[EN] Netlabels on Bandcamp: the rise of anti-usability


In recent times, I noticed that some new netlabels are adopting Bandcamp as default hosting solution for their releases. Please, don’t do it. Bandcamp’s download process need too many clicks and it’s slow as fuck, and – talking personally – I cannot spend my whole afternoon for downloading all your fucking releases one by one.

Bandcamp’s download process is one of the best examples of “anti-usability” I stumbled upon in the last months of daily web browsing.

What you have to do for starting a fucking single download from Bandcamp?

1. click on “Download album”;


2. select the audio format;


3. disable Flashblock (or the other systems to block the useless, invasive and cpu-hungry Flash animations) for a while;


4. give to Bandcamp the permission to write on your disk;


5. select the folder in which you want to download the file;


6. your download will finally start!


WTF??!!?? Do this fucking process for 20-30-40 releases and you wasted your whole day. Try yourself if you don’t trust me. We want usability, not Flash fake coolness.

I repeat guys, we listeners have not time to waste, so adopting Bandcamp will just keep away and scare people. If you dare about your listeners, please setup a simple website with direct links to the release files, so people can download many files at once and in the way they like.

And if you want to drastically improve your download skills, please check my series of posts “How-to Download Whole Netlabel Catalogues With Few Clicks: The Ultimate Guide“. First episode here.

Bandcamp sucks. Governments would inherit webdesign to some people.

Two examples of netlabels on Bandcamp, if you want to experience this crap yourself:

UPDATE 25/01/2010:
As people says in comments, Bandcamp guys updated their download process, as showed:

It’s better than before, but still sucks a lot compared to a fucking simple website with straight links, because it seems that ZIPs are created on the fly and maintaned in a sort of “cache” for a certain period of time, then they are removed. This stupid implementation makes download managers not suitable for Bandcamp, because if you add an album in your queue today and try to download it tomorrow, you get a fucking error. So you can use download managers but you have to download your files very quickly or they will expire… a very annoying thing really. You lose the advantage of using download managers.

Plus, when you try to download an old release, a message like this popups:

But it’s not all. Some free releases require your email address, that is pleasuring like inserting a fucking shoe in the asshole:

Try typing your email address and your postal code one time for twenty releases.. then check your email and click on the download link for other twenty times…! COME ON BANDCAMP GUYS, HAVE YOU EVER USED YOUR WEBSITE?

If you own a netlabel and you care about your users/fans, please don’t use Bandcamp. Learn some HTML instead and upload a proper website instead.

35 Responses to [EN] Netlabels on Bandcamp: the rise of anti-usability

  1. il blog di eldino » Netlabels on Bandcamp: the rise of anti-usability…

    In recent times, I noticed that some new netlabels are adopting Bandcamp as default hosting solution for their releases. Please, don’t do it. Bandcamp’s download process need too many clicks and it’s slow as fuck, and – talking personally – I cannot sp…

    • mosch ha detto:

      i made good usability experiences… maybe you should overthink your use of plugins like flashblocker and get a defaultdestination for your downloads… and clicking a download button is not that bad… and point 6 download finished is just a result but no action to take… it sounds that youre just frustrated that your little script to rip html docs for linked data just dont work if anyone uses BC…

      • eldino ha detto:

        how many releases did you try to get? 3 or 4? how much time did you spent? how many clicks? think about this… then think to download that way like 50 releases.. how many days do you need using fucked & retarded Bandcamp’s way? think about this, then come back 🙂

  2. embe ha detto:

    just do your uploads to http://www.archive.org/details/netlabels like real netlabels do, you can also choose a decent license to spread your music


  3. deepgoa ha detto:

    and don’t forget the (possible) confirmation mail *kough*

  4. roland ha detto:

    Word! I totally agree.

  5. Fabrizio ha detto:

    Hi Eldino, don’t know how bandcamp would work for netlabels, but for us independent artists is, at the moment, simply the best music site to sell-distribute our music at..! 😉



  6. Michael Gregoire ha detto:

    I have to agree with you… their download process sucks. However there’s one thing I love about them… they’re making awareness of the FLAC format rise. I love that I can download most of what’s offered at bandcamp in FLAC format. It also brings more independent artists into the Creative Commons licensing world.

    There’s definitely good and bad about bandcamp. For the artist, they make it dead simple to sell digital audio in multiple formats. The download process is a side effect of the sales aspect of it. However, if an artist chooses to provide FREE downloads, their listeners shouldn’t be succumbed to the sales download process.

  7. eldino ha detto:

    @Fabrizio and Michael
    Yeah, maybe Bandcamp is cool for some aspects or for single artists (they have usually 2-3 albums, that’s not a pain to download with this tricky system), I dont doubt about it, but my post is strictly related to netlabels catalogues (20-30-50-80 releases to download..).. and anyway, Flash != web usability, you know 😉

  8. Michael Gregoire ha detto:

    Yeah, when specifically talking about netlabels, I totally agree. No excuse there. Netlabels need to put more effort into their web presence. Bandcamp is definitely a poor UI for presenting 10+ releases.

  9. in vitro ha detto:

    I listen music (stream) in bandcamp but I never download music, because i dont like the process.

  10. cap'n willy ha detto:

    Where are these “useless, invasive and cpu-hungry Flash animations” you’re talking about? I went through the whole thing and didn’t see a single animation.

  11. eldino ha detto:

    i was talking about the Web in general.. it’s tons of Flash shit and ads, that’s why tools like Flashblock exist and are succesful 😉

  12. kiluminipoli ha detto:

    gizzaranissimmo oblacitonipido
    calapenadica ocolopazidu ridu widu lidu
    eminaminu palapanadidu crabidagiza
    senu menu petenu

    u see that like the same crap u are saying about Bandcamp
    makes no sense at all
    just STFU and be happy there are free netlabel

  13. kiluminipoli ha detto:

    bandcamp rules

  14. beadmaze ha detto:

    man, you’re using vista – don’t complain about flash…

  15. eldino ha detto:

    @beadmaze: hehe 😉

  16. Bandcamp fixed it…No more flash downloads!
    Please revise…

    Thanks for the mention as well!!!!

  17. eldino ha detto:

    The post has been updated as suggested by Diasporah, check it. Bandcamp is better than before, but it still sucks a lot.

  18. Torley ha detto:

    You rant at Bandcamp but have you actually tried reaching out and asking them why they had to do it this way? I don’t fully understand why I can’t batch-upload tracks and I must use the Flash uploader, but they do have friendly and generally timely help.

    I am still concerned that the first person who downloads an album from Bandcamp will be subject to a long waiting time; as a result I end up being the first one who downloads to “wetten” the plate.

    I’m going to read more of your usability advice, I appreciate you having vocalized things through.

  19. I don’t actually think it sucks that bad considering 20/12 get 1000’s of downloads a month. It also saves a lot of time for a person who needs a storefront/download page for their site.. I actually swear by it, Bandcamp is becoming all the rave lately but I must say I believe 20/12 was THE first Netlabel using the platform. The support is really great and
    I believe it will be quite a while before I switch Music page platforms.

  20. But your opinion and views matter as well, But dont judge a Netlabel by their choice of download options. I guess in order to be “L33t” I have to use Archive.org? Why do you hate BC so much?

  21. In fact (Sorry for 3 posts) I found this page using my stats tracking within bandcamp. Which technically unearthed your page from the sea of blogs out there. Go Figure 🙂

  22. eldino ha detto:

    I “hate” it because it’s unusable and makes me lose a lot of time to get the releases compared to other platforms. It makes the downloading process very frustrating and a waste of time for us fans. It’s neither a matter of l33tness, nor a fact of personal taste 🙂

    You can try yourself: number the clicks you need to download all your catalogue. Then do the same on a simple page with direct links to the zips.

    Bandcamp is easy for you admins but uneasy for us, and know that common people is very lazy 😉

    If you want to go professional with your netlabel project, buy a cheap domain, buy some webspace and make there your netlabel 😉

  23. Maybe it’s the control freak in me but I don’t wouldn’t use services like Bandcamp to host my music in the first place. My whole thing is “what if it goes out of business?”. These are the same people who’s sole web presence is a myspace page.

    Labels need to take more responsibility for the running of their labels.

  24. fede ha detto:

    The solution:


  25. Wow… “Maybe it’s the control freak in me but I don’t wouldn’t use services like Bandcamp to host my music in the first place. My whole thing is “what if it goes out of business?”. These are the same people who’s sole web presence is a myspace page.

    Labels need to take more responsibility for the running of their labels.”

    Sorry bruv, But thats why the catalog is on cd’s neatly tucked away just in case 🙂

    I take this very serious and my artists work is being shared across the world from BC. I personally think that you are right it does actually have flaws. but the bc site for 20/12 is in fact just the music page. A page link from the direct site. I think that the time that you spend downloading tracks from us is a small price to pay for free music. Don’t get me wrong I understand your views. I also listened to all your comments and will be placing the catalog on Archive.org. (Also toying with the idea of a torrent download) within the upcoming months to give you more options to download. I thank you for the opinion because at the end of the day the fans of the label is what really matters, And why I am on the grind daily.

  26. eldino ha detto:

    Hosting stuff on archive.org is a nice move 🙂

  27. Nome ha detto:

    Oh god, it took a whole 3 clicks to download something? That’s valuable time that could have been spent stuffing your piehole with Doritos and grinding World of Warcraft XP.

  28. eldino ha detto:

    @Doritos Funny Man
    There are not 3 clicks, they are 3 clicks for every fucking release + the time you have to wait between one release and the next one… so, for 22 releases, the clicks are:

    3 x 22 = 66 clicks + 5-6 minutes between releases = lotta of wasted time cause of inusability and lack of direct download + download managers support. You don’t need all this time + pain in the ass to buy 22 cds in a shop, don’t you?

    Sorry but not every person likes to waste more time into downloading music than into listening to it 🙂

  29. […] Bandcamp fosse un servizio da boicottare, lo sostengo fin dai tempi del post “Netlabels on Bandcamp: the rise of anti-usability“, ma nonostante i miei sforzi argomentativi, molte (troppe) netlabel e molti (troppi) […]

  30. fnyunj ha detto:

    I added an exception to flashblock.

    Don’t tell me not to have flashblock installed. That is the path to insanity (and viruses and rootkits) in this day and age. It’s like walking through a prison with your pants off and your hands tied behind your back.

    I don’t mind building and managing a whitelist for preferred sites for flashblock and noscript.

    I *do* mind when a site simply refuses to work, even when I add them to the whitelist.

    The great thing about the internet, is that it will bring you zillions of users, without having to pay-off a sleazy promoter.

    But if you can’t figure out the technology, (and if your users have to choose between getting hacked, or watching your site not-work), then the internet ain’t going to bring you zillions of users. It’s going to bring you zillions of fail.

  31. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site
    and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you
    access consistently quickly.


Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo di WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Google photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s...

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: