My POTW this week is the wonderful Ethereal Dreamscapes, from Susan Moss of MoonDreams music, who was the creator behind the first week’s playlist. I think we have rather similar taste in music, if this list is anything to go by. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, too.
There were various articles last summer predicting doom and gloom for Soundcloud before they were rescued. This prompted a little research into what alternatives there are to Soundcloud – this is the second of a series of posts into what I found out.
Drooble’s website states, “We want to create a community that unites musicians. A place where you can connect with others to exchange ideas, share knowledge and start bands. A place where you can get your music appreciated and receive feedback from other musicians.”
The look and feel of this site is very much like Facebook, but with a musical twist. Like Soundcloud, this site is geared specifically for the music community, and there seems to be a mixture of musicians present, from keen amateurs to professionals, plus some music fans. You can advertise and search for new band members and arrange jam sessions online.
Drooble is not a blockchain based site, but if listeners comment on or ‘applaud’ your music, you earn ‘karma points’. You also earn ‘karma points’ for being a good Drooble citizen: using it regularly, recommending friends and helping other musicians out. You can spend the points on promotional tools – it costs 400-700 points to get most of these, but additional airplay is just 100 points.
Songs uploaded to Drooble for hosting get automatic airtime on the site’s ‘radio’ station, which you might not want for work in progress. For getting feedback on unfinished material, it could be better to use host work in progress on a site like Clyp, and only reference it from your Drooble feed.
The site is beginning to incorporate apps – so far there is a chromatic tuner and a metronome. They plan to include a built-in DAW further down the line, but I suspect that may be a while. I wouldn’t expect the Drooble DAW to have as much functionality as the DAW on your computer – unless the site’s creators work with one of the commercially available DAWs – but it could eventually be a useful tool for collaborating on co-writes with other Drooble musicians.
-You can post your music to the Drooble ‘radio station’, the built-in music player which allows commenting and likes.
-There is scope for being promoted as eg Artist of the Week or Video of the Week by spending your ‘karma points’.
-Built-in electronic press kit (EPK) as one of the promotional tools options.
-The genre communities are quite vaguely defined.
-Currently there are over 30,000 accounts* on the site, so the potential audience for your work is still quite small.
-All your instruments and genres are grouped together, so if you only play folk-style guitar but play rock keyboards and orchestral flute, this won’t be immediately clear to someone reading your page. That said, the level of detail you provide is way better than you can give on many sites.
This site is well designed, easy to use and has a lot of potential, especially if you collaborate with other musicians, and it is good for music discovery. It is probably geared up too much towards musicians rather than fans at present to draw in huge numbers of fans who aren’t musicians themselves. I would hope that this will be addressed as the site develops, though.
(This article was updated to state more than 30k accounts, on further information supplied by Drooble, as the number had increased since the article was written. It previously stated around 27k accounts existed).
This week’s POTW follows directly on from last week’s, as it is another from Haven Yates‘ Triple 25 series. So, I’ll say no more and let you listen… enjoy!
There were various articles last summer predicting doom and gloom for Soundcloud before they were rescued. It was stated that the company which has not yet turned a profit only had 50 days of finance left. Soundcloud hasn’t changed noticeably yet, but I’m not convinced that they will remain in their current form because they need a business model that makes them profitable in the longterm, if they are to avoid hitting another crisis. With that in mind, I did a little research into what alternatives there are to Soundcloud, looking into sites such as Clyp, Drooble, Musicoin and others. There’s way too much to say on the topic for one blog post, so I’ve turned it into a series. These articles are aimed at musicians, but could be of interest to anyone who creates audio.
Clyp has been around for a few years and aims to be an ‘imgur for sound files’. You don’t need an account to upload (although it is sensible to have one if you’re on there as an artist); your account can be created by logging in via Facebook, so no need to set up a new account from scratch. On the free service, you get a 6 hour upload quota for mp3s, with 100Mb max per file uploaded, and the site hosts ads. Clyp is said to often be used by electronic music producers for posting beats, but it can be used for complete songs and mixes, also.
Listeners with an account can collect audio from other music creators to their own account’s page, and follow other creators. The social side of the website and overall functionality is rather limited, however.
-The ability to record straight to the site might be useful for some performers.
-Hashtag labelling for tracks and search function.
-You control whether your upload is public/private and can be commented on
-Website as well as app functionality. Share audio straight to Facebook & Twitter from the app.
-You can only give one weblink on the free service.
-There’s no like function, only the ability to save a track to your saved tracks.
-No playlisting or ways to organise large numbers of clips.
-No royalties or monetization possibilities.
-It’s not clear if you will see when someone saves or downloads your work.
-Limited app availability – iOS only.
-There doesn’t seem to be a way to post files from the mobile app that weren’t recorded via the app.
-Your music is unlikely to be found by other users – it’s not really geared up for music discovery.
I wouldn’t recommend using this site to try to get your music discovered. You may find it useful if you want to share work that you don’t want to publicise, however, or capture audio clips via iphone for later retrieval.
This week’s POTW is the Haven Yates’ Triple 25 Vol. 1 . I can’t tell you a great deal about Haven, apart from he writes some nice music, does some sound engineering as well as singing, songwriting, guitarring and producing and he seems like a decent bloke! As you can probably tell from the name of the playlist, Haven has put together a few of these, so watch out for Vol. 4 coming up next week.
This week’s playlist of the week is THE BIG ONE by Atom Collector Records. Atom Collector Records is a site where indie artists get together and share tracks and playlists, but you can also listen as a music fan to catch some music you’ve not heard before and find out more about the artists – you don’t need to be making music yourself. I like the ‘go’ button on the listen page for finding new music – you never know what you’re going to get, apart from the very broad genre you selected.
The BIG ONE playlist contains a huge variety of music from all genres so you can expect to be challenged at times and not to like absolutely everything (that’s what the skip button’s for, after all). The flip side is that I’m pretty sure that you’ll also find a few precious gems that you didn’t even know were out there.
I’ve seen a teeny weeny bit of growth in the number of people listening to my tracks over the last few months, mostly via other peoples’ Spotify playlists. This has been a big encouragement to keep going – the last couple of months have been pretty tough.
So, this year, I thought I’d do a new series of posts with playlists that I’ve been included on and give a shout out to the fantastic people who have been willing to add my music to their lists. If you like the list, give it a follow of course and listen again! I’ll keep going with the series for as many weeks as there are playlists with my music on, so if you’ve got a public playlist and I’m on it, let me know! (NB: your playlist needs to be suitable for all-age listening! I don’t think my music is likely to fit too well on a seriously dark playlist or one that has a lot of swearing anyway, so it’s unlikely to be an issue, but just saying…)
My first playlist of the week in 2018 is Our Fierce Female Friends. It’s by Susan Moss of MoonDreams Music, who makes beautiful lullabies and gentle music suitable for young children (make sure you listen to track 4 for a sample of her work). Susan’s an avid playlist creator, often featuring independent artists like myself amongst better known tracks, which is hugely appreciated.
So, I hope you enjoy listening. Hopefully it will brighten up your commute or chillout time or when you’re doing the cooking.