I’ve spent a few bucks for indie music at Bandcamp over the last several months, and last night I forked over $12 for something called The Ultimate MandoPony Collection. (Assuming MandoPony — er, Andrew Stein — is too indie or too pony for you, I will point out two instances where he’s been referenced on this very site: on Michelle Creber’s cover of “The Boy from New York City,” where he’s the music behind the voice, and “I’ll Be Waiting (Derpy’s Song),” a Mando original.)
If I’m going to keep coming back to this place, I thought, I ought to learn something about it. From their FAQ:
We’re not yet another site wanting to host your tracks alongside the trailer for High School Musical 4: I’m Pregnant. Instead, we power a site that’s truly yours, and hang out in the background handling all the technical issues you dread (and several you’ve probably never even considered). We keep your music streaming and downloading quickly and reliably, whether it’s 3am on a Sunday, or the hour your new record drops and Pitchfork gives it a scathingly positive review. We make your tracks available in every format under the sun, so the audiophilic nerderati can have their FLAC and eat MP3 v2. We adorn your songs with all the right metadata, so they sail into iTunes with artwork, album, band and track names intact. We mutter the various incantations necessary to keep your site top-ranked in Google, so when your fans search for your hits, they find your music long before they find bonkersforlyrics.com or iMyFace. We give your fans easy ways to share your music with their friends, and we give you gorgeous tools that reveal exactly how your music is spreading, so you can fan the fire.
Although what earns my somewhere-between-respect-and-awe is this response to “How do I make the shared player autostart?”:
Welcome home! We trust your 8 year expedition to the heart of the Amazon was a great success. SO much has happened since you left. The first Delawarean was elected Vice President of the United States, the Chronicles of Riddick defied box office expectations, and tabbed browsers became commonplace. As a result, many web enthusiasts now open tabs as they surf. Autostarting media players don’t play well with this behavior, since they put you in a position of wondering whoah, where is that sound coming from and then force you to play find-the-tab-making-your-eardrums-bleed. AUTOSTART IS EVIL is a fairly common refrain nowadays, and who are we to disagree?
Anyway, the MandoPony album contained 50 tracks plus a half-hour video; he was asking $10. I anted up $12, because, well, I could. And then I read this:
Albums outsell [individual] tracks 5 to 1 (in the rest of the music buying world, tracks outsell albums 16 to 1).
On name-your-price albums, fans pay an average of 50% more than the minimum.
I, cheapskate. Still, sales have been brisk, which is always good news to the Struggling Musician.