Helpful Web Resources For Those in the Arts
To our many artist friends: This page will no longer be updated after
January, 2008. Best wishes to everyone!
We've found that these web sites and web-based services stand
out as either unique or unusual, especially economical, or just by
filling their niche in a particularly useful and effective way for
artists. Some are commercial services, but
many are free or offer free options. The listings are continually
updated and expanded as we find new and useful sites. Please send us your suggestions.
( * = most recent additions)
Creative Commons provides terrific new
license tools with which artists can release to the public some
rights to their works, while still reserving others. This is
especially useful for works that are promoted on the internet, or
subject to sampling or remix by other artists. The Creative Commons
web site offers comic strip style narratives and Flash movies
to help understand these new tools and their uses. Highly
Have you considered translating your artist
information for different cultures? Lingo24 is a
completely Internet-based, full-range language services
company with a sub-specialty in web site localization -
accurately translating web pages while preserving the intended
message and style of the original. Alternate
versions of existing documents or pages can be created, or entire web
sites translated into another language or multiple languages.
Lingo24's worldwide network of branches
and people means that there is very likely
a Lingo24 translator available who is a native of the culture
you wish to reach - an invaluable asset. Two tiers of
pricing are offered depending on the grade of translation needed, and,
unlike many translation services, Lingo24 actually publishes their
basic rates online and gives firm advance quotes. Secure online
payment can be made in any international currency by credit card or
PayPal, so the whole process proceeds very quickly. With a media
client list that already includes MTV and the BBC, this company
is attracting lots of the right kind of attention from the
Payloadz.com digital delivery system from
PayPal offers artists and
musicians a very clean alternative for sales of digital content of all
kinds. Payloadz offers a simple, reliable, and inexpensive way to
market your products from your own web site, with top grade file
security and instant payment management through PayPal. An
introductory account hosting up to 5 megabytes of content is free, and
beyond that you can choose either a flat monthly fee, or a very
reasonable percentage of sales fee option. Payloadz also offers
free placement in their Online Media Store if you
choose, and additional visibility through their own product-sharing
"affiliate" program, so that others can help sell your products if you
wish. All things considered, Payloadz.com presently gets our
recommendation as the general digital content delivery system of choice.
digital media company from Germany, is especially oriented to sales of
online music downloads. Users can create an online downloads shop
of their own, selling individual tracks and/or complete albums.
Your shop can be either free-standing, or customized to match the theme
of your main web site and used as a "page". There are no upfront
costs or monthly fees for a basic account - MusicDock claims only a
percentage of each sale. Hi-Fi mp3s up to 320kbps can be
uploaded, as well as WMA and AAC audio file formats, and full WAV files
too. Purchase payments are handled through PayPal, so
international currencies are accepted, and shops can be optimized for
various currencies. Smooth.
Artists-First.net is an
online e-commerce service that allows bands and labels to sell their
music from their own web sites, with buyers charging purchases either
to their credit card (via PayPal) or direct to their mobile phone
bill - currently a unique option among digital sales companies.
Artists-First also provides sophisticated tools to register and
maintain contact with your fans. Combined with some very
innovative thinking about new music marketing strategies, this company
may have THE state-of-the-art online music sales program on the planet
at this time. Check it out.
1-2-3 Music Store is software that allows
musicians and record labels to sell song and album downloads from their
own web site 24/7, and keep ALL the profit. This web 'store' is a
fully developed system in a box, ready to plug into your site - no
programming knowledge is required. They'll even install it for
you if you wish for a small fee. It's suitable for both
individual artists and labels, can handle unlimited titles, and is very
Ego ID tags and tickets are a COOL new way
to promote your concerts and music products. These colorful 'dog
tag" style ID tags turn your band name into a fashion statement.
They can also be encoded with bar codes that allow fans free downloads,
or other perks like merchandise discounts. Check it out.
A carefully crafted Press
Release can gain you lots of great publicity in a single
is a popular online newswire service that allows you to post a press
release for free. You may also pay a small amount to gain higher
placement in the day's listings if you wish. PRWeb's posts are
syndicated to numerous major trade publications, blogs, and private
member journalists - very effectively getting your message in front of
news people who can then relay it to their own audiences. You'll
find onsite tutorials and examples to help with composing and
submitting a proper press release, and every submission is reviewed by
live editors, who will contact you if needed with additional
suggestions to maximize your post's effectiveness. There's a bit
of a learning curve, but once you master the art of press writing...
who knows what might happen next.
- * Another great press option for
musicians is BeatWire.com "Announcing your CD release,
upcoming tour or any other music- related event has never been so
easy. Just send us your press release and we will deliver it to
thousands of top music journalists, radio programmers, freelance
reviewers and Web site editors." Quick and easy, moderately
priced, and managed by real humans. Beat Wire will also write
your release for you for a modest fee.
can post free notices of upcoming events of all kinds nearly
anywhere in the world through Upcoming.org, an established
online service newly acquired by Yahoo!.com. Quoting the site:
"Upcoming.org is a social event calendar, completely driven by people
like you. Manage your events, share events with friends and family, and
syndicate your calendar to your own site." Yahoo has announced
big expansion plans for this service.
free service of this kind, Zvents.com also allows you to
easily publicize many kinds of events, from music to visual arts, food
to sports. After a simple registration you can create a new
listing for any geographic area.
iFanz.com is a fan database management
service that lets you send professional level communications to your
entire fan base with a single mouse click. Rich Text, HTML, and
full-action video "net spots" are available. You can expand your
fan base with targeted mailing list demographics, sell your concert
tickets online, set up your own e-commerce merchandise store, and email
to a list of up to 100 names for free. More new features are
added frequently. This company was started by the McCartney
family (yes, of Sir Paul fame). You can bet they know how to
handle a fan list!
Need some live feedback
or peer and professional reviews of your music? Check out Mixposure.com,
a showcase for artists looking for internet exposure and
critiquing. Sign up is free for up to five songs. You can
also contribute by writing some reviews yourself!
RadioDirectX.com Radio & Media Promotion
has a new low cost service called DigiDirectX
that allows radio and club DJs to instantly download broadcast quality
files of your songs for immediate airplay. DigiDirectx
makes your music available to hundreds of Internet Radio Stations
and Podcasters, as well as to conventional AM/FM and Satellite Radio
Stations, without the effort and expense of mailing out hundreds of
CDs. Instead, the DJ's find your music on the RadioDirectX web
site, along with a one page info sheet. You'll receive direct
feedback on your music, and you can log in anytime to see who has
downloaded your songs. This could be a hot one! (A tip:
Just promote your single best song, or two at most, and
then wait for feedback from your stations.)
Want to increase your
online exposure without lifting a finger? musicSUBMIT.com offers full web
promotion services for musicians. This is by far the most
comprehensive service of its kind in the online music industry, and
many artists are reporting effective results. Very reasonable
And musicSUBMIT.com now offers a Syndicated
CD Sales program that can place live song play links and buy
links for your CDs with literally hundreds of potential online sales
outlets. Check out this new program at:
Music and Musicians:
Submit your music free to the Podsafe Music Network, a new
free promotional service for podcasters, listeners, and artists that
lists only Podsafe (licensed for podcasting)
music. This could definitely get you heard in some new places.
Would you like to have your music distributed digitally by iTunes,
Napster, Rhapsody, Sony Connect, and others? Tunecore.com
will get your music into these sites for a very nominal fee, and takes none
of the profit from your sales. They also provide other useful
services such as low cost CD duplication, printing, and band
merchandise, and there is lots of great information on the Tunecore
site to help you promote your music.
Note: See also Nimbit.com and CD Baby,
below. You must have only ONE contract for digital distribution
to the same retail outlets, so do your research and choose carefully.
A comprehensive site
for one-stop independent artist music business management, Nimbit.com of
Massachusetts offers numerous high quality services for a single,
nominal monthly membership fee. Offerings include CD and ticket
sales online and at gigs with credit cards, digital online
distribution, personal music web site hosting and management, email
marketing, radio promotion, CD duplication/replication, printing of
promo items, sales accounting reports, and more. Nice work Nimbit.
One of the finest places to sell your
CDs online is CD
Baby. They will warehouse your physical CDs and fulfill
orders with online credit card payments, create a dedicated web page
for you, and include you in their online catalog which is searched over
150,000 times per day. Presence in their catalog also lists your
title automatically in the Super D CD distribution database, a terrific free
plus for distribution. In addition, all CD Baby CDs are eligible
for digital distribution through iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody,
Yahoo Music, and numerous other major digital download services, and
are listed in a major distribution catalog serving 2,400
brick-and-mortar record stores. CD Baby takes a very modest fee
for their services, and pays artists their profits weekly.
Very highly recommended.
Musician is a web-based management software program "for
artists, labels, and managers to book and track gigs and tours,
communicate with fans, manage radio and press promotions, and track
radio play", all in one place. Because it's web based, you can
access your LiveWire account from any computer with internet access -
great when you're on the road. You can also easily import your
contact lists from other sources, and then broadcast your emails and
newsletters to all of your fans and venues direct from LiveWire.
Even if you don't travel, this kind of organizing power makes a
musician's life much simpler. LiveWire's basic account is free.
cool new way to tag up with other musicians is MusicianMix.com. You can
browse or search their musician database by geographic area,
instrument, genre, age, gender, experience level, and/or intention,
such as whether they are looking to start/join a band or just
jam. Then, you can hear them play by listening to
their online sound samples. If you like what you hear, get in
touch by instant messenger or through MusicianMix's private messaging
system. You can even get weekly email updates of new musicians
who join MusicianMix and meet your search criteria, so your search
never goes out of date. Good for instructors and students finding
each other too. There are other cool features - check it
out. Update 9/2007 - This site is apparently gone from the
web - too bad.
* BandMix.com is a
similar musicians wanted and musician classifieds service with
terrific features for musicians. They are also paired up with a
new site called GigLeader.com
that allows you to register your band for hire in a genre and
geographically searchable database. There is no fee for the basic
signup, and customers searching to hire bands can contact you
immediately. Very cool.
Berkeley, California is an internet-based record label
offering an intriguing new "open source" model. Their web site
features preview listening and downloadable albums that are value
priced by the buyers. In addition, Magnatune provides
commercial licensing representation and media exposure for their
artists, and many are finding successful licensing placements for their
material. The one downside - you must allow your music to be
sampled and remixed by others. That's the nature of "open
source". To learn more, visit their website.
22over7.org in the United
Kingdom also has an unusual and promising new idea - why not sell
shares in your band? They offer a ten-year extendable plan to
host your music and handle and track the sales of your shares and
downloads to fans and supporters. Shareholders receive the right
to download every piece of music you produce, now and in the
future. How's that for built-in fan loyalty? The UK based
service is presently available to bands and share purchasers in 45
countries, using currency conversion through PayPal.
An expanded version of
the "shares" idea is being offered by ArtistShare.net.
ArtistShare allows fans to directly support and participate in their
favorite artist's creative process, through innovative products that
let fans follow the artist's work while it's still in progress.
Branded, limited edition, collectible items are created during each
project, and each piece is registered to an individual fan/participant
as their personal property. Artists can sell advance shares in
their projects while still in potential, thus receiving part of the
proceeds from their creative works up front to fund the work.
It's a fascinating business model that is catching lots of attention
among established music professionals. There are some significant
names that have signed on already, and likely to be many more.
April, 2008: I know we promised
you no further updates here this year, but for CDs you should really
check out Amazon.com's new CreateSpace burn-on-demand CD service. It's a
pretty good deal, and an easy way to get selling on Amazon too.
One of the most
economical online duplication services is Kunaki.com of Brooklyn, New
York. Kunaki's totally automated digital production system
manufactures and packages each CD/DVD order within minutes, whether for
1 or 1,000, then auto-ships it, usually the same day. Everything
from the on-disc full color printing to the final shipping package is
Kunaki.com furnishes simple project software to use in assembling your
artwork for uploading to their servers. It has selectable stock
themes built in too, in case you don't have prepared artwork of your
own. When it comes time to add the audio content, just slip your
CD or DVD master disc into your computer's CD ROM drive, click a
button, and the software extracts and packages all of the tracks, in
order, at full fidelity, into a single master upload file. Kunaki
will even send you a free preview copy of the finished product
Other features include a free UPC bar code, free online CD/DVD sales
page, and direct drop-shipping of orders to retailers like Amazon.com
and CD Baby. So if you have even an ounce of the do-it-yourselfer
in you, be sure to check out Kunaki.com before you lay out
lots of front money for CD or DVD duplication. Be aware however
that there is not much in the way of customer service... But if
you can work basically on your own, Kunaki's automated system works
just fine, and produces good quality results.
of San Francisco also lets you upload
and store your CD/DVD artwork on their servers, and either upload or
mail in your digital content at any resolution you choose, all with
zero setup or inventory costs. You can order from one copy to a
thousand or more anytime, and they will be manufactured and shipped
direct to any destination you specify within a few days. Quantity
discounts are offered in multiple steps. Mixonic's service
includes very fine photo quality full color printing on both
the inserts and disk surface – which makes a very handsome professional
package. They also offer multiple choices of cases and insert
styles. More costly than Kunaki, but top quality products, and
good service too.
CDs and Custom Merchandise:
offers artists the ability to create not only full-package, retail
ready burn-on-demand CDs online, (with magazine quality, full
glossy printing) but also your own custom tee shirts, hats, posters,
framed art prints, and many other useful gift, sales and promotional
items. All Cafe'Press products and processes are high quality, so
your designs both look and feel professional. There are no
minimum purchases, and no cost to you to design as many products as you
like - Cafe'Press gets paid only when your item sells. Graphics
experience is not required, since their online system walks you through
the design process step by step, using your own uploaded photos and
images. Each design can be previewed visually online as it is
created, and modified later at any time. You can even set up your
own online store if you wish - also free.
MYBANDWEAR produces exquisitely fitted, high-style designs in
musicians' attire to radically enhance your on-stage look. Their
garments are individually custom tailored using over 18 body
measurements, for a fit that conforms perfectly to every line, and
perfectly transmits your performance body language. Choose from
numerous progressive styles, or have MYBANDWEAR create a unique
original for you. You can even submit your measurements online if
you wish. Visit their web site for style examples and a
quote. (As far as we can discern, this is a unique service for
Music-Law.com is a portal of links to help you find resources that
answer common questions about music law and the challenges of running a
band, creating copyrights, work for hire agreements, etc. Some
linked services are free.
comprehensive set of commonly needed music contracts and other legal
forms can be downloaded from Musiclegalforms.com.
This is a commercial service however, so expect to pay for the
goods. It's no substitute for a real music lawyer, but it's
certainly a quick and easy way to acquire the forms you may need in a
hurry to contract a gig, rent a venue, fire a band member, answer a
request to license your music, etc. We've found that many times
just reading through the appropriate forms answers many legal questions.
you need a professional, economical and easy way to independently
exhibit and sell your visual artworks online, ArtBeacon.com
of San Francisco allows you to set up your own online gallery/store at
no cost. Lots of other helpful features too, plus a vibrant
artists' community. They also have their own Resources
Page with numerous useful web links to various U.S. state
and local Art Councils, Art Leagues, Associations, Clubs, Directories,
etc. plus galleries, vendors, and legal help with grants and copyrights.
Whatever your art medium and style, if you would like a professional's
help and creative feedback on your portfolio before it goes out
to galleries, jurors or curators, PortfolioReviewer.com
will work with you to optimize every aspect of your presentation, and
thoroughly tune up your art "marketing machinery" for maximum
effectiveness. They'll perform an expert, first person review
using your actual materials, and provide precise, direct feedback,
including specific suggestions to improve your portfolio's odds of
making a lasting impression. Help with your web site and mailing
list is also available. Visit their site for more details.
Web Site Building:
June 2006 note:
A recent advent in the Web Hosting world is that many modern shared
hosting services, like the ones listed in our Web Hosting
section below, now offer basic "site builder" software included with
their hosting packages. These proprietary programs provide a
simple user interface that allows you to construct your own web site
online from a set of selectable templates, by just filling in the
blanks, so to speak. It's quite simple to do, although the
results may not be exactly what you would choose if you had carte
blanche. But while your site perhaps won't be state of the
art, it's enough to at least get you started at very low cost.
Some of them are even fairly sophisticated, and you can gain experience
that will be valuable for constructing your "main" site later on.
So the whole purpose of this paragraph is just to alert you to check
with prospective web hosts when deciding whether and how to build your
first site. You might find that they provide something usable to
start off with, for free.
decide to go the full HTML route, one less demanding alternative to learning a major HTML
software package is EZGenerator from Image Line Software. This
is the same company that produces FL Studio music creation software, and many
artists report very satisfying results using EZGenerator with a minimal
learning curve. EZGenerator was actually developed by Image Line
for their own internal use in creating their company web sites, but
they've now made it available as a retail product. A free
downloadable trial version is available on the EZGenerator site.
Newest leader: StartLogic.com In the fast-changing world of web
hosting, StartLogic of Phoenix has taken a solid lead in value for
artists. With enormous storage and bandwidth (traffic) allowances, support
for all popular media and mime types, a free domain name with
each account, free setup, rock bottom prices, and the ability to host
up to ten independent domains under a single account, StartLogic has
simply blown the competition away. They also furnish live 24/7
support, great site statistics, unlimited free email accounts, free
site builder software, and a host of site promotion tools for
free. All this with high customer service ratings and a 30 day
money back guaranty is very hard to beat.
* Our old friends at LunarPages.com have recently reasserted their
prominence in the web hosting world, and we're proud to recommend them
to you again. LunarPages' new package is again very competitive,
but the real forte' here is their terrific customer service
organization. Many artists are very comfortable and pleased
working with the folks at Lunarpages, and this alone makes them stand
out from the crowd. Their latest hosting deal includes all of the
current most popular and useful features for artists, plus greatly
expanded storage and bandwidth allowances, all at a very nominal
price. Visit them yourself and see.
Multi-award winning BlueHost.com in Utah is our third choice for
artist and musician web hosting. With more than ample storage and bandwidth allowances, plus a
perpetually free domain name and free domain privacy protection with
every account, BlueHost is also a great choice for almost anyone for
personal or business use. All major audio, video, image, and
multi-media formats are supported, and there's a wide selection of
self-installing scripts provided free, including the new Fantastico
collection, to add nearly any special web site function you can
imagine. The BlueHost user interface is the popular and
which in our experience is the easiest, most comprehensive, and most
effective way for non-experts to manage a web hosting account.
For support there's a toll-free 24/7 telephone line available beyond
their online help center and searchable knowledge base. You can
host an unlimited number of fully independent domains within a
single BlueHost account at no extra charge, and prices are very
reasonable with no set-up fees.
Web Site Helps and Tools:
a handy dandy HTML Color Chart that we've found is
especially helpful for choosing backgrounds. The sample areas are
large enough to get a pretty good advance idea of the actual color when
shown as a block.
Also very useful (and pleasant to use) this color
picker from www.massless.org lets you see more easily how
the hexadecimal color code system is organized. If you happen to
be into programming for the web, there's lots of other interesting
stuff here too.
If you are ever curious
how often your web site “goes down”, and for how long, Hyperspin.com offers a free monitoring
service that alerts you by email whenever they fail to detect the
site. The link above takes you to their signup page. (This
only works for web sites you own or have administrative rights to, not
for your page(s) on shared sites.)
can view the way a search engine spider would actually crawl your web
site, while simultaneously checking the integrity of all your internal
and external hyperlinks, by using the free online link validation tool
They offer some other helpful free web tools as
very useful set of free web page analysis tools that we use frequently
is found at webmaster-toolkit.com
Great for researching keywords, checking link
popularity and search engine position, generating meta-tags, etc.
There's even an automated web page analyzer that will make
recommendations for improving your site's search engine friendliness,
and many other free tools as well. Good stuff.
Remote File Hosting:
For image gallery viewing,
large file transfers, disk backup, and sharing online projects among
In a way, Apple
Computer's .Mac iDisk
service is the Mercedes among online remote file hosts for either
Macintosh or PC. They allow 10 Gigabytes of storage, 100Gig of
transfer per month, and offer a permanent mac.com web email address,
automatic file backups and synchronization among your various
computers, and a configurable personal home page on which to showcase
the files you wish to make public or share with associates. With
the optional Family Pack you can create up to four independent
sub-accounts for collaborators or family members, each with password
protection and workgroup file sharing, and there are a host of other
.Mac member benefits included. Apple lets you test drive the
service free for 60 days.
now from AOL, allows 5 Gigabytes of free storage, with 50 gigs
available as an option. It offers many of the same features
(except email) as .Mac. There is also free "Power Tools" PC
desktop software that allows automated file backups and drag-and-drop
functionality right from within Windows Explorer. From XDrive you
can also stream music files to any computer on demand, or send
them direct to your web-enabled cell
phone - pretty cool.
Photo collections can be viewed online without the need for
downloading, and a "Web Grab" feature lets you instantly transfer any
online content directly into your XDrive account. Automated
backups from your PC are possible as well. With their newly free
5 gig service, X-Drive has nearly made other remote hosts obsolete.
you need file transfer capability only, and not long-term
storage, you can accomplish this through YouSendIt.com. They
accept any type of file up to 2 gigabytes for delivery to anyone with
an email address. The recipient receives an email with a link
that allows them to download the file from YouSendIt's server within 7
or 14 days - great for transferring audio tracks back and forth during
a collaboration. Files up to 100mb in size are free.
Remote Backup Only:
Would you like the
ability to perform fully automated backups of all your music and art
files to a secure off-site location? Mozy is the only
free, full-featured remote backup service we know of that is fully automated. You can
set up the Mozy system to automatically maintain backups of up to 2
gigabytes of your data for free, and higher disk quotas are
very reasonably priced. This could be a lifesaver in case of a
fire or other disaster. When's the last time you backed
everything up? Now, finally, it's inexpensive and easy.
(Mozy for PC requires Windows XP, a Mac beta version is also available.)
Other Resource Sites:
Explore thousands of art
galleries, museums and artists sites from around the world. Browse by
subject, medium, movement, nationality, music genre and more. Add
your own link free.
own Resources Page with numerous useful web
links to various U.S. state and local Art Councils, Art Leagues,
Associations, Clubs, Directories, etc. plus galleries, vendors, and
legal help with grants and copyrights.
maintains a very useful and comprehensive comparison chart of many
independent music host sites on the internet. It's in spreadsheet
format showing each one's features, page loading speed, Alexa traffic
ranking, membership cost if any, etc., so you can view the various
plans side-by-side. Here's a direct link:
For some helpful and
objective user reviews of many of these same music hosts, visit Paula
Lynch's page: www.armydiller.com/musichosting.htm
Singer/Songwriter/Illustrator also has a great Resources
section on her site for both artists and musicians.