I now need to let everyone hear my tracks, so what are the best MP3 hosting sites?
Now you have an MP3 where are the best MP3 hosting sites on the Internet. You have MP3s burning a hole inside your hardrive and you want the public to hear your works, but MP3 hosting is not the simplest task on earth.
You need to consider you options:
Host the MP3s yourself. This is common but it has some great flaws. Some hosting companies (HC) do not allow certain files on their servers, MP3s being one of them. Remember that you also have a site up and running, this can affect you in 2 ways:
A. Storage space can be limited and you may only be able to house 10 MP3s as well as your graphics etc (you also have to watch for future expansion plans).
B. The main stumpling block is bandwidth. This is the thorn in most musicians side. You are given a certain amount of bandwidth (file size downloaded by users of your site) to use monthly. Bandwidth can vary greatly, from 500MB to 10GIG and well beyond. Most free servers offer low bandwith and once this has been used up (pages of text and graphics use up memory and if that is multiplied by the amount of traffic you get per day then it is easy to see how bandwidth gets munched up). If you throw in an MP3 to the mix your bandwidth will decrease dramatically. Maths time: if 1 GIG is 1000 MB, and one MP3 file is about 3.5MB then 10 downloads of this will become 35MB. This could be done in one day, a minute or a month...you don't really know. If you add another MP3 into the equation that is 70MB zapped out of the way.
What happens when you run out of bandwidth? Well there are two options, the HC will charge you for the extra bandwidth, or they will time your site out- technically freezing your downloads. This has happened to some sites I have used...have I gone back? NO.
Now you can't stop people downloading your tracks, beacuse they will not come back if there is a barrier in the way for them. What they will do is go elsewhere, there are plenty of sites out there that will offer the downloads. So what do you do?
Well you could pay for extra bandwidth, just in case. But that is an expensive just in case. There has to be some more options? Well there are. And I have labeled them the best MP3 hosting sites on the Internet.
Some of these offer free hosting, or an additional pay service (better storage, bandwidth and other extras). Are they worth it? Yes, no doubt. Especially the free services. If you combine a couple of services, hosting a few MP3s each, then you will have a better package and you will not risk your site stalling if one of the sites go under. They also offer an attractive front-end and a professional image which is a high factor in downloading rates and trust.
Incorporating the tracks onto your website is easy- just install a link to your "user area" or even directly to your MP3s (depending on the rules of the site), really easy. The main thing is no headaches for you.
For an added bonus most of the best MP3 hosting sites have forums for contructive critisism (a huge must if you want to progress you music to your audience demands), and they have competitions. These are great especially if you win :) Not only can you advertise this fact on your website but you also get added exposure and higher download rates as a product of winning.
Enough of the text, so what are the best MP3 hosting sites out there?
Ok, listed below are the best MP3 hosting sites, in no particular order (there are quite a few MP3 hosting sites out there, and they offer roughly the same sort of bolt ons, so I have handpicked the general sites that have the lot) :
Best MP3 Hosting: SoundClick
Recommended best MP3 hosting site.
Soundclick. A very good site. Offers unlimited space for (legal) MP3s, your own radio station and own band space. Its free and non-exclusive (which is a great bonus- allows you to use other MP3 hosting services as well). Soundclick has been rated Number 1 in Alexa for unsigned acts (a guide to the top web sites around today) and is your best place to start.
Best MP3 Hosting: GarageBand.
A very professional site that has big kudos and only accepts original MP3s (no cover songs). It seems to be out in front of all the systems out there. There is a life-time hosting with unlimited streaming and downloads (for life). Garageband also offer templates to mold into your own band homepage. There is one downside...you have to pay. There are certain pay options however. Each option offers the above cool options and add a bit more perks the further up the pay scale you go. Once you have paid ($6.99/ song uploaded- basic) it is a one off payment.
Best MP3 Hosting: MySpace.
Recommended best MP3 hosting site.
MySpace- ermmm....what can you actually say about this huge site. Is it a community, is it a movie place, is it a music chat room? Well it is all of them...and that is way important.
You see, what MySpace has on offer to you, the unsigned act, is the chance to get seen by your targetted audience with little cost to yourself...and that is pure genius.
The problem you have with MySpace though is that it is extreamly time consuming. After you have added you 468th friend you don't particularly care anymore for them :) Also they have a 4 MP3 limit!
There are easy way to attract targeted friends and there are techniques that can get you more MP3s onto the site, for free. These solutions come in my recommendation below.
What would I do?
Well I would use a combination of 2 services from the above list of best MP3 hosting sites.
First starting out with Soundclick- its free and has unlimited storage which is a big bonus.
Secondly I would also use MySpace. I think you would be bonkers not to. It is just too big to ignore.
However, please remember not to rush into either. First impressions count- especially amongst musicians, get a bad reputation now and it is a long hard struggle to get back to the starting point.
Secondly, if you make a complete potato of your site design, appearance and everything at the start it is very time consuming to fix...thats if you don't miss anything.
For me, the easiest answer is to actually know what to do before commensing your music making by going into the best MP3 hosting sites around : SoundClick or MySpace.
As stated above, go in prepared and not feet first. If you are new to music creation, the Complete Beginners Guide to Techno/ Trance and Dance has everything you need to know. Click here to get your own music on the best MP3 hosting sites.