Remember when the internet was supposed to improve things re: media and instead we’re in this weird siloed locked-off streaming media bizarro world

Basically the only good platform is Bandcamp


For real like Bandcamp is exactly the kind of service we *hoped* the internet would give us: “hey, people make things, they set their own price inc. free, we provide the storefront, you buy it and the money goes to the creator, you get it in a DRM-free format and can play it however you want, we just make money to keep going & improving and aren’t a VC-funded nightmare company of rampant reckless growth that will do something nightmarish and implode.”

We need more media platforms like that.

@kara if some albums weren't asking for like $10+ (trust me that's quite a lot of money to ask me for) and if lots of rather mainstream artists weren't missing I would absolutely just use Bandcamp tbh

@espectalll @kara I gues I'm in a lucky spot because most of the artists I like are on Bandcamp. It's not much more than a purchasing platform for me anyway - the album goes straight to my hard drive.

@efi @kara similar model but for games and software, increasingly the place to go over Steam for indie games. No DRM, no need to use the launcher, etc, just buy and download

@kara magnatune still exists too and they're pretty good

@amsomniac @kara magnatune is incredibly selective and capricious about who they let into their platform though

@kara is very similar, but for authors. Highly recommended.

@kara they don't even attempt obfuscate or use DRM to protect their free online playback. The browser is just streaming a regular MP3 file.

Compare that to YouTube which has a complex system that is still easily scraped by one of several open source tools.

@marisa @kara YouTube doesn't have a complex system. It just uses HLS, which causes the content to be transferred in chunks. A real DRM system would be a lot more invasive (and cause some viewers to be locked out, which is why I think they haven't implemented it yet).

@kara for games too. I remember trying to publish my hobbyist games online before and platforms like that existing makes *such* a difference.

@kara Very much agree! They also have built in support for Creative Commons licenses. Though, not a way to list or search only CC licensed music, AFAIK

@kara I've been living under a rock. I never knew Bandcamp even existed till now.

Thank you for mentioning it

@kara There is also that has music labels (NetLables) and live recordings (etree). 🎤 📻


@kara while your post is technically good and right about Bandcamp, let's not forget it's not as good as it used to be.

We lost a lot of good features put behind paywalls or simply disappeared with time. I guess it's due to popularity, but yes, it's still one of the best platform for what it does in their field.

@3D63 @kara Couls you please name examples for those features that don't exist anymore or are behind a paywall now?

@jfml @3D63 @kara I heard support for custom domains vanished for people who had not already set it up

(but my knowledge in this regard is limited)

@utf8equalsX this, plus having possibilities to hyperlink entire tracks or albums from one bandcamp to another as long as artist handle is the same, also tax rates increasing (now 20-25%) @jfml @kara

@famiheart @kara venture capital, weirdos who dump money into "upstarts" in the hopes that they turn into twitter.

@kara @jaycie bandcamp is absolutely my first choice for both buying and selling music. I’ve also started using them as a soundcloud alternative since their embedding player is pretty decent (they’re missing a lot of SoundCloud features but those features end up not being useful or even a net positive anyway)

@kara before patreon eventually implodes from fucking their creators and users over to extract more money from them both, Bandcamp should create a patreon style monthly option and open up to more than just musicians in order to capture that userbase

@kara very true. I would like to see some re-imagined, federated version where you could post music directly to the fediverse, but bandcamp has done pretty well allowing for artistic freedom.

@kara i've been using bandcamp more and i like that it has a few ways for me to find new music.

i wish gumroad was better at that. i have a hard time finding the sort of stuff i'm looking for unless i've been pointed to a specific creator/work from somewhere else.

@kara bandcamp is a great service and if some albums were on it i would purchase them there

@kara it be happy with more startups like that too. Been in too many that yearly reorg, pivot, and explode.

@kara I love Bandcamp. SO many amazing bands on there. I buy a few albums a month.

@kara looked at ko-fi on paper seemed similar to me. Saw one funded by an account on the site itself Gratipay i think? now liberapay. That''s also possibly a good arrangement.

Of course, really it should be fair and be able to raise for emergencies, i suppose.

@kara I think itch is kind of doing a similar thing with video games? sure has a similar feeling, anyways

@kara I've bought a fair bit off Bandcamp when artists I liked were actually there. Probably spent $100+

Really sad that the minority of services act like that

@kara and is also pretty interesting similar to Bandcamp.

@kara is really cool too

It is a co-op that you pay double everytime you stream a song until you own it. The first stream costs basically nothing and it doubles from there until you eventually "buy" the song.

You can spend very little by only ever listening to new stuff, or listen to the same artists and listen enough times that you own the tracks.


You can tell immediately from the quality and density of music you have never even heard of that bandcamp is a place that is good for artists. It is a really great feeling to be totally blown away again and again by tiny bands that are putting out amazing stuff.

@kara @sarajack Leanpub is a lot like that! I just self-published there. They even provide tooling to make it easier to create books if you don't have print layout experience

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