iTunes

Independant artists have difficulty getting into the Mastered For iTunes program, but if you wanted to try to deal directly with apple to get in here are the requirements directly from Apple. Even if you meet the requirements they may still referr you. On top of that, they also have payment thresholds and you may never get paid if you don't meet the threshold for your first payment. And now the requirements.

Technical Requirements:

Capitalization Examples

This is a common issue that many of my clients don't think about until they're in the mastering studio getting asked about it. Did you mean to not capitalize this word? Well, here are some guidelines.

No Artwork

Recently, I had a client that ran into some problems with the cover art for their project. It seems iTunes has some rather stringent (in my opinion) requirements for the cover art. Part of me understands that there needs to be some requirements or checks in place and I agree with Apple that people should not be 'misleading' in the representation of their music. But, I felt this particular case may have been a bit ridiculous. For those of you that want to know, here are the specs that I've found.

These things are required and will prevent you from releasing your music on iTunes:

Nick Landis is now a Certified Mastered For iTunes Mastering Engineer.

It seems that every day I hear of a new way to get your songs to the digital marketplace, so it's about time for an update on Digital Distribution methods for your music.  In a more strict sense of the term, digital distribution relates not just to music but eBooks, movies, ringtones, photography, software programs and apps among other things.  There are a lot of stores. . .

Mastered for iTunes made a splash a few months ago when Apple made the announcement that they would accept higher resolution masters for AAC (like MP3) release. I was highly skeptical that it would make the files sound better. 

This question has come up with relative frequency, so I'm going to write the step-by-step directions to let you get your reference CD into your computer as .wav files or mp3 files.

These step by step directions are for converting a disc to .wav files, but the steps will be similar for converting to MP3 too.

Often a source of confusion is the .cda file.  On a windows computer, when you insert a RedBook Audio CD, the tracks show up as .cda files.  One might assume that these are the audio files on the disc because they are the only items that show up in the explorer window. . . that would be wrong.  The .cda files are merely placeholders pointing to a place on the CD that the song starts.  Think of them as what windows calls a 'shortcut'.

An update from the previous post dealing with online music distribution. Things to think about when choosing a digital distribution service:

  • be sure it is a non-exclusive agreement
  • be sure you are not signing your rights to your music away (when in doubt ask/find a lawyer)
  • how much it costs (be sure to look at startup fees and commission percentages)
  • see where your music will be available (iTunes, Zune, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc. . .)

TuneCore

Where does the album artwork on my player come from?  It is a common question in this digital age.  Various players, like iTunes and Window Media Player, download the album artwork (along with the track names) from an online database like the Gracenote CDDB or the All Music Guide.  This information is not actually on a CD itself, but found by a unique 'thumbprint' of the disc on the database.  If your artwork is not showing up, don't worry.  Nothing is w

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