[EN] Netlabels Who Care: some additions to a recent Thinnerism post


Thinnerism [1], for the few people who don’t know it yet, is a blog (in english) about netlabels scene, written, as you can easily understand by the name, by the crew behind Thinner netlabel. The blog features highy professional contents and layout, and it’s mainly addressed to who has a bit of experience with netaudio by his own.
One of its recent posts is titled “Introducing the series “Netlabels Who Care”” [2] and it’s a real must-read article, because it sums up things very well.
Since it reflects exactly what I think and what I say since years, I decided to report its conciseness here, quoting the most important parts and eventually adding some comments to them.

If a first-timer stumbles upon the mighty realm of archive.org’s netlabel collection and manages to listen to 4 or 5 random netlabel releases then there is a fair chance that frustration might develop into general prejudices against netlabels, such as netlabels …
– lack quality control in terms of releases.
– lack of professionalism and concept in sound/visual quality.
– generally feature talent not good enough for a recording contract.

True, that is the first impression of a newbie who stumbles upon the huge quantity of netaudio stuff available. He feels lost and I justify him, because, as I said before answering to a post by Mike Gregoire [3], netaudio scene is not centralized and frustration-proof as, for example, Jamendo. Netlabels and netaudio scene news sites (Phlow, blogs etc) are not contained in a single, big platform, but they are fragmented in the net, and so a newbie needs a lot of time to find all the best resources, download all the music from different sites, be updated about new releases etc. If you, new netaudio fan, are not pretty motivated and a bit nerdy, you will be soon tired of netaudio scene, and you will move soon to Jamendo for satisfying your free music needs.

I quote now a part of my answer to Mike Gregoire’s post [4]:

[..] we have to build a platform to promote the good netlabel music and the good netlabels, and we have to take out from the business the crappy ones. That’s the only way to stimulate them to increase their releases quality and consecutively increase the quality of the whole netaudio world. More quality releases float around and less are the probabilities to lose a neo-adept ‘cause he/she stumbed upon a crappy release. We need a platform capable to aggregate all the best of the great netaudio-discovery tools around (Phlow, Free Album Galore, Jamendo etc) and push it into a clean designed website (a là Digg). We need a platform with strong social features, like community boards where people actively partecipate to (not like the silent boards actually available). We need a platform with “top-50 releases”, “top-10 netlabels”, “top netalbel of the year” etc charts, and places on these charts must be really hard to conquest! People must be able to vote them, to rate them, to fuck off them. In an ideal world, netaudio may be an alternative to commercial music, not a free and legal copy of it; this means that netaudio music must be all good, because there are not commercial reasons behind it (releases with 2 decent songs and 8 craps may be not allowed!). [..]

I think there is anything to add to what I wrote before 🙂
Let’s go back to Thinnerism post:

While these prejudices may indeed apply to many netlabels, there quite a few netlabels out there who care. They care about quality in various aspects and offer a decent experience.

True, there are really few good netlabels out there, but they share excellent music, ways better than the best commercial music. These small group of netlabels must be promoted and they need to be highlighted, because “they care”. This is partially the objective behind my series “Le mie releases preferite in pillole” [5], that is italian only for the moment: in every post I basically review the best releases (for me) of a single netlabel. Not all the netlabels I review are excellent, but I think that talking about them too helps italian netlabel fans to have a clear idea of netaudio scene, in every shape/color. If you don’t know crappy stuff, you can’t appreciate so much the excellent stuff, don’t you? 🙂

Usually it is possible to determine the quality control for any netlabel by checking out for the following general features:
– a consistent talent roster, ideally developed on their own
– high bitrates, proper filenames and id3 tags
– individual, coherent artwork
– carefully selected releases, ideally in continuous release cycles
– good sound quality, provided by audio mastering

These are mostly the features I look for when I catalog and listen to a new netlabellography, together with:
– well done website, with a clean layout and a clear “Releases” section;
– few or any Flash animations and intros: they suck CPU uselessly;
– mp3 files [6];
– eventually lyrics listed in the release page;
– fast servers to download files from;

and eventually:
– RSS feed to be updated about new releases.

That’s all. I’m happy that there are other people on netaudio scene who have my same opinion 🙂 Fuck craps. Long life to good releases!

[1] Thinnerism: http://thinnerism.cc/
[2] http://thinnerism.cc/2007/10/26/introducing-the-series-netlabels-who-care/
[3] http://blocsonic.com/blog/an_infrastructure_for_take-over
[4] My answer to Mike Gregoire’s post.
[5] “Le mie releases preferite in pillole” (Italian only).
[6] Why mp3 files (Italian only).

One Response to [EN] Netlabels Who Care: some additions to a recent Thinnerism post

  1. blackhat seo ha detto:

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with
    my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers


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