This is an exciting period as quite a few things are happening. I hope everyone is doing well and is in good health. The weather has been great here in Oakland, California.
So….a few big announcements, the first being the subject of this post. There will be a few more quick posts, so make sure to check them all out!
Currently East Facing and Duality are available, but on May 17, 2008 at 12am PST, the new VidyA album will become available as a digital download exclusively available at the store.
Why, you may ask, would I want to have my own online store, when my music is already available at most of the major online retailers like iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, Rhapsody etc etc…?
Here is why:
1. Exclusive content and control over timing.
With my own store, I can release special exclusive content such as live concerts, DVD’s, and other things for you at a price that I set. This, is many cases, may be extremely affordable or even $0!
To me, this is huge. This allows you, who have taken an interest in this music, to see many other facets of it publicly than were ever available before. Not just the regular stuff like shirts, but exclusive videos, or perhaps an old concert that was never released, or maybe even a lecture demonstration on a useful topic that I had given recently.
2. DRM-Free. No restrictions.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the dreaded handcuff of the music industry on our digital music. It basically locks you into confusing rules that dictate what you can do with digital audio files that you purchased. In more cases than not, DRM has left me with unplayable files OR getting stuck with one online retailer or another. As a constant music listener, I can vouch for that being both frustrating and unpleasant. I just found that image above on the internet. Pretty funny, but sadly true in a way.
Everything you purchase from the prasantmusic.com digital store is completely free of any restrictions. You purchased it, you own it, you can do what you like with it. I am a firm believer that people who love music and care about art and culture in this world will support the people who make it.
3. I try to present a good thing for everyone. CD + MP3 = Joy.
I can’t tell you how much it has upset me that CD’s are SO extremely expensive these days. If you go into a regular retail store, a CD by a jazz musician is $18.99. Why?? I am a musician, and naturally a voracious listener. But I have to think twice, maybe three or four times whether or not to buy a CD that I really like because of the cost. Plus, that artist is probably getting $0.02 from that transaction.
In the new store, you can order a physical CD with shipping to your door included (no one likes getting to the checkout and suddenly seeing $5 added for shipping!). No CD is over $15. You get a link to immediate downloads of high quality (256kb LAME encoded) DRM-free MP3’s included as well. This has been done by some other well known musicians, and I think its a great idea. It lets you order online without having to wait for the CD to arrive to listen, and saves you the trouble of ripping the CD to your hard drive if you were to buy a CD normally elsewhere. It lets you “have your cake and eat it too.” But why would you have cake if you were not going to eat it? Exactly.
VidyA album releases May 17, digital, physical CD pre-orders OK. Physical CD release May 23, 2008
P.S.: If any of you feel like you would like to have FLAC, 24-bit WAV, Apple Lossless etc., let me know and I may consider adding it to the store if enough people request it.