Orange-Dude-Credit-Card
Our credit card system now directly supports foreign currencies, so you will no longer have “currency conversion” fees on your credit card, if you are paying in a currency other than US dollars.

Previously, if your monthly fee was €15 per month, this would be converted into dollars when charged to your credit card. This would cause you to incur a currency conversion fee, applied by your credit card company.

Now, the €15 charge will go through as Euros on your card, so there is no currency conversion fee.

So… in effect… doing business with us just got a little bit cheaper…

We recently had a client build a playlist with over 2700 songs in it, which the customer was having trouble downloading, given their limited internet bandwidth.

So… we added a feature, which makes a script to download each song in your playlist, one at a time, instead of as a big single file that can be hard to get entirely if your internet connection is slow or unreliable.

To use this feature, choose the (script) choices in the “download playlist” choice (which you’ll find at the bottom of the songs in a playlist).

Here is what it looks like:

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 At 1.25.50 Pm

The next step goes very quickly, and then you can download scripts that will work on Windows (a batch file), OSX (a terminal shell script) and Linux. You might need a technical person to help you if you don’t know how to run a command line script.

A new “recent” option now appears on MoodMixes’ music pages. We typically add 4 new albums every week.

You can see what recent albums have been added by genre, or for genre “all”. If you want to download them you can either click the “download” button for each new album, or else add the tracks to a playlist and download all the albums together in a zip using the download-a-playlist feature.

Artists are listed by date order, with artists who have had a recent release listed first. If an artist has other albums, these are also shown when you click on the artist. The date of each release is show next to the album name.

If you click the “recent” choice at MoodMixes and you’re not logged in, only albums that are from no collecting society are shown, and this is a much smaller list than if you’re logged in and are allowed to see music from all countries.

The “albums” page also has an “all” genre now too.

Mmrecent

We’ve released a free iPhone app for MoodMixes, which:

  • lets you play background music for your business directly from an iPhone or iPod touch
  • features a simple flip-through-the-genres interface. Tap the image to play. Simple!
  • plays music without needing any permanent connection to the Internet: shows are automatically stored on your iPhone.
  • automatically downloads new music daily when the Internet is available, transparently rotating in new music.
  • You can subscribe directly from iTunes and have Apple charge you the monthly fee, or you can sign up with MoodMixes and enter your name/password into the iPhone app.
  • Has full support for shows that you create for yourself using the MoodMixes web site. These appear as new “Your shows” graphics in the app to the right of the standard genres.
  • Automatically supports both “shuffle-play” and “album-at-a-time” versions of our shows.
  • Lets you disable genres (shows) you don’t want your staff playing (i.e., Hip Hop or Intense Rock), giving them a limited choice of music that’s appropriate for your venue.
  • full support for Apple’s “Airplay” standard, letting you pipe music to remote speakers using inexpensive “Airport Express” devices.

You can click here to install the app using iTunes, or just search for “MoodMixes” in the app store using your iPhone/iPod touch.


Here are two pictures showing the classical and chill out genres, which you access by flipping right or left with your finger:

Img 0435 Img 0436


The currently playing song is automatically displayed:

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You can double-tap an genre image if you want to see a list of downloaded episodes, as well as choose to play specific episodes. However, most people won’t bother with this and will simply single-tap the genre and let the music play automatically.

Img 0439

Lamr

I received this lovely unsolicited email from one of our customers today, La Margherita restaurant in Rugby:

This is just a quick email to thank you for the email and above all for the music. We haven’t updated our playlist for quite a while and while doing it tonight, we realized how fortunate we are to have found your company.

The music is of great quality, the software quite easy to use, an absolute we wealth of artists, styles and albums and all of it superbly managed. We love the fact that we don’t get endless emails and updates and basically we are left to enjoy it, unless there is a problem.


A great satisfaction for us as well is the fact that we do not feed into the commercial mass marketed and marketing music out there. We feel that somehow the artists we play will benefit far more from our money than some celebrity. Thank you again and looking forward to discover some more exciting artists.


-maria

I asked Maria if I could reprint her letter, also letting her know:

I don’t know if you already knew, but MoodMixes is a “fair trade” business, and 50% of what you pay us goes directly to musicians, not lawyers, managers or labels, so you are absolutely right in believing that the musicians you play benefit from your working with us! There’s a short paragraph about this on our ‘about’ page.

-john

to which she replied:

Congratulations on maintaining your principles in these dire times. I am sure you will be able to make it though for more and more years to come, mainly because so many companies I know are tired of the charges and rudeness of PPL and PRS.

Feel free to use our contacts for whatever you might need and if we can help in anyway let us know.

-maria

Thanks for the love!

Band
This week we launched iLicenseMusic, a royalty free music licensing web site, available as a subscription service.

-> We’ve been licensing music like mad for 10 years…

At Magnatune (our sister company to MoodMixes), we’ve licensed our music to over 5000 projects, of which almost 3500 were indie films! Two of these films have won “best film music” awards. I’m really proud of this, and part of what made this possible was being way out ahead of everyone else with what was (for many, many years) a one-of-a-kind model. Our success helped inspire the CCPlus license at Creative Commons as well has 3 copy-cat businesses.

10 years ago, there was no online music licensing : I grafted the stock photo licensing idea from Getty Images onto the music business. There had been one famous attempt by Gerd Leonhard (who is now a good friend, and who tried the idea with his licensemusic.com), that crashed and burned rather spectacularly.

Magnatune’s licensing model has been to sell each different use of our music separately, so people only pay for the rights they need. Ask a musician for all rights, forever vs 30 seconds in a film for a festival and you’ll get a very different idea of what the price should be. For many years, this unbundling worked well, and it got rid of the dreaded “music lawyers crafting a custom agreement” which has killed music licensing revenue for so many labels (well, the lawyers liked that arrangement).

But… in recent years we’ve found that almost all videos go on the Internet, and they also go global. The notions of restricting media types and distribution territories no longer make any sense.

Film festival organizers have been asking for complete clearance of the music, for all uses forever, in order to simply submit a film for consideration at a festival. Our unbundled approach no longer works.

In recent years I’ve also provided music to the same film makers year after year, as they’re a very committed bunch, and keep making movies one after another.

Finally, and unexpectedly, I always thought that Magnatune would be a money-losing idea, and that the real profit would be working with businesses. Much to my (happy) surprise, Magnatune as a consumer business has done just fine. We’re just about to work on a total rewrite of Magnatune, and a good part of that is having it only be a consumer-music-service, and not do double duty as a business-to-business service.

These thoughts and more were going through my mind, as I came up with the idea for …

Ilicensemusic Logo Transparent

–> The new idea

So… what if we were to change Magnatune’s music licensing approach to encourage repeat customers to stick with us, to use more of our music (and of course, less music from the competition), by having a low-cost subscription service? They pay a monthly fee, and all their music problems go away.

Magnatune and its musicians win, since we get a dependable income stream.

Film makers win by lowering their music costs, not having to negotiate, and having all the rights cleared so there aren’t any troubles later on.

So… that’s how iLicenseMusic works — for $89 per month, a film maker (or anyone else who needs a music license) can use our music in their projects and products, and there are no other fees. They can cancel at any time: after which they can’t use our music in new projects or products. Seems fair, no?

Nobody else is trying this business model with music licensing. I thought it’d be interesting to be the first, and to see how it works out. Our old way of doing things worked great for many years, but now it’s time for something new.

As of this week, all music licensing goes to either:

1) iLicenseMusic: film, video, internet, games, presentations, etc…

2) MoodMixes: background music for restaurants, stores, offices, etc…

I’ll let you know how it all works out!

-john

MoodMixes is now available, fully translated, in German and Spanish.

We also have people who can answer your emails in those languages.

If you visit MoodMixes from Germany, Switzerland or Austria, the site should automatically be in German. If not, you can choose “Deutsch” from the bottom of the MoodMixes home page, or simply visit http://moodmixes.de

If you visit MoodMixes from Spain, Mexico or a Spanish speaking South American country, the site should automatically be in Spanish. If not, you can choose “Español” from the bottom of the MoodMixes home page, or simply visit http://moodmixes.es


German:

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Spanish:

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We now have video tutorials at MoodMixes for all the common ways you’d want to download music from our web site into iTunes and your iPod or iPhone.

Each video also has a short bullet-list of instructions, both to remind you of the steps, or if you’d rather speed through the instructions.

You can see all the videos under the “tutorials” section of “info” when you’re logged into MoodMixes:
http://moodmixes.com/m/tutorials

Screen Shot 2012-08-13 At 8.26.34 Pm

We’ve also added them in the interface itself, so you can see them when you might need help:


Downloading a playlist of songs into iTunes and your iPod:

Screen Shot 2012-08-13 At 8.24.46 Pm

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Downloading an entire album into iTunes and your iPod:

Screen Shot 2012-08-13 At 8.24.36 Pm

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Subscribe to a MoodMixes show, so that you automatically get daily fresh music in iTunes and your iPod:

Screen Shot 2012-08-13 At 8.24.27 Pm

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Under each show, you’ll now find easy instructions (and a video) to help you automatically sync MoodMixes’ music to your iPod or iPhone.

Once you set this up, new music is every day downloaded onto iTunes on your computer. Then, whenever you sync your iPod or iPhone with your computer, the new music is automatically synced too.

To find these instructions, look at the bottom of the “ten shows” page, where you’ll see:

Screen Shot 2012-08-09 At 9.18.01 Am

and in the “download” section of the “all shows” page, you’ll see:

Screen Shot 2012-08-09 At 9.18.40 Am

if you click on the “Show” link (next to “Add this show to your iPod/iPhone”) , you’ll see concise text instructions.

In addition, we’ve made a Youtube instructional video, if you prefer watching a video to reading text.

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Here is what the text instructions look like:

Screen Shot 2012-08-09 At 9.16.31 Am

In an effort to simplify the “music” feature at MoodMixes, we’ve removed three of the less frequently used features, and created a new set of “settings” for those of you who want the features back.

Also, we’re just about to release a newly-created set of playlists, especially tailored toward MoodMixes use, which does a much better job of organizing our music than “all genres” or “collections” ever did, so this gives us an opportunity to clean things up and simplify.

This is what the music page now looks like (look at the menu on the left):

Screen Shot 2012-08-06 At 4.19.10 Pm-1

The menu is now 3 items shorter. Namely, we’ve removed:

1) Collections: this was a general “concept” to the album, such as “Woman singing electro-pop”

2) All Genres: this contained about 30 sub genres of albums, but not necessarily that well organized

3) Hot Artists: the albums that are most popular at the moment

Of these 3, only “hot artists” is still available, though it is deactivated by default.

Under the “settings” page at http://moodmixes.com/m/settings (under the “info” section) you’ll now find this:

Screen Shot 2012-08-06 At 4.17.44 Pm

which allows you to hide features you don’t want to use, or don’t want your staff to use.

You can even go so extreme as to disable all menu features, in which case only the 10 default moods will be available for your staff to choose from. You might want to do this if you want to keep tight control over what music is played.

Alternatively, you could create your own shows, and then hide all the menus except “Your shows” so that your staff can only play the music you’ve personally selected.

Note: we’ve also renamed some of the menu items for clarity. The “top shows” menu choice is now labelled “ten shows” to make it clear that there are more (i.e.: vs “All shows”), and the “Main Genres” choice is now labelled “Albums” because that’s the main place you would go if you wanted to find entire albums to download.

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