March 24, 2010

Plan of Action and Research

Plan of Action and Research

Meetings with digital providers (fat drop etc) questions to ask / what do we want to know?

-whether the service provided has potential to fit a wide market of indie labels in to the future

-everything about what they have done so far, the technology, and where they plan to go

-bridging the gap between FTP --- and --- SNS

-involvement in the promotion of the music: between all -- and -- none

Post meeting: what next?

Find out everything about the providers

compile information into chart with digital providers (situation, assessment of market, design, technology)

structure questions to ask the media companies: based on the functions of the digital services

radio / press / stores: what do they need for the digital promo service? - what do they want? 

  • we need to make suggestions based on the functions of the digital services (fat drop etc)

Main body of research: access to people / companies for: 

  • questionnaire online: to many people (100s)
  • personal interviews: 2-3 per media

music editors of newspapers and magazines: which ones? 

Regional:  National:

music programmers / DJs from radio stations:

Regional:  National:

managers / owners of stores nationwide


After conducting market research we will compile a specific list of questions to ask record labels

  • questionnaire online or emailed
  • possible questions - maximum cost they can bear, willingness to pay, features, professionalism 

compiling data from media companies and record labels:

in the form of a comprehensive assessment of the demands and interests. Based on this we will make suggestions on the most suitable services available and any possible changes that could be made which may enhance take up of the new digital systems 

March 23, 2010

structure and questions for meeting by curt

Since our mission is to know as much as we can for our future research, we should be most time listeners rather than potential users giving advice. I suggest: first, we should ask them to do a brief introduction of what they already accomplished. We take notes carefully and fill them into our questions (then we will skip them). Then we start asking through our structure.

I. Situation

A. How long has this project run already?

B. How is this project funded and what expectation are you holding financially?

C. How many users registered till now? How are they formed? Percentage of musician/ broadcasters / consumers?

D. Feedback from users? What are they satisfied by and what more do they want from you? What progress and future plan are you sticking to?(Well this is the next two parts:))

E. How do you assess your competitors? Who are they and what do you think your advantages are?

II. Assessment of 'market'

A. How do you define your target users of your service? How do you estimate amount of potential users? The percentage?

B. How do you estimate the broadcasters' demand of songs?

C. How do you estimate the amount of supply (artists and labels) and what do you think of the imbalance between the two? Or you don't care at all...

III. Design

A. What product does this service cover? Only Music or plus videos or even more?

do they have interest from all genres, as well as different industries, or sway towards certain ones (i.e. dance music and DJs). If they do, could this alienate users from other genres adopting their system?

- Customer service – what kinds do they offer (email, phone or online ticket style systems)?

B. What are the conditions of admission? Only verified or anyone? If verified, go to C; or else, go to D.

C. How do you verify users? How do you deal with massive workload and impossible verification?

D. How do you deal with massive users and abnormal behaviours? Upload old music for fun? For entertainment? Upload leaked out or piracy albums for sharing? Harassment towards broadcasters?

E. Confidentiality in certain condition to protect from leaking out? What functions do labels have?

F. Technology which is too much so I put it as the next part.

G. How do you level your user's privileges by fees? And by characters(artist broadcaster label and listeners)? Or you don't at all?

H. Do you have your own recommendation system If yes, go to next one; else skip next one.

I. How do you decide what to recommend? How does this work? Front page? Or email? Or message in site?

J. Are you going towards social media service like myspace? If yes, How do you distinguish yourself from then? Why should the media choose you better than them?

K. Can labels recommend themselves? How?

IV. Technology

A. What is your capacity? How many users, music length and formats? Expiration period?

B. Format and quality?

C. Response time? Speed? Downloadable or stream-able? Or Both?

D. Do you send music files out by Email? If yes, how to prevent spam?

SPECIFIC Questions for providers

FatDrop: explain fee for use (£50 sign up / £30 subs), verification (anyone who pays)

Fastrax: everything put onto CD - how would they get around this? how does the system work?

Soundcloud: verification of users (professional vs fun), how to prevent harassment (spam), how to create work environment for professionals

We need trials - can this happen?


This is very incomplete and some questions are maybe too trivial. As the meeting goes on, our assumptions might be thoroughly changed and we gotta be flexible. But I do think it is very good for us to have a complete question list in advance so that we can make sure to get the whole picture and not lose key details. After all, we have only this one chance to contact directly with distributors.

However, I still remain one biggest question of my own: I don??t think it is a good idea to be open-register and available to the public. No DJ or editors need another Myspace to seek out new music, which is a sea of noise content and impossible to work out things. In my opinion, this project should be based on and serves professional process (rather than the mass) and daily works demand (rather than the mass entertainment). What do you people say?

March 22, 2010

A free trial of Soundcloud

Writing about web page

Ecstasy Inflamed by Curt

SHIT I just lost my two-hour work because of this crappy blog system. Fuck it. FUck.


Anyway, Soundcloud, one of the three contributors, is very focusing on music, rather than videos and other stuff like Fastrax. OPen for free registration and free service includes up to 2 hour length upload music. Premier has no limits and costs from 29 pounds per year, which is so much cheaper than Fatdrop! Above is my example of my own original work on Soundcloud.


I just wrote all those experience of trying that system and I lost them all. It does not matter. In short, Soundcloud provides  fast upload speed and average download and streaming speed camparing to other streaming service from myspace to spotify. No demand of plug-in or software. The advantage is simple-to-use and disadvantage is unstable. I wasted 20minutes for a breakdown of explorer because my upload is too big, 40m wave file at the first attempt.

Online streaming is forced to be in 128kps mp3 format, which garentees the smooth and save their bandwidth but the quality is barely acceptable.

Interaction is designed basically the same logic as twitter: people you follow...+groups. a combination of new and old SNS idea.


Song name/ file/ share by widget and dropbox in html code(no usership demanded, the same as myspace, not exactly as we imagine but users can modify the levels from world viewable to people you permit, a lot of techic questions here)/BPM(?!...professional...)/KEY(...this is weired. my song is from G to E, which can not be applied to the form, only one key permitted)/genre(totally customized, not designed for search, only for instruction)/ costumized instruction/pictures of design, very thoughtful.


Soundcloud is a very thoughtful designed website and focusing on music. It has good potential but problems we previously worried about are still there.

1 This is basically another Myspace. I mean the system is open for anyone and kind of encourage the myspace type of  crowds to register -- too widely open leads to

A    noise content.  people uploads repetitive, not original, or meaningless meterial there. The order is needed to be protected from the massive.

B    Newly-released singles might not be ready for public broadcast but the website potentially tend to get real hot singles into trouble by giving out to public or hacked... you know.

C    We still don't see a very satisfied solution for communication! How does a musician deliver his / her work to DJs who he/she does't know at all? On the other hand, how do professionals like DJs, editors... prevent harrasement?? Imagine a BBC editor receiving 1000 promotion messages through SOundcloud dashboard or Emails; he or she would surely give up again like what they did to CD promo. And that is the reason why I suggest We should consider more in creating a relatively closed space for labels and broadcastors. They are the people who matters.

Technology question again(for all three):

well I will create another entry for that.

I believe things above will more or less be shared by the other two.

Something about distributor


1.      About video player: apart from providing a link to Youtube, can Soundcloud offer a video website (like Fastrax)?

2.      About cost: what is the up-front and on-going cost?

3.      About receiving music: what Soundcloud does is to provide a dropbox for people to scan new tracks before downloading a thing.

4.      About security: Easily hacked?

5.      About mailing list: easy to send mails to subscribers and contatcs, but unlimited mailing lists? can it be regrouped?

6.      Soundcloud states that it will be an opportunity to merge this application into into i-phone. Is it necessary? Important?

7.      Does Soundcloud has the ability to embargo/ scatter mail outs?

Fat Drop

1.      About video player: possible to include video player?

2.      About cost: what is the up-front and on-going cost?

3.      About receiving music: stream music straight out of your recipient's inbox..

4.      About security: Fat Drop has watermark your MP3s. Add JOVA watermarking to tracks when extra security is wanted. Jova adds a unique code to every download so it can be identified later on. If you find your music on an illegal file-sharing site, you can submit it to FATdrop to check for a watermark.

5.      About mailing list: Fat Drop provides separate lists for radio, press and club DJs and a separate stream-only list for music buyers by creating as many lists as they need.


1.      Concerning ¡¡ãLink to biography¡¡À, artists rated it the fourth importance. However, Fastrax said it would do it depending on format. We are wondering what kind of format they provide. As far as we concerns, formats are very important and Fat Drop actually covers all kinds of formats, from MP3, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, PDF, ZIP, RAR, and MOV to AVI, so artists can include press releases, artwork, zipped music files and anything else that people download all in one promo.

2.      About artists photos on page (can Fastrax provide this service?)

3.      About security

By the way, I can hardly search anything for Fastrax, even its website. I don't know why......



Meeting arrangement

Details as follows:

FATdrop - 11:30
MPA Board Room
6th Floor,
British Music House
26 Berners Street

Fastrax - 13:30
Round the corner from FATdrop :)

Soundcloud 15:30
Trans-World House
100 City Road

Sharon's mobile : 07917868319

March 21, 2010



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