Flash game uses Jan Hanford's musicA Tetris-like game called "Nelinurk" uses music by Magnatune's Jan Hanford http://magnatune.com/artists/jan_hanford
This game works inside any web browser and can be played at no cost: http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/nelinurk.html
You'll notice that the game itself is creative-commons licensed, and is a nice example of our music getting more exposure due to the Creative Commons license.
Here is a short animation of my playing the game. I wasn't initially understanding the "find the rectangle" concept, as the bricks don't need to be touching, which makes the game both easier (you can play it longer) and more challenging (there are many rectangles you can build, and the order in which you do so changes the board)
By the way, the same game author has two other flash games with our music on them:
- "12Many" has music by JEFF WAHL: http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/12many.html
- "Save the Shoppers" uses music by SOLACE: http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/shopper.html
Creative Commons related Magnatune pressTwo Creative Commons related press items about Magnatune today.
The first, is that Magnatune (specifically, an interview with me) is featured on the Creative Commons home page and can be read at http://creativecommons.org/audio/magnatune
The 2nd is an interview I did for a net-radio show on friday called Staccato. Stacatto features creative commons licensed music and my interview with them focusses on Magnatune and its use of the CC license. Listen to the show at: http://www.staccatomusic.org/7/
Magnatune on KRON TV News
This sunday morning, I had a TV interview on the San Francisco TV channel 4, KRON TV News, along with Magnatune artist Artemis.
The interviewer, Henry Tenebaum, found Magnatune on his own while looking for music by Kitka, (whose music is featured during this interview), and was so excited by Magnatune he wanted us on the show. The music of Electric Frankenstein was also featured.
Before we went in the studio, an assistant told us that it's extremely rare to have anything about music on the show (the sales department needs to give their approval and then doesn't), and that he's tried in the past and has had his music-related programming proposals rejected. He was really surprised we were on, and chalked it up to Tenebaum's great enthusiasm for Magnatune.
CC Mixter: a creative commons remix web site
The interesting thing about CC Mixter is that each remix links back to the songs it was derived from, so that you get a family tree of the remix space.
Victor points out tome that CC Mixter "is a great place for songwriters to get exposure to the remix community. As in: it's a good chance to have whole audiences hear their music even if it's not in a context they were originally thinking of."
Musicians can upload complete tracks or solo tracks (preferably a Capella) to encourage others to use their tracks.
Because of the two contests CC Mixter is running, samples from their tracks could (theoretically) end up on either the next Chuck D. record or the CC promo CD that will feature 12 cuts from CC Mixter.
Victor is gathering some loops/samples from the Magnatune archive and uploading them as Loop Libraries (zip), encouraging others to use our work.
Besides getting more publicity for our artists, remixes, when they get printed onto commercially-sold CDs, also generate commercial-use licensing revenue, so CC Mixter is a wonderful thing for Magnatune musicians.
Magnatune as a wholesale music CD distributorIt's a fact of the music industry that the only record companies making serious money are those who have their own distribution networks. Being a small record company making CDs, going through a distributor, costs you about $3 per CD, lowering per-CD margins from $9.50 to $6.50. Bankruptcy and failure-to-pay are also common among distributors, further stressing small record companies. This has been the major reason Magnatune has stayed out of the making-CDs business.
However, a large percentage (perhaps half) of our musicians have manufactured their own CDs already and need a way to sell them. At $1.50 per CD manufacturing cost, there should be a way to profitably do this.
Starting in January, Magnatune will be warehousing our musicians's pre-manufactured CDs and offering them through our site for resale, thereby becoming our own distributor and trying to establish our own distribution network.
Our goal is for smaller shops, such as clothing stores, jewelry shops, art galleries and cafes, to order 10 or 20 of a mixed set of our CDs, for sale on their premises.
I plan to launch with extremely aggressive pricing (probably in the $6 to $8 per CD range (depending on quantity ordered), compared to $9 (a typical price) per CD from a distributor and allow purchases as small as 10 CDs, with the ability to mix-and-match artists to meet the minimum order size.
I'll be paying artists $1.50 to cover their manufacturing costs (having paid to make the CDs), and will split the rest (which is profit) 50/50 with them. An $8 CD sale, would yield $4.75 for the artist, which is a healthy 3X markup on their cost, yet still reasonable for the purchaser (a $6 sale yields them $3.75).
The "Bulk CD Ordering" page will be promoted as part of the checkout process, and I will let consumers use it as well. This feature should launch in late January.
Magnatune web site rewrite in progressWe're currently rewriting the Magnatune site from scratch, for a number of reasons.
Technologically, the current site is a mix of PHP, Perl and Tcl, and adding features to the site when 3 programming languages are in the mix is particularly hard.
Some features, such as a "my favorites" and "search", are oft-requested and will be part of the relaunch in January.
Content-wise, the /info section will be completely reworked. It's grown as I've written documents about whatever was on my mind, and now lacks clarity and directions. As part of my PR company pushing for "consistent messaging" I'd like to make the info section clearer about what Magnatune's objectives are, what we do, why it's interesting, etc. Today /info looks more like a collection of blog postings, so I'll clean that up.
There will be some other content changes, namely with more cross-linking between features, such as the artists pages telling you when that artist is in a "top chart", such as "#6 best selling Jazz title this month", so you can easily look at the best-selling titles in each genre.
Technology wise, the site's HTML is served by Apache and PHP, and is far too vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks, which happen every few months. I'm also concerned that big up-ticks in usage (such as if we get major press) will crush the site. As such, the new rewrite is separating the site into static HTML pages, which will be served by mathopd (the high performance no-frill web server software which serves all our mp3s) and interactive portions (such as buying, searching and licensing) which will be provided by tclhttpd, a solid, and easy-to-program platform I have a lot of experience with, as it is used for Lyris' ListManager and MailShield products, both of which I originally wrote in my pre-Magnatune days.
Rumblefish and Magnatune, music licensing and music publishingRecently I met with Rumblefish http://www.rumblefish.com/ founder Paul Anthony. His not-evil music licensing company who has managed to crack into the big league (with licenses to The Sopranos, Adidas, JCPenney and Fox Sports). I admire his commitment to not being evil, and his successful focus on high-end licensing.
Rumblefish and Magnatune will be cooperating on a number of fronts, specifically:
- Rumblefish will be able to sell Magnatune's music through its licensing business
- Magnatune will develop a version of its online licensing system for Rumblefish, so that Rumblefish will have an all-online music licensing site
- Magnatune will be contracting to Rumblefish to do the "Publishing Administration" for our about-to-be-launched new business "Not Evil Publishing", which is a music publishing business for self-owned musicians. More about the publishing business as that site goes live...
Eternal, a major film music license for Magnatune
I've just received word that the film "Eternal" www.eternalthemovie.com, which features Magnatune artist Solace www.magnatune.com/artists/solace is now showing in Canada, and will be shown in the USA nationwide in early 2005.
Wildkoast, the film's producers, have a press release announcing the distribution deal here: http://www.heretv.com/news.asp?id=28
This is Magnatune's first music license to a major budget film, and thus is a real milestone for us. While we do many film licenses every month (for indie, small-budget films) we've had a really hard time cracking big-budget films, where entrenched music licensing firms dominate.
To try and get bigger projects, we've been paying for a "lead service" which tells us about major TV and Film projects looking for music, and send 10-15 custom CDRs in response to these "requests for music" and in 18 months have never even gotten an acknowledgement.
This deal with "Eternal" came about from our high-visibility web presence. For example, if you search for "music license" or "music licensing" on Google, Magnatune comes up in the top 2 hits.