Thursday, June 4, 2009

Free Music Archive.

I am a few days from really being back on this space but thought to let you know about the Free Music Archive. This site was started by WFMU, a freeform radio station in the United States.

The latest Creative Commons newsletter advises that the site was launched in April 2009. It hosts tracks available as free downloads using a number of licenses including Creative Commons. Users can download from a catalogue of 8,659 tracks (it was launched with 5,000 songs).

The site looks good but has some way to go in terms of growth and development. Nine thousand tracks is a good start but small compared to other sites such as Jamendo which, at present, hosts some 20,478 albums.

Like Jamendo, the Free Music Archive seeks to embrace new business models. It is intended that links will be provided enabling users to buy the full album and/or giving users the option of tipping an artist by making a deposit to the artists’ PayPal account (from what I can see these are not yet in place). Artist profiles also include tourdates allowing fans to both enjoy their art and support creators/performers by attending concerts.

Another good thing about the site is the album/track descriptions - these are much more detailed than what is found on many other sites including iTunes, eMusic and file sharing networks. The search function allows for key word searching of both the descriptions and the tracks which is a big improvement in terms of the architecture needed to help listeners find political music. One could well imagine the power of combing this design attribute with a much larger catalogue.

This site is in its infancy but is one to watch in the future.Take a look around and be exposed to some new independent artists. But be careful first to check that the license conditions permit uses that suit your needs.

More Information
Free Music Archive <>

Jamendo <>

No comments: