Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 5th Sep 2006 14:58 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews Magnatune is the non-evil record label who gives away 128 kbps mp3s of all their artist's songs for free. You can then choose (or not) to purchase DRM-free higher quality versions at a price you set and they allow you to share their purchased songs with 3 friends. The label splits revenues 50/50 with their (carefully picked) signed artists, while these artists keep all of the rights to their music with a non-exclusive contract. Today, we are very happy to feature an interview with John Buckman, the founder and owner of Magnatune, to help us understand better their revolutionary business model.
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Sounds good
by wetnose23 on Tue 5th Sep 2006 15:08 UTC
wetnose23
Member since:
2006-05-11

Cool.

Reply Score: 1

Awesome.
by Adam S on Tue 5th Sep 2006 15:44 UTC
Adam S
Member since:
2005-04-01

I think this is really revolutionary. I walked through the process and saw that when you buy, it ASKS you what you want to pay. It was so unique it was a little disorienting. Novel and really interesting! I'm going to give it a shot, I just need to find a band to check out.

If even one major band moves to this system, Magnatune will see a sharp rise in traffic. For now, I'd be a notch worried that it's aimed at a small group - those who are willing to experiment with non-radio indy music.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Awesome.
by Bonus on Tue 5th Sep 2006 15:58 UTC in reply to "Awesome."
Bonus Member since:
2005-12-23

About Indie music. To me automatically it's not Indie music if it's on the Internet since Indie music is such a local limited sound to me.

I have listened to some of the bands and I forgot the name but one Rock band is very good and experimental. Good quality. Bands don't really get into their sound until the 3rd album as you need a consistant medium for honing it.

I also really think it's the environment like if this record company can really link these bands to the proper recording producers. And the recording is affordable. I think today there is a great venue for more cost effective prodcution though too. Like $3,000 for a good recording at a local recording studio. Is it higher now? It should be affordable and that way newbie producers can get in too.

Edited 2006-09-05 15:59

Reply Score: 1

RE: Interview: John Buckman
by protagonist on Tue 5th Sep 2006 15:45 UTC
protagonist
Member since:
2005-07-06

Go John, go. I recommend your site every chance I get. I especially liked your comment about buying a Senator. :-)

Thanks, Eugenia, for doing the interview. I have been a fan of Magnatune for some time now.

Reply Score: 3

My hopes about Magnatune ideas
by Eugenia on Tue 5th Sep 2006 15:52 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

I love Magnatune, but I would like to see some more "traditional label" goodness in it. By this I mean:
1. Real press push for their 15-20 best bands/artists. Maybe by sending some 128kbps mp3s to get included with new versions of WinAMP, Songbird, or part of the 5 topmost popular Linux distros.
2. Hire 2-3 experienced producers and put them to work with the 15-20 best bands on Magnatune, to make sure that their new albums are easier "listenable" from wider audiences. For these cases, make the cut 60-40 to Magnatune, to help pay the producers.
3. Make it a bit more clear about Radio licensing (terrestrial, satellite, internet). Currently it's not clear at all if Magnatune requires licensing to play their music on the radio. Magnatune claims that the normal fees to ASCAP/BMI are enough, but that's not clear at all from their licensing web page.
4. Hook up with the SongBird folks and create the FIRST CreativeCommons-only music store, as an "open" alternative to iTunes music store!

Reply Score: 1

RE: My hopes about Magnatune ideas
by Bonus on Tue 5th Sep 2006 16:05 UTC in reply to "My hopes about Magnatune ideas"
Bonus Member since:
2005-12-23

You're right and sounds like more Web 3.0ish like a more 3D Web with real world customization. I am thinking the same thing for YouTube. The original content is not that great of quality and the flash is out of sync on the website. They should have a studio with the most popular film's producers getting studio time and cameras etc. they might be able to have a studio franchise around the world.

In house producers would be nice and I was thinking way back, instead of CC's Mixter they should also have a Free media(NoDRM Crative Commons) media device similar to ITunes. I think Amarok might have started this. Also it would help if Songbird was on Linux too.

Edited 2006-09-05 16:07

Reply Score: 1

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

I particularly like the sound of #1. Magnatune definitely needs to get its name out there.

I don't know how big a deal #3 would be, but if it would help get the word out, go for it. (problem, though: In the US at least, radio stations are paid by the big music labels to play songs from THEIR libraries- New York's attorney general exposed and prosecuted that in New York state, but who's to say that's not going on in some fashion)

Reply Score: 1

Not bad
by wonea on Tue 5th Sep 2006 16:00 UTC
wonea
Member since:
2005-10-28

Anything without DRM gets my attention and money, but my subscription stays with emusic. Simply because it has better music.

Just waiting for songbird to become usable (less cluttered interace, and faster), and I'll replace itunes.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not bad
by Bonus on Tue 5th Sep 2006 16:12 UTC in reply to "Not bad"
Bonus Member since:
2005-12-23

wonea, I love subscription music but I stopped using AOL musicnow because of the DRM. Does Emusic have DRM? If not I'm signing up today because of all the old music I love.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not bad
by wonea on Tue 5th Sep 2006 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Not bad"
wonea Member since:
2005-10-28

Emusic is DRM free. Music served VBR mp3's. Much better quality than itunes. Just got the white stripes, and loads of interesting stuff off the kranky music label. Very good!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Not bad
by Bonus on Tue 5th Sep 2006 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not bad"
Bonus Member since:
2005-12-23

Yah the site is very nice, they do have a Linux Browser as well but production has stopped it seems although functional.
The 40/Month songs is mice. Probably is fine althogh I prefer unlimited streaming mainly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not bad
by wonea on Wed 6th Sep 2006 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not bad"
wonea Member since:
2005-10-28

The unofficial linux client works fine, as does the mac os x one. Not had any problem downloading things.

Reply Score: 1

Very Promising
by MechaShiva on Tue 5th Sep 2006 16:08 UTC
MechaShiva
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is excellent because even if it's moderately successful, it will apply pressure on traditional labels to re-examine their current business models. They have long been able to operate with impunity because the only place you could get their product was their retail outlets. Realistically, that changed with the internet yet their approach has not. A business that has resorted to suing its own customers is truly a business in a failing industry. And before anyone says "They're not suing their customers, they're suing leechers", well, anybody who downloads a Britney Spears song has probably already purchased an album and decided it wasn't worth it so they are in fact customers.

I guess it's just really nice to see a company that respects its customers and just as refreshing to see artists whose top priority is getting their music heard and not become 'rock stars'. As a musician myself, it's nice to know there are distribution options available that don't require you to relinquish your soul to be heard. Keep up the great work.

Reply Score: 3

Speaking as an unsigned musician....
by polaris20 on Tue 5th Sep 2006 16:12 UTC
polaris20
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is what the music industry needs. The consumer choosing what sucks and does not suck, and paying accordingly without getting screwed by unfair DRM, and the artist/label still making money because they put out a good product.

Sure, it might not be the mega-millions at first, but if it catches on, it could change the music industry paradigm, and then we might not have to listen to Britney Spears when we turn on the radio! w00t!

Reply Score: 3

Bonus Member since:
2005-12-23

I know the old way is a tiotally tierd system with like a few singers at the top.

With the new system I want to able able to hear regular bands just jamming and experimenting. There could be more collaberation as well and less time for musicians to leave and start new bands. Today it seems bands are locked in and it's hard to do reunions.

Edited 2006-09-05 16:18

Reply Score: 1

Terracotta Member since:
2005-08-15

You only have to listen to Britney Spears because everybody buys her music. Now if bands from Magnatunes get radio airing then we will see an increase in profit for magnatunes, but I wish them all the luck they can get.

Reply Score: 1

Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

Quite surprising that they accept so little. Of course I can see why they'd want to keep the quality level up, but "good music" is such a subjective thing. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would think the music I listen to is nothing but irritating noise, and I'm sure I'd exclude a lot of quality music that just isn't to my taste if I was making a selection of artists.

I've mentioned Magnatune to a few friends as I love the idea of their service, but the response has been pretty negative due to the small number of artists representing some genres. Quality is important, but there's something to be said for quantity as well.

Hopefully Magnatune will grow and maybe even attract some relatively well known indie bands. I think that would need to happen before more mainstream music buyers would take an interest.

Reply Score: 1

Not evil + intelligent
by Luis on Tue 5th Sep 2006 18:10 UTC
Luis
Member since:
2006-04-28

Their business model not only is not evil - it's intelligent and well thought.

In the end it's always consumers who say where the market is going. Companies cannot tell consumers what's good for them. Not for a long time. So it's better to listen to what consumers demand and offer them a good deal based on their needs.

Traditional labels have been so stubborn not to understand this and start a war against consumers that I'm not sorry for them when I hear they do worse every year. They have a last chance (maybe) to change and adapt to consumers needs. Else, Magnatune will take over real soon ;)

Edited 2006-09-05 18:12

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not evil + intelligent
by WorknMan on Tue 5th Sep 2006 19:41 UTC in reply to "Not evil + intelligent"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Companies cannot tell consumers what's good for them. Not for a long time.

Apparently, they can. Given that Madden 07 hit record sales for the franchise this year tells me that consumers are more than willing to happily take it up the ass year-after-year. (For those not in the know, EA bought an exclusive right to use the NFL license in video games, effectively eliminating the competition.)

Is the entertainment industry evil? I don't think so. If I could sell you a Ford Pinto for $100,000, and you were dumb enough to pay that much for it, even though you knew the actual value of it, then I'm not evil .. you're just stupid ;) And you can't tell me that people don't know the value of music either. Isn't that why so many of them steal it, because it costs too much?

It really is the job of the producer to see how much they can squeeze the consumer for. In the current system, it's actually the consumers' fault for letting them push it as far as they have. When it comes to DRM, it's time to start pointing the blame where it really belongs. Instead of blasting the recording industry, why not aim that venom at the next person you see at the record store buying the latest hip-hop album of the month on a copy-protected CD? It ain't like they're pointing a gun at your head forcing you to buy the crap.

Reply Score: 3

good music.. horrible preview quality
by hohlraum on Tue 5th Sep 2006 18:30 UTC
hohlraum
Member since:
2005-12-13

even the 'hi fi' version is so bad its just wrong. I've NEVER in my life heard 128k mp3 sound that bad before. Its so bad it has to be on purpose.

As far as the idea I love it and look forward to previewing some stuff if I can ever get past the static and listen to an entire song.

Reply Score: 1

protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

Perhaps your sound system needs to be looked at. The preview tunes sound far better on my system that the standard MP3 you get from the other music services.

Reply Score: 1

Digg my ass!
by Ford Prefect on Tue 5th Sep 2006 18:30 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

Magnatune is great, but what about that "digg this" link. Every geeky shit website now has "digg this" link on every article. What a bullshit. Stop it, please.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Digg my ass!
by Eugenia on Tue 5th Sep 2006 18:34 UTC in reply to "Digg my ass!"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

We don't do it every day, only for special original articles that we truly believe that they deserve more attention.

Reply Score: 1

Sound very Cool
by ra1n on Tue 5th Sep 2006 20:08 UTC
ra1n
Member since:
2006-02-11

I like ideas like this, and I've discovered some interesting artists on magnatune (for example Beth Quist that was quoted here on osnews :-) that I'm going to buy

Reply Score: 1

The West Exit
by TheWestExit on Tue 5th Sep 2006 22:19 UTC
TheWestExit
Member since:
2006-09-05

I suggest everyone give the band The West Exit on Magnatune a spin. Good stuff.

I've been buying music from magnatune for a couple years. I even have their business cards that I hand out. You have to respect Magnatune's business plan, 50% directly to artist and a creative commons license.

Best record label today.

Reply Score: 1

how?
by ksmc on Tue 5th Sep 2006 22:32 UTC
ksmc
Member since:
2006-09-05

how do you download free mp3s? i only see m3us.

Reply Score: 1

RE: how?
by Eugenia on Tue 5th Sep 2006 22:35 UTC in reply to "how?"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Open the m3u file with a text editor.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: how?
by ksmc on Tue 5th Sep 2006 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE: how?"
ksmc Member since:
2006-09-05

thanks

Reply Score: 1

Service looks great...
by Deathspawner on Wed 6th Sep 2006 02:11 UTC
Deathspawner
Member since:
2006-08-11

Great stuff... I love where this is going. The artist selection is a little slim, but some I have been listening to are great.

Looking forward to this service taking over ;-)

Reply Score: 1

I've heard of them
by DigitalAxis on Wed 6th Sep 2006 03:56 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

I seem to recall a friend of mine introducing me to the new age piano tunes of Rob Costlow... I should see if he has any new stuff up there... and maybe buy some FLAC copies of his first album.

(Not to make him sound derivative, but anyone who likes George Winston would probably like Rob Costlow- my favorite is True Gemini)

Edited 2006-09-06 04:05

Reply Score: 1

bansal98
Member since:
2006-09-06
another happy customer
by chrish on Wed 6th Sep 2006 12:33 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

Magnatune is awesome, there's some fantastic music there, and it's all things you won't hear anywhere else.

Browse their catalog, there will definitely be something there that will appeal to you.

Highly recommended.

- chrish

Reply Score: 1