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Over the last decade of dealing with web hosting on the net the incompetence of web hosts never ceases to amaze anyone in this business. With that said I have seen a rash of bands complaining about domain problems and it seems anytime any artist that isn't on a major label get a big amount of publicity their server crashes. This is unacceptable in 2009. With that said allow me to recommend the host that will make it so that if your music starts to blow up you won't lose the chance to make countless fans and that is exactly what happens if your host craps out on you. MediaTemple is a hosting site that actually has a cheap plan so that if you get more traffic than usual you can keep your server up and running. Not to mention, the fact that they have the best customer service I have ever witnessed. It makes me furious when a band I have helped out loses exposure to an incompetent host, don't be that band and use a host that for $20 a month will really help you. Not to mention it is only $5 to register a domain name with them! Pretty amazing! Check out MediaTemple.
Earlier today we warned you not to upgrade quite yet to Snow Leopard if you are a Pro Tools user, but this doesn't just go for PT users. Any audio software may risk your system acting a little wacky if your software hasn't been optimized for the new OS. As well the main bragging right of Snow Leopard is the 64-bit capabilities which no audio software has taken advantage of yet, so don't go rushing into this. For those of you who don't have audio software LifeHacker has a great tutorial on how to prepare your Mac for this awesome new upgrade. For those of you who who want some of these features but don't want to screw with your audio software this may be the time to make your computer a dual-boot Mac with two operating sytems. If you want a real huge take on this situation and how it applies to DAW and synth software Create Digital Music has some great coverage.

Perhaps you have heard of Screaming Females? They are getting a ton of press for their spazztic-Minutemen-like punk sound. This press continued last week when they played in the middle of a summer day for all the kids watching MTV on their summer break on the very popular MTV show It's On With Alexa Chung. We previously reported that Ms. Chung had Metric on, who are signed to their own label. It seems It's On is becoming a oasis in MTV's programming for cool indie bands getting exposure thanks to Alexa's awesome wits and tastes. While Metric had previously had a large indie behind them, Screaming Females have only the might of a tiny-tiny indie label by the name of Don Giovanni behind them. Everyday the playing field evens out even more for the small bands to break through!
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The Republic Project is a new site that allows you to sell your music and receive 100% of the album price. The idea behind the project is artists provide exclusive behind-the-scenes video footage during a pre-order period and fans then pay $1.99 extra for the release for the experience. You then sell your record for $3.99-9.99 which you keep all of the profits from. The RP enables you to embed all of these videos through their widget which they hope to draw traffic to your bands RP site and then buy your music. An interesting concept that we will be curious to see what happens with. Give a look for yourself!
In this new series we will examine what on earth record labels do or even used to do before they started cutting employees down to make up for their flimsy business model. In order to educate everyone as to what the labels responsibilities usually were and how you can fill them in the future, we will now explain what they do and how you can fill the void. For previous episodes go here.

Nearly any release can be helped by a strong college radio push. This is why many labels would hire services to send out promos and other materials to college radio and push hard to get their music played on the air. While the Internet has opened up many new ways of promoting your music, college radio is still one of the best ways to get your music out to the kids (or um... adults???) of the land. Follow me to the jump and I will show you the old techniques of doing it and how to do it on your own.
facebookbathing.jpgMany of you out there love nothing more than a mass text to everyone in your address book to drive people to your shows. Obviously, this can be an effective method if used at the right time, to the right people to drive up attendance and make new fans if your friends bring other friends to your shows. This is all obvious to anyone who knows how to use a cellphone. One thing that isn't obvious is that there is a cool GreaseMonkey script (for those not familiar GreaseMonkey is an EASY feature you install into Firefox that takes even the biggest luddite a few seconds to figure out how to do) that will allow you to rip all of your Facebook friends phone numbers into your Gmail contacts! If you have an Android phone they will import right into it (and you can download the mass texting App from the marketplace), if you don't you can export your Google contacts or just copy them into your phone. A little spammy? Yes. At the same time, anyone who actually lists their phone number on a social networking site is begging for some contact, so give them what they want.

Animoto is a site that will allow you to take your images and make them into a cool mash-up video. In the past we told you how you need to make at least a single picture frame YouTube for your songs but if you can do more it will help promote your music. Animoto definitely helps you get there. With a little tech work you can get these videos to post to YouTube as well which we will make a tutorial about in the coming week. Go check it out.

Are you plotting to make a video that spreads across the Internet like a South Carolina bimbo talking about maps?
If so, we have great news for you! YouTube will now allow anyone to cash in when their video starts going viral. This means if your group just shot a video of some stupid wedding dance to promote your new single ,all you need to do is upload it and wait for Youtube to contact you and you will be allowed to opt into a revenue sharing program. Rick Astley is definitely wondering why they didn't think of this sooner. More at TechCrunch.

The Wisdom Of A TopSpin Media Intern

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You have heard us and anyone in the know in the music world talk about how TopSpin is a big part of the future of the new music industry. A recent intern there blogged about many of the things he learned while there, which contains very wise observations for someone with the not-so-prestigious title of intern. A great read for any musicians or music industry types looking to read some progressive views on the new music industry. Go check out Justin Travis's blog right now (I might add I also read some of his older entries and they are all very wise as well).
iStock_000007388907XSmall.jpgWelcome Martin Frascogna to Musformation! He runs a great blog called Music Globalization as well as being a entertainment attorney that specializes in indie level bands, international music, and all areas surrounding music expansion. His blog is a excellent read and we linked his article on Marketing Your Music Overseas, which you should give a read. Despite how we often come off as very anti-record label he has penned a great piece below on the purpose of a label in the modern day. Enjoy! - ed.

The mind of musicians and music professionals today reflect a passionate anti-industry mentality. This "damn the man" mindset has rightfully been established after decades of major label extortion, the industries unwillingness to adapt to piracy, absurd lawsuits, power labels controlling the airwaves, and the perceived industry racketeering of musicians. The spill over has infecting musicians minds into thinking record labels are a joke and bands need to take careers into their own hands. "Record labels are dinosaurs" you hear time and time again, but is this really true? Labels represent getting screwed, lawyers equate to money takers, managers reflect worthless leeches, agents represent robbers, and any music professional looking to elevate an artist's career is indeed "the man". Don't get me wrong, some of these are true, but one negative trend needs to be put to bed - musicians DO need a record label and here are 3 reasons why.
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Way back when this site got started we told you about WFMU's Free Music Archive. An awesome site that lets you upload your Creative Commons licensed tracks to an archive where people can use them for CC type endeavors. This week YACHT decided to up their instrumentals to this archive in hopes of people downloading them to have their way with them. This is another great way to get your music out to the world via an awesome website you should be taking advantage of.

Rhapsody on iPhone from Rhapsody on Vimeo.

While we are still waiting for Spotify to hit the US it seems Rhapsody is trying to fill this void and offer some competition to Spotify. While Rhapsody does have an impressive catalog of music the lack of an ability to download music makes it useless for most urban users who travel underground or those who travel in areas with spotty cell service. I am still placing my money on Spotify being the next huge thing even though Rhapsody's option is exciting. For a comparison to the Spotify iPhone App head to the jump.

Criticism can be a crippling force in a musicians life. How you react to criticism both towards others and internally shapes the way you will be able to grow your music. By closing off critics and not listening to them you will never grow. While if you take every critique of your work to heart you will be crippled with fear and self-doubt.

If this is one of the things you struggle with in life you should give a read to one of the best bloggers out there, Tim Feriss, has written a great piece on what you can learn from Dr. Martin Luther King's approach to criticism. It is an amazing read that he has made available to read in either a 5 minute or 40 minute read. It is one of those reads that can change your life. Go get your head screwed on straight.
soundexchange.pngOne of the common questions we get is how to get paid for online radio plays? This is a great question considering this is new technology that keeps gaining popularity at breakneck speeds. The answer is you need to sign up with SoundExchange. In the 5 minutes it will take you to enter your information on SoundExchange you can do your wallet a great favor by giving it money you may have already made. Head to their online signup and stop procrastinating.
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Remember when you used to get all excited when some hot-looking porno-chick would write you on Myspace only to open the message and find out it was spam? The sadness that led to you you crying into your pillow for hours at a time? Well thankfully those days are over because the porn stars have moved on to twitter and know that marketing on Myspace is soooo 2006. Unfortunately, this weekend I found that many of you still to this day have on one of the stupidest things that Myspace ever unveiled enabled on your profile: the button that will make it so that only your friends can send you a direct message.

Programming Note: Light Day Again...

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Another summer Monday... We are still cooking up all the new things we are going to introduce in about 2 weeks. Till then check out the Table Of Contents or read some articles below.

Weekend Watching: Lawrence Lessig @ Google

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If you are still trying to get your head around the benefits of free and Creative Commons, watch this great speech by Lawrence Lessig.
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It is no secret that online radio is one of the best ways to promote your music. With services like Pandora, Last.FM, Jango, Blip.FM and other services not only can you get your music before the ears of listeners who like the type of music you make, but you can also get paid for your plays as you begin to dominate the online radio airwaves.

It all comes down to this. As you come down to entering the studio and then recording your songs you are now tasked with one of the most difficult balancing acts ever known to man (ok... well maybe to musicians). We have written countless articles on how to avoid many of the pitfalls many musicians fall into when they go to capture their material. Read on and make something great for us all to hear.

With everyday, as the gatekeepers die and the major labels lose power it becomes more and more about just having a great song. This being the case you better start brushing up on your skills! We have assembled a lot of advice and tools for you to use to write better songs on the other side of this link.

When trying to break your music out of your circle of friends and out to the whole world, you are inevitably going to have to take on the hat of doing some publicity for your own music. As you begin to take on this large task there is numerous bits of advice that you may have overlooked on how to do this effectively. We have assembled numerous articles on how to take over the world of music and get it out there.

Now that you actually have songs recorded you need to get them out to the world to be heard. With every day that passes more and more amazing tools become available for artists to do this without the help of a label. We keep an up to date guide of everything you could ever want to know about what you should do in order to make the right choice on how to get your music out to the world.

Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Tumblr, YouTube all become more and more important everyday (well maybe not Myspace, but contrary to much chatter it is still important to know the most up to date ways to make Myspace feed your other pages). We keep musicians up to date with the most current ways to use all of these social networks to promote your music. If you are not reading our guides to social networks you are missing out on the crucial knowledge of how to promote your music with the most up to date techniques.

What separates the winners and losers is how well you handle playing live and then getting your show on the road. Playing live and touring may seem easy but there are countless pitfalls that one can encounted over time. We show you all the new tricks of the trade as well as wise advice that has been passed down over the years.

Managing a group of people and keeping everyone on the same page and motivated is one of the biggest make or break factors of any sucessful group. There are many emerging tools that can make this easier and we sort through them, all the while dispensing valuable advice on how to deal with your members with minimal chaos.

Getting covered by blogs is fast becoming one of the things that everyone wants to figure out. Sadly, there is not a lot of information out there on how to do just this. We have quite a few articles with the techniques we use to get the bands we work with on to some of the top blogs out there.