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Tricil Measures Topspin: One Solo Artist on Making it Online, Comparing Bandcamp

We hear plenty of hype about the Web’s power for artists, but what happens in the real world? That question is doubly interesting now that Topspin, already influential in its early test run, is available to everyone. Atlanta-based artist Tricil joins us for a special guest post to answer just that. It’s a chance to peer in the head of a Topspin power user. (If anyone wants to rebut this with the Bandcamp perspective, go for it.) I was curious, having followed this solo electronica performer, how his use of Web promotion and commerce tool Topspin was working for him. …

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Pay What You Will for Nine Inch Nails, from Free to $300

Trent sez: “Buy all these music formats from meeeeeeeeeee!” Photo: Jenna Foxton. Artists are known to mouth off a bit about the Future of Music and Digital Distribution and whatnot, but Trent Reznor is putting his money — and not money — where his mouth is. Nine Inch Nails Menu of Ordering Options for Ghosts I-IV via Mashable: Practice What You Preach: Nine Inch Nails Gives Away New Album And they certainly have their bases covered with their new album “Ghosts”: Get the first volume of the album free on torrent sites (or via the NIN site) Pay US$5 for …

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Last.fm Frees Full-Length Music and Albums, and Artists Get Paid MORE

Music community Last.fm has made a big announcement today: you can now play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Web. Last.fm has managed to leap over restrictions on what qualifies as a “jukebox” by signing deals with labels, from indie to biggie. So far, the US, UK, and Germany are covered, but Last.fm promises other parts of the world soon. You don’t get unlimited plays for each track, but a future subscription service will unlock that ability along with other features. (Last.fm’s subscriptions are already a nice feature, so paying a bit extra for that I imagine …

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Musicians, Like Writers, Left Out of Online Revenues – Or Not

Thom gets his own poster, courtesy M.A.C. Kingsley. Because new records have sound all over them, and you should probably get paid for that. Television itself (well, American TV — BBC is doing just fine) has ground to a halt over online revenues for writers. How are musicians doing? Not so well, say Radiohead. Ars Technica notes that Thom Yorke has been going around pointing out many labels screw artists out of digital download income in contracts. The solution isn’t rocket science: get a better contract, get a different label, or go it alone. Radiohead chose the “go it your …

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Yottamusic Dead; Subscription Music in Intensive Care

Some time in the last few days, browser-based music tool Yottamusic went kaput. For those of you who never saw it, the site was brilliant. Like the Rhapsody music service, Yottamusic featured all-you-can-listen music for a subscription fee, all playable in a cross-platform browser. (Yes, even Firefox for Linux worked just fine, thanks to a Firefox extension.) Unlike Rhapsody, Yottamusic had an interface that was actually attractive and usable, and synced plays to the music community Last.fm. Social features let you easily discover music via what other Yottamusic listeners liked — not a new idea, but powerful when integrated with …

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iTunes, Video Marketplace? TuneCore Does Music Videos

Stores like iTunes (and all those Windows Media-based alternatives, if anyone ever uses them) aren’t just the domain of major labels. Indie artists and smaller labels are finding their way onto these services, courtesy the power of distributors and other conduits. (For music, tools like CD Baby have been a big boon.) But part of the potential of all of this technology was supposed to be video content as well as music. TuneCore has stepped up to the plate with a beta service that lets artists sell music videos via iTunes. Many artists, I suspect, will prefer to use videos …

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