Monthly Archives: August 2010

SoundCloud CC Interviews Part II – EardrumsPop!

This is part 2 in a series profiling SoundCloud users using Creative Commons licenses. to see the whole series, click here.

As the second part of our ongoing interviews with SoundCloud users utilizing Creative Commons,  we sat down with EardrumsPop, an independent netlabel based in Norway putting out fantastic indie pop music from all over the world.  Their latest compilation, Between Two Waves, is based on one of our favourite themes – collaboration – with artists and artwork designers working together virtually to deliver a wonderful three disc set.

Let’s go…!

Hi EardrumsPop! Can you describe what it is you do for us?

EardrumsPop is a netlabel focused on warm and melodic music in genres like indiepop, folk pop and electronica. We release free, digital singles, EPs and compilations in packages that include good artworks from our favourite illustrators and an informative booklet with info about the bands. We want to spread the word about bands we love, and since we also love artworks, we want to present good illustrators to our audience. By releasing this for free, we reach a lot more people than if people had to pay for these releases. It’s more fun without the money. Money changes everything.

How do you decide what to upload to SoundCloud? Is it just some of your material?

At the moment we have all 40 tracks of our latest compilation “Between Two Waves” on SoundCloud and when we start our next project, the new songs will also be uploaded there. The reason why we chose SoundCloud was because we needed an effective system for sending digital promos out to blogs and websites, and an easy way to share teasers from the album before it was released. After the release, SoundCloud has been perfect when we want to tell people about a specific band, or when we want to add streaming songs to our websites. We love the embed-widget option, and especially the ability to embed artwork into it.  It allows us to show our great cover artworks while we stream the music.

Baffin Island – You Make Two Weeks Two Days by EardrumsPop

How did you start releasing material with a Creative Commons license?

One of the main goals for our label is to spread the word about new and  interesting artists. CC encourages sharing, and at the same time, it takes care of the artist’s rights. In our case, we want as many people as possible to listen to the music, so we want to specifically allow sharing of our releases. At the same time, we want to take care of the artists’ rights, and restrict what the listener can do with the songs without the artist’s permission. We want to be free’er than regular copyright, but not without any rights at all. “Between Two Waves” was the first of our releases where almost everything (39 out of 40 songs) was created especially for us and we could control the type of licence used.  We always encourage the bands to use Creative Commons, but the decision is always theirs to make.

So, how are the licensing working out for you and the bands involved?

The songs have been shared, a lot, and the people who have used the music publicly have always (as we know) linked back to us and the artists. The songs have been used on several podcasts and been played on several net-radios. For us as a tiny label, it’s also much easier when people ask if they can use the songs. We can say yes, without going through managements, other labels or the artists because we know the songs are meant to be shared.

How has SoundCloud helped you? Do you engage with the community and are you able to use your SoundCloud page as a showcase for your audio?

It has helped us a lot, especially in the work to promote the release. We used SoundCloud to send out “secret” links to the songs before the release, and we also made genre-specific sets to showcase the music to special blogs who only write about one type of music (folk-blogs, indiepop-blogs etc.). The embed-option made it really easy for blogs to play the music to their readers, even if it wasn’t available for download yet. We still use it to showcase the album and specific songs for our followers on Twitter and Facebook, and we embed tracks on our sites when we write about the “Between Two Waves” artists. We do engage with the community, follow other “SoundClouders”, and especially the last few months, bands have sent us demos through SoundCloud. It’s a wonderful tool!

What does the future hold for EardrumsPop?

In October we will start releasing a series of monthly, digital singles. The singles will feature two new songs by the bands + a cover of a small indie-band they think deserve more attention. The covered band will also be featured in the booklet. The release schedule is firming up and there are some really good bands that we are excited to share! You will of course be able to listen to and download these singles on SoundCloud from the middle of October and the months after- start following us on SoundCloud so you know when they are out!


Great, thanks to Knut and the team for sharing the love!  So, now you’ve read all about them check out a selection from their Between Two Waves compilation and follow them for the next batch of sunny tunes.

SoundCloud Part II of the SoundCloud Sessions with Ian Hooper

In case you missed the kick off of our SoundCloud Sessions, here’s a little description of what it’s all about:

These sessions are intimate performances recorded in the SoundCloud office located in Berlin. They’re dedicated to showcasing the many talented bands and musicians on SoundCloud! The first session was with the lovely Lail Arad.

Our second session is with SoundCloud’s very own Ian Hooper, a great musician from the US of A. Ian’s friends, Andrew Saunderson and Claudio Donzelli, joined him and played a great acoustic set. Due to the rain and wind outside, they performed on the office steps connecting the two floors for all to hear.

To check out the full session with live videos, visit the SoundCloud Sessions tumblr. For now, you can listen to the set below for all the session’s recorded songs.

SoundCloud sessions are recorded in both audio and video format, and will be added to the SoundCloud Sessions tumblr. To keep yourself updated, you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr and/or subscribe to this WordPress blog! And keep in mind, if you’re a musician heading to Berlin or already in Berlin, drop us a track in the SoundCloud Sessions DropBox to get your music heard!

Send me your track

Don’t be shy now!

David CC Interviews Part I – Pratham Books

This is part 1 in a series profiling SoundCloud users using Creative Commons licenses. To see the whole series, click here.

Those of us who grew up with access to children’s books know how important they are, but millions of children in India have been raised without well-made books in their language. Pratham Books was founded over 15 years ago to address this problem, and in the years since have published hundreds of high-quality children’s books in different Indian languages. In 2008, they started releasing books under Creative Commons licenses, and earlier this year collaborated to release audiobook versions of some of their titles, also using Creative Commons. We caught up with Gautam John from Pratham Books to talk about how SoundCloud has helped them distribute their audiobooks online.

Hello Gautam! Can you describe the goals of Pratham Books, and the kind of audio you’re producing? What is the background behind that?

We didn’t set out to produce audio books – we set out with a mission to put a book in every child’s hand. That said, we have always wanted to be as inclusive as is possible but as a small non-profit, we do function under severe constraints of time, money and bandwidth. I’ll let my colleague Maya explain how it came to pass:

When we tweeted about the voice volunteers of the Rotary Helen Keller Talking Book Library, our friends @owos mentioned that Radio Mirchi had done something similar. A quick Google search ensued and with an email address at hand, a mail was sent out to the Radio Mirchi team. A few days later, we managed to speak to Pallavi from the Radio Mirchi team. The aim was to ask about their CSR initiative of recording books for the National Association of the Blind and write a blog post about it. During the course of the conversation, we got talking about Pratham Books. And thanks to some of our Creative Commons licensed books, our books were readily available for them to record.

Where would these audio books go? To the National Association of the Blind.

Recently we received some of the audio books recorded by Radio Mirchi and we were delighted to hear the results. Crowding around a laptop, we listened to the recording with a child-like eagerness. The recordings were so good that everyone in the room was smiling and clapping by the end of the story. The Radio Mirchi team has done a fantastic job and we are sure that the children who hear these stories will have smiles as big as the ones on our faces.”

That comes from a blog post we’ve written that has more reading.

These audio books and more are also available over at Inclusive Planet, a online platform for the print impaired to connect over accessible books, ideas and conversations.

What are some of the difficulties in producing a project that spans so many languages?

For us, we face challenges of translation and all the other associated problems of proof reading. However, the production of the audio books was done with Radio Mirchi – we have them to thank for this.

How did you start releasing material with a Creative Commons license? How have the licenses been beneficial to your organization’s aims?

The Creative Commons licensing model is one that helps us achieve many of our aims of flexibility and scalability in helping catalyse our mission of a book in every child’s hands. In particular, three things stand out – a shared value system of sharing and openness, a community that was deeply embedded in these ideals and, from our perspective, it is massively scalable as well.

Is there any book on SoundCloud that you’re most proud of, or has an interesting story behind it’s creation?

Yes! In particular, Moon and the Cap. Barkha Deva, who follows us on Twitter and is an avid supporter of our work shared her experience on Twitter and then volunteered to and did record this one along with Radio Mirchi.
Moon and the Cap- English by prathambooks

How has Soundcloud helped you? Do you find yourself engaging with the community, and are you able to use your Soundcloud page as a showcase for your material?

Oh it’s been fantastic! Without Soundcloud we had no real way of sharing this wonderful work with a wider audience in an easy and elegant manner – Soundcloud has made it possible for us to showcase this jointly created work in a way we would never have been able to do and also to engage with the Soundcloud community too. Thank you Soundcloud!

Thank you to Gautam for taking the time out from his busy schedule to share these insights on using SoundCloud for audiobooks and Creative Commons licensed content. Stay tuned over the next few days for more interviews with CC users on SoundCloud!