Reassessing Your Definition of Illmatic

We’re declaring ourselves 1.0 today! This is the third of three posts regarding the release. The other two are here and here.

UPDATE Dec 12, 2009: Moo has decided to shut down their API, so the cards mentioned in the video below are unfortunately no longer available. You can, however, print up codes yourself by selecting the Print option on your Bandcamp Tools page. You’ll get a nicely formatted document (with crop marks and all) that you can print and cut up to make your own download cards, cheaply and easily. Alternatively, you can click the export link, and print the codes however you like.

A few weeks ago, we sent out an email promising to completely disrupt your world order with some of the new features we were working on here at Bandcamp HQ. Today we’re delighted to make good on that threat with the thrilling conclusion of our 1.0 announcements, download codes. And not just any download codes, mind you, but the sort you can email to your fans OR zap over to Moo for print-on-demand, great looking, and dirt cheap physical download cards.

> VERBOSE

Since day one of our launch, we’ve fielded dozens of requests like this one:

“I think a great feature would be to generate serial numbers to put on vouchers for free downloads. I want to provide free downloads to people who buy t-shirts. This would be mage cool.”

Yessir, it would. Personally, I love the trend of including digital download codes with merchandise, especially when it’s the vinyl, but hate the fact that when I redeem them I’m taken to some lame page hosted by the manufacturer, rather than the artist’s own web site. It should clearly be handled in the same place where your music lives, and if that happens to be Bandcamp, it now is. Here’s how:

Log in to your account and click the new Tools link in the navigation bar at the top. You’ll end up on a page that looks like this:

codepost11

Select the track or album for which you want download codes, give the code group a name (for tracking purposes, e.g., “The Elbo Room 3/12/09” or “January newsletter”), enter a quantity, and click “generate codes.” You can then export those codes for sending out via email (Constant Contact integration details are here), or handing to your local print shop. But mage coolest of all, we think, is the ability to print straight to Moo MiniCards, with your album art on the front, and a unique, one-time-use code on the back. Cards are $20 per pack of 100. Just choose “print cards” and shortly thereafter this sweetness will arrive in your mailbox:

Moo Sample 1Moo Sample 2Moo Sample 3

Your fans then go to your site, enter the code like so:

Enter Code

and are then whisked off to your track or album’s official page where their download starts (codes are single-use, and are considered redeemed once we detect that the download completed successfully). So easy that we repeated it in the gratuitous screencast up at the top of the post.

UPDATE 3/5/09: A few people have been wondering whether codes work with hidden tracks or albums. They do indeed, and they also work with tracks or albums for which download is otherwise disabled.

UPDATE Dec 12, 2009: Moo has decided to shut down their API, so printing is now DIY. If you click the “print” link next to the code group, you’ll get a nicely formatted document (with crop marks and all) that you can print and cut up to make your own download cards, cheaply and easily.

40 thoughts on “Reassessing Your Definition of Illmatic

  1. We met last Fall at SF Music Tech conference. Nice to see you guys are now live! We will highlight this on our site so our readers will know.

    Matt

    VolumeEleven.net – Music News for Music People

  2. Great feature!
    One thing that would worry me about this though is that if the code ends up posted on messageboards, and everyone will get the hi-res versions for free. I think the code should be invalidated after being used for the first time.

  3. good lord you guys have become even more awesome then you were yesterday, and i thought you were pretty darn awesome yesterday.
    thankyou

  4. This is an exquisite execution,
    now set up an equivalent website for the graphic arts ‘artcamp.com’ nah ‘artpark.com’ integrate some of the Acrobat .pdf encryption functionality and “tching”. You are halfway there guys, but be quick I’m gonna register artpark.com and do it myself if you don’t get crackin’.

  5. Thank you so much for this. This will save me so much $$$ sending out promo downloads rather than cd’s. The guy I just sent it to complimented me on how great my music page was and how pro it looked. Thanks bandcamp!

  6. why can’t we sell download cards at our merch table instead of give them away. Save us a ton on cd manufacter.. and also on luggage space when touring europe.

  7. Amazing site. Love it.

    I’d love to see the ability to sell these…
    so practical …who needs the added clutter of a cd anyway 🙂

    Do they all say Free on the back?

  8. We are doing a showcase show tomorrow, which we are recording. We want to offer a download of the show (as individual tracks) at the event, which punters can download once I’ve uploaded the live album. My question is, can I set up an album with no audio on it, get download codes, and THEN upload the audio. (ie: will the codes still apply, or will they only apply to an album that has no more editing /uploading to come?

  9. Can we use the moo card option if we’re based in the UK? It’d be great if we can, especially with some of the gigs we have coming up!!
    Cheers,
    Grae

  10. I joined and uploaded my first album today (6-5-09) – straight from the Florida swamps.

    Wow. Now people will be able to help Obama to “Spread the Wealth”!!

    It would be extra amazing if we artists could upload one or two music videos from our album – – – or would people be grabbing the audio from the video soundtrack?

  11. This is great, but I would like to add one other feature. I would like to be able to generate a multi-use code. Like “good for 100 downloads” so i could post on a forum and first 100 to use it get the download. It’d be great if i could also specify the text to show after successful download (my thank you) and what to say if the code has expired.

  12. Do download codes work for tracks/albums that have not been set as available for download at all?(whether paid, free or otherwise) Because that would suit me best.

    Love,
    robothair

    1. Yep, see above: “A few people have been wondering whether codes work with hidden tracks or albums. They do indeed, and they also work with tracks or albums for which download is otherwise disabled.”

  13. I have an album set up as an ongoing series. I add a song every month or so. Will download cards that I create for the album now download the complete set as I add songs in the future, or will it only download the songs I have on the album at the time the codes are created?

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