In all these years of netaudio activism I stumbled upon (at least) a gazillion of netlabel websites, but I found really few well-done “Releases” pages. It seems that many netlabels admins understimate the importance of the layout of a “Releases” page and they go kinda random into designing it.
My opinion is that a good “Releases” page must contain a general overview of all the releases available, with just a cover and some basic infos for every listed release. Basic infos include: artist name, album title, release code, release date, direct download link and “more details” link. If the user wanna know more infos about the release before downloading it, he can click on the “more details” link and get a really informative page about that release. If the user wanna download the release as fast as possible (I’m an example of this kind of users), he can just click on the direct download link and he’s served.
Netlabels are about downloading free music, aren’t they?
A layout like the one I sketched satisfy both kinds of users, and doesn’t oblige users like me to open and scroll 100 different details pages to download 100 different releases. Look at the sketch and see how’s simple to design a nice “Releases” page.
An example of a well-done layout for “Releases” page is provided by Audioactiviy netlabel website and you can give a look to it clicking here.
Obviously, you could place the main menù (Home / Releases / About) on the top or on the left side of the page, according to your taste, and the concept would not change. And, if your releases catalogue contains like 300 releases, you could easily split your “Releases” page in many sub-pages, like one every 50 releases, or by years (2010 releases, 2009 releases and so on).