When I decided to release some solo piano singles instead of my usual full albums, I thought it would be best to have a couple of releases ready to go before I launched the first song. So I selected two tracks among my latest compositions, named the songs, and sent the audio files and meta data to the mastering company as my final production step before distribution.
Included in this meta data for each song is a unique identifier called an ISRC code. This code helps the various music entities track the performance metrics of the sound recording. A mastering studio can embed this code in the master files that they generate for CDs. It’s also included when releasing music through a digital distribution company. In my case I have my own ISRC code prefix, but in many cases artists can obtain the actual ISRC code through their distributor.
A simple mistake on my part became quite a hassle in the music distribution process. I released my single called Solus with the proper code and everything was fine. But a month later I released my second single titled Outer Light using the exact same ISRC code. I think I copied the first code and forgot to update the last digit in my distribution meta data. I discovered my error a little more than a week before the release date, but I was unable to resolve the issue due to a series of miscommunications or misunderstandings with my distributor’s support staff. We initiated a cancellation order for the song, but not in time to prevent the song from going public on the scheduled release date. The song released with the duplicate ISRC code, but I expected it to be removed within a few days.
What I didn’t see coming was that Spotify would select my second single for one of their editorial playlists. When I received the news, my heart sank knowing that the song was scheduled for deletion. I didn’t want to lose the momentum provided by the playlist.
As a special intervention on my behalf, the distributor canceled the Outer Light cancellation and allowed me to remove the first single instead. This allowed Outer Light to retain its playlist activity while giving Solus the opportunity for a second birthday. Today is that day!
I am thankful to the people who helped me resolve this issue. You can be sure I will be checking my ISRC codes twice in the future!
As a musician with a background in web design, I've always been torn between building my own website from scratch or using a website platform. For the majority of my music career, I've chosen to develop my own website. In fact, I used to develop sites for other artists and companies.
I realize that in many business and commercial situations a custom site may be the best route to take. However, as a musician I've been feeling the pull lately to spend more time on my music and less time on the technical aspects of building and maintaining my website. I appreciate finding answers online when I'm evaluating options and making a decision, so I've decided to use this blog for sharing my experiences and recommendations along the way.
This is not a full technical review of web platforms. There are a lot of powerful systems available today and it's not my intention to create a comparison grid of every feature they may or may not have. I've used or experimented with several platforms including GoDaddy's GoCentral website builder, Squarespace, Bandzoogle, HostBaby by CD Baby, and Wix. I've even worked professionally with Magento and Shopify. But for now at least, it's Weebly that caught my attention as the platform to best fit my needs.
I was actually reluctant to try Weebly. An acquaintance mentioned Weebly in a discussion about e-commerce store platforms and I had to admit I hadn't ever considered their platform before. I went on a long tangent about how they would be much better off choosing Shopify. But then I decided to try Weebly and give it a fair chance. I discovered a platform that seemed to fit the combination of flexibility and simplicity I was looking for. I made a trial site and decided to launch it as my actual artist website. The interface is simple to work with, and the themes provide a decent starting point for a nice looking mobile friendly site. The big selling point for me is the mobile app for editing content. I really like it. To my knowledge, Shopify and Weebly are the platforms that have viable apps for editing your website content. I really like Shopify by the way, but for different reasons specific to operating an e-commerce store. For artist sites or lighter e-commerce needs, I think Weebly is a better fit.
Why Not Weebly?
So far the only frustration I've had with Weebly is that it requires the .html extension for every web page other than the blogging section. I'd rather have directory based URLs without an extension, but I decided I can live with the .html extension given all of the other conveniences.
So there you have it, my opinion about web platforms and how they fit my needs as an artist/musician. Feel free to share your thoughts and advice in the comments. There's more to learn I'm sure!
Here's my Weebly referral link if you'd like to check it out and give me the benefit of your referral :-)