Further Thoughts on Brass Band MP3 Downloads

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by KMJ Recordings, Apr 7, 2006.


Online Brass Band Music - for me or not?

  1. I like my 'real' CDs, thanks!

    8 vote(s)
  2. I'd like the option of 'real' CDs or Downloads

    41 vote(s)
  3. Just downloads for me, please

    4 vote(s)
  4. I quite like the idea of bespoke tracklists on official CDs

    0 vote(s)
  5. Something else entirely - but tell me what it is ;)

    0 vote(s)
  1. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    There have been a few discussions recently on downloadable Brass Band music, the last culminating in a potential hosting provision from TMM for such a service.

    I thought it'd be interesting to gather some numbers as to how many people would realistically use a service like this. There's a hefty bit of economically jiggery pokery would have to be done to try and make it financially viable. Whichever route you take - be it CD / cassette / download, you'll be liable for MCPS charges. Manufacturing costs on 500 CDs with inserts etc comes to about £620 (although this can vary up and down a bit) - shorter runs made by CDR duplication can be between £1-£2 per CD depending on their specification.

    As to the downloadable options the way they run on, for example, Chandos.net is that tracks are available singly or by the 'album' with the full album price being discounted. There are other ways an online service can work - for example 'real' CDs with bespoke tracklists and so on...

    So then, all opinions welcome. If there's enough interest, then I can investigate things like the MCPS options further to give you an idea of the cost implications.

    [Mods I've put this in a separate thread - fell free to merge it with one of the others if the poll can fit inside it - I wasn't sure!]
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2006
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I can implement a download service on tMP - only of course, if it is financially viable for me to do so. I am happy to host the files, offer them for sale, run the purchase and download provision et al - as long as there are enough bands to warrant such a service, I can - and will - do it.

    As Keith says, there are legal and commercial implications for any band to consider before you venture into such a service and I would also be willing to manage these issues for you on your behalf if required. Once Keith has supplied some information on costs to you to produce the media downloads, I can put some metrics on the costs to use tMP to sell them for you. I can assure you that you would have a very lucrative opportunity to generate some significant revenue for your band.

    Please contact me directly if you are interested.
  3. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    The thing I quite like about it is the potential for geographical distribution of the recordings. What it means is that any level of Band can promote themselves anywhere in the World that is online - rather than relying on a distribution network which, if you're a lesser known Band, can be rather difficult to secure.
  4. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Downloads are the wave of the future - no reason to spend money and effort to create a physical thing when a virtual thing of nearly equivalent quality is available.

    Music publishing is next - I'd much rather have someone send me a Sibelius score that I could extract and print my own parts from than pay for a bunch of paper to be printed and shipped to me - particularly for international shipments.

    Such a service on tMP would be fantastic.
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I aim to please Robert, and we most certianly will be offering such a service very soon.
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    ...and therein lies my biggest bugbear - 'nearly equivalent' and other assorted oxymorons ;) (no offence intended Robert).

    Currently most downloads aren't CD quality - certainly a bit rate of 128 kbps is nowhere near. However, when faster connections are mainstream and some of the download restrictions lifted then I completely agree that downloads will become the norm - hopefully with improved Codecs.

    However, to play Devil's Advocate a little, what about those out there who choose to remain either computerless or don't wish to use the net? (again, passage of time will change this as all generations become computer literate - but how long will that take? How long is the transitional period?)
  7. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    I think this could be misused. If you get a sibelius score download then whoever gets it could claim the piece was theirs, surely. Even if this were not to happen, they could distribute it to anyone else for free. Rather like what happened to a certain arrangement of Concerto d'Aranjuez - has anyone got ORIGINALS of this?
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Rodrigo Bolton? ;)

    You're absolutely right of course - but whether by photocopier or USB key, copyright infringement / piracy will happen :frown:
  9. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    But you do have only to look at the success of iTunes for example to see that a greater percentage of consumers will legally purchase downloadable music. I agree it is a problem, and one that needs addressing in some manner, but this shouldn't stop tMP offering such a service for our members and visitors. Don't you agree?
  10. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Don't get me wrong - I agree absolutely that it's an excellent idea and one that I'm more than willing to be involved in in some capacity...I just have an inherent distrust of stats, and don't know which version of the download numbers to believe :D
  11. bongo massive

    bongo massive New Member

    Not read all the posts on this but what I do know is that every time you search for brass bands in a mainstream forum (Kazaa etc) all you get is Floral dance. How would we go about sharing the music that we love both playing and listening too, without hearing the same things over and over? It would be be great if such a file sharing site was set up........(Just an idea :) )
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - Not quite what's in mind. File sharing is not supported by this site as it is illegal and infringes the copyrights of both artists and production companies. This is an opportunity to access and download a choice of recorded brass band music at a reasonable price ... in the style that iTunes or Rhapsody works for the majority of music listeners.
  13. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    But surely logic dictates that by the time the quality of sound available from downloads matches the quality available from CD's now, the quality available from CD (or whatever medium may have superceded them) will also have moved on? I'm with KMJ here; I like to listen to my recordings at the highest possible level of fidelity, on the best available equipment. MP3 (or whatever) doesn't cut it, and as far as I can see, never will.
  14. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    So you don't ever see yourself using anything like an iPOPD or iRiver then Gareth? There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to listen to your music on a combination of the highest quality source and production equipment but I feel you are in the minority by suggesting... "MP3 doesn't cut it".

    I would challenge you to listen - all things equal - to a track played on the same equipment;

    1 - from a CD
    2 - from a MP3 player connected to the same kit

    ... and I'd wager that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference 100% accurately...:)
  15. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Another possibility (maybe!) is to contact people who make and sell LOTS of brass band CDs and do a little deal - offer to put on free samples of (say) 30 seconds of nearly all tracks on their CDs, in return for giving permission for one track from said CD which all Tmp'ers can download free.
    If (say) Doyen did this with every CD can you imagine how many free tracks we could listen to? And how many samples of tracks we could listen to see if we liked the playing, with an option to buy the rest of the track/album

    So in effect we get some free samples - which may well persuade us to buy the whole track/album, and some free samples in return for what would effectively be very nice advertising

    Am i making any sense?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2006
  16. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Indeed the technology for reproduction will have improved - it already has to an extent with SACD and DVD-A.

    However, availability and playback of these media has either failed to take off, or is still in it's infancy (more people are probably able to replay DVD-A I guess). As Blu-ray rapidly approaches (I guess the really big launch with it will be the Playstation 3), even these technologies become old hat.

    Another factor to consider is "How much does the 'general' listening audience" care? We seem to be living in an MP3 generation possibly due to convenience - you can have all your music in one place, it's portable and it's convenient. Most people's listening environment is highly compromised...

    As I stated above, MP3 artifacts at bit rates less than 192 kbps can be quite evident (usually the first thing to go is cymbal signals ;)) but a CD burnt from 192 kbps MP3s can be close to the 'real thing' based on a 44.1KHz / 16 bit wav file. Increasing the sample rate and bit depth on 'standard' recordings may be a way forwards for audiophiles - but I think for the masses we'll be stuck with compressed files - be it MP3, AAC, FLAC or A. N. Other filetype - for a while yet.
  17. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    I think the true techno-head with a top-range system listening hard would definately tell the difference. But live performances are even better. How about saving £3000 and going to a concert?
  18. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Then Tom where is the commercial viability for tMP here? I would have the costs of hosting many very large files, the costs of the massive bandwidth required for many people to download them freely, and I get nothing in the process...:(

    It costs me a lot of money already Tom to provide the services I do on tMP, and so offering another such service will serve only to further lilne the pockets of people who already make a living out of banders and banding - and that is not what I'd call pragmatic. Why should I pay for Doyen to make money, and for all banders to have a free track from every album they list in their catalogue...!!!

    I love tMP and I love banding, and what's freely available on tMP now will always be free, but my pockets are not that deep I'm afraid... :)
  19. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member


    How about save £3000, go to the concert, I record it (you can pay me the 3G if you like ;)), I encode it to MP3 and you can relive your experience whenver you want on your iPod?
  20. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    My point exactly... we are talking of an absolute minority here. The majority of people are more than happy with MP3's. I still stand by my challenge to be 100% accurate on a selection of tracks and music played from those two sources through the same productino equipment.