Saturday, May 14, 2011


Welcome to this blog. I hope you will find it very helpful and informative.

First, a little about me. I am a part time multi-genre solo artist. I "paint" pictures with sound. There are over 100 songs available for streaming, covering  Rock - Ambient and Film Music - Pop - Metal - Electronica & Dance with flavorings from others at;
which I use as my primary hosting site. There you can pretty much find out everything you would want to know about me.

About 3 years ago, I started searching for a site that I could upload my music to and get it heard or at least send my friends to hear me. I knew there were quite a few sites like SonicBids, in which I could pay to host my music and provide promotional tools, but putting together this music falls in the category of a low budget / no budget hobby. (I do have some decent music making and recording tools, thanks to a seasoned studio musician son.)

Now with music on over 30 sites, I thought, since I have done a lot of the leg work here, I would pass this info on to the many musicians out there who like me, want to be heard, but can't afford to pay for all these web sites and promotional tools. I welcome any comments about your experiences. What have you found that works for your needs? What problems have you encountered?

What do these sites offer?

At this writing I know of around 60 sites catering to artists where you can upload at least some of your music for free. Many offer a variety of services at the free level and most have add on services for a fee. Services in addition to song and video hosting (the amount varies greatly) with a profile / info page include; Facebook page apps to put your songs and info on your Facebook artist pages, phone apps, player widgets for embedding into websites, web stores to sell your music and merchandise in, distribution of your music to major retail outlets, stat tracking gathered from social networking pages, the ability to collect fans and keep in touch with them through the different social networks and email, charting/rankings, contests, licensing and gig opportunities, web site creation and hosting, press kits, show management, just about any tool you can use to promote yourself and get your music heard. Some offer a good bit of page customization where you can chose the colors and layout.

Of course, who has the time it takes to maintain and monitor activity on that many sites? I know I don't. So who should we be using?  Which ones are the most effective? We're going to try and find what our best options are. I can tell you in advance, you'll probably need to use a mixture of 3 or 4 depending on whether you want listeners, a high fan count, song charts, concert promotion, CD and download sales or your trying to get signed, as I haven't found just one encompassing site. But, there are a few of the free sites that come close to offering it all with the addition of some reasonable premium services.

In the following posts we shall explore these no-cost / low cost sites and see what their shortcomings are and where they excel. One more note; Most of the problems I have encountered on these sites revolve around the fact that I do multiple genres and I have a large quantity of songs. So problems you encounter will likely be different from mine.

My Rating: 9-1/2 out 10 Stars
I will start with ReverbNation, because this is, at present, the most complete and all comprehensive site I've found. RN has recently become the #1 artist hosting site in the free category. It is my favorite at this time and is the only site to which I have posted all my music to. It is a very easy site to set up and navigate and do the things you need to do on it. Their Facebook "Band Profile" app allows you to dress up your Facebook Artist page and have your music, videos and concert info on it. You can also link up with your MySpace music page and Twitter accounts where info posted on your ReverbNation page is updated on these social networking sites. RN has pages not only available for artists, but also for labels, management, venues, and fans. From an artist stand point, just about anything you could want is right here. All of the aforementioned services are here (see; "What do these sites offer?"above). Most of the premium services are very reasonably priced and even some of them have a generous amount of free stuff. There is no song limit, but there is an 8mb limit on each song so if you have very long mp3's, you will either have to sacrifice quality at a lower bit-rate or purchase the Mega Song storage package which gives you unlimited quality and length.

The biggest con I've found to RN, and I keep bugging them about it, is, lack of genre tagging on the songs. This forces you to categorize all your music under one genre heading. So, if you are primarily an alternative rock artist but occasionally do some lighter pop ballads or maybe some film soundtrack scoring or electronic music, you will be unable to crossover to promote it to the lovers of that other style. They also chart you by local, nation, and world. The rankings are based on your "Band Equity" status which is calculated by a complex algorythm of your plays, visits, widget hits and other factors and rewards those who are spending a lot of time promoting themselves. The charting might give you some bragging rights on a local scale, but really don't mean anything other than you are promoting the heck out of your music or either no else is promoting theirs around you.

ReverbNation is not perfect, but overall, I haven't found better, and they keep making improvements. They will have to continue, because there are a few up and coming, fast rising sites in competition which we will touch on latter in this blog.

iLike / GarageBand

My Rating: 3 out 10 Stars

The first site that I came across when I started looking was GarageBand. I started off wrong by accidentally (not watching the screen as I typed) setting my user name to something that didn't make sense. It can't be changed. I found the site rather difficult to get around and a task to upload songs to. Got no movement on my GarageBand page and they eventually sort of died. iLike who was once a very popular Facebook music lovers app where you could purchase MP3's of famous artists and post them on your personal Facebook pages. The app was eventually pulled from Facebook. iLike returned after purchasing GarageBand and it is now known as iLike / Garageband. Now artists can upload their music, videos, concert info etc., and have it all linked to a "Music Tab" on their Facebook artist page which has a player where fans can stream or purchase downloads from.

A big improvement over the original version, there are widgets for placement on web sites and you can link your MySpace music page (without the iLike player) and Twitter accounts and your tweets posted on your Facebook music page. I'm not sure if there is a song limit. Getting plays is tied to you listening to others which is suppose to in turn cause them to listen to you.

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