Give 3 Free Albums to Your Friends
While other record labels are busy suing their customers for introducing their friends to great music, *we* want you to copy your favorite music for your friends.
Read all about this crazy new policy:
"How to Overthrow the Music Industry" -- Book idea
A new idea this week, that I'd like feedback on.
I want to write a book titled "How to Overthrow the Music Industry"
It would be given away for free, and would explain a) why the present system is evil b) what you personally can do to replace the current system with a better alternative.
Tips would include telling local bands about alternatives they have to bad record deals, mentioning the bad stuff the industry does and the positive alternatives on web forums and discussion lists, volunteering to sell band's own CDs, etc.
It would not be magnatune-only focussed, but rather generally give people the tools to help the industry transformation.
I've talked to Steve of WeedShare about participating in the book (some pro-weedshare tips: put your favorite weedified artists music on your own web site, blog or podcast, spread weedified files via ethical p2p networks) and Derek from CDBABY also would like to participate (once he finishes the CDBABY site rewrite in a few months).
Our goal would be to get people involved in helping companies like Magnatune succeed. Would make a great handout at conferences like CMJ.
Another possibility is having the book available for purchase at Amazon, and/or print-on-demand at lulu.com.
EFF revises DRM-guide to include Magnatune
The EFF's recent guide on DRM has garnered a lot of interest on the Internet recently. When slashdot mentioned the guide, quite a few Magnatune fans chimed in to complain that Magnatune wasn't mentioned as a DRM-free alternative. I did hear via email from quite a few outraged Magnatune customers, who said they were writing the EFF to have us included. Evidently, their emails worked!
Now, the EFF has revised their DRM guide, and put a big call-out box at the top to DRM-free music stores, with Magnatune right there. Since I admire all the other sites on the list, I'm quite pleased to be there.
Recruiting cards now online & being promotedThe home page of Magnatune now points to a simple explanation and (free) order form for our "recruiting cards". The idea is to get fans of Magnatune, who are often talking to other people about how wonderful Magnatune is, to give a card to the person they're talking to, to remind them to go to the site. The cards are a little bit funny, and so far people have reacted very enthusiastically. Teresa suggested I customize the "thanks for buying" email that goes to people to mention the new stuff we're doing, which is a great idea, so those emails now end with: --- Help spread the word of Magnatune, with our free recruiting cards!
http://magnatune.com/cards Podcasters, use our music:
To send us email:
Web site improvementsA few web site improvements went up today. The first change is that all navigation links, such as "also bought" and "collections" have been moved to the left column, which used to have the way-too-long "all artists" list.
This makes the page load quite a bit faster, since the "all artists" list was about 50k worth of html for every page (ouch). It also is much cleaner, so that all that you see on the right hand pane are the artist albums, and the the photo/bio. It also gave me more room to put in some additional useful context-sensitive links (the links all refer to the current artist, rather than being the same on every page). For example, the collections are much clearer this way:
I couldn't decide whether to make a paragraph of the 'also bought' links, like so:
or a simple list. I decided to go with the slightly-messier-looking (but more compact) paragraph formatting.
Now, what's really interesting are the "stats", which tell you how each album by that artist is doing in the various "top albums statistics" that you can find at http://magnatune.com/info/stats/. For example:
Notice how the stats are told in sentences, so as to minimize repeated words, and also so that the most important award is 1st (best selling all time), with the less important ones being parentheticals (best selling this week).
I frequently get complaints that people can't browse easily at Magnatune, and that they're often looking for "the best stuff". Well, the "top selling" stats have been at Magnatune for 2 years, but they're buried in the /info/ section, so this should really help people see what's selling best (or at the highest price) and thus find the most popular things. The new "collections" feature should also help people find similarly-styled music.
Also new today is a complete rewrite of the "tracks" pages, which are now called "details" instead.
The album art is now display at the top right, the total time, and release of the album are displayed. Overall, this is about 1/2 as long, and much cleaner than the old page. The URLs to these pages have changed as well, with the new ones being much shorter, and not having those spaces in the path names (which are seen as %20 in the URL).
A very small change is that the release date of an album is now displayed when you float over the play hifi/lofi/details links, as well as over the magnatune symbol next to the album:
and since people frequently ask me what albums are new at Magnatune, the home page now makes it clear:
Finally, I've added a podcasting FAQ in the /info/ section as well as a Podcasting license type when you click on "license". This is to help promote podcasting use of our music.
"Collections" feature now available on MagnatuneA common complaint I've heard about finding music on Magnatune, is that there's too much much in a single category like "Rock", "Electronic" or even "Classical" to find things that are similar to each other. Most people aren't into "Rock" but into specific sub-genres of Rock.
What was needed is something like what major labels do with their "sub labels" that only release one type of music. At the same time, I didn't want to segregate each sub-genre into its own web site, which would lose much of the cross-fertilization that makes Magnatune special.
What I decided to do is add a concept of a "collection", as in "This album is part of the 'Hard Rock' collection", with "Hard Rock" linked to a page where you can listen or go to albums that are conceptually united around this concept of "Hard Rock".
Here is what the new "collection" sentence looks like on each artist page:
You can get a list of all the collections at Magnatune from: