How to automate a “preview” file for your music.

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As some of you may know I am in the throes of building my own music licensing site for just our music (no, I’m not starting another music library!). But what the heck everyone else seems to be doing it and I liked the challenge, particularly as I wanted to create it for little or no cost.

I finally have all the elements together using WordPress and the many plug-ins available. The one element I had been hitting a wall on was how to automate the creation of a few hundred MP3 “preview” files from my wav files. I needed the preview files to include a mixed in voice that says “Preview” every 5 or 10 seconds. Sure it’s easy to do one at a time but a few hundred? Nauseating drudgery to say the least.

I had been beating around the net for the last couple of months and could not find any software until I stumbled across a website today at http://www.mp3sidekicks.com/

They have this cool little program called Audio Batch Transformer. It allows you to batch perform up to 100 files at a time of almost any task – add effects, filter(s), mix a file within, add a file to the front or end of a batch of files, add ID tags, set sample rate, convert format – and on and on! What caught my eye was the fact that it will mix in a second file (in this case my “preview” voice), normalize it and save it as an mp3.

Initially the program would only mix in the 2nd file for the length of that 2nd file. That’s a problem if your 2nd file is only a couple of seconds long. I e-mailed support that I would want my two second preview file to last the length of the first file (my music file) with selectable repeat times of “preview”. Within an hour or so MikeB had added the feature to the program. It works great and his price for personal use is to pay what you think it’s worth, with a $5 minimum! He does have a price for commercial use so you will need to contact him about that. Check out the program at http://www.mp3sidekicks.com/batch_transformer.htm. Great program, great price and great support!

BTW I have no financial interest in this. I was happy to have discovered an inexpensive solution to a vexing problem and it’s worth passing on.

8 Replies to “How to automate a “preview” file for your music.”

  1. I was wondering about this myself and wanted to ask some BASIC questions:

    Is there an alternative to creating a webpage where you can put samples of your tunes? I didn’t know if MySpace has any features for musicians where music can be sampled. The main concern is the time for creating a webpage (unless anyone has shortcuts) and cost of maintaining one. (I know some libraries request a link where they can listen to your songs, but I couldn’t get a player installed at my Filezilla site where the music is).

    This aspect of the business is where I need to focus on making the music accessible so any comments from experience are appreciated.

    Also, if you are the direct seller of a song, how do you handle self-publishing, which the library would take care of normally.

    Finally, when registering titles with PRO, there’s a question about royalty percentages, which is different for different libraries. How is that handled if you have a song with different libraries?

    Thanks for any info.

  2. This is great info, Art. I would love to hear more about what you are using to put together this website and how you are setting it up.

  3. Hi Art, thanks for the great tip! I’m wondering though – how important is such an audio interruption? I have this crazy idea that the people that would steal music from a library’s website (using pretty sophisticated means to do so) would be the same kinds of people that would just use any music without permission. Why would they then bother to steal music from a library when they could steal music from a famous artist / band?
    I guess one reason is that with something less recognizable, they could get away with it more easily. But would they really care about that, if they knowingly steal music via sophisticated means from a website?
    When I go to a library’s website to check out the music, I find the audio interruption really distracting. Maybe it’s ADD, but it’s hard to get into the mood of a piece of music (especially slow brooding stuff) when there’s a loud interruption every 10 seconds.

    1. Hi Matt,

      There are a number of ways to cloak and hide the original music files and the download URLs from being stolen. If there is a way, and they are that determined, then there is not much I can do about it. I am making sure to not have the voiceover so loud it’s distracting but loud enough to let someone know it’s not an original. I’m also including our URL in the voiceover. If somewhere down the road they forgot where they got the music, they will know how to contact us. I guess there’s no real way of knowing if it’s a turnoff or not.

      Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!!

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