A penny for your thoughts, 99 cents for your download

an editorial by Keif Last week I brought up the topic of MP3s and file sharing. In keeping with this theme I would like to talk about pay per downloads. Many of you have asked for a pay per download service. While we do plan on offering a pay per download feature, I wanted to know what everyone's position was on selling your MP3s for 99 cents. My take on the subject is a pretty one sided, but I am trying to be open minded. On one hand I believe that bands at the indie level should be giving their songs away for free. Sure it would be nice to make some money, but that shouldn't be the ultimate goal. The goal should be to get your music into the hands of as many people as possible and hope that the word about your band spreads like wild fire. Trying to sell your songs for 99 cents each does not help this cause. On the other hand, I question if there is enough support for indie music that people would buy your songs just to give you a helping hand. Wouldn't this be ideal? Of course it would. Is it going to happen? Chances are, no. When people can still download MP3s from top selling artists for free, who would pay 99 cents for a song from someone they don't even know? Not offering your tracks for download because you are overly paranoid that someone will steal or copy your music is one thing, but to not offer your songs to be downloaded because you think people should buy your music is another. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that bands should only offer their tracks for sale once they have achieved a certain level of success and respect. Otherwise your songs will be left alone and never heard or shared with anyone. Sure some of your friends and a few fans might purchase your MP3s, but overall the majority of people will not go through the trouble of setting up an account and downloading your songs. Unless you are a signed (indie or major label) and touring band, I see no justification in selling your MP3s for a fee. The only exception I would have is if you recorded your own album that you invested your own money into. Even if this were the case I would still recommend that they give a good portion of their music away for free. What's your take on pay per downloads?
Posted by Keif on 03/24/2006 | 120 comments

Email move is done

All of your mail accounts are now moved onto our new server. Most of you won't notice any difference, though some of you might find that you received 2 copies of some emails today. If this is the case, you can safely delete the extra copy.

If you are having any problems with your email, please let us know.

We'll keep you posted on our progress moving the rest of our servers in the coming weeks.

Posted on 03/22/2006 | 8 comments

Email move tomorrow

Hi everyone,

We are moving to a brand new email server tomorrow morning. This is the first step in our big server update. We have planned it out so that your email will be delivered, even during the transition. Some emails may be delayed for a short period until the new server takes over.

Posted by Chris on 03/20/2006 | 8 comments

This is an MP3 world and I'm an MP3 girl

This is an MP3 world and I'm an MP3 girl An editorial by Keif OK, well maybe just the MP3 part is true, but the music industry has changed so dramatically since the introduction of MP3s that it's not even funny. Unlike CDs that replaced analogue tapes, MP3s are not just a new format to which you can listen to music, but also a means by which music can be distributed. I just read an article about the morals and legalities of MP3 sharing, http://www.hamline.edu/oracle/archives/2006/03/14/4138.html. I would like to share my thoughts on it as well as hear yours. First off, no matter how you phrase or explain your use of MP3s you download, downloading songs that are available for sale is stealing and stealing is illegal. I won't think any worse of anyone who downloads music because I?ve done my share of downloading in the past, but not anymore. Now, I'll buy records. What I do miss, however, is how when I was younger I would save up my allowance so that I could buy an album. The anticipation. It's kinda what you get when waiting in line to get into a concert. Nowadays that mentality has changed because if you can't afford it you can download it. Not a completely bad concept, but think of the long term effects. The music industry needs your dollar to survive and make more music. As a music fan I didn't see why I should be deprived of hearing good music. As a musician I feared what the impact of downloading would have on my career. How would my album get on the album charts if people downloaded my music instead of buying it? How would my label, who's trying to make their money back from record sales, react come time to make a second album? Would they tell me that sales from my first album were so poor that there wouldn't be a second record? As a promotional tool, MP3s are no doubt a god send. At first I was blown away at the ability to share my music and have some from as far as Hong Kong download and listen to my music. The difference between someone downloading the music I put up on my website and downloading the latest Pearl Jam single is the fact that it was I who made my music available. If any of you get further into your careers as musicians you will soon find out that file sharing is the enemy. If you are a starting out musician trying to expose and promote your music, then file sharing is good. If you are a signed artist trying to sell records and tour, then file sharing is bad. Think about this... A venue will book a band based on their popularity. How does one judge how popular a band is? Radio play and record sales. Now not every band gets played on the radio so the next thing people look at are record sales. But guess what? If your songs are being downloaded then record sales drop. And with no record sales your band looks like they have no fans. What venue would book you if they think you have no fans to bring to the show? See where I?m going with this? Truth is, there are pros and cons, but how do you regulate everything? How can struggling, new bands use MP3s to break into the music scene and how can they survive once they've made it? What are your thoughts on the uses of MP3s and file sharing?
Posted by Keif on 03/16/2006 | 28 comments

The big server expansion

You may have noticed us being a little quiet on the development front the past few weeks. This is because we're in the middle of a big expansion of our server infrastructure. This change will make the system faster and more secure. In the coming weeks, we will announce the day that the actual server "switch" will occur. This will not affect sites displaying on the internet, but it will force us to disable the control panel for several hours. We'll keep you posted in the blog...
Posted by Chris on 03/10/2006 | 17 comments

Bandzoogle is hiring

We are looking a web application guru to join our team. If you know of anyone that matches the job posting below, please forward them this link!

Web Application Developer needed!
The ideal candidate will have strong problem-solving skills and can learn and adapt quickly to new technologies. This programmer will be welcomed into our small team and given the opportunity to participate in the direction of the company as it grows.

Specifically, we're looking for:

  • 3+ years experience building dynamic web applications (PHP, Coldfusion, etc.)
  • demonstrated experience building UI components using DHTML/Javascript/XHTML/CSS/AJAX
  • strong UI design skills and a great eye for useability
  • previous experience with Windows 2003 servers, Coldfusion and Fusebox is a plus -- fast learners will be considered
  • experience using SQL (esp. MySQL)
  • a love of clean, efficient code
  • available to telecommute on a full time basis
  • a musician, or just someone passionate about music

We offer:

  • Fun, challenging projects
  • Freedom to manage your own schedule
  • Time and resources to update your skillset
  • Generous bonus structure
  • Reimbursement of home office expenses
  • Music industry perks (free CDs, concerts, etc.)
  • Full health benefits (if working from Canada)
  • A stress-free, dynamic workplace free of pointy-headed bosses!

This is a full-time, salaried position with the option to telecommute or work from our office in beautiful Montreal, Quebec.

To apply:

Email resumes to: jobs@bandzoogle.com

Posted by Chris on 03/03/2006 | 1 comment

AOL.com addresses (again)

AOL has again put a block on our mail server. This is because some AOL members are marking band mailing list mails as SPAM instead of unsubscribing. We have contacted AOL, and they have put us in a queue to be unblocked. This takes 24-72 hours. During this time, your mailing list and web mail emails will not be delivered to AOL members. As soon as we are unblocked, we will be in touch with AOL management to see how we can permanently resolve this problem.
Posted by Chris on 03/01/2006 | 19 comments