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Business Models, Paying for Service, and More
I understand what american.quabalah is saying, but here's the deal,
at least as far as I'm dealing with this:
My site is not selling MP3 files. The MP3 files on my site are
free of charge. It's like pushers giving away free samples. I'm
hoping some of you will get addicted, but there are no guarantees.
You download the files, if you like 'em then you buy a CD from me
and everybody's happy, hopefully.
What's to stop someone from converting the MP3 files back into AIFF
files and burning their own? My encoder I'm using munges the files
in such a way that reverse encoding makes them sound HORRIBLE.
I found this out by accident, but it's kind of like insurance. Sure,
you could record the analog out from your computer into a tape
recorder or soundcard, but why torture yourself? I'm not here to
sell product for $18.98 like the labels want to now. I anticipate
my CD (e.t.a. spring 2000 or thereabouts) will be more along the
lines of Best Buy style pricing).
I like to buy CDs as much as the next guy, but the MP3 scene has
existed for at least four years now and it's a lot more widespread
than you think it is. There were a lot of early adopters, most
were using this to set-up 'pirate' audio servers, but others were
using it to encode their own music for world-wide distribution.
In fact, some of these guys actually came up with an idea to
create a compilation of their own music. They never met face
to face, they did the music, and now they've pressed a CD and
it's available for purchase.
I'll say this: I got a LOT more attention for my music from the net
than I ever did gigging in this town (Minneapolis). I played in
enough dives where guys with deformed hands admired my playing,
but were more concerned with getting back to their drink than
Now I've gotten rave reviews for my stuff worldwide. I actually have
testimonials people have sent me up on my page (if you want to see
them check out http://www.waste.org/~crash/asb.html).
The best I could manage gigging live was that another guitar player
from a band we were playing said I sounded kind of like Steve Howe
(which was a nice compliment, but I think I sound nothing like him).
It sure didn't sell any product, which we didn't really have at the
One of the assertions made is that MP3 files sound like bad cassette
audio tapes. I have to disagree there since it all depends on encoding
rates and the type of encoder used.
If you really want to go for quality sound, you can go for MP2, but
MP3 is very capable of sounding good. Check out this site at:
http://www.raum.com/mpeg for comparisons of various players/encoders.
-first of all, the mp3 files on my download site are of a much higher
resolution than your typical 128 kbps files that most people are
putting on their sites. This is a minimum of 160 kbps and I've also
experimented with very high resolution 384 kbps files. You cannot
tell the difference from the original at that point. I've gone back
forth on this figuring that if the downloadable version has no real
difference between the original then nobody would want the original.
Also, lower resolution files take much less time to download. I may
just offer a handful of lower resolution samples to make it easier
on people and then one high-res sample, but not so high-res that there
is no difference between the original and it.
-the 128 kbps mp3 files you typically hear are encoded using shareware
encoders at 128 kbps. You'll hear artifacting of the stereo soundstage
as well as weird phasing effects. Ick. Sometimes it's enough, though,
to give you an idea of what you'd get as a full range recording. I've
heard 8-bit Sun .au files at 11 khz sampling rate give me an idea that
I want a particular track.
Downloading MP3 files on the net might not make anyone rich, but the
downloading of free samples might get you attention somewhere and
maybe someone in Atlanta or Tokyo might want your disc.
You owe it to yourself to bypass the soul sucking machinery of the
large record labels.