The packaging for releases on the Inman Street Records netlabel is a blog post with links to individual MP3s and to a zip file containing all of the MP3s. The blog as a whole is the label and the post is the album.
For example, this is Shrinking Islands – “The Slow-Moving Aftermath EP”.
3 thoughts on “more blogs as digital packaging: label as blog”
A weblog makes sense to me.
The only thing a weblog lacks is an “index” so that a release can look album-ish. But in personal weblogs, one works around this in a hundred ways, and I’d have to think one could invent a weblog style that permits one to have one’s cake and eat it, too; i.e., be a simple weblog but also have a way to see releases of songs in a songlist/album format.
It’s weirdly comfortable. I don’t know if it’s *effective*, but it seems like a natural metaphor.
On the other hand, there’s something strange about having the musicians create these opaque PCM bytes to be fetched and the label create the communicative human element.
Another way of approaching this style would be for musicians to blog their own music, and for labels to be defined as re-blogs of musicians self-blogs. Hm… A reblog of musician blogs would be an interesting and easy project.
The one downside of having releases be individual posts on label blogs is that they reduce they possibilities for individual releases to have a really strong aesthetic identity. There have been some labels at certain moments in time that have done a great job creating consistent identity across multiple releases (SST in the 80s with all that art by Raymond Petitbon comes to mind), but for the most part, labels are at their best when they help the artists create releases that are coherent aesthetic universes of their own, i.e. when they work to fund great packaging that closely matches and compliments the music itself.
I’ve been thinking about doing a net label to bring together some of the great musicians I know here in Portland. I was thinking about doing individual pages for each song. The page would be mostly art. A full-size browser window is a significant portion of the size of an LP and so you can really do some lush images. Then, since each song has its own url, you can treat it like a resource, where requesting it with .mp3 appended at the end gets you the actual music file and .xspf gets you a playlist representation that has additional metadata, maybe an ATOM feed for new versions, encodings, or remixes if they came along.
Also, in my situation I have a number of individual people who tend to collaborate in different combinations. Like instead of stable bands putting out a series of albums you get: two songs by Greg and Chris, one song by Greg and Will, three songs by Chris and Will, one song by Greg, Chris, and Will, one song by Alan that Greg played slide guitar on, etc. I’ve been thinking about how to model these relationships so that you can navigate through this web of people and styles from one song to others that have some overlap, but I don’t really have a solid idea yet for how to do it. Any thoughts?