3 Web Tools Every Musician Needs

2011 Feb 14, 2011

I will go out on a limb here and assume that many of you home studio owners are musicians as well. And one step further, I’m assuming many of you record and produce your own music sometimes as well. Welcome to the club! If that’s the case, then I wanted to make sure you all are aware of and using some super helpful websites that can be integral tools for working on and distributing your music. The best part? They are all free!

Dropbox: Collaborate Better

So many of us are collaborating on recordings and mixes with people in different parts of the world. I wrote about the band Pistol Youth who made a record without every meeting one another! It’s the future for many of us. But what is more annoying than trying to email or send files over the internet? It’s slow and hard to keep track of versions of mixes or recordings. Enter Dropbox.

Anyone can sign up for a completely free account with Dropbox. They basically give you a slice of space on the net to store files. But what’s cool is that you can sync it to a folder on your local computer. Anytime you or anyone you invite to collaborate on that folder makes a change to a file (or adds a new one), your dropbox folder on your computer is synced up and updated. You never have to go “check and see” if there are changes made. You always have the updated version! Super helpful for this kind of thing!

NoiseTrade: Distribute Better

The ever changing landscape of music sales and distribution is tricky. But if you embrace the idea of digital downloads, sales, and giveaways you can really build a loyal fan base and even bring some cash! Of all the ways to distribute digital music I’ve used, NoiseTrade has got to be my favorite. The big reasons being, it is free, elegant, easy to use, and builds your email list.

Basically NoiseTrade lets you sign up for free, upload some high quality MP3s (up to 40 songs), upload album art, and then quickly embed a beautiful and seamless MP3 player widget anywhere on the web. It is streamlined, features your art, and allows for instant streaming of your music. If people want a free download, they have to give you their email address and zip code. This gives you a growing email list and info on where your fans live (great for planning tours).

 When facing the download page, fans are given the opportunity to share the link with their Twitter followers and Facebook friends as well as “tipping” you via Paypal. They can give as much as they want! It’s a great way to get your music into people’s hands, build a fanbase with contact info, AND make some cash!

Mailchimp: Connect Better

As you build an email list from things like NoiseTrade and of course doing live shows and getting people to sign up for more info and tour dates you need to actually email them! But you want it to look professional and give you helpful tools to track things, and communicate better with your fans. Enter Mailchimp. A completely free email/newsletter list service that allows you to build great looking html emails and easily grow your email list is perfect for bands.

Even if you don’t send emails out that often, Mailchimp can help you manage your list and keep all those emails in one place so that when you have a new album, free download, or show dates to share you can quickly and easily get the word out to people who care. Even if you only have 10 fans, it’s worth it to treat your music with class and do things the right way. It’s worth checking out!

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