Sunday, June 30, 2013

Create a Music Player For Your Websites and Blogs By Ko Fai Godfrey Ko

If you are a musician and wish to sell your own music via the web there are options. Numerous services exist that are happy to take their commission in return for placing your name on their web site. The other option is to sell from your own website. This will give you a chance to attract more people and increase your sales. You also benefit by receiving all of the income less the merchant costs.
As a minimum you will need to:
1. Create your website
2. Add a music player
3. Add a merchant facility to accept money
4. Add a download page.
5. Fill the site with text content and make it Search Engine friendly. For extra functionality you could consider a blog.
Creating a website: This is easy with the tools available today. There are many free or inexpensive HTML templates available or if you need a little more presence you can search for some advance website builder software.
Add a music player: A music player to showcase your products is important. There are HTML based music players and flash based music players, both allow you to create your own play lists and embed the player to your existing web pages. However, flash player might makes you feel more comfortable that your music is safe from a web snatch. It is protected. There are a good number of skins with flash players so the choice of look and feel is easy.
Add a merchant facility: There are many merchant services available with varying rates. I see PayPal as the easiest to setup and use. You can signup a PayPal account free of charge, which enables you to instantly accept credit card payments online.
Add some text content: A few pages of content are necessary for the search engines to find. This can be about your band or group. People like to know a little about their new favorite band, their plans and music released. If you are planning on releasing a new album shortly, say so! Talk about where you started, where you are going and any tours that are planned.
These days a business is not complete without a web presence. Put it together and make it pay. You need followers to increase your sales. Give them a place to gather. You can still use the other services initially until your site has caught up. You need a site anyway, and while you have a visitor, you should give him or her the opportunity to buy whilst they are there.
Visit our website today to download a free trial version of website MP3 player that does not require coding and programming and can accept payment using PayPal. You can also find flash software including a website builder, flash photo gallery, flash video player and interactive map creator.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Where Did Rock And Roll Music Come From? By Rick Hart

Muddy Waters said it first. "Blues had a baby and they called it Rock and Roll."
Sure, everyone pretty much agrees that rock and roll music actually came from black rhythm and blues of the late 1940's. Of course which songs were the first actual rock and roll songs are hotly debated. But there's no mistaking the sound of the 1947 version of "Good Rockin Tonight" by Wynonie Harris as clearly an early version of rock and roll. At least that's what it sounds like to me.
But the acknowledged song that most agree was the first rock n' roll song was Rocket 88. The original version of the twelve-bar blues song was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, who took the song to number one on the R&B charts.
It was actually recorded at Sun Studios by Sam Phillips in 1951 using a studio band that was led by Ike Turner. Yes that Ike Turner, Tina Turner's husband. Of course Sam Phillips was best known for recording Elvis Presley in the beginning of his career.
But before Elvis, Sam Phillips recorded many of the early electric blues musicians including Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, James Cotten, and many others. It was really a mecca for that early electric blues, at least the Memphis flavor of it.
Sam was even known to say that Howlin' Wolf was his greatest discovery. And Elvis Presley was actually his second greatest discovery. And it's easy to imagine that the early white rock and rollers who came into Sam's studio were heavily influenced by their contact with the black blues musicians at Sun Studios. It all cooked together into a musical stew that came out as rock and roll.
But the point is, these early rhythm and blues songs were really part of a larger core of music that certainly is based on black gospel and religious spiritual music of the 30's and 40's. That music was full of emotion and pain.
Of course it was. The typical life of a black person then was full of pain, and religion was a major outlet for expressing that pain.
And of course gospel music expresses that pain and certainly blues music was directly related to that gospel tradition. Although the typical preacher would look badly on this secular version of gospel music. In fact, blues was called "devil's music" by most religious blacks of the day. Early blues musician's had to sneak out to play the blues and avoided playing it in front of parents.
Still it was clear that the average black person of the 40's and 50's connected with this new music. After all, religion was only one outlet for that pain. There was also dancing, drinking and sex, with music being the backdrop to all of it. No wonder the messages in blues music reflected this darker side of life at the time. How else would people tell the stories of failed relationships, drinking, and the pain of abuse by "the man" and other people who helped make their lives a living hell.
And the expression of that pain is the core of what makes blues music and especially early blues guitar so compelling. The guitar, as a lead instrument, has an emotional range that cannot be duplicated by a piano. Perhaps a saxophone is the closest other instrument that has the emotional range of the guitar. And both are still a distant second to emotional range of the human voice. You can say that the guitar and the saxophone are merely trying to duplicate what the human voice can do.
But the electric guitar at the time was a brand new instrument. It was putting out new sounds that had never been heard before. Combined with new amplification that could get louder and more distorted than ever before, it was clear the electric blues guitar would lead to a whole new type of music. Or more accurately types of music. Without this new technology there would be no electric blues and there would be no rock and roll.
And that means there would be no reason to write this article.
Rick Honeyboy Hart is a long-time blues guitar player and online marketer. He likes learning about the history of the blues and teaches blues guitar and thinks about the days when he fronted his blues band Honeyboy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Two Words to the Wise About Free Music on Hold By Tim E Holdon

"Free Music On Hold". No, I'm not talking about some kind of civil rights cause. I'm talking about your wise decision to put yourself in your customer's shoes and to try to enhance their calling and on-hold experiences. A couple of words of caution, however.
First, make sure you cover yourself legally by using only music that you are licensed to use.
Do some web searches for "music on hold copyright", etc. There are strict laws governing use of virtually any material - music or otherwise - which has been written, recorded, or produced by someone else. These laws are actively enforced, and substantial fines are levied against violators.
Second, if you don't have the budget for a professionally produced on-hold music and message production, "free" hold music is a good first step, but do your best to make it sound as professional as possible. Find the best quality music you can and play it on the highest quality player that you can afford. Take a hard look at your phone system. Is the sound quality of calls clear - both for callers on hold and when connected to an extension on the phone system (i.e., when talking to someone in your office)?
Call in to your business from several different outside telephone numbers and listen to the quality of the sound of the phones when someone answers the call as well as the quality of the on-hold sound. It shouldn't be noticeably scratchy or "tinny" sounding. It should be reasonably clear and you shouldn't have to strain to hear. Nothing about the experience should be distracting or annoying. If it is, go through the system piece by piece and identify and upgrade the offending elements. I.e., if there is bad sound quality the problem may be in the music player or in the phone system - or it could be in the phone line or the wiring between the "demarc" (point of demarcation) and your phone system. That is, it could be somewhere between the phone lines out "on the street" and your building or it could be somewhere in the building.
Make the calling and on-hold experience a pleasant one, and make it as easy as possible for your customers to be impressed with your professionalism. Just make sure you cover your legal bases in the process.
On hold music and messages are an important part of any serious business. Let the professionals at Hold Time Studios help you make the most of your customers on-hold experience.

Friday, April 5, 2013

These People Don't Really Want to Work By Larry Wenger


As we go around from one organization to the next, we are often asked about the younger generation and their different attitudes toward work and the organization as a whole. We are talking about people born since 1980: Generation X; Generation Y and "Milleniaums." Wikipedia says they are often called the MTV Generation. These are the people who have grown up with: the Challenger disaster; the fall of the Berlin Wall; Bill Clinton; the savings and loan crisis; the introduction of the home computer; the AIDS epidemic; Iran hostage crisis; Desert Storm; the dot-com bubble; alternative rock music. Wikipedia goes on to comment on the heterogeneous nature of the X Generation: exhibiting diversity of race, class, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
However you describe them, many supervisors are convinced that the younger generations have our organizations on a slippery slope to disaster. Their lack of long term commitment to an organization; the importance they place on experience and growth; the way they balance their obligations to themselves and family as opposed to the workplace are all seen as presenting challenges, no, threats, to today's managers.
Sometimes the literature contains articles which provide some help to us older managers as we seek to cope with the younger generation in the workplace. After all, they are the people who are applying for jobs in our organizations, we had better learn how to work with them.
So, I was very intrigued when I saw Gail Hahn's article in the 9/21/10 issue of Business and Finance, "Mentors vs. Tormentors: 50 Ways to Ditch Your Gen X and Gen Y Employees". It boils down to the following conclusion. If nothing else, Generations X and Y present a real challenge to the now old fashioned "command and control" brand of management.
The younger generation of workers is not prepared to take "my way or the highway". Nor or they ready to accept the idea, without testing, that you, their manager, have their best interest at heart. They want choices and input. You are confident that you will make the best choice for them, of available alternatives. They are suspicious. They will want you to lay out the options and listen to their input. They want to interact; they want to be heard. They want to feel like they are part of the team; like they are one of the reasons the organization is able to meet its mission. They will be much more responsive to the commitments of their team then the directives of their supervisor.
In addition, they expect you will be up to date technologically and that you will use technology to solve problems and improve client services. They expect their colleagues will communicate competently be email and texting. Someone recently said, "If you have decided you will not use texting, you have decided not to communicate within anyone In your organization under 35."
Do these ideas feel threatening, make you angry... or do you find them challenging? Do you feel yourself "digging in" or are you ready to change and grow?
Do the leaders in your organization know how to establish positive, working relationships with their direct reports. Or, do supervisors rely on the "gun-to-the-head" brand of management. Want to teach your supervisors to listen; to develop constructive work teams that actually get the job done? Send me an email and receive our weekly newsletter - The Mentor. It's free and every subscriber in June will receive a copy of our new Hiring Report - how to hire top performers consistently. lwenger@workforceperformancegroup.net


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Free - And Legal - Music Download Sites By Richard Keane


While the Internet is not the free music Wild West it was a decade ago, there are still plenty of music download sites where you can download music for free, and do so with a good conscience. Especially when it comes to independent musicians, we should make every effort to find only free music authorized by the artists themselves. Here are some excellent music download sites that will allow you to do it:
bandcamp.com
Bandcamp is an especially good place to discover independent music, as opposed to Top 40, major label fare. This is one of the largest online music platforms, and one highly valued by musicians themselves. Not only does Bandcamp allow musicians to make more money per download (starting at 85% vs. iTunes' 70%), but it gives them the ability to offer free album and single downloads, and even sell physical merchandise. If you're ever feeling adventurous or curious, just go to Bandcamp's home page and click "discover" to see new arrivals, best-sellers, and artists' recommendations. And Bandcamp has recently made it possible for music fans to create their own pages, to show off their "collection" of music found on the site. Fans can then follow each other, say people with similar or intriguing tastes, to help them discover even more free music.
While not everything you see will on Bandcamp be free, a large percentage of artists offer some kind of free download as a way of introduction. Your only cost will be your email address, so expect some emails down the road. But you can always unsubscribe; a small price to pay to discover some great music.
noisetrade.com
While heavy on pop and indie rock, Noisetrade is another excellent place to discover and download new music. Everything here is free - this time an email address and postal code is your only cost - and artists often offer entire albums, multi-album samplers, and live records on the site. And, as with Bandcamp, you can stream the music before deciding to download.
freegalmusic.com
While Bandcamp & Noisetrade are music download sites with large catalogs of very good independent artists, Freegal Music provides millions of songs from 10,000 record labels, including Sony Music. You can download free mp3s, but there are a couple of catches. The first big one is that you must have a library card number from a public library that subscribes to the service. If you've got that (check with your library), you're in, and you can start downloading Adele, The Shins, Kelly Clarkson, Mumford & Sons, Train, the list goes on and on. The other catch is you have a maximum number of free downloads each week - this depends on the library, my own account having a maximum of 5 free downloads per week.
Straight to the horse's mouth
That is, go straight to an artist's website that you're interested in downloading free music from. Whether it's an indie warrior or a major label stalwart, odds are they've got at least one song to download as a thank-you for stopping by, and it's usually easy to find on the very first page.
While you're on the hunt for some great free music, allow me to recommend a favorite of mine. An excellent folk-pop act from Nashville - prattle on, rick. - has two free songs for you at http://prattleonrickmusic.com . Click and download in an instant - I personally guarantee you won't regret it, and I know that they'll send you several more free downloads just for being on the mailing list.