Journal: News & Comment

Monday, October 17, 2005
# 10:39:00 PM:

Vanity project: how to sell music I'm giving away?

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Penmachine Sessions Album Cover v.1First, if you've ever wondered what my corporate cover band The Neurotics is like, the latest photos on our site pretty much sum it up.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I want to talk about selling something I'm giving away. I'll explain.

A few days ago, I mentioned that I'm thinking of compiling the 14 podsafe, free instrumental MP3 tunes I've recorded so far for my Penmachine Podcast into an audio CD that I could sell. This is more an experiment and vanity project than any kind of big money-making ploy. I'll probably only make 50 CDs or so to start, for example.

Anyway, I have enough music in those 14 songs (45 minutes, or an album's worth of material from the days of LP records). Since I'm of course leaving the MP3s online—and quite a few podcasters, ranging from tiny local politics and church shows to the South China Morning Post, workers from Canada's CBC, and Adam Curry, have played them or used them for theme songs and background tunes—I'm thinking of ideas that would make the CD more valuable to people. I mean, it might feel nice to give me money for something you could get for free, but an extra incentive would surely help.

My idea is that, in addition to the regular audio CD, I should include a data DVD in the package, with this sort of stuff on it:

  • The original GarageBand files I used to make the songs, so people could grab chunks for reuse, remixing, or whatever. (Only useful for Mac users with GarageBand.)
  • Perhaps individual tracks exported one at a time from GarageBand as AIFF or WAV files, so people can use other audio software to do the same. (Good for non-GarageBand and non-Mac users.) I could include Audacity for Win, Mac, and Linux if people want to try playing with them.
  • Pre-ripped high-quality MP3, AAC, Ogg, WMA, and maybe lossless (FLAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, or WAV) versions of the songs that can be dropped directly into iTunes or whatever, or sent to your media player or burned to MP3 CD, without having to rip them from the CD yourself.
  • Digital versions of whatever album artwork and liner notes I pull together.
  • Original demo versions of the songs, and maybe some others I never turned into full recordings.
  • Copies of my podcast promos and other stuff I've used in conjunction with the site.
  • Maybe some other video, photos, and stuff. I could put together a little audio or video tour of my recording process, for instance.

I'd like to put as much of it as I can on there, within the 4.7 GB limit of the DVD. What do you think? Any other suggestions? There has already been some discussion in the comments to my previous post.


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