I recently used Tunecore to distribute my latest musical release to iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, and a whole bunch of other services.
The album creation and upload process was pretty straightforward, and TuneCore’s user interface is very clean and easy to use. The tracks took forever to upload, but it was ~160MB for 4 songs.
Only two quibbles:
- The help links on the album creation/upload pages open in the same browser window, which made me worry I was going to lose the information I had already entered. These should open in pop-up windows.
- After uploading a track, it says “Verifying file” or something, and a circular icon rotates to show you that the file is being processed. I waited for this to stop, but it never did on its own. I was afraid to do anything else because I didn’t want to corrupt the file I had waited an hour to upload. Turns out, once verification begins, you can add another song below, and when the page refreshes, it will indicate that the previous track has been added successfully. This wasn’t clear to me, so I wasted a lot of time waiting for something that never happened.
These are really just small usability issues…
Each Digital Distributor is Different
TuneCore does a good job of laying out all the payment intricacies involved with each of the digital distributors that you can push your music to. Each service is different and may be more or less profitable for artists. But I figure that the more ways someone can discover my music, the better. Everyone I know buys music from iTunes, but maybe some users of the other services will discover me somehow.
And now…The wait.
After completing the upload and album creation process, then paying, the site returns a message saying that the music should be available in 8-10 weeks. Damn. This is a long time. I’m sure Apple and company have billions of terabytes to process, but still. Two months seems quite long. Oh well. At least it’s out of my hands now.
It didn’t take nearly as long as I feared for my music project to go live with the various services. In many cases, it was only a few weeks. Awesome!