I just created an account on Amie Street after a recommendation from Robyn. The concept seems pretty cool. Artists upload their music, and users can recommend, discover and download it. The price of each song starts at $0, but as they become more popular it rises to a maximum of 98 cents. Artists receive 70% of the profits, after they cover an initial $5 setup fee.
My first impression in trying to set up my artist account… why do we need albums?
I’m all in favour of the concept of an album. I don’t think it is dying or dead. Albums like Lateralus or Whatever and Ever Amen or Hopes and Fears are solid collections. There is a power in a good collection of songs; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. But there is also power in individual songs. Why do all my songs need to be released as part of an album? That’s a pretense in a digital world. In the days of vinyls or casettes or CDs, it would only make sense to release a collection, but with online distribution, I often prefer to release tracks as I record them. I might choose to put them together on a disc one day, group them into a collection, but Amie Street forces me to associate tracks with albums.
I look forward to using the service whenever customer support has enough time to do what I should be able to do myself. Amie Street seems like a cool idea, but they’re schooled in terms of flexibility and technical know-how by services like Last.fm. However, I shall withhold complete and authoritative judgment until I’m actually able to use the damn thing.
Update: Customer service responded in 11 minutes! However, the uploader froze in the same place the second time I tried… I’ll post again when I’ve got it sorted out.
Update: Well, it took a few tries and a few different browsers, but finally the uploader didn’t completely crap out on me. There were still many duds that I had to ask to be removed, but my songs finally made it to my artist profile. Good news? Customer support is great. Bad news? Their AJAX uploader is a piece of trash.