Free Music For Your iPod

Times are changing. Digital music is accessible music and the industry is changing fast. Here, you’ll find extraordinary selection of services and sites where you can explore and find interesting sounds (and video) to pep up your iPod. The message is simple: if you’re hungry for music but don’t want to break the law, there are numerous legal alternatives to file sharing.

MySpace

MySpace has emerged as the leading destination for musicians and fans to meet, with 106 million users worldwide and it’s free to join, all it requires is that you fill in a registration form and create a profile. Once you’ve published your own page on MySpace, you can explore other pages and get connected to people and musicians you like by asking to be added to their collection of friends.

If you come across a band that you like, you just need to hit the ‘Add’ button in the clearly marked ‘Contact’ box, which is generally situated under the main profile description. When you submit a friend request, the other party receives a message telling them you want to get connected, so they can vet and approve you.

You will also receive the same message when others try to befriend you. You can expand your network quickly by leaving comments on your friends’ sites, thanking them for allowing the connection – it’s good MySpace etiquette, and what you write may attract new friends to you. As your network grows, you will find it increasingly easy to find new, talented musicians.

MySpace also integrates ways users can recommend artists they like, for example, any page can host background music chosen by the page owner. When you navigate to a website playing music that you’d like to promote, you can choose to have that track play automatically when others visit your page.

You simply need to use the ‘Add’ button beneath the selected song. You’ll then be asked if you want to add the song to your page – answer ‘Yes’ and the job is done. Personal users can only have one such streamed track on their site, while bands can carry two to four songs. Bands can choose to make their tracks available for free download, or just for streaming.

MySpace alternatives

While MySpace is the clear market leader in terms of users and activity, there are other social sites offering free and legal music downloads that will work with iPods.

GarageBand

Around since 1999, this music website hosts pages for independent bands. You can subscribe to fanlists, contact bands, find out about releases and gig dates, and speak with other fans. Site visitors can review music they find – which can help casual browsers find some sounds they may like. Musicians decide whether to make music available only for streaming, or for free download.

SoundClick

With 3 million members and almost 2 million songs, SoundClick is a free community-based site focused on musicians. It offers tracks and information from thousands of unsigned acts, with music split into categories (Metal, Alternative, Pop, and so on). You can listen to streamed music, and some bands offer tracks in MP3 format for download. Bands can also choose to sell songs through this service.

Bebo

This social-networking site recently introduced its Bebo Bands service. While you can use the site to find new acts, it doesn’t yet offer music for download, but you can add tracks you like to your playlist on your own profile page. These songs only stream when you visit the site.

Pandora

This streaming service can help you find new artists, but doesn’t offer music downloads. It’s based on the Music Genome Project, which analyses every detail of songs to accurately recommend and play tracks based on a user’s taste. You set up channels – Happy Mondays, for example – and the service will stream tracks it thinks are similar. It’s a nice way to find new acts you may like, which you can then look for elsewhere.

Bands websites

Most bands these days have their own dedicated websites, some personally run by the act. Some offer free music downloads for fans, while others offer their own music stores where fans can buy tracks.

Legal music sales at low prices

Newly launched, the web-based eMusic subscription service offers a catalogue of 1.4 million tracks from indie labels. Songs cost as little as 17p. Unlike other subscription-based services, you can download and keep the music you choose. The site trusts its customers.

Songs are sold in MP3 format (encoded at 192k) and are free of any digital rights management technology. You can use your eMusic purchases on any system or any player (naturally including iPods and iTunes). You are allowed to burn your music to as many CDs as you like, and host your collection on as many machines as you want.

There are three subscription packages: Basic, 40 downloads per month for £8.99 per month; Plus, 65 downloads per month for £11.99 per month; and Premium, 90 downloads per month for £14.99 per month.

eMusic’s site navigation isn’t as slick as iTunes, but it does offer a wealth of information about the music it sells. It also publishes charts based on sales, so you can easily find the hottest new acts. Music is split into genres, such as ‘Alternative’, ‘Jazz’ or ‘Hip Hop’. Each genre is further divided into the sub-genres that exist.

You are encouraged to create your own playlists, which others can take a look at to help you find a band you might enjoy. You can also rate and review tracks.

Downloading tracks isn’t as straightforward as in iTunes as you need to install a software called the ‘eMusic Download Manager’ for both Mac or Windows (www.emusic.com/dlm/download.html).

Once you find a track you want to buy, click on the download link beside it. A file is then downloaded to your desktop. If you’ve set up your browser to automatically open downloaded files in the correct application, the Download Manager will open the file and begin downloading the track(s) to a folder, ‘My eMusic’, which the software creates on your desktop.

Once you have the music you can drag and drop it into your iTunes library (iTunes will import it, and file it just like any other track in its collection), or, in iTunes, select ‘File—Add To Library’ and navigate to the downloaded music in the eMusic folder on your desktop.

Other music services

While eMusic is the cheapest, most smaller music services have begun offering music in MP3 formats. It makes sense for digital services to do this, as Apple’s iPod is by far the most popular player and songs sold in other protected formats won’t work on iPods. Process tends to be about the same or slightly higher than iTunes. The following services may be worth watching checking out.

Wippit

One of the oldest UK download services, Wippit offers a broad catalogue of music, though only minority of its catalogue will work with an iPod or iTunes. Tracks cost from 29p. The service also sells video, comedy and ring tones.

7 Digital

This service offers limited selection of music in the iPod-friendly AAC format. Songs are encoded at 192k (better than iTunes) and cost 77p. This service also offers video for iPods. The company also runs websites for bands and offers a service that lets unsigned acts sell their tracks.

TuneTribe

Most of TuneTribe’s major label catalogue is incompatible with iPods as it’s sold in Windows Media format. Some tracks – mainly from indie artists – are available as MP3’s. Albums cost £7.99, while singles cost 89p. The site also offers articles written by working music journalists.

Trax2burn

This service offers a wide catalogue of dance music tracks at varying prices, approximately £1.49 per track. For that you get the music in MP3 format. Because it’s a service for working DJs, songs are encoded at 320k, which is approaching CD quality.

On the Blog

There’s a wealth of clued-up music-focused websites that legally distribute music (usually in MP3 format) for free. These are promotional tracks, which are made available to drum up interest in a band. The following sites are recommended to get you started exploring this alternate online music universe.

Epitonic

Epitonic has been around since 1999. Its mission is to switch music lovers onto new sounds and acts. Site features include a streaming radio station, reviews, features and band profiles. You can search the site for particular artists and navigation is easy. Some bands allow Epitonic to offer songs in MP3 format for free download, others just allow the site to stream songs so users can decide if they like the band.

The site also features a helpful recommendation system, listing similar artists on every individual artist page. Sadly, this service seems to be on its last legs – staffs have revealed no future plans to update content, indicating it may be removed at some point. The site is still worth exploring if you are looking to boost your collection of avant-garde and indie music, and has an audience of dedicated users.

The Wire

This venerable international magazine focuses on non-mainstream experimental music across multiple genres. Because of its unique place in the hearts of music-makers, over the years it has gathered a substantial collection of free and legal MP3s, many of which it makes available for download. These include tracks from many top-flight musicians. (www.thewire.co.uk/web/mp3.php)

Knobtweakers

Knobtweakers promotes electronic music. The site offers a regular weekly podcast featuring “the best underground electronic music talent from around the globe”. It also hosts or links to tracks in MP3 format that are being made available legitimately with permission from the artists. Occasionally updated, the site also offers in-depth reviews and features covering emerging artists, so it’s an invaluable resource for fans of the genre. (www.knobtweakers.net)

Oddio Overplay

Dedicated to odd, obscure and out-of-print music, this site offers an extensive index of free and legal music downloads being made available across the internet. It also offers an extensive links section, and information that will be useful to independent musicians seeking outlets. The primary purpose of this site is to connect artists and audiences.

EC Brown

Artist Erik Brown hosts his creations on this website, including photographs of work he has made, links to web projects he has been involved with. For iPod users hungry for new music, Erik also hosts a page of MP3 links, which he describes as a “personal log of MP3 links in various genres”. You’ll find links there to many more sites offering legitimate music downloads. (www.kittyspit.net/erik)

TofuHut

This site is a blogger’s attempt to let readers know about the latest new MP3s as they reach the web. You should be aware that some of the tracks it suggests aren’t being made available legitimately, but many tracks are actually legal to download. The site also offers an extensive list of links to similar blogs,

TourDates

This UK-based site acts as a gig listings website for all types of bands (signed and unsigned), DJs and other musical performers. It offers dedicated pages where musicians can tell audiences what they do, and also has a wide selection of free promotional MP3s from a host of independent acts. There’s also a forum where users can discuss the music they hear.

Net labels

Net labels distribute music exclusively in MP3 format. They are a little like more traditional labels in that they aim to promote albums or projects and build a profile of artists. However, these shoestring operations are managed by enthusiasts attempting to build careers outside the corporate music industry.

Net labels are particularly supportive of the notion of free downloads, and many of their releases are made available under licenses, such as Creative Commons License, that encourage sharing. Copyright remains with the artists, who tend to be electronic and computer music makers. Net label sites tend to link to others, so it’s a nice way to find some avant-garde musical gems.

Net labels releases

This yahoo groups’ site is maintained by net labels themselves. Label owners submit details of new releases as they happen, news updates and newsletters. It’s not a conversational site, but remains an essential stop for anyone looking to explore new music from the scene.

Netlabels.org

This site is a huge index of the world’s net label sites. You’ll find information on new labels as they appear, the latest releases, and lots of helpful advice for others hoping to start their own online music brand. There are also monthly updated charts detailing the most popular releases.

Beatpod

Another net label portal, Beatpod offers news and information about new releases, and also hosts a forum where music fans can rate and review these new releases. There’s also a built-in music player on the site, as well as the ability to download tracks to your Mac or PC. An extensive links section and links to other net labels completes the offering.

Internet Archive: Audio Archive

Founded in 1996, the Internet Archive is a non-profit organisation that collects and maintains a huge historical archive of digital creative products. It’s well known for holding a huge collection of website images – you can see Apple’s home page in different years, for example.

It also maintains a huge audio collection, in which net labels are well presented. The collection includes alternative news shows, Grateful Dead concerts, old radio shows, book and poetry recordings, and a huge assemblage of original music contributed by users. It’s a tremendous historical collection of sounds. (www.archive.org/details/audio)

More than music

Some iPods will play and store video, and can be used to play back your video collection on some TVs. Apple doesn’t sell TV shows in the UK yet, but does offer short Pixar movies and music videos. But where else can you go to find and download new and free videos for your iPod? YouTube and Google Video are first stops – you’ll find personal movies, bits of TV shows and other delights on these sites.

Google Video

Google’s video service offers a range of clips, as well as some material for sale (available only in the US). In some ways, tracking down the best clips is challenging, unless you know exactly what you are looking for. If you are searching for something specific, then it’s as effective as any other Google search – if it exists, you’ll find it.

Google has made it easy for viewers to download clips they want to keep. To the right-hand side of movies that can be downloaded is a ‘Download’ button. To the right of that button there’s a drop-down menu where you can decide whether to download it for Mac/Windows, iPod or PSP. Once you have downloaded the clip, you simply need to open iTunes and select ‘File→Add File to Library’ to import the clip to the media browser, after which it will be synced to your video iPod next time you connect it to your Mac.

YouTube

It’s little more complicated with YouTube. While the site has grown astonishingly popular, eclipsing Google and others in terms of the number of users it interacts, it doesn’t make it easy t download clips. The most straightforward way to download a YouTube clip for your iPod is to use the excellent KeepVid service.

When you come across a YouTube clip you want, just enter the URL into the green box at the top of the KeepVid page, hit submit and a few moments later you’ll be given a download link.

Unfortunately, files are downloaded in the iPod-incompatible Flash video (.flv) format. You need to convert the clip using a conversion utility such as iSquint (www.isquint.org), which is free and extremely easy to use. You just need to drag the file into iSquint, select ‘Optimize for iPod’ and press ‘Start’.

BBC Creative Archives

UK users should take a look at the BBc’s Creative Archives, a collection of video footage that’s free for UK residents to download for use in their own projects, or to rip to a format that’s suitable for iPods and iTunes. The library of available material is frequently updated, and now features clips from the BBC, Channel 4, Open University, British Film Institute and Teachers TV.

Once you’ve downloaded a clip, you can convert it into iTunes/iPod-friendly format using iSquint or directly within iTunes.

Get the Answer to One of the Great World Mysteries – How Can I Get Free iTunes For My iPod?

Believe it or not, you can get free iTunes for your iPod! Most free tunes with other services tend to be songs that most people don’t like, that are simply meant for giveaways and don’t really do much to satisfy your musical desire. With iTunes, you can get the music you love, and you can get it for free!

We would be remiss to omit a word of warning. Illegal downloading has turned into a legal war between record companies and the customers. Downloading illegal iTunes is not something we advocate, nor would we give directions on how to do such a thing. There are plenty of ways to get free iTunes for your iPod – it’s just a matter of keeping your eyes open for the opportunities!

Here are a few ways to get your free iTunes for your iPod:

Many companies offer promotions for free songs on iTunes. These promotions usually run for a limited time, and involve certain artists who have been kind enough to offer their music for free to the public. You can find these free tunes by browsing through magazines, picking up flyers at grocery stores, and watching for the iTunes codes at the end of some television shows.

People Magazine often offers downloads for free, usually good for a week’s time. Pepsi has had a long-running iTunes promotion, where you can find winning caps on specially-marked Pepsi bottles, enter in the code, and get a free song to download. Several websites also offer free iPod downloads if you take their quizzes or surveys.

Some artists will offer free bonus songs if you purchase their albums on iTunes – that can be anywhere from one bonus track to a whole album for free, depending on how generous the artist is feeling! In this day and age, some artists are giving away their music for free. Look at their websites to see if they offer any iTunes vouchers or freebies that are capable of being loaded onto your iPod.

Some music industry sites have promoted the “song of the day” or “song of the week” downloads, where they offer a new single for free through iTunes. Check with your favorite record label or music industry website to find the instructions on how to take advantage of their offer.

The iTunes Music Store offers free downloads with your purchase of the iPod. The first time you activate your new device, you will be prompted to choose your free songs to add to your playlist.

The iPod will open up new horizons of music-listening, and iTunes is at the forefront of that adventure! By looking around carefully at promotions, giveaways and great deals on iTunes albums, you will soon find a goldmine of freebies racking up, answering the question “how can I get free iTunes for my iPod”, and giving you even more reasons to play with your new iPod!

How to Distribute Your Music

Digital and Physical Distribution. Online and Offline. MP3s and Physical CDs.

Once you have finished music you’ll want to start selling it. You’ll want to make it available online at digital download stores like iTunes or Amazon, and made available to record stores around the world. There are several companies that offer online and physical distribution, each with slightly different pricing and services.

Online Digital Distribution

Online digital distribution is submitting your music to an online retailer store like iTunes or Amazon to be sold on their websites as mp3 downloads.

All 3 Digital Distribution services listed below include the following stores which are the most popular places where customers download music: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, eMusic, Rhapsody and MySpace Music. Below this section is a complete list of the online distribution stores that each website offers.

Some online distributors will require you to submit your CD in mp3 format, but others require wav format, so it’s a good idea to have the songs on your album in both formats.
Keep in mind that just because your music is submitted to these online stores it doesn’t mean that they’ll be accepted. It’ll take about 6-8 weeks after submitting before your music is online. iTunes is usually faster, appearing online in sometimes as fast as 2 weeks.

Reverb Nation, CD Baby, and Tunecore will all charge you a fee to submit your music to online retailers. Then the online retailers will take a portion of your sales, which will range anywhere from 30-40%. Mp3s sell at $0.99 so you will receive roughly 60-70 cents per song sold, after paying the necessary fees to submit you music and keep it online.

Reverb Nation

Through Reverb Nation the cost of digital distribution is $35 per album or single per year. No extra fees for setup, the $35 will cover the setup and the first year of distribution. If you have money in your Reverb Nation Bank you can use all or part of it to pay for your album submission. They require that you upload your songs in wav format. They also require an image of your album artwork and a barcode number. If you don’t already have a barcode they will supply one for you without charging you an extra fee, but it can take up to 2 weeks before you receive your number. They will also assign all of your songs their own individual ISRC number. It’ll take about 6 weeks for your music to appear on all of the online music retailers websites. Some are faster than others, iTunes should only take about 2 weeks. I’ve also noticed that the first album you submit will take much longer than any other albums you submit later on. So, the same process for your second album submission will not take nearly as long as the first. Another option you have is the ability to give them your release date. If you do not want your album available until a certain date, you can enter a date and your music will not appear online until that date. Once your submission has been paid for they will submit your music to 34 online stores. Whether or not these stores choose to carry your music is up to them, but most of them will. For an extra $25 for a total of $60 a year per album you can upgrade to the Pro Package and get 40 stores total. You will not be able to pick and choose which retailers you want. Once you submit your album it will be submitted to all the online retailers on the list. Besides the Reverb Nation annual fee, the online retailers will take a portion of your sales. This ranges between 30%-40% depending on the retailer. Mp3s usually sell for $0.99, so you will receive about 60-70 cents per mp3 sold. So, to make your money back you would have to sell at least 50 mp3s per year.

Once your music is online and selling, it’ll take about 4 months before you can transfer money to your bank account. Your sales report will arrive about 3 months after the sale happens, then Reverb Nation holds your money for 30 days before it becomes available to transfer to your Pay pal account. You will only be able to transfer money to a Pay Pal account and not directly to your bank account.

Another option they offer you is your own personal Reverb Store. You can set this up once you have an account with them and you’ll be able to sell: Physical CDs, mp3 downloads, ringtones, and merchandise (T-Shirts, Hoodies, Tote Bags, Canvas Caps, Sports Bottles, Travel Mugs, etc.). You do not have to pay anything to maintain the store, and you will be paid immediately after a sale. You can set prices to whatever you want and they will take a predetermined amount for every item sold. So, there will be no need to pay them since they take their portion first and send you the rest.

CD Baby

CD Baby’s digital distribution service is $49 for a one-time setup fee per album or a $13 one-time setup fee per single. After your one-time fee CD Baby will then charge you 9% of your sales for the rest of the time that your album is online. They do not charge an annual fee, so if you don’t sell anything you don’t pay anything, except for your initial fee. But if you sell a lot, you will be paying them a lot. One nice thing about CD Baby is you can pick and choose which digital distribution retailers you want to sell your music on, for a total of 25 different stores. You will also need to have an album image and a barcode to submit with your music. If you need a barcode they will supply you with one for an extra $20 for an album or $5 for a single. The $49 fee also includes physical CD distribution.

Both CD Baby & Reverb Nation offer mail in or upload options to submit your music to them. So, you can upload everything to them when you sign up for their distribution service, or you can mail them a CD and they will digitize it for you. They also both offer Digital Distribution through their own websites. CD Baby will only take 10% of your mp3 digital download sales if it’s sold on their website. Most companies will take at least 30%.

Tunecore

Tunecore charges $50 a year per album or $10 a year per single. They also charge a set-up fee of $1 per online retail store, plus a $1 song delivery charge per song. A barcode and ISRC numbers are included. So, for example, if your CD album had 12 songs on it, you would be charged a one-time song delivery fee of $12 for all your songs, a one-time distribution fee of $18 for a submission to 18 online retailers, and $50 per year. For a total of $80 for the first year and $50 for every year after that. A single would cost roughly $29 for the first year then $10 a year after that. Like CD Baby, you have the ability to choose which retailers you would like your music on as well. So, set-up fees will vary depending on how many songs you have and how many retailers you want. They do occasionally have specials. Their 6 Year Anniversary Special offered albums for only $20 and singles for only $5, but it didn’t state how much the yearly fee would be after that. They also offer Amazon on Demand as one of their online retailers which makes your music available on Amazon as a physical CD.

ISRC

An International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is a unique 12 character number assigned to your individual songs, which is used to identify individual sound recordings. When you submit your music to a digital distribution service these numbers will be assigned to you without any extra fees or hassle, so you won’t have to worry about them too much. Just be aware that some sites will ask you for them, but it won’t be mandatory to the submission process.

Physical CD Distribution

Physical CD distribution is submitting your physical CDs to retail stores to be sold on their website or at their brick and mortar record store. Several companies offer this service on their own websites, but only CD Baby offers distribution to several thousand stores around the world.

CD Baby

If you would like to sell your physical CDs on CD Baby’s website they will charge you a $49 one-time setup fee per album. Included in your one-time setup fee they will also distribute your physical CDs through Super D One Stop, a distributor that will put your music on their catalog and make your album available to over 2,500 music retailers worldwide. If you sign-up for CD Baby’s digital distribution service, physical CD distribution is included in the $49 set-up fee. CD Baby will charge you $4 for CDs sold on their website no matter how high or low your CD retail price is. To get started, just mail them 5 CDs, they will keep 1 for their archive and will sell the rest. If they run out they will ask you to send them more. You will also have to setup an online account with them on their website. You will receive money for physical CD sales on CD Baby once your account balance has reached at least $10. You can change this limit, but it has to be at least $10. Then you can have it be sent directly to your bank account, have them mail you a check, or it can be sent to your Pay Pal account.

Bandcamp

Bandcamp does not have any set-up fees to sell physical CDs or mp3s on their website, but they take 15% of your sales. It drops to 10% as soon as you reach $5,000 in sales and stays there as long as you’ve earned at least $5,000 in the past year. Bandcamp does not ship physical CDs. Once a CD is sold on Bandcamp they will send you the necessary information and you will ship the CD to the customer yourself. You will be paid for physical CD and mp3 sales on Bandcamp immediately through Pay Pal only. The nice thing about Bandcamp is, once a customer buys your Physical CD they also get an immediate download of all your tracks in any format they want, and you can also include extra perks like PDF files. They also offer discount codes for special promotions, 200 download codes for free giveaways, 200 download credits per month for free downloads or your tracks or albums, and pre-orders for CDs about to be released.

Reverb Nation

The flat fee that Reverb Nation will take for physical CDs is $5.49 per album, and you can set the retail price to anything you want. Once a CD is sold you will receive the remaining portion of the sell after Reverb Nation takes their cut. For example, if you sell your CD for $9.99, you will receive $5.50 for every CD sold. You’ll be able to make a withdrawal once your account is up to $20. Once a physical CD is created using their online Design Application, they will print it when someone buys it and will ship it to them. You won’t ever have to send them any CDs.

You can use all three websites listed in this section for different services because all offer services that the others don’t. Reverb Nation for your digital distribution, merchandise sales (including ringtones, CDs, and mp3s). CD Baby for your physical CD sales (including digital distribution on CD Baby plus retailers not on the Reverb Nation list) and CD Duplication. Then Bandcamp as well for physical CDs and digital downloads with the ability to hand out coupon codes and free download specials. For example, you can use Reverb Nation for your digital distribution, then use CD Baby for physical distribution plus additional digital distribution. Since CD Baby allows you to pick and choose which digital retailers you want, you can add digital distribution to your physical distribution at no extra charge and add all the stores that Reverb Nation doesn’t offer. If you want to keep things more simple and all in one place, you can do everything through CD Baby without having to use anybody else.

Ringtones and Merchandise

When you sign up for an account on Reverb Nation you can start selling ringtones, merchandise, mp3 downloads, and physical CDs immediately on your own personal Reverb Store page. It’s free to setup and the merchandise will be created on demand when a customer buys it, so you won’t have to store anything. You can upload individual songs or albums and sell them as ringtones and mp3 downloads. If you’ve already submitted your album to their digital distribution program you can start selling your mp3s without having to put in the information again. You will get $0.50 for every ringtone sold which is sold at $2.49. You can set the price for mp3 downloads for anything you want and Reverb Nation will take a flat fee of $0.30 per mp3 sold. One nice feature is that you can sell a song immediately on their website without having to pay anything or wait several weeks. Once you have earned $20 you can make a withdrawal and send it to your Pay Pal account. They take a flat fee for each item sold, and you can set the price to anything you want. The easiest way to start selling merchandise, is to use the image you’ve already created for your album cover and put it on all the items they have available. They have Travel Mugs, Sports Bottles, Canvas Caps, Tote Bags, Hoodies, T-Shirts, plus more in all sorts of styles, sizes, and colors. You can design your merchandise using their online designer.

Online Digital Distribution:
Reverb Nation, $35 a year per album or single
CD Baby, $49 one-time setup per CD ($13 one-time setup per single) + $20 bar code + 9% of sales
Tunecore, $50 a year per album ($10 a year per single) + $1 per store + $1 per song delivery charge

Distribution Website Services:
CD Baby: Physical CD Distribution, Digital Distribution, CD Duplication
Reverb Nation: Digital Distribution, Audio Streaming, Merchandise, Ringtones
Tunecore: Digital Distribution, Physical CD Distribution, Licensing and Endorsement Deals

Physical CD Distribution:
CD Baby, $4 per CD sold
Bandcamp, 15% of sales
Reverb Nation Store, $3 per CD sold

Ringtones and Merchandise:
Reverb Nation Store

Number of Digital Distribution Stores:
Reverb Nation: 30+ (40+ for $25 more a year per album)
CD Baby: 25
Tunecore: 20

These prices are all subject to change, so please visit their websites for a current price list.

Reverb Nation Digital Stores:
7digital, Apple iTunes, Amazon MP3, Aspiro. Deezer. eMusic, Google Play, Guvera, La Curacao, Last.fm, MOG, MySpace Music, Myxer, Nielson Soundscan, playlist.com, Rhapsody, Simfy, Slacker, Spotify, Synacor, VirginMega, Virgin Mobile Canada, Zune

Various Other Stores (Medianet, Tesco, Thumbplay OTA, Musicwave, etc.)
(Extra $25: 24/7, Play.com, Media Markt, Puretracks, We7, Nokia, Rdio, etc.)

CD Baby Digital Stores
24-7, 7digital, Amazon MP3, Apple iTunes, Deezer, eMusic, Google Music Store, GreatIndieMusic, iHeartRadio, Last.fm, MediaNet, MOG, MySpace Music, Myxer, Nokia, Omnifone, Rdio, Rhapsody, Simfy, Spotify, Tradebit, Zune

Tunecore Digital Stores
Apple iTunes, Amazon MP3, Deezer, eMusic, Google Play, iHeartRadio, MediaNet, Muve Music, MySpace Music, Nokia,Rhapsody, Simfy, Spotify, VerveLife, Zune

These lists change from time to time, so please check their website for a current list.

Free or Fee? What is Music Worth?

We are much more reliant today than ever before on technology and the many contributions it makes to our lives every second. Perhaps most notable is the many options technology has given to the Internet and the world of entertainment, making many artistic projects and productions, from digital music albums to e-books to short and long films and television programs available to a larger audience of people.

Steadily children that grew up with the Internet and don’t remember a time without it are reaching adulthood, and attitudes about both the monetary value of artists’ works available online and the cultural value of these works are changing. This revolution began with the introduction of CD’s, which became easy to copy and distribute to friends.

There are certainly varying opinions about the worth of downloadable music and purchased music in general; while a younger generation of music lovers is certainly divided on whether music downloaded online should be free music, there are definitely more in that generation deciding that perhaps people should be more freely allowed. When it is so much easier to copy mp3’s online and from friends, and also easier to record entire albums in the studio with full digital capabilities, many young music listeners wonder, is a musician’s work and the musician him/herself really worth as much as at the dawn of the recording industry?

Many studies have shown that adults that remember a time when recorded music was expensive and more difficult to obtain are much more cognizant and respectful of basic music Copyright Law. They understand why certain laws are in place, and some that are artists themselves have relied on Copyright Law to protect their creative expressions. Copyright Law also allows music and other art forms to perpetuate in the world, and is the reason there is so much variety available.

The music industry has been cracking down on how people get their music recently in response to the increased availability of downloadable music and digital music on the Internet. The music industry was largely unprepared for the sudden introduction of file sharing programs to music lovers, and it has taken several years for them to realize their impact on musicians, songwriters, other music professionals and record companies. Before the Internet, most young people bought CD’s, and shared them by simply burning a copy for friends. While this was certainly a violation of Copyright Law, it somehow did not pose as large of a problem as when mp3 players became available and people downloaded free music off the Internet en mass through high-speed connections. The music industry has recently started filing lawsuit after lawsuit to stop this phenomenon and put systems in place to make music lovers pay for downloadable music. As was evidenced in recent lawsuits that were filed against those in small towns in middle America, you do not have to be high profile to suffer consequences for violating the law when it comes to digital music.

The industry has been driving hard to try to get the public to recognize that not paying for music takes money away from artists and musicians that they deserve for their hard work. While music is a source of entertainment and a cultural commodity for most, for those involved in creating it, it is a job that they rely on to make lives for themselves. Like any other professional, musicians can’t be expected to do their work for free. While the amount some receive is certainly debatable, what is not debatable is that they should receive something. The latest drive to enforce Copyright Law by the music industry is causing a stir among young people. New anti-piracy software is now being put on CD’s to cut down on illegal CD copying. The software prevents listeners from burning the CD more than five times.

Teens especially are noting that this will not stop others from discovering new ways to get music. Many adults agree that someone is bound to come up with a way around the software, as technology always seems to find a way to surmount obstacles that prevent free sharing of music, DVD’s and other media.

Many teens note that there is an obvious and simple way around the anti-piracy software; all a person has to do is make a copy of the CD once and then use the copy to make more copies. Those invested in the downloadable music and digital music craze feel the anti-piracy software is really just a way to slow down some of the most avid copiers while the industry thinks of a more permanent solution.

Other teens support these new attempts to prevent people from getting music for free. They feel that music is a valuable part of everyone’s lives that touches so many aspects that certainly free music or even cheap music should not even be an option. They fully understand why musicians deserve to be paid for the privilege of owning and listening to their music over and over again.

So what are some alternatives to illegally downloading digital music or free music?

There are many services that provide low-cost and virtually free music for professionals and individuals simply hoping to expand their music collection. For those still entrenched in the CD movement, there are some subscription services in development that will allow people to freely share unlimited CD’s through the mail at very low cost and without violating Copyright Law.

As more services for downloadable music and digital music arrive on the scene and make a more competitive market, track downloads and album downloads are becoming cheaper. Even iTunes offers songs as 99 cents apiece, and entire albums at cut rates, so even young people can afford to buy music legally to enjoy.

As an alternative to digital music provided by major music providers, reputable royalty free music companies are bringing original tracks of music plus many high quality royalty free music versions of some favorite classical pieces to listeners at affordable prices and sometimes even free. Royalty free music companies such as Royalty Free Music.com offer huge and very comprehensive downloadable music libraries with collections from every genre from classical and jazz to rock, techno, dance and Hip Hop. And with royalty free music, you pay to satisfy Copyright Law upfront so you don’t have to worry later about any additional fees. Many royalty free music companies even offer totally free music that is of excellent quality and different from anything else available.

The point with digital music is that listeners will continue to try to find ways to get free or cheap music; at this stage of technology, finding loopholes and ways that allow for freer sharing of information is just human nature.