iLike and iTunes

One of the cool things out there for independent musicians is iLike. It's a website that recommends free music by independent artists, by analyzing who your favorite artists are. It knows who your favorite artists are by keeping track of who you listen to in iTunes and your iPod, so you don't even have to tell it your favorites.

All you have to do is go to the site and download a plugin that attaches to iTunes. Then as you play songs in iTunes, a sidebar appears in iTunes that shows you other similar artists with free music you can download. It's really snazzy.

My song Together has been on GarageBand long enough that I'm now recognized as an artist on iLike. So that means that more users will find my music in iTunes, and I'll hopefully get more fans over time.

But in order for that to work, I need people I know to sign up with iLike and "like" me. So once you have it hooked up to iTunes, go to my artist page and click the "iLike this artist" badge in the upper right. You can also recommend the song itself. Also, apparently if you click this link, you'll automatically be my friend, but that's for my user page, not my artist page.

It looks like it also hooked me up to a facebook page. Funny.

GarageBand Awards For Together

Some pretty cool news, my song Together has received a couple of awards over at GarageBand. Along with several more reviews, you can see the awards on Together's page over at Garageband:

  • Best Programming in Acoustic, week of 11Jun2007
  • Potential Soundtrack in Acoustic, week of 11Jun2007
  • Potential Soundtrack overall, week of 11Jun2007

It's the third one that is coolest, because that means that my song is being briefly featured on one of Garageband's main pages. For this week at least, if you go to, and click Potential Soundtracks, you'll reach this page, where you can see my song in the third slot.

Downloads Again Functional

Looks like when I enabled the password-protected jazz standards downloads, I also accidentally introduced a bug where all my other downloads asked for the same password. :) Sorry about that! That's fixed now. All my other music (the stuff I actually wrote) is downloadable again. Have fun!

Jazz Standards Podcast

Hot diggity! After much geekery, I have figured out how to restore my recordings of jazz standards to the website.

As you may recall, I ran into problems with having recordings of jazz standards up on this site. Namely, "it's illegal". Since I didn't write them, you know, yada yada.

So, I've figured out how to password-protect that area of the site and only make it available to family and friends. I already had something informal, but it's much, much cooler now. You can stream or download any of the pieces, or even subscribe to a (password-protected) podcast through iTunes so they'll automatically be downloaded to your iTunes or iPod as I record them.

So, if you have your username/password already (some of you already do), come on over. And if you don't, write me if you think I know you well enough to let you in. (And given that it's mostly friends that are reading this site for the time being, odds are I'll agree.)

Creative Commons License

So, after doing a bunch of research, I've finally figured out how to apply the creative commons licenses to my works here.

All my piano musings have a by-nc-sa license applied to them. That means that you can, without having to contact me and ask, download the pieces, and share them provided my name stays attached. You can also adapt them into your own works provided you apply a similar noncommercial license to the resultant work, and again give me attribution.

All my songs have a by-nc-nd license. That means that you can, without contacting me to ask, download and share my songs provided you keep my name attached. nd stands for "No Derivatives", meaning you can't adapt them into your own works. So it's a slightly more restrictive license.

You can of course feel free to contact me for more permissions on any of them, though. Some of the art musings have already had extra permissions granted to them (even though they are connected to my tunes, I let the artist have commercial purposes for the resultant art). Just contact me, I love to collaborate.

It was fun figuring out the technical end - in addition to each page having a creative commons badge, I was also able to give each song a friendly page name, such as for Phoenix Grace, and even embed the copyright information into the mp3 for each song. That means that as these songs propagate to file-sharing networks, the url for the song home will be spread out there as well, so people will be able to find me.

Recordings of Jazz Standards

I mentioned before that I was having trouble figuring out how to make my recordings of jazz standards available. I can't just put them up on the site for download due to copyright reasons. But still, I should be able to let my friends and family have access to them in an informal manner.

So, if you want to hear or download those mp3s, write me and ask. I've got a password-protected directory on my website that I can give you access to. Right now it's got sixteen songs, most of them of me singing but a couple of piano solo. The way I do it is that when I have a new song, I upload it. And when I come up with a better recording of one of the existing songs, I upload it and overwrite the old one. So it's worth checking back on from time to time.

Tinkerbell's Little Brother (10/31/06 #3)

1:22 minutes

He's clumsy - graceless with his flying, always spilling things. Takes some wrong turns. Sometimes he just makes a real mess of things. It probably frustrates him that he'll never live up to his sister.

Reviews of Together

Together is still being being reviewed on GarageBand. It's such an interesting process. For one thing, since I've always been interested in online democracy and group moderation, their "everyone gets a fair shake" process impresses me. The way it works is that you're guaranteed at least fifteen reviews when you submit a song - from other people that are submitting songs. Positive reviews move the song up the charts, and the further up the charts it goes, the more reviews you get.

This means that songwriters need to be given incentive to review other songs - and they manage that well, by giving you free entries if you review a certain number of songs. And also, if you review, then your song will become more quickly reviewed.

So far, Together seems to be doing fairly well - the reviews are mostly positive:

"Very well done...I found this piece very relaxing."

"Music brings shivers down my spine, it's just that good. ...and with just violin, piano and guitar. I don't know what to write because I just got caught by the music and it mesmerized me completely. And normally I don't even like this kind of music."

"The hook is profound and is repeated sufficiently to make it's metaphorical point. I hope you keep this minor masterpiece intact."

" the end the sound was just too depressing and it just felt like it was beating me over the head with it..."


Together on GarageBand

I went ahead and submitted Together to GarageBand. It's the first time I've used GarageBand's system that reviews songs and lets them climb up the charts if they're well-reviewed. Should be interesting. Click on the badge to find my page.

May Newsletter Posted

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© 2007 Curt Siffert. Some audio protected with a Creative Commons license.
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