Behind The (Digital) Music

By Jeff Price & Peter Wells

Adding a Distribution Point for TuneCore Artists

TuneCore delivers music to iTunes, AmazonMP3, Amazon-on-Demand, Rhapsody, MOG, eMusic, Napster, Spotify and others.  It allows TuneCore Artists to pick and choose which stores or distribution points they would like their music to be distributed to.  Here’s a look inside the process of adding a new distribution point.

Closing the Deal

Once we’ve found a potential partner, we get to work on the deal. The challenge here is to get the best possible deal for our artists. What percentage does the store keep? How does the store or distribution point make money and what are they going to pay TuneCore Artists? What is their business model, will they be in business a year from now, do they pay on time, are they legitimate, do people shop or listen to music there, can they guarantee a “live” time, how do we notify them to make changes to existing TuneCore Artist releases on their site or service etc?

Contracts get sent to our lawyers and our executive team, and we go over them with a fine-toothed comb.  Of most importance is to assure that TuneCore Artists not only get their money, but the rates they get paid are the best possible. Our “redlines” (suggested changes) go back to the stores’ lawyers and executives, who accept or reject redlines and add their own, send it back, and so on. In some cases it can take months to hammer out the right deal.

Once we close the deal, it’s time to get to work.  There are three main parts: Front End Changes, Delivering the Content, and Tooling the Accounting System.

Front End Changes

First, we have to prepare the changes to our “front end,” the part of our site that keeps TuneCore Artists informed and offers choice of stores and distribution points. We must build the changes to the website to accommodate both new TuneCore Artists and existing TuneCore Artists.

Each TuneCore Artist fits one of the three “cases” below.  Each has a different experience at TuneCore.com.  We must build for each of these situations:

-New artist to TuneCore
-Returning artist with a new release
-Returning artist adding the new store to an existing release

In all three cases, we must clearly and simply communicate everything about the new store while providing an “opt-in” button.

For example:

It sells music by:

-Download
-Stream
-Both

It pays the artist by:

-Flat-rate wholesale
-Variable-rate wholesale
-Revenue share, either by advertising or subscription sharing

We also need to inform artists at the “point of choice” (when they click on the button to choose the store) of any extra or crucial information. Examples include: Does this store require world-wide rights? Do they pay quarterly or monthly? Are there are restrictions on how the music can be used?  Then we update our pages and FAQs to reflect the new store, adding it to all the appropriate sections.

We train the TuneCore Artist Support staff so they can properly advise and support artists by email, Twitter and phone, from the day the new store goes live.

Delivering the Content

It takes one team of engineers to design around all those factors and another team to design a content delivery mechanism. Every store requires the music and the accompanying information, such as album title, artist name, and so on (called the “metadata”) and the artwork, in a unique way. It’s different for each store, but all share some common steps:

-The music file is converted for delivery: We take all kinds of music files (.mp3, .wav, and so on), and all of them have to be converted to that store’s requirements, and without any loss of quality. We do it by generating a virtual server: a computer like any desktop machine, except it exists only for a few moments, just long enough to do the work of conversion, and then it vanishes.

-The artwork is converted: We identify the artwork associated with the release and check that is it is the right size.  If it isn’t, we change it to bring the artwork up to the proper size and ensure the files are clean.

-The music is married to the artwork and the metadata: The new file is joined to the adjusted artwork and to the information you typed in and made into a package.

-The package is delivered to the Amazon S3 cloud: This is a vast, amorphous computer environment in which you can both store information (even programs and virtual computers) and move it to other parts of the Internet connected to the cloud.

-The package is delivered to the store: Our engineers, working with the engineers of the new store, will have built a method of handing off the package to the store so it can be ingested, processed and placed on that store’s shelves properly.

-Other Stuff: Most stores or distribution points have something unique about them that we must custom build for.  For example, with MySpace Music, an artist’s music must be joined to their MySpace ID.  We built an auto-search function that allows us to scour MySpace for this ID so you don’t have to.  In other cases, something like Ping gets launched, and we have to provide additional information or points of contact to get them live.

This is the first half of the build, next up there is the “handshake” between TuneCore and the store as well as quality control checks that have to pass, both automatic and manual.   We send test files to the distribution points, coming up with as many variations as we can dream up to try to break the system.  Once there are no errors, and the distribution point is live, our team processes reports daily, making sure all content made it to the stores correctly. We have to make sure when the music, art and release information shows as “delivered” that it truly is.  For example, in some cases a release shows it was delivered to the store but it actually was not, this is called  a “false positive,” and requires tracking down where the error happened.  If it shows “not delivered” but actually was we call it a “false negative” and have to figure out why.

We have to build for the entire life of the release. That means having a process in place for any changes to song titles, artwork and pricing, as well as an automated process ready if a third party comes along to challenge that a TuneCore Artist has rights to his or her music. And we have to have a process in place in case the store gets into its own problems and has to close or restructure.

When stores receive the releases, they aren’t obligated to put everything anyone sends them up, willy-nilly. They’re selective, and they have a right to exercise caution. All stores have their own controls in place, and it’s up to TuneCore to conform to those standards, as well as our own. If we send them a release that’s not up to snuff, it can cause considerable delays, or worse, make the store distrustful of the music sent to them. This causes slower live times. For instance, releases that go to digital stores require that every artist be listed on its own “metadata” line, even if they’re just featured on one track of an album. If we send a release to a digital distribution point with two or more artists crammed into one field, they’ll reject it, causing delays and making them worry our data isn’t “clean.”

Once we’ve built the “plumbing” for the new store, we make sure that before the release goes to the new distribution point, every release goes through a group of people that work at TuneCore who review the content.  Here they check:

-Artist name – Is it already trademarked by another TuneCore Artist or band?
-Album name
– Are there editorial comments or descriptions in the album name? If there are, the distribution points will reject them.
-Artwork
– Does the release’s cover art have other companies’ trademarked images on them that would stop the distribution point from getting the music live?
-Song names
– Are there URLs or email addresses in the song titles that would stop the distribution point from getting the music live?
-Copyright Infringement check
– We check to see if someone is trying to infringe on the copyright of a song or recording from an existing TuneCore Artist.

This team: protects copyright holders, artists and musicians, and ensures that the stores can accept TuneCore Artist’s music in the right format to help get them live as quickly as possible. It also helps us make sure no one is trying to steal your music or songs. This makes the deliveries to the stores “clean,” causing TuneCore Artist’s music to be highly trusted, freeing it up for much faster processing.

Tooling the Accounting System

There’s front end and back end work to be done here. Much depends on the complexity of the store.  Each of these factors impacts how we can accept their accounting statements and what other information we must communicate with TuneCore Artists. Does the distribution point offer insight into sales information before the accounting period?  If they do, how frequently? Do they pay monthly or quarterly? How do they pay, by check (yes, some mail checks) or via direct deposit? What currency do they pay in? If they’re outside the U.S., are there sub-stores for individual countries, and does each store pay in the native currency (for example, Euros, Pounds, Yen, Canadian dollars and so on)? If not, who converts it all to U.S. dollars and at what rate and on what day? For example, the payment could be sent to us in Yen, and then our bank converts it to dollars OR they could do the conversion from Yen to Dollars themselves. Are there any witholdings from international trade agreements and tariffs and if so, how do we communicate this with TuneCore Artists (for example, Australia has a 5% tariff it imposes)? Does the store sell as streams or downloads or both and how then do we display this information within TuneCore? Does the money come from a fixed flat rate, or does it vary? If it varies, by what factor: a share of subscription revenue, a share of ad revenue? What formula does the store employ and how do we show this to TuneCore Artists?

The store’s method of how they send us their report plays a big part as well. Usually, they send us a massive spreadsheet or an XML document, sometimes an entire database, and we have to code our systems to parse it. On other occasions we download files from secure websites.  On still other occasions, we get the accounting from the store, they then ask us to invoice them and then they mail a check.

Whatever the means, our systems must convert that data into one solid format that we use to report to TuneCore Artists both on the screen at TuneCore.com and as downloadable files that can be opened in any spreadsheet program. We need a mechanism in place to detect when the store changes their format (they do, and often forget to tell us). We also have to make sure to check what they report against the actual money they send, ensuring the numbers all add up.

Once we have a financial process in place, there is more work to do. Our finance department jumps in with their own tools and processes to double check that everything is correct. This includes matching the payments deposited against the data the store sends as they come from different departments. They then match everything we place into TuneCore Artist accounts against the data and the deposit as a second safety check. Even when all these numbers line up, there may be an “errored” file from the store.  In those cases the finance team manually investigates to assure the money makes it where it should go. To top it all off, each year, we hire an outside company to come in and audit our books.
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With this background, we thought you might find it interesting to a get a week to week “real time” update of the actual conversations and issues going on at TuneCore, around adding a new distribution point allowing TuneCore Artists to get paid if their music appears in on-line streaming videos.

Week 1 – New contract signed, Prep work

A deal was recently signed allowing TuneCore Artists to be paid if their music appears in a video that is streamed on that site.  Any video on that site that is identified as having a TuneCore Artist’s music in it will generate money for the TuneCore Artist from the advertising.

After signing, our product development team re-reads the deal, this time taking notes on the step-by-step details needed to launch this new distribution outlet. They take note of any unique nuances that might exist as compared to other distribution points and stores we work with.  This is written up in a document that is distributed to the heads of our technology team, finance team and artist support team.  We then set up a time to meet to discuss and go over the details, ask questions and make sure we’re all on the same page.

In the meantime, a Manager of Artist Support reaches out to the new distribution site to go over all of the FAQ questions, including those not covered in the agreement.

Finally, we get a sample accounting statement from them to see what new things we will have to build (if any) to automatically ingest their statements into the TuneCore accounting system.

Week 2 – The first group meeting.

I was first up in the meeting, explaining to everyone about the deal and why it was important:

–       I think the future of the industry is streaming.
–       In 2010 there were over 300 billion videos streamed that had music in them.
–       Each time a video streams it generates three income streams (one for the ‘label,’ one for the ‘publisher’ and one for the ‘songwriter’).
–       Streaming video sites allow music to be discovered.
–       Fans can create videos with artist’s music in them and the artist gets paid.
–       Artists can upload their own videos with their music in them and they get paid
–       etc…

A few people asked questions and I answered.  The product team then pointed out some nuances that made this deal different than others.  First, unlike in iTunes, Amazon, and other stores, music is not for sale.  Instead, it generates money for TuneCore Artists when a free, ad supported video is streamed. We need to make certain we find a way to clearly communicate this to our artists.

Next, TuneCore needs the song to be over 30 seconds or it is not eligible for this program.  This means that we will need to build new code that identifies songs 30 seconds and under, make certain we are not delivering them AND we have to find a way to tell our artists about this.

Further, if after six months the video is not found within the distribution partner’s site, TuneCore will have to either auto-identify and then redistribute these  songs OR notify the TuneCore Artist that no matches were found and leave the decision up to the artist.

In regards to accounting, how do we want to display the information and where?  For example, should it just work the way it does now for a store like iTunes?

The product team pointed out that there is a separate API that we can tie in that will allow us to get information about the views of the video­. For example, it may provide the city/state/country of the person watching it.  Therefore, is there an automated system we can build to get this data?  If so, what will it look like and what can we build within TuneCore to display it back to the TuneCore Artist as this is not regular old sales accounting data?

Finally, for TuneCore Artists to have their songs delivered and be eligible to earn money, we must get information from TuneCore Artists that they do not usually need to provide as we need to assure all rights holders are getting paid.  If we do not get this information then the songs will not be eligible for the service.

The three key pieces of information we need are:

–       The person or entity that controls the right to the recording of the song. (that one we already get)
–       The name of the music publishing company for the song.
–       The name of the songwriter.

We all then started asking questions about the publishing and songwriter info.  Questions that came up:

–       What if someone does not understand what this is, how can we communicate clearly what is being asked for?
–       What about cover songs, what if someone claims he or she wrote and published the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and what sort of legal issues will this create?
–       What if multiple people wrote the song but we only have information on one of them?
–       What happens to the money that is owed for the streams and digital public performances? Does that get collected by others and given back to TuneCore Artists? What role can we play to help this happen?
–       How do we take a track down?

On the more practical logistics front: Where do we ask for this information while the person is on TuneCore.com?  All this information is not needed to get live on stores like iTunes and Amazon, and we want to make sure we don’t stop someone from going live on the stores they want due to confusion; where do we put the request for the information?

We wrote down all the questions.

Then came some brainstorm ideas:

Can we make a section of TuneCore where our artists can pre-clear the use of their songs for anyone to use in an on-line video? (A: No, as there is no way to restrict this.)

Can we automatically make a music video for a TuneCore Artist that shows their cover art as the song plays and send that as well? (A: Cool idea!  We’d love to be able to do it.  What sort of technology do we need to build and how much time would it add to getting the store live?)

Then we wrapped up, with the next step to meet again in a few days with answers to as many of the questions as possible. With this completed, we should then be able to get a detailed line listing of all the work that needs to get done and nail down a date when this distribution point goes live for TuneCore Artists.

An update will be posted next week…

Understanding Foreign Public Performance Royalties

By George Howard
(Follow George on Twitter)

Introduction

We spend a considerable amount of time discussing the role of copyright in the music business on the TuneCore blog.  Because the entire music business stems from the six rights enumerated in copyright law that are automatically granted to a songwriter who creates an original work and either records or writes that work down, we feel very strongly that you thoroughly understand each of these rights (learn more from this booklet).

As streaming continues to emerge as the dominant manner in which music is consumed, one of these rights — the exclusive right to publicly perform your copyright — takes on increased significance.  As we have discussed in this space before, when a song is: streamed from a website, played on radio, broadcast on TV, and/or performed on stage, the copyright holder of the song must grant the broadcaster (website, network, venue, etc…) the right to publicly perform the copyrighted work.  Typically, this right is granted in exchange for monetary compensation.

As negotiating and settling accounting each and every time a radio station or web site wanted to broadcast an author’s copyrighted work would be far too time consuming (and result in far fewer public performances of songs), clearinghouse agencies were created to negotiate public performance agreements between authors and broadcasters.  In the United States, there are three clearinghouse agencies, known as Performance Rights Organizations (PROs): ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

As stated, each acts as an agent for the copyright holders (songwriters and/or publishers) of the songs, and issues licenses (for a fee) to the broadcasters which give these broadcasters the rights to publicly perform the songwriters’ works.  From these collected fees, the PROs distribute the money (after overhead) to their affiliated writers based on the frequency and range that their works are publicly performed.

While slightly complex, this truly is the best system in order to straddle the line of encouraging works to be used, but honoring copyright law.  In any case, no one has really come up with a better system.

Problems arise, however, in an increasingly inter-connected and globalized world, where once a song is created (particularly, once it’s uploaded to the Internet) attempting to corral it within the borders of any one particular country is, of course, impossible.  Thus, the question frequently and justifiably arises: “How do I, a U.S. writer, get paid my public performance royalties when my song gets broadcast in another country?”  This article attempts to answer this question.

Foreign Public Performance Royalties

As the vast majority of U.S.-based songwriters are affiliated with one of the above-referenced PROs (and if you’re not you should really consider doing so), I’m going to work off the premise that the real question is: “Can ASCAP (or BMI, SESAC) collect my international public performance money?”

The Berne Convention

In order to answer this question, we must take a very brief detour to the land of international copyright law.  It’s easy to think, given all the recent Internet-related conversation about copyright, that it’s a new issue, but the reality is that we’ve been wrestling with copyright basically since people started creating things and copying them; the Statute of Anne was the first copyright act, and it was put in place in Great Britain, in 1709!

Roughly two-hundred years after The Statute of Anne, as international travel (and thus, the dissemination of works created in one country into other countries) increased, The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (typically referred to as, The Berne Convention) was put into place in 1886.  In short, the countries that have signed The Berne Convention (and nearly all industrialized countries have) must honor copyrights created by authors from other countries in the same way they recognize copyright in its own country.

For example, if you’re a U.S. author, and register your work in the U.S., but your work ends up getting exploited (sold, broadcast, etc.) in Spain (a Berne signatory, and thus a member of the so-called Berne Union), you enjoy the same amount of copyright protection as if you were a Spanish author with a Spanish copyright.  While there are variants from country to country, for the most part the copyright laws that exist in the US are consistent with those in Berne Union countries.

Relationships between U.S. and Foreign PROs

Given the above, you can begin to imagine how reciprocal relationships between U.S. PROs and their equivalents in other countries might work.   In essence, U.S. PROs license the works of their affiliated (i.e. U.S.) writers to the equivalent PROs in other countries, and these countries license their works back through ASCAP, BMI, and/or SESAC.  The foreign PROs thus collect on behalf of the US writers and remit this collection to the U.S.-based PROs, who then pay out to their affiliated writers.

Of course, the devil is in the details, and there are some details to be aware of.  First, you must question whether or not the local PROs are accurately reporting your usages to ASCAP, and, related, collecting the proper amount.  This becomes a very real question when you factor in the fact that the U.S. is the only industrialized country that does not pay a public performance royalty to the copyright holder of the sound recording (typically, the label).  Because of this, many foreign PROs refuse to enter into one-to-one reciprocal relationships with the U.S. because they (justifiably) feel that their (i.e. non U.S.) artists are not being fully compensated due to the U.S.’s refusal to pay a public performance royalty to the master holders/performers for terrestrial broadcast.  Thus, these foreign PROs do not pay U.S.-based writers.

Additionally, there are so-called “at source” issues.  As you can imagine, there are costs all along the value-chain with respect to collecting and disseminating these royalties, and the more intermediaries between the broadcasters who are paying the fees and the copyright holders who are owed the money, the greater the chance that the money will be reduced.

Because of both of the issues above (lack of true reciprocity of payment and diminished income due to multiple intermediaries) some writers deem it a good strategy to enter into sub-publishing arrangements with publishers who are based in foreign countries, and grant these sub publishers the right to collect public performance money on their behalf.

Alternatively, if you’re a qualifying writer (and what determines if you are “qualified” or not varies from country to country, but, as you can imagine, it always involves your works being exploited in these foreign countries with some frequency), you can affiliate with foreign PROs even while continuing to be affiliated with a U.S.-based PRO. However, as you can imagine, the U.S.-based PROs do not want you to do this (it cuts into their revenue), and thus may not make it an easy process for you.

Summary

As we can see, while there are mechanisms in place for the licensing and collection of your works in foreign countries, actually setting up the best strategy to ensure the maximum amount of benefit when your works are publicly performed is decidedly a non-trivial matter.  That said, this is where we are in the music business today, and it will be the artists (and their teams) who work through these complexities in order to generate the maximum amount of revenue from their works who will be best positioned to sustain their artistic career on their own terms over the long haul.

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George Howard is the former president of Rykodisc. He currently advises numerous entertainment and non-entertainment firms and individuals. Additionally, he is the Executive Editor of Artists House Music and is a Professor and Executive in Residence in the college of Business Administration at Loyola, New Orleans. He is most easily found on Twitter at: twitter.com/gah650

Greg Holden Lets Music Be His Tour Guide

Greg Holden lets music guide him around the world. Born in Scotland, raised in London, and now residing in Brooklyn, this gifted songwriter and performer finds inspiration in his life experiences as well as in the music that surrounds him. Greg’s new album “I Don’t Believe You” hits digital stores on May 31st, and if you’re in the New York City area that night, stop by  Rockwood Music Hall at 7:30 PM and celebrate with him. Read on to learn about the “teaser videos” he’s been posting, and why believes an updated mailing list trumps promotion through social media sites.

Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” “rock,” or “hip-hop,” describe your sound.
Well, I write poetry, then figure out a way of putting music to it without ruining my efforts. My producer, Tony Berg, described my new album as folk-punk, and he knows better than I do so I’ll go with that. 

In what ways do you use social media to promote your music?
My “career” started when I began posting videos on YouTube. They were simple enough, and have remained so. Just me, my guitar, and a new song. It went from there and now I seem to have a half-decent following. I also use Twitter and Facebook because they’re great for keeping people up-to-date, and I’d say more people think to look towards those platforms for new music.

How do you stay connected to your fans?
I use Facebook mostly, because the status updates and messaging features are unchallenged in the social networking market. The runners-up being Twitter and YouTube. I came late to the mailing list world because I was naive enough to think that the social networks would last forever. Sadly, I’m now plagued with remorse and my mailing list is rather pitiful. I believe the social networks are now over-saturated and the whole thing is going full-circle. Websites and email addresses have prevailed. So we all have to make sure we have good websites with the ability to collect email addresses.

Is there usually a set marketing plan you follow when you release new music?
Well, this really is my first serious release since I’ve had a following, so I can only tell you what I’ve been doing this time around. For the last couple of months I’ve been posting teaser videos, maybe 30-seconds long, with a little audio from the record, and some footage from the studio. It seems to be getting people excited so I’m glad I’ve been doing it. This month I’ve also been doing a countdown on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Each day I try to find a different way to show the number of days before the release, whether it’s by writing it on a steamy window, or drawing it on my face. Just makes a boring number slightly more interesting for everyone you know? On top of that I’ve just released a new music video for the first single of the album so that has certainly helped get people excited too.

I’d say the trick is to not give everything away all at once, even if you have it and can’t wait to show people. Tease them, it makes them want it more.

How do you actively control the rights to your music?
By making sure I own all my releases. It’s difficult, and I have been lucky in the sense that my fans just helped foot half the bill for my new album. I distribute through you guys (TuneCore), and all my songs are registered through ASCAP, who collect my royalties. I also have a licensing company who work my songs onto TV, so I can pay the rent. Owning the rights to your music is the most important thing a songwriter/artist can do, but sadly nowadays it’s becoming more and more difficult. I wonder how long I can hold on.

Can you tell us about your new album “I Don’t Believe You” that’s hitting stores on May 31st?  What was the inspiration?
Of course. The concept of “I Don’t Believe You” was born at the start of 2010, when I’d kind of hit a wall in my career. I didn’t know what to write anymore, I didn’t even know if I wanted to write anymore, I didn’t see the point. I certainly didn’t want to fight my way through the over-saturated genre I, and many of my friends were being dragged into. It was starting to feel like a competition or something, like a scene out of American Idol where the person who wins the hearts and minds of the public isn’t the one with talent, but the one who can conjure up the best “feel sorry for me” story, and that wasn’t why I was doing this. So then one day I was sitting in a cafe somewhere in Brooklyn, and the song “I Don’t Believe You” came out of me, I’m not sure where from. Then it all made sense and I at last knew what I wanted to say. So I got right to it…

My album was half-funded by the website Kickstarter.com, and half-funded by me. I raised $30,000 in 30 days in September through fan donations, which was utterly mind-blowing, and then in October I flew to LA and straight into the studio with my favourite producer, Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, Bob Dylan, Weezer). It was a dream come true, it really was. We worked for 5 weeks, with some of my favourite musicians in existence, and then the album was done. It comes out on May 31st and I can’t wait for people to hear it.

How have you evolved as an artist since your last release?
I feel that I have evolved a huge amount since my last release. I made my last album “A Word In Edgeways” three years ago. In the last three years I have moved to London, and New York, where I have been surrounded by the most inspiring musicians and people, some of the best friends I’ve ever had, I have learned so much about myself, music, life, money, love, hate, touring etc… I like to think that this album is a huge step forward for me, and exactly what I am trying to say. I just hope everybody else feels the same way I do.

Aside from your new album, what projects do you have coming up?
Touring I think. Tour. Tour. Tour. I just came off a 6-week run in Europe, I’m heading back to the States in 2 weeks to release the record, and then back to Europe in October, hopefully. I think touring is still the best way to get your name out there, improve your live performance, and generally meet new people who can help you, and who you can help too.

Check out Greg’s website

Find his music on iTunes

Become a fan on Facebook

Follow him on Twitter

What’s Working For You? Social Media Strategy.

This week we’re introducing a new section that takes a look at an artist with a big week of sales. We want to spotlight this so other artists can benefit. First up, Gabrielle Aplin’s strategic use of social media.

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UK-based singer Gabrielle Aplin places a huge emphasis on social media marketing.  Her efforts have resulted in 60,000+ fans across social network sites, and over 5 million plays on the videos she posts on her YouTube channel.  Though she uses the sites to keep her fans up to date on touring schedules, releases, and other news, Gabrielle comes up with creative ways to keep her fans involved in her career. Three weeks before she was set to release her newest EP Never Fade, the singer decided to ask her Facebook and Twitter followers to help choose the 4 songs to go on the EP.  She put up links to her original music and asked them to vote.  Similarly, when she was getting ready to release a preview album back in September, Gabrielle asked her social media friends to weigh in and vote on an album cover.

Because of the strategic use of social media networks leading up to the release of Never Fade, the launch was extremely successful and resulted in thousands of sales from the beginning.  Fans felt involved in the EP before it was even released, and were excited to purchase it as soon as it hit digital stores.

With her EP now in stores, Gabrielle continues to release YouTube videos and update her fans on the latest news and live show times.

Find Gabrielle on the web:

gabrielleaplin.co.uk
YouTube Channel
Facebook Page
Twitter

Gadgets We Like: Moodagent App Matches Your Tunes To Your Mood

By Jacqueline Rosokoff

I often find myself struggling to find a song to suit my mood. I try putting my iPod on shuffle, but end up skipping song after song, never satisfied with the voice or the tempo or the sound.  The Moodagent app by Syntonetic is here to make my life a little easier.  The smartphone app creates playlists from your music library, all based on the mood you select.  Is your day off to a great start and you’re looking for something to accompany that skip in your step?  Or are you feeling melancholy?  Moodagent will scour your music and pull together a carefully analyzed collection of tunes that will keep you feeling on top of the world (or blue) all day long.

Moodagent can take any track from your music library and create a playlist from that starting point.  It doesn’t matter if the track you select is a Top 40 hit, or a simple melody you recorded on your computer.  The technology creates individual song profiles based on “emotion, mood, genre, sub-genre, style, tempo, beat, vocals, instruments and production features.”

As part of a recent upgrade, the app now includes recommendations of tunes from the web that have music profiles matching the tracks in your playlist.  The 90 second recommendations are tailored to fit the playlist theme and are geographically targeted to the listener in order to create the most personal (and enjoyable!) listening experience possible.  If you like what the app recommends, you can easily click to purchase it in iTunes.

I’ve gotta say, I’ve been less aggressive toward my iPod recently since Moodagent swooped in to help create a cohesive flow for my music.