free downloads

Free Download!

I wonder how many people will arrive at this page hoping for free music… well I don’t want to disappoint.

Gone For Now

I have received a few google alerts about my music being available for free download from various sites in the past, but this week I started getting lots of them. This is because someone thought that it was okay to upload one of my albums to Pirate Bay, which then took that album to many other torrent sites. I normally wouldn’t have been too bothered, but the person who uploaded my music had previously put up my bio and a video on his website, along with many other musicians. In fact, I was in quite good company.


(photo bought from istock.com)

This is why I was so confused as to why an apparent fan would then decide to make my music free to anyone. In his defence, he did reply to a post I put on his blog asking why he had put my music on Pirate Bay and, although he took my music down from Pirate Bay, he seemed to think that copyright was a matter of opinion and not law. This seems to be the big sticking point in this area.

Now back in the 90s when Napster first appeared, we were guilty of downloading albums (that are now lost on some old operating system somewhere). There was no itunes and we bought a lot of CDs so we didn’t see the harm. We were wrong. But now music is so easily available to download for a very reasonable price and there is no excuse to go to free sites. I used to spend my pocket money on singles and now my kids spend theirs on downloads. No Limewire allowed in this house and my kids appreciate the value of music.

Today music lovers are lucky that musicians are usually driven to make music for a reason that has nothing to do with money. If it was money based there wouldn’t be a lot of music out there, and certainly not quality, innovative stuff. And many musicians do give music away. I give away a song in exchange for signing up to my email list. I gave away all my music while writing my Song of the Week. Itunes has a free section.

If someone can’t afford to buy my music then I would rather they email me and ask for some mp3s rather than downloading and supporting these free sites, who are not only giving our music away, but they are also making money from us via advertising.

Ask me. It would just be more honest.

How much do you give away?

All of it? None of it?

We make music because we want people to listen to it but when it becomes a full time job we also want to make money… at least to pay for all the chocolate and the shoes!

So the quandry is how much of our music should we give away?

In an ideal world I’d give it all away and live off a rich husband… but he’s not and I like to contribute to the household.

I am about to put out a new album of remixed, mastered songs from my Song of the Week collection. While I was writing and uploading the songs they were all free downloads, but do I take them down now that I have something to sell? Will people buy my album if they can get a slightly less polished version for free?

I have decided to leave them up there. The more I read about true fans, the more I believe that people who want to support you and wish you to continue making music will always buy your music. Those that want it for free will find it anyway.

I know I have 1 true fan (and hopefully more than that). Today he put in a pre order for 12 CDs today without me even sending an email to advertise a pre order. After offering him 12 for the price of 10 he suggested a pre order special… and helpfully pointed out a few errors on my website, which is why I spent today up to my eyes in HTML! But this is someone who really cares.

So I have set up a pre order special. As much as I would love to give it all away, I would like to at least cover my costs 🙂

http://www.helenaustin.com/sowspecial.html

I appreciate anybody who buys my music… there is no greater compliment.