So your music is recorded, mixed and mastered, your artwork ready… here’s what you need to do to have your files ready for distribution and the world of online marketing.
First of all, you need to have your files in a variety of formats. If your music is on a CD, you can use a program such as Apple iTunes or Windows Media Player to rip from your CD in various formats. Create a folder somewhere on your computer and have several versions of your album in these formats:
Full Quality AIFF File
Your chosen distributor for your music will either require AIFF files or WAV files. It’s a good idea to have both anyway, as some social networking websites will allow you to upload high quality files too.
Full Quality WAV File
As above really, having both of these formats is generally a really good idea.
You will use this format for a majority of the social networking websites you stream your music from. You should not submit an MP3 file to your chosen distributor.
A few social networking websites will not have the server capacity to deal with high-quality MP3s so you should have these low quality versions as a back up. They may also be of a handy file size to e-mail to people as part of your marketing campaign (although you shouldn’t really do this unless it is requested).
As I’ve said above, media players such as iTunes and WMP should be fine to do these formats, but you may want to download a free audio editor like Audacity instead which aside from being an audio editor, can convert files of your choosing.
Once your files are organised, you’ll be ready for the next stage of releasing your music – choosing a distribution partner.