I’ve been thinking about way to do music distribution where people don’t have to host files.
Specifically, with a player like Songbird you could make an XSPF playlist that you could then send or post somewhere. On the other end people receive the playlist and find the audio using search engines, downloading from artists’ websites or buying (this is an idea from James Vasille of Software Freedom Law Center). For broader audiences you can use Amazon referral IDs to make the smaller of 20% or $1.50 off of sales.
Pros: no one gets sued, bands that host their mp3s retain ownership on the data about who is listening to them
Cons: at this point it’s too much work for the benefit
more on Songbird and XSPF…
Songbird is a music player and platform built on Mozilla, which enables you to customize interactions with audio-enabled web pages. Visiting a web page with audio tracks using Songbird brings up a list of the tracks at the bottom of the window. And they have a developer API so people can write add-ons.
XSPF is XML shareable playlist format. I learned about this format through Paul Lamere and Lucas Gonze’s comments on a post here, about people sharing playlists without having to set up a blog. The idea is that unlike Pownce or music blogs, people should not have to deal with hosting the files – instead they could just post in this format the necessary strings (artist, album, title) to find the song. At some point I imagine iMeem and similar sites will have to limit what they allow people to host there. And it’s good for independent groups that are willing to release some songs.