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Music for Nothing and Your Tracks for Free

Around the globe, the record industry has gone on the offensive and who can blame them? Faced with numerous peer-to-peer networks and bit torrent clients, it has never been easier for individuals to obtain music for free. Having given birth to the term “illegal downloading”, the record industry claims the activity seriously threatens the development of music and artists. But does this argument have any validity or is it a clever corporate spin?

Whilst the record industry have not published any factual information to support this claim, there is certainly information to show that, those “illegally downloading” music actually spend, on average, some 27% more on music than those who exclusively confine their activity to the ‘legal’ download sites and pay for every track in advance.

Recent research by the UK software house, Remlap Software, themselves a publisher of a music download application, suggests that, “illegal” downloaders are anything but the thieves the record industry labels them as.

The term ‘illegal download’ is in itself an interesting phrase. While most people would define ‘illegal’ as an activity which is outlawed under Criminal Law, the Oxford Dictionary merely states, ‘contrary to law’. The difference between public perception of the definition and the officially recognised version may only be a subtle, but it is powerful enough for the record industry to exploit.

Certainly they would have you believe that, ‘illegal’ downloading of music is ‘theft’. In doing this, the record industry further re-enforces the public perception that such activities are in contrary to CRIMINAL law; with all the serious consequences such an offence implies. The truth of the matter is, there is no criminal offence in either the EU or USA of downloading music without paying for it.

At best, the record industry could claim that, ‘illegal downloads’ are in violation of Civil Law, but even this would be spurious. Indeed if such a legal prospect were a reality, every YouTube visitor who has watched (and in doing so, downloaded) a video which violates someone’s copyright could be prosecuted. And so the whole notion of ‘illegal downloads’ is a total nonsense.

In desperation, the record industry has scraped the bottom of the barrel, several times and now resorts to suing its own customers. But to date they have not been able to prosecute one case of ‘illegal downloading’. In every case they have sued on the allegation that the defendant has ‘distributed’ music in violation of copyright. They have been able to do this, because the whole basis of peer-to-peer networks is that each user shares their music collection with the rest of the network. It is the act of ‘sharing’ or distribution which is the offence, not what they have downloaded.

Their eternal effort to force the world to only use pay-for music download sites, the record industry has already ‘persuaded’ a number of universities and ISP’s to turn-off Bit Torrent and Peer-to-Peer traffic. So could this be the end of downloading music for free?

In response to this situation UK software developers, Remlap Software considered that there were probably more mp3 files sitting on web servers, than there are on all the peer-to-peer networks put together…and they were right.

Their freeware application Clickster gives access to over 25 million individual tracks; all found on Internet web servers and available for download. With no ‘sharing’ of the end-users own mp3 collection, Clickster is being hailed as the first legal mp3 downloads.

One of the great things about Clickster is that, because mp3′s are being downloaded from a web-server and not from some guy on a dial-up connection 6000 miles away, the download speeds are much quicker. With an integral media player, tracks can be previewed/played without having to first download the file.

With Clickster clearly navigating around the latest attempts of the record industry to stamp out what they call ‘illegal downloading’, the future remains bright. And to paraphrase the Eighties rock-band, Dire Straits…’get your music for nothing and your tracks for free’.

Distributing Your Music – The Independent Musician Guide For 2007

As an independent musician, distributing your music used to be a nightmare and was extremely difficult. Over the years, more and more companies have realized the importance and value of distributing music for independent artists. Still, most of the distributors for CDs only want to work with labels, even if they are just small labels. Of course it doesn’t take much to create a record label other than a name and an address, but still, as a musician, sometimes it makes the most sense to just focus on what you do best, and that may not be running a small label.

Times have changed though, and although there are some CD distributors who will handle artists who aren’t on a label, the popular thing to do these days is to sell your music as digital downloads. There’s good reason to sell your music digitally. After all, it’s growing increasingly popular and this trend is only going to continue. There are so many good reasons to have your music available for digital downloading. If you do it right, it can be the best way to please your consumers.

Think about it: If you’re suddenly struck in the mood to have a certain song or album, all you need to do is get online and a few keystrokes later you have what you were looking for. As an independent artist, it’s not hard to get your music on local and college radio stations. If they play your song, get the station to announce the name and mention where they can get it. Being an independent artist, it’s difficult to get your CDs in every store. Not only does that mean you’d literally have to press thousands and thousands of CDs but the distribution arrangement would be a nightmare. Your digital store is open twenty four hours a day, and available anywhere in the world. And the best part is, you don’t have to come up with the money to create all those CDs.

But back to the consumer, concerning how their wants and needs can benefit you:

Now, without any additional expense or trouble to you, every song on your album can be a single release. As much as you may hate to hear this, the truth is, sometimes a consumer only wants or can only afford one or a few of your songs. They may not be willing to buy your whole album, but they may be willing to purchase individual songs. Why miss out on that money.

Secondly, it’s usually cheaper to buy downloads. Most full albums are two to seven dollars cheaper when downloaded. A lot of people enjoy album art, but most would rather sacrifice the album art to get the music cheaper, which is really what they want anyway. Of course the digital retail stores are becoming more sophisticated, and now many digital retailers offer album cover downloads too. I’m sure all retailers will eventually.

But what about you, as an artist – what benefits do you get from this digital revolution.

As an artist, you are no longer confined to creating a full album before you put out a release. Sure a lot of people do release four and five song demos and EPs, but as a studio owner, I can tell you, most musicians don’t do it. If you want to have your CD professionally pressed and create a real cover of some sort, expense-wise, it just makes the most sense to do that for full albums. It can really drain your wallet to create a professionally pressed demo and then do it all over again a short while later for your full album.

Artistically and monetarily, digital downloads make a lot of sense for you as an artist. Artistically, you can make songs available as they are finished. You don’t have to wait for a full album to be done, and you don’t even have to wait for a demo’s worth of songs to be done. You can literally do it on a song-by-song basis. If you have your own recording setup, which you should really get, you can record and upload your songs almost all for free. Gone are the days when you had to save up a bare minimum of thousand dollars to get your CD pressed. Use that money to get your studio if you don’t already have one. It will be well worth it.

As a forward-thinking musician, I’m really trying to push the independent music revolution. People have been doing the DIY (Do It Yourself) thing for decades, but now, more than ever, the DIY movement really makes the most sense for musicians and for music as a whole.
This and the upcoming years will be the best ever for independent musicians. You can now control the artistic process easily and affordably by having your own recording studio. You can now promote your music and self for free. You can now distribute your music for free or very close to it.

Get with the revolution. Don’t be left behind. Take a hold of your musical future now.

Legally Downloading MP3 Music – You Just Gotta Know!

Music is the essence of communication. It connects us with worlds and emotions that are sometimes buried so deep within that we almost forget that they exist. Thanks to all the advancement of technology we can now explore all the interesting music genres right in our own homes. This convenience comes with great responsibility and most people lack the maturity to understanding that. To appreciate music you have to be willing to make a small investment for those that open up the portals of self-expression and communication.

The world of mp3 music is now an extended orchard, ripe and ready for the picking. The industry of downloading music illegally is now noticing that in order to get better quality with less guilt then legal download is the best way to go. The reasons are endless as to why you should opt for downloading mp3 music legally.

It is clear that society is not highly interested in paying much for anything, but often the asking price for legal music download is so little one can actually ridicule it. There are many sites that offer the download of mp3 music legally. These help provide an efficient service for people. The basic concept is that people can get their favorite music instantly by paying a very low fee. This type of fee can be per download or subscription. Besides being able to download the music legally you get the opportunity to read some of the reviews written about your favorite artists which can be quite interesting. Most start from as little as $1 per hit downloads. Sites like mp3.com, emusic.com, musicmatch.com and so forth help make this process as easy as taping a few keys.

With such convenience its no wonder more and more people are entering this music world. The best part is that one can carry their music with them whenever they go, with the little assistance from mobile phones and also mp3 players and such technological gadgets. So the world is all about exploration and the path is paved with legally downloaded mp3 music. Why bother with the hassle of illegal music when you can have your conscious free from the claws of the law.

The appeal with legal mp3 music download is that you know that you will be receiving the same quality as a store bought CD. But something that most music fans seem to understand and appreciate from the services provided by the legal mp3 music downloading sites is that it is a community. This means you are become part of a growing network of music fans. Legally downloading mp3 music is also mainly about appreciating the legal rights of artists. With people lacking so much in the respect for other people’s property it is good that most music downloading websites are doing their part in preserving a sense of honesty.