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Is legally downloaded music value for money?

Minimal investment and the greediness of digital distributors are making artists worse off than ever before, according to David Lowery who spoke at this years SF MusicTech Summit. The Cracker and Camper van Beethoven founder focused on gross revenues and expenses, exposing what percentage the distributor takes and what the artist receives. Lowery calls iTunes parasites and is adamant that the ‘old deals’ with the major record labels were better deals for the artists. But I’d like to know how digital downloads stack up against CDs in terms of value for money for the fans.

Don’t thank Steve Jobs

Some folk credit Steve Jobs for revolutionizing the music industry because he offered 99 cent tracks on iTunes. I’d like to point out that Apple wanted to increase sales of iPods and used psychological price setting in order to fill them with content. While Apple was seemingly revolutionizing the music industry, you’ll actually have to thank Wal-Mart for pushing the cost of music down. In October 2004, Rolling Stone had an article about Wal-Mart’s push for $10 CDs. Wal-Mart had pushed for lower CD costs years before iTunes entered the market. Apple generates over $4 billion in net sales each year. So why aren’t digital downloads 49 cents?

Who are the real losers?

Music consumers are getting ripped off. The average number of tracks on a single sided audio CD is 12.54. The average price of a CD is $15.99, therefore each track costs somewhere in the region of $1.25. Today the cost of CDs is hovering around the $10 mark, and in some cases even less. At $10, individual tracks cost 77 cents. Play.com has CDs for under $8, driving the cost down to about 60 cents per track. So why are digital download stores charging 99 cents a track?

CDs are better value for money

Let’s say I rip a $10 CD, I can store my files in high quality WAV or FLAC format. I have a physical object hopefully with a fancy color front and back cover. Sometimes a booklet is included with lyrics and artwork. I would have to pay (13 x 99 cents) $12.87 on iTunes to download the same album. Paying $2.87 more to get less.

In many situations, the files you download are much lower quality then ripping the CD. Many digital download stores still sell low bit-rate MP3 files at 99 cents a pop. Some stores still employ cumbersome DRM mechanisms and WAV files, if they’re available can be priced as high as $2 each. The cost to download the same album is $20, twice as much as the CD. It’s not like me to stand up for the big 4, but how are they offering better value for money than the ‘new model’ digital download stores?

Are digital download stores too expensive?

David Lowery says the ‘new model’ is adversely affecting artists, but don’t forget, it’s really bad value for the fans. I still think it’s a good idea for labels to use iTunes. Many fans are willing to pay extra for the convenience of using iTunes, that’s their decision.

If you want to use a digital download store and ensure the maximum amount of the purchase goes to the artists, purchase music on Bandcamp. Bandcamp offers HQ downloads and many labels sell albums on Bandcamp at prices where the individual tracks work out at less then 50 cents each. You pay less, there’s no DRM, the artist gets paid more and the label has more resources to expose more artists.

I’m interested in find out what you think. Are digital downloads too expensive? How much do you think is a fair price to pay for downloading music?

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 2nd March 2012 3 Comments

Music Recommendation – Ambienteer ‘hiemal’

We have a big announcement, a cause for celebration. James Fahy a.k.a Ambienteer seems to think a little announcement would suffice. I’m sorry James but that won’t fly with us at Invisible Agent HQ. Ambienteer recently put out his 30th release and we think know this is a monumental occasion. Such frequent and high quality output is something that fellow artists should aspire too. Myself included.

Ambienteer’s 30th release

James composes the most wonderful ambient music. If you like ambient, abstract soundscapes and experimental drones then you need to get these collections downloaded. Not only is James a talent musician who gives away all his work for free but he is also a talented photographer.

Highly recommended listening. If you have a chance please choose to buy a release.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 27th February 2012 1 Comment

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Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 21st February 2012 Leave a comment!

Dubstep Electronica – Warren Daly – Podcast

February Electronic PodcastA one hour journey that starts out with some funky instrumental Hip Hop, followed by a generous helping of Dubstep, Breakbeat and electronica. I mix 18 tracks in just under 60 minutes and 6 of the tracks are from Invisible Agent. The first time I have included Fwonk, Phoke and Static Netlabels in my mix. Stables such as Cut Records and Dusted Wax are once again featured. I enjoyed including the very talented Ketsa and new Invisible Agent signing The Northern Hemisphere.

If you listen to this mix and you like it, please like us on Facebook. You can download all our podcasts here.

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MP3 version: Podcast by Warren Daly – Hip hop, Dubstep, Techno Mix
OGG version: Podcast by Warren Daly -  Hip hop, Dubstep, Techno Mix

Track Listing

Artist – Track Name – Album – Record Label

  1. InDeLiBLe – Dusty – The Drop – Fwonk
  2. Barrio White – Algorythm & Blues -  Compilation – Static Disco
  3. Morriarchi – Speak_Easies – The Outer Sphere – Dusted Wax
  4. Drugstore – Night_dream – Shadai EP – Cicuta Netlabel
  5. Ambient Anonymous – IMFAusterityGhouls – Twilight of Empire – Dystopiaq
  6. Swarm Intelligence – On the Edge (Red Dave Whisper Remix) – On the edge Remixes – Invisible Agent Records
  7. Pocket Pet – Height Spaces – Compilation – Static Disco
  8. thefft – No Match For She – The Primer EP – Cut Records
  9. Swarm Intelligence – On the Edge 2BiT Mix - On the edge Remixes – Invisible Agent Records
  10. Audiophil – Eaglewolf – Call Myself EP – Phoke
  11. Eomac – mnk – mnk EP – Invisible Agent Records
  12. Swarm Intelligence – Once Bitten Remix A-Force Mix – On the edge Remixes – Invisible Agent Records
  13. Bryn Thomas – Cruising For Toy Boys – Cut Records
  14. Ketsa – Lunis the Moon – 11.11 Vol 11 -  Ketsa Music
  15. Exsistance – Uninhabited – Miles Apart EP – Cut Records
  16. ikeaboy – MKUltra – The Shawnee Curse – Invisible Agent Records
  17. Corrugated Tunnel – Frozen Farmhouse Landscapes – We are Electronix -  Invisible Agent Records / SeedyR
  18. The Northern Hemisphere – I blame the weather! – Everest – Invisible Agent Records

 

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 20th February 2012 Leave a comment!

Organically textured swells and resonances: ‘Everest’ by The Northern Hemisphere

We’re delighted to present you with our 2nd release of 2012. The Northern Hemisphere is an established project by American artist Drew Miller aimed at producing minimal electronic ambient soundscapes. Improvised keyboard, percussion and guitar compositions are layered and morphed. Drew drifts between soundscapes and braindance, guiding you on a unique melodic journey. Drew’s techniques enable him to capture unique and spontaneous moments, conveying emotion and moments of sublime overflow.

We welcome Drew to our talented roster of artists and look forward to releasing another album by ‘The Northern Hemisphere’ in 2012.

 

  • The Distant Sounds of a Grandfather Clock [An Intro of Sorts]
  • How I Learned to Live (Worries are Gone)
  • Dal Niente (Bonus Track)
  • Object-World
  • It’s Raining, It’s Pouring (The Old Man is Snoring)
  • Earth & its Echo (The Birds & the Bees)
  • Glacier Harbor (and the way it sings)
  • Choir of the Morning Light (Goodbye Glacier Harbor)
  • I Blame The Weather!
  • Planets, and How They Formed Our Lives
  • With Every Breath, We Gain a New Heart Electronic Symphony No 1

What to buy this release at another store?

Purchase this release

  • Digital Download Stores

    • Amazon website
    • Bandcamp website
    • Dance Music Hub website
    • DJ Tunes website
    • Emusic website
    • flyfi website
    • Groove Mobile website
    • Groupie Tunes website
    • imeem website
    • isound website
    • iTunes website
    • Juno Download website
    • LaLa website
    • Last FM website
    • LimeWire website
    • LiveWire Mobile website
    • mBop website
    • Mix and Burn website
    • MTraks website
    • MTV3 website
    • Napster website
    • Navio website
    • PureTracks website
    • Rhapsody website
    • ShockHound website
    • TrackItDown website

Please note that on some of the sites listed above it is not possible for us to link directly to an Invisible Agent releases page.

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 10th February 2012 Leave a comment!

Earth shaking Dubstep and Techno remixes ~ Swarm Intelligence

Swarm Intelligence - On the edge remixes

We’re kicking off the year of the dragon with a collection of earth shaking remixes of Swarm Intelligence’s Electro monster ‘On The Edge’.

The remixers

2BiT will challenge your bass-bins with his dark and subversive Dubstep remake. Red Dave’s debut appearance on Invisible Agent is a DJ friendly tech roller. A-Force works ‘Once bitten’ with his signature sounds and powerful bass makeover. We see the return of John Dalton with a relentless Techno remake and Danseizure once again sends us leftfield with his alternative and melodic electronica. Hearing is believing.

Tracklist

  1. On The Edge – 2BiT Remix 06:06
  2. On The Edge – Red Dave Whisper Remix 06:32
  3. Once Bitten – A-Force Remix 05:14
  4. On The Edge – John Dalton Remix 05:32
  5. On The Edge – Danseizure Remix 06:10

Available Worldwide

Available now on bandcamp. This EP will be available worldwide on iTunes, Emusic and many others stores on 28th of January 2012

Purchase this release

  • Digital Download Stores

    • Amazon website
    • Bandcamp website
    • Dance Music Hub website
    • DJ Tunes website
    • Emusic website
    • flyfi website
    • Groove Mobile website
    • Groupie Tunes website
    • imeem website
    • isound website
    • iTunes website
    • Juno Download website
    • LaLa website
    • Last FM website
    • LimeWire website
    • LiveWire Mobile website
    • mBop website
    • Mix and Burn website
    • MTraks website
    • MTV3 website
    • Napster website
    • Navio website
    • PureTracks website
    • Rhapsody website
    • ShockHound website
    • TrackItDown website

Please note that on some of the sites listed above it is not possible for us to link directly to an Invisible Agent releases page.

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 26th January 2012 1 Comment

Invisible Agent Mixcloud Player

Listen to all our podcasts, embed this mixcloud player on your blog or share this music on Google+ and Facebook.

Feel free to change the size to fit your blog, click here to get the code.

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 25th January 2012 Leave a comment!

Merry pranksters from the MPAA

It would seem that MPAA CEO Chris Dodd has completely lost the plot. According to a very angry letter from Senator Dodd, protests against SOPA are ‘pranks’ and websites supporting the Anti-SOPA campaign are doing it “to further their corporate interests”. This would imply the creative commons world, Wikipedia et al, are a bunch of corporate whores who have nothing better to do then take part in a day of worldwide hoodwinking.  Did congress change the calendar too, is it April 1st?

Same same but different

The uberlord of the mighty MPAA often pulls ‘facts’ and figures out of the air to prove a point. In fairness he’s not the only one at it, members of the RIAA must have attended the same propaganda management courses as the MPAA drones. They often use their own fabricated facts & figures to mesmerize the masses with their war on music. Chris states that he is diligently “protecting American jobs from foreign criminals”. To make matters worse, the formidable lobbying organization known as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says pirate sites “threaten more than 19 million American jobs”.

Chief Entertainments Officer

Giving credit where credit is due, at least Chris and co are providing lighthearted entertainment during these dark times. The following video sums up the views of the MPAA, RIAA, US Chamber of Commerce and most US presidential candidates. Enjoy.

 

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 18th January 2012 1 Comment

Ambient Glitch Mix: Warren Daly podcast January 2012

Warren Daly - Netlabel Mix - January 2012

Happy New Year. I’ve blended 75 minutes of ambient soundscapes peppered with glitches and bleeps for your listening pleasure.

It’s an exciting month as I’ll be uploading a new, more beat orientated mix in the next two weeks and of couse more reviews on the way too. I have great news about new artists that will appear on Invisible Agent in 2012, stay tuned for more updates about upcoming Invisible Agent EPs.

Netlabel discoveries

Meander through space and time and you’ll arrive at a live electronics playground provided by Closer Contact & Meteer on the amazing BFW netlabel. Once again I can’t get enough from Cut Records, this time Bryn Thomas features along side regulars such as Ambienteer.  All the output on FeedbackLoop is a must have for any music collection. Blearmoon and Elias Merino are new discoveries and I’ll certainly be following up on any other releases they have.

Stay informed

I regularly post Netlabel links and other goodies on Twitter. Alternatively join me on Facebook or subscribe to our RSS feed. You can download all our podcasts here.

Talented and dedicated musicians want you to enjoy their fantastic music, please share the love and check out each artist at their website below and give them the support they deserve. All the tracks are Netaudio and some are Creative commons. Happy listening.

Download

Right click one of the links below and choose “Save as” or “Save link as” to download

MP3 version: Podcast by Warren Daly – Ambient Glitch Mix
OGG version: Podcast by Warren Daly – Ambient Glitch Mix

Track Listing

Artist – Track Name – Record Label

  1. Blearmoon -  gean – Camomille music
  2. Specta Ciera – Underpass (Darren Harper rmx) – FeedbackLoop
  3. Elias Merino – Waiting for liar – Audiotalaia
  4. Transgresor Corruptor – Falafel – Static Disco
  5. Closer Contact & Meteer – Geography 1 + 2 Live Session – BFW
  6. Bryn Thomas – Chatter – Cut
  7. Ambienteer – Brume – Ambienteer
  8. Blearmoon – Old summer landscape – Camomille music

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 6th January 2012 Leave a comment!

Music Recommendations – low freq grooves and kicking beats

There was much interest in the Ambient and more laid back releases I mentioned in my previous post. To balance things out and to satisfy the friendly requests I’ve decided to share some beat orientated recommendations. I post links and recommendations more frequently on Twitter, so come on by and say hello. Enjoy these fantastic Netlabel releases and support the artists if possible.

Thefft – The primer EP – Cut Records

cut records - 007 The crew at Cut run a tight ship. Their attention and love for high quality releases is unyielding. In their latest low frequency salvo, Thefft delivers a unique dubbed out tech groover peppered with synths. As samples shots and broken beats mutate, this 3 track EP almost has an early 90′s warehouse feel. As with all releases on Cut, it’s hard to pigeon hole this EP, even after several listens it’s still hard to figure out if the beats are about to drop to more a languid level or become delirious. A sure player for the headphones or in a DJ set, tasty morsels once again from Cut. Download the release now.

Marcoerre – When i’m away – Unfoundsound

marcoerre - when i'm away - unfoundsound

The third release on unfoundsound by Italian producer Marcoerre. When I’m away’ EP is an easy going minimal Techno number. Spacious and dreamy layers are inter-fused with old school analogue drum hits. Purposeful pattern changes and synth sweeps keep the listener mesmerized. Perfect for attention with a set of headphones or on a very large club sound system. Recommended. Download the release here.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 23rd December 2011 Leave a comment!

  • Digital Download Stores

    • Amazon website
    • Bandcamp website
    • Dance Music Hub website
    • DJ Tunes website
    • Emusic website
    • flyfi website
    • Groove Mobile website
    • Groupie Tunes website
    • imeem website
    • isound website
    • iTunes website
    • Juno Download website
    • LaLa website
    • Last FM website
    • LimeWire website
    • LiveWire Mobile website
    • mBop website
    • Mix and Burn website
    • MTraks website
    • MTV3 website
    • Napster website
    • Navio website
    • PureTracks website
    • Rhapsody website
    • ShockHound website
    • TrackItDown website
  • All content © Invisible Agent 2009