BandCamp.com - a quick review

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BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by Zoetrope » Wed May 06, 2009 4:47 pm

As promised, I'm going to do a quick review of BandCamp.com, the newest place to post and sell your music online. I'm also doing a review of BandCamp on the next HMHS, which apparently won't be out till next week due to technical issues.

So first of all, I've got my bandcamp page up and running at http://zoetrope.bandcamp.com
Check it out and you'll have a very good idea of what the look of this site is. I uploaded the banner, the album art, and changed the colors using their very easy interface. Uploading songs is a bit of a pain because 1) you have to upload a wav file, which takes a long time, and 2) you have to upload songs one at a time. They will be addressing problem 2 by allowing batch uploads in the near future. The plus side of problem 1 is that they create all the different compressed version of your song from the one wav file you upload, saving you the bother. I'll attach a pic to this post showing all the download formats.

You can set many options with regards to downloads. You can have free downloads for 128 mp3 and paid download for higher quality downloads. You can allow download in exchange for an email address, or let the buyer name their price at or above your minimum. It's very flexible and very easy to set up.

You group your songs by album, and by default the album cover will be shown as the track art, unless you upload individual pics for each track. The listener has the option of choosing a visualization instead of the cover art, and this will create an instantaneous "music video" that plays along with your song when they stream it online. Very cool.

Payments are handled through Paypal, and it's recommended you create a paypal micropayment account rather than the normal type of account, otherwise the paypal fees will be too high. More info on this at http://bandcamp.com/payment_setup

Bandcamp is low on features right now, but in addition to bulk uploads they've already promised to add tags and comments. I assume they will also be adding some sort of community features similar to "groups" on flickr.com.

Overall I'm very excited about this site. I think they "get it." The look and feel of the site is fantastic, and with the upcoming features this will blossom into my new favorite place to distribute my music. Check it out and open an account. It's FREE!!!!

More info at their very funny FAQ

Oh, and if you open an account, be sure to check out all the different views of your stats for a surprise. (Hint: click "defender") ;)

If you join up post your URL here and let us know what you think!
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by The Cracks » Wed May 06, 2009 5:04 pm

I just uploaded my fourth album (the songs are still being processed). The coolest thing to me is the seperating songs into alubms. (I can't tell if my lettering is properly centered on "Shine Your Light". Anyone have an opinion?).

Here they are:

www.thecracks.bandcamp.com/

The only big problem I am having is that the site freezes up once and while, especially during log in. I've gotten around most of that by just staying logged in.

I'm not sure how I'll link future songs. Soundclick is familiar to everyone, but the wav files seem to have a much better sound quality.
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by Gu Djin » Wed May 06, 2009 5:29 pm

Hi John, Your text looks fine but the central star makes it look a little off. If you can move the star in a NW direction a few degrees it might balance things up. Optical illusion.

Having said that my screen might be having an off day :lol:
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by The Cracks » Wed May 06, 2009 5:35 pm

Thanks Leigh. I can't move the star though. That is the photo. I use Microsoft Paint which sucks basically.

I just redid the album cover for Crack In My Heart. I think it looks better now.

Album art is fun. :D
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by DCMaguire » Wed May 06, 2009 8:16 pm

Hey John - When did you start uploading all of that music?
I just started after seeing Zoe's post, and it took me forever just to get one file up.

I think the .wav file is a bad idea. Sure, it sets them apart from other sites, I guess, but it's a real pain, and how many people are really going to care -- this music is all getting put on mp3 players anyway. Maybe if they gave us a choice, that would be a compromise.

I like the nice, clean design of the pages -- and no ads is such a bonus -- I wonder how long that will last. The big banner at the top is a great idea, too.

Forcing you to have a PayPal Premiere account is a pain. With the amount of sales most people get, a standard account would be just fine. Again, why not give the artist the choice?

I'd like to see some space on the front page for a short bio or other text that could introduce the artist.

I'm just starting out, but here's my page: www.davidmaguire.bandcamp.com

DCM
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by The Cracks » Wed May 06, 2009 8:50 pm

Dave, it does take a while to upload. I did one LP per night starting earlier this week. I did the album covers while waiting for uploads. How do you guys get those banners? I tried to do my regular Cracks logo and for some reason you see it tiled very briefly once in a while when you go to my site, but no banner.

I'm listening to Everything Comes and Goes. It's sounds great. I think the wav files is a pain, but I think it makes the songs much richer than mp3.
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by DCMaguire » Wed May 06, 2009 9:53 pm

I created the banner in a graphics program. Nothing complicated. I created the banner at exactly the maximum size they indicated.

Are they actually streaming the .wav file? Wouldn't that bog down the server connections -- One would think they'd be streaming the mp3 version, like everyone else.
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by tonyoci » Wed May 06, 2009 9:56 pm

The premier account is required because of the micropayments, 99c sale with a regular account "costs" you 35c, with a micropayment account it "costs" 10c

I guess they could let you choose but perhaps there are other reasons related to how the accounts are used for business.

Cracks, can't you just link directly to one of the song pages ? Not the album ?

I think this is a great service but it's too much work to setup for me.

DCM, Cracks uploaded when he heard about this on the marvelous Home Made Hit Show.
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by The Cracks » Thu May 07, 2009 6:19 am

DCMaguire wrote:Are they actually streaming the .wav file? Wouldn't that bog down the server connections -- One would think they'd be streaming the mp3 version, like everyone else.
Good point. I actually don't know. You may be right about streaming mp3. But, for some reason the songs don't sound as compressed. Who knows. I'm using it for the album cover option that's available since my songs are as free on bandcamp as they are on soundclick, myspace, and that other one I have songs on (can't remember the name right now). :D

Tony, yes, I did hear about bandcamp on HMHS.

p.s. Now that I think about it, I can upload my album covers to soundclick too.
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"The chords inspire the melody and the melody inspires the lyrics." Brian Wilson

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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by Zoetrope » Thu May 07, 2009 6:59 am

DCMaguire wrote:I think the .wav file is a bad idea. Sure, it sets them apart from other sites, I guess, but it's a real pain, and how many people are really going to care -- this music is all getting put on mp3 players anyway.
Well, they need a wav file to create all the other formats they offer for download. Once they have batch uploading set up life will be easier.
I like the nice, clean design of the pages -- and no ads is such a bonus -- I wonder how long that will last. The big banner at the top is a great idea, too.
I like the banner you did for yours. I need to take the time to do a decent one too.
Forcing you to have a PayPal Premiere account is a pain.
This is Paypal forcing you, not BandCamp. In order to have a micropayment account, you need either premium or business.

I'd like to see some space on the front page for a short bio or other text that could introduce the artist.
Agreed. I have a feeling that's in the works.

I'm just starting out, but here's my page: http://www.davidmaguire.bandcamp.com
Looks great, but what is it with you guys and the www? You don't need it. http://davidmaguire.bandcamp.com looks much nicer.
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by maceman » Thu May 07, 2009 8:18 am

...looks real good and thanx for the reviews.

The thing i like about it most is... i've been trying to find time to make a home webpage, but i can never keep up with doing the code myself anymore, just too busy. I like this because it is faster, yes- uploading will take longer , but in the long run i can see this being real good. Plus it codes a banner to the other big things like myspace/twitter etc....

Looks real good. I just hope it stays free forever!

I think it is worth opening an account, even if one doesn't upload everything all at once in case they make a cut-off at some point. How do they make money? i don't see any real advertisement on the pages?

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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by Zoetrope » Thu May 07, 2009 8:46 am

maceman wrote: How do they make money? i don't see any real advertisement on the pages?Maceman
RTFAQ

[Translation: Read the FAQ]

The short answer is, they will have premium options at some point, but right now they're just building up the site and getting people excited. Smart strategy. Get big fast, then make money. Worked for Amazon.com.
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by maceman » Thu May 07, 2009 3:27 pm

"Our monetization strategy boils down to the simple belief that we should only make money if you make money. So, for example, we might take a cut of download and merchandise revenue, but only from artists selling over a certain amount per month (right now we take nothing over Paypal's transaction fees). We don't know yet what that threshold will be, nor do we know what percentage cut we'll take"

Okay, I just tried a one song upload for now to try it out and play around. Looks good. Sounds good. I like.

http://maceman.bandcamp.com/
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by Sungodv » Thu May 07, 2009 3:28 pm

Even though it was made with downloads, I'm digging this track :stick: :


http://thecracks.bandcamp.com/track/kee ... nds-closer

Not on topic, but it is music and board related. :P

Great song.

You know, after all the videos, album artwork, and using loop in songs, etc., I'm not buying that things like going to MixCraft4 or using Skype is above your skill level..... :roll:
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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by The Cracks » Thu May 07, 2009 8:09 pm

Sungodv wrote:Even though it was made with downloads, I'm digging this track :stick: :


http://thecracks.bandcamp.com/track/kee ... nds-closer

Not on topic, but it is music and board related. :P

Great song.

You know, after all the videos, album artwork, and using loop in songs, etc., I'm not buying that things like going to MixCraft4 or using Skype is above your skill level..... :roll:
Thanks for listening, Sun. :D

I plead no contest on the charges. I'd still use Jamstudio if it didn't cost $4.99 a month. I know that's not alot, but I probably wouldn't use it too much as there are only a few of the sounds that I'd actually end up using. As far as Mixcraft4, I just am too lazy to try to learn it. One day I will, I'm sure.
Last edited by The Cracks on Thu May 07, 2009 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"No matter how hard I tried [no song] was ever perfect. There was always a pimple somewhere.” Burt Bacharach

"If you're enjoying it, why do something else?" Sir Paul McCartney

"The chords inspire the melody and the melody inspires the lyrics." Brian Wilson

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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by The Cracks » Thu May 07, 2009 8:12 pm

[quote="macemanOkay, I just tried a one song upload for now to try it out and play around. Looks good. Sounds good. I like.

http://maceman.bandcamp.com/[/quote]

Looks good, Mace. Sounds good too. I really like this song.
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My albums

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My website

"No matter how hard I tried [no song] was ever perfect. There was always a pimple somewhere.” Burt Bacharach

"If you're enjoying it, why do something else?" Sir Paul McCartney

"The chords inspire the melody and the melody inspires the lyrics." Brian Wilson

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Re: BandCamp.com - a quick review

Post by maceman » Fri May 08, 2009 3:40 pm

Thanx John,

I am up to about 7 songs now uploaded.... I find their servers are quite slow right now, so trying to get most up. Must be tons uploading right now. Should do this at nighttime i think!

Maceman
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