Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Totally Free!

Update: I wrote about the We7 music website in Free MP3s. At the time I did say, "...there is currently a fairly limited choice of artists". Well, they've just signed a deal with Sony which means there's now a much bigger choice of music. :-)

Just one catch though... No, not the ads. I don't mind the ads. They are surprisingly unintrusive and more than worth listening to in exchange for the chance to download music for free. No the catch is, currently the Sony stuff can only be listened to online and cannot be downloaded. However, in the We7 blog they say, "Its our aim to make all the content ad funded download over time. To do that we have to prove that the artists make the same or more money this way than with the traditional models such as CD sales and pay for downloads." Excellent.

So, how do they make money for the artists? I assume it is by people listening to the tracks (and adverts) online. So here is my Foo Fighters playlist with the albums that I don't currently own:

So if you listen to my playlist, or enrol and create your own, I think the artists will be rewarded and We7 will have evidence that the model works... and I really hope this model works. As I said recently, Copyright law is hugely confusing and hard to understand (The copyright lawyers are taking over the asylum!) however, here is an aspect of copyright that is easy to understand and important to teach - creators should be acknowledged and rewarded for their creations. And We7 gives an easy to understand model that rewards artists and provides a simple way for fans to download music for free. It's win/win. If you agree - listen online. :-)

Addendum: While on the subject of free music, I recently came across the Totally Free Music blog which directed me to the Nine Inch Nails remix site. The music may or may not be your taste but what a brilliant idea. What Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is doing, is releasing multi-track files of Nine Inch Nails songs and inviting people to create their own remixes. Once you have re-mixed a track, you can share it back with other fans on the website. As I said, brilliant! And useful for school music departments? I suspect so.

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N Winton said...

Another excellent source for 'remixable' files is Real World Studio's spin-off site for the purpose: http://www.realworldremixed.com/

Some superb stuff including all the parts for Peter Gabriel's 'Shock the monkey' track... Highly recommended!

David said...

Hello Mr W

As a big Peter Gabriel fan, I'm a bit miffed I hadn't clocked this myself. Unfortunately, I don't spend enough time on the Real World site.

I'm not surprised though. There was the option to mix your own version of a Gabriel song on the Xplora 1 CD ROM (written in HyperCard no less!) back in 1993(?). And Gabriel was doing interesting things with the Web before most bands even knew the Internet existed.