (either for free or for sale.) I know how to design and launch a website. But, the second option would be a heck of a lot easier on me. He is unable to do this for himself for the forseeable future and has asked me to look into it for him. So, do any of you know of a good website(s) that I can investigate that allows people to essentially self-publish their music?
Yes, he is a musician. Yes, he has already done the mixing, mashing, and whatever else it is you do to the raw recordings to make them listenable. These are professional quality recordings. I'm the total amateur about this.
Any help would be appreciated.
ETA: If I put this in the wrong place, then I apologize.
Yes, this is exactly the right place to ask this.
But a question: Is this going to be a "site just for friends" or does he want to do some real, serious online promotion of his music? I'll presume the latter, because the former is a no-brainer (just get an account on any site that hosts mp3's, rip, encode and upload, and you're done). I've got a few original songs posted 'here and there', but my personal challenge is to write songs and record musical performances good enough that others might actually enjoy hearing them.
But if just "having his songs on a website" is all he wants, that's easy. But there's a lot more to do if promoting the music is part of the idea (you seem to not want to do much, but if "paid downloads" and making money off pro recordings is in the picture, someone(s) has to do a lot of work):
The first thing I would do is get a domain name with his name or the name of his band, whatever's appropriate - you know, something like beachbunnysbrother.com. But you don't have to make a whole site out of it (unless you want to), just have the main/only page look nice and point to the things below. You don't even need to make this page first, but at least get the best/most appropriate domain name ASAP before it's gobbled up. But you surely know this part. Benbradley.com, .net and .org were ALL taken up as of 7 or 8 years ago!
It's easy enough to convert CD tracks into MP3's and put them up on that website. But that's not neccesarily where you'd want to put them, except for a maybe few sample/teaser tracks.
There are many sites that offer to host music as mp3 files. I think the most popular are (just add .com to the name) Soundclick, Garageband, AcidPlanet, and there are several more I can't recall. I'm most familiar with Soundclick, it's been around quite a few years, and while I haven't poked around on it much in recent years, it now appears to have the option of charging for each mp3 download. I presume other similar sites offer that or similar stuff. If you can follow simple directions, you can set up those sites with his music and stuff.
music hosting site
and see what all you get. Here are some interesting pages I just found:
Those look like good places to check out any host you're considering, as it tells (for one thing) the genres of music that are most common on a site. Even lulu.com is listed!
To be "serious" online it looks like you need:
* Your own domain name and homepage site that links to the following:
* your MySpace page (hosts a max of four or five songs at a time, but EVERY band or musical artist from unsigned to Big-Name-Label has a MySpace page)
* your page on Garageband and/or Soundclick and/or other mp3 host site
* your CDbaby page if you're selling CD's
* One or more songs on Youtube.com even if the image is just a fixed picture of an album cover and/or the title of the song and artist name. I just read an article where Youtube is now the latest release/promotion method even for big-label music artists:
* Probably some other site(s) as well that I can't think of or aren't familiar with
Also, you and your brother should do legitimate, non-spammy, not-too-overboard promotion, such as adding something like "Listen to my brother's music at http://beachbunnysbrother.com" to your AW sig.
If you're going to sell CD's, surely the biggest and must-do place to sell them is through http://cdbaby.com though you may want to sell them elsewhere as well.
If you expect to sell over about 200 CD's (at least by my reckoning from a few years ago, this number may have gone up or down since then), you should look into having pressed CD's made instead of burning CD-R's (there's a huge difference between regular music CD's and make-it-in-your-computer CD-R's - for more info, read http://cdrfaq.org). It's a few hundred dollars up front, but pressed CD's are more durable, and just plain "better" overall.
Oh, and I didn't mention itunes, the current big daddy of paid downloads. Get his songs on there too. I don't anything about getting songs on it, I just know it's another "must do" thing.
Oh, and this is a must-read thing just for its example - be sure to send it, and this whole post, to your brother!
Thank you. This is a big help.
Yes, I am investigating the real serious online promotion of his music. I don't mind spending a few hours a week on this, but I don't want it to become a full-time job. I'm trying to get a writing career started.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
I was gonna say "MySpace Music Page" but as usual Ben was much more thorough.
My narcissistic website with books, music, and junk: