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.


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:


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.


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

One of Bandcamp’s core services is providing you and your fans with the tools to share your music as far and wide as possible, and in a way that drives traffic back to you. Thus far, those tools have been darn successful: each month, we’re seeing a slew of music being tweeted, emailed, IM’d, and posted to blogs and social networks, and a corresponding boatload of clicks going back to Bandcamp-powered sites from those shared links and widgets. Superb, but we know we could foster even more sharing by offering more embedded player formats, and some basic customization options. We know this because you guys (both artists and fans) have been asking for it. A lot. So, it being incredibly gratifying to build the things you request, that’s what we did.

The new sharing dialog gives you four sizes of embedded player to choose from (pseudoscientifically chosen from a broad survey of the sort of sites where they’re likely to be placed), and lets you customize the background and font colors:


We first give you the Venti, perfect for places where width is no object:

Then there’s the slightly more compact Grande:

The Tall, born to sit majestically atop an American Apparel ad for Unisex Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Deep V-Necks:

And finally, the Short (a.k.a. “Spartacus”):

MSI, Del, Glen Phillips and Speed, Speed, Speed

We’re declaring ourselves 1.0 today! This is the first of three posts about the release, the others are here and here.

Woo hoo! Bandcamp is now proudly powering the site of NYC-based electronic punk outfit Mindless Self Indulgence. We couldn’t be more excited about that, unless we contemplate the fact that we’re also hosting the full catalog of seminal Oakland hip hop artist Del the Funky Homosapien (whose new album, FUNKMAN, will be available as a free download on April 7th, exclusively from Bandcamp). And as if that weren’t enough, Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket fame) recently began using Bandcamp for his solo work, and fantastic Plover and RemoteTreeChildren projects. He saw fit to send us the following Internet letter:

“What I appreciate most about Bandcamp is how elegant it is. Uploading is simple, the automatic conversion into multiple formats works flawlessly, and out of many thousands of plays and downloads, I’ve had only one email where somebody had an issue (and it was user error). I also love getting to see where tracks are embedded and played. It’s invaluable for seeing which campaigns are effective and which aren’t, and it’s cool finding out about a review by tracing song plays and sales directly back to a website. You set out to do one thing and do it well, and you’ve succeeded admirably. It’s a great tool in the arsenal of any musician.”

Glen’s RemoteTreeChildren bandmate John Askew said it somewhat differently:

From inside our pod we hover about, cutting up, dicing, tracking, … the tweaking and twiddling of knobs finds a home on Bandcamp…and into the whereabouts thereof. Our perfect audio machine is Bandcamp! We love Bandcamp! There is no place like home.

Right on. John also sent in this shot of he and Glen hard at work in the pod:


We’re not sure who’s who, but are so very stoked to receive these accolades — thank you comrades!

In addition to the cool-by-association factor, we’re thrilled to see artists such as these using Bandcamp because of their uncanny ability to stretch out the system. Mindless Self Indulgence, for example, has 158 tracks across their various albums and EPs, and sure enough, that exposed a problem where sites loaded slowly for bands with mega discographies. But, we made a few tweaks, and now their site loads 10x faster than before (and yours loads faster too, even if you’re not quite as prolific).

Farewell Mauritius!

Tell me if this exchange sounds familiar:

“Oh dude, you have to check it out! It’s bandcamp dot em you.”
“Dot wut?”
“Em. You. M as in…Mephisto, U as in…girl, u know it’s true.”
“Em you, huh? So what is that, Russia?”

Well hey, we hear it all the time. Thing is, was always available, but we had little interest in paying off the squatters (errr, “brand portfolio representatives”), particularly before we had a sense for whether the site would fizzle or blow up. But thanks to the great feedback on the initial launch, an ongoing desire to maximize the professionalism of all our customers’ sites, and a lingering paranoia that certain gentlemen residing in the San Fernando Valley might snap up the .com for purposes related to music only in passing, we decided to pull the trigger. So there you have it, is now All your old links still work, and will continue to do so (anything .mu will just redirect to .com). Thanks for using Bandcamp, and oh yes, hope you dig the stylin’ new home page and favicons too!

Custom Domains. Custom Domains!

Our aspiration here at Bandcamp has always been to power the site that you consider yours. It’s a fine objective, and limiting our branding to the small logo you see in your site’s footer was a swell first step, but as long as “” was all up in your URL, the vision did not quite match up with reality. Well hoo-ray, because as of this moment, you can point a domain of your own to your Bandcamp site, removing the “” from your URL and multiplying your site’s already-impressive veneer of respectability. For example, if your current Bandcamp site is blü, you can now change that to music.blü, or even just blü Full instructions are right here, but the change on Bandcamp is easy and is made from the Edit Profile page:
So please, banish us to the wings! We can imagine no higher compliment.

On the Expansion of Creativity in The Commons

From the Bandcamp mailbag:

Yo bandcamp dude and dudettes,
I freaking love the site from what I’ve seen so far. But…please find some cool way to support creative commons. I’d like to be able to offer my free mp3 downloads in a way that my audience knows they’re OK to share with their friends. From poking around in the options I couldn’t see anyway to do this. Maybe it could be as simple as a a tick box for the band to check when uploading a file. Dunno man, you will figure this all out I’m sure, you are smart. Just support Creative Commons please 🙂 Keep up the good work. Hugs and Kisses, JD

Hugs and kisses backatchu JD, and everyone else who requested Creative Commons support, then patiently worked around its absence by putting CC links in their tracks’ credits or about fields, slapping CC marks in their header graphics, and other reasonable zaniness. Situation rectified: starting today, you can select a CC license right from the Edit Track page.

So what’s Creative Commons you may ask? You’re no doubt already familiar with the all-rights-reserved, ask-permission-or-face-my-wrath, copyright ©. But what if you want to allow certain uses of your work, like remixing, sharing, and so on? Enter Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that has created a set of free, standardized copyright licenses which allow you to communicate which rights you reserve, and which you waive for the benefit of other creators. It’s basically an easy way to go from “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.” This moderately amusing video provides more detail:

In Bandcamp, you choose a license on the Edit Track page. It looka like dis:


Licenses proceed from most restrictive (“all rights reserved,” the default) down to most permissive (“attribution”). The license names may seem a bit esoteric at first, but easy-to-grasp descriptions of each can be viewed by clicking the “info” link. Once you choose a license, it’s added to the footer of your track (or album, if all the tracks it contains have the same license), like so:


Creative Commons’ mission is “to increase the amount of creativity… in ‘the commons’ — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.” A worthy goal, we think, so if © strikes you as too restrictive, we hope you’ll take a gander at the various licenses and find something that better captures the freedoms you want your work to carry.

Big Ups from BIGSTEREO

Major unsolicited approbation from preeminent music blog BIGSTEREO today:

“Bandcamp is the best site to come to the Internet in forever (think MySpace mixed with iTunes without the annoying features of both sites). Gotta say my one wish for this year is that more bands jump onto [it].”

Damn. Thanks Travis! And congrats to Triobelisk, whose track “Xrystal Eye” is the real topic of the BIGSTEREO post:

Go Paul & Storm, Go! You My Friend

With today’s installment, Paul and Storm’s epic Advent homage to everyone’s favorite songwriter, Randy Newman, draws to a bittersweet close. Dubbed The 25 Days of Newman, it is brilliant not only for its hilarious lyrics, but also for the total mastery of internet publicity that it demonstrates. With meme-savvy themes for The Big Lebowski, Cloverfield, A Brief History of Time, Serenity and more, the project racked up some 36,000 plays in less than a month. To quote Paul and Storm quoting their tour-mate Jonathan Coulton, “suck on that, old media!”

If you haven’t checked it out already, get on it. And should the muse strike, they’ve kindly included the raw piano track so you can create your own Newman-inspired movie theme (though you can’t really hope to do any better than [spoiler alert] The Crying Game). To Paul and Storm, thanks for the great shout-out, and for choosing Bandcamp to help bring this ingenious project to the world.

Free Download Email Capture Thingy™

By crushingly popular demand, you can now collect a fan’s email address when they download a free track or album. Simply tick the “require email address” checkbox on the Edit Track or Album page, and when a fan downloads your music, Bandcamp will ask them for their vitals and email them a link to the goods. You may then extract that solid gold nugget of data from our servers with a flick of your mouse: click Edit Profile, and under the section titled Mailing List, click Export. You’ll not only get the fan’s email address, but their country, zip/postal code, and even the date they signed up. Given the power to use that information for good, or for awesome, we trust you will choose the latter. Enjoy!

Design Customization

Log into your account, click “edit design” in the upper right corner, and have at it. If you come up with something interesting, please let us know about it in the comments. If you come up with something not interesting, remember we reserve the right to close your account without notice for any reason (j/k, animated gifs aren’t even supported). We look forward to your creative response to reasonable constraints! (Preemptive postscript: embedded player customization is indeed on the horizon.)