Artist Guide

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. General Overview
a. Understand the crucial difference between your Member Profile and your Artist(s)/Label(s)
b. Your Member Profile
c. The Participate! dropdown menu

2. Guidelines for editing Artists, Albums and Tracks in the CMS (Content Management System)

3. Upload Audio + a note about Compilations / albums with Various Artists (i.e. more than 1) + a note about GENRE

4. Submitting Content: Guidelines and Site Policies
a. Audio Guidelines | b. Image Guidelines  |  c. Text Guidelines (i.e. Artist bios, Album descriptions)

5. FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!)
Q:
How do I add a 'More Permissions' contact for further licensing?
Q: How do I change the license for my track(s)?
Q: How do I add tracks to a pre-existing album?
Q: Other artists have a $ symbol for donations, how do I add my own donation link or PayPal account to my artist page?
Q: Why can't I upload files from my iTunes library?
Q: How do I reorder albums on my Artist page?
Q: Wait, I have two profiles? What the F, I am confused...
Q: Other artists have tour dates. Where do they come from? How do I add Tour Dates to my artist page?
Q: Other albums have links to vendors, how do I add purchase links to albums?
Q; How do I add another user to my Artist?
Q: How do I delete songs I don't want to share any more?
Q: My band is [X genre], and I entered this, but it's not showing up on the front page...why?
Q: Who put all of this info about my artist here?
Q: What's the difference between Related Artists on the FMA and Related Projects? Is one for artists that sound the same? And what are Associated Labels?
Q: How do I change the Genre for the Track/Album I just uploaded?

note: this guide is a work in progress! Questions? E-mail contact_at_freemusicarchive_._org

1. General Overview

a. THIS IS KEY: Your Member Profile is not the same thing as your Artist(s) and/or Label(s).  This structure is confusing for those who are used to myspace, where artists who have more than one band/label have to remember a ton of different logins, and sometimes have their own personal login on top of that. Here on the FMA, your login gives you access to everything that you need to manage. It's similar to sites like Facebook and Last.FM, where users "own" pages. If you are reading these Artist Guidelines, you are an admin for at least one Artist/Label.

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b. This is your Member Profile. It's where you change basic user settings. You can access this page by clicking on "Profile" via the top-nav, and once you're there, you can edit this page (i.e. change your password, add a photo, etc) by clicking the "Edit This Page" pencil in the top-right. Be sure to save your changes. Your Member Profile should have links to the Artists and/or Labels that you "own". Clicking on the artist/labels that you own will take you to the same front-end page that any user sees, but since you are an "owner", there'll be an Edit pencil in the top right. Be sure to hit "Save Changes" when you're done!

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c. The Participate! drop-down menu offers another path to Manage your Artist(s), Label(s), etc.
Manage Artists --> a list of all artists you have permission to edit. Click edit to edit them.
Manage Albums --> a list of all albums you have permission to edit. Click edit to edit them.
Manage Labels --> a list of any labels you have permission to edit. Click edit to edit them.
Manage Tracks --> a list of all tracks you have permission to edit. Click edit to edit them.
...you get the idea!

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2. Guidelines for editing Artists, Albums and Tracks in the CMS (Content Management System)
a.) ARTISTS
Status
: This should be Published when all is said and done
Website: the artist's home page (you can provide more links with various titles on the right-hand side of this page
Wikipedia: link to the artist's Wikipedia page (if one exists) -- this will come in handy later!
Donation URL: This can be either a URL to a webpage that has donation/purchase links, or a URL to a paypal account. If you want to send users directly to your PayPal account, be sure to use the "email" code that PayPal offers (not the webpage code)
Active Years: [wikipedia is a good resource for this]
Genres: these are the default genres for any tracks by the artist from now on.
Contact Name, Email, and Address - Address should contain City, State, Country, Zip --any format that is compatible with Google Maps.

BIO: a prioritized list of options for how to fill this field:
#1. write your own bio. Just a few sentences is fine, this is just a starting point. Credit yourself and date the entry
#2. fill in w/ info from Wikipedia or other progressively-licensed resources -- credit w/ link & date
#3. Utilize content that your Curator has written about the artist in the past. Be sure to credit the author and provide a URL and date.
*Please see the FMA's policies on text submissions (below)


Related Projects & Associated Labels -- These fields are for related Artists (i.e. share members) and associated Labels (i.e. labels the artist has released music on) who are not already in the FMA database.
*Related Artists (in the familial sense) who are already on the FMA should be entered into the "Releated Artists on the FMA" field. This will create a link to the associated artist's FMA page and vice versa. Labels who are already on the FMA will appear on the Artist's page automatically as long as the artist has at least one album on that label in their FMA discography.

Users -- these are the users who "Own" this artist. Should only be band members. Curators and label-owners who need to edit the artist's info will have the authority to do so without "owning" the artist.

Images -- are worth 1000 words!
* only upload images that you have the right to share, in accordance with the FMA's policies on image uploads (below). Be sure to provide metadata (caption, copyright, source) .
* images can be re-ordered by giving each one a proper sort value
* Dimensions:
Curator Logo: 290 x 169
Curator Top: 476 x 269
Artist: 290 x 290
Album: 290 x 290
Song: 290 x 290
Mix / Collection: 290 x 220
Profile: 145 x 145


Links
Primary website goes in the upper-left corner. More links with titles can be added in the right-hand column. Be sure to add "http://" as a prefix

Notes -- This is an internal field, only viewable by Editors, Curators, Contributors and Curators. Artists cannot view this field. This is a place to list anything you want to pass on to other FMA Editors or that they want to pass on to you.

Contact Log -- any time you contact an artist or label in regards to the Free Music Archive, please log that interaction. All you need to do is say "sent introductory email re: posting a track from new album", something along those lines, and the contact log will add your username and a timestamp. This will help us avoid redundancy and the potentially confusing situation in which an artist is contacted by several people at once.

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b.) ALBUMS
 

:: ALBUM IMAGES
* only upload images that you have the right to share, in accordance with the FMA's policies on image uploads (below). Be sure to provide metadata (caption, copyright, source) . 
* images can be re-ordered by giving each one a proper sort value
 
:: ALBUM TRACKS
* This section includes a list of all of your tracks, and licenses.
* Track-specific info includes: Date recordedGenre and Length

:: ALBUM INFO & SETTINGS
Type: Note: live radio sessions are classified as Live Performance, not Radio Program, which is for non-music programming. 
Artist: all albums must have an Artist who "owns" the album. Even compilations and split releases. *See below for important details regarding albums with various artists 
Status: should be Published when all tracks are licensed and you're ready for the album to show up on the front-end 
Released - (aka Air Date for live performances and radio programs -- FMA logs upload date so don't worry about that)

Album
 Description field. Prioritized list of options: 
#1. write your own bio. Just a few sentences is fine, this is just a starting point. Credit yourself and date the entry
#2. fill in w/ info from Wikipedia or other progressively-licensed resources -- credit w/ link & date
#3. Utilize content that your Curator has written about the artist in the past. Be sure to credit the author and provide a URL and date.
*Please see the FMA's policies on text submissions (below) 

Label: should auto-recognize. You may want to ensure that the label is published and contains up-to-date info by going to Participate! >> Manage: Labels

 

Engineer and Producer/Host: these fields will auto-suggest from pre-existing entries as you type. Curator: (should automatically inherit your curator. If not, fill it in here).

:: ALBUM VENDORS -- let the people know where your album is for-sale, list as many as you'd like!

 

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c.) TRACKS

There are two ways to edit tracks: (1) via the Album Edit mode, select the tracks you wish to edit by clicking on the check box(es) next to their titles and hit "Edit". (2) via Participate! >> Manage: Tracks. The latter provides more flexibility when editing multiple files. For example, you can edit all tracks by an artist by filtering your search by a specific artist name. (This same technique can be applied to Artists and Albums)

Important fields in Track Edit view:
 

GENERAL
Genre -- these feed the Album's genre
Album -- If you change the Album of a track via Track Edit mode, that'll place it on a new album. ***Best to add to a pre-existing album in the database (select from the auto-suggest options), or to instantiate the new album before adding old tracks to it, otherwise our database gets confused!

USEFUL:
Instrumental -- this is set to "no" as a default...not ideal...but be sure to change it if the files you've uploaded are instrumentals! 
Song Info -- a description that appears on the Track page (html ok)
Date Recorded -- this feeds the Album's Date Recorded
 

ADVANCED:
Composer, Lyricist, Copyright, Phonoright, Publisher

Explicit -- Radio-Safe means FCC-friendly. Radio Un-safe means FCC-unfriendly or only play after 10pm. Adults-only refers to extremely violent/pornographic material that should not be made available to users under 18 (fortunately we don't have anything like that uploaded so far!). If you are uploading radio-unsafe content, please provide a description to help DJ's who may wish to edit the song or air it late at night. 

ADMIN ONLY:
Curator -- make sure the tracks you've uploaded are associated with your curator! They should automatically be.
Users -- these are the users who "Own" this artist. Should only be band members. Curators and label-owners who need to edit the artist's info will have the authority to do so without "owning" the artist.

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3. Upload Audio
Pick "Upload Audio" from the Participate! dropdown menu for the easy mp3 upload workflow. Automatically reads id3 tags. aif/wav converter and V/A uploads are almost ready to go. See below for a short-term work-around for compilations.

Step 1. choose an artist from the dropdown. When in doubt, it's best to list the album title (as opposed to "single tracks" mode), even if you're just uploading a couple tracks -- that will allow for purchase links and album-specific info.

PREFERRED BIT RATE: 320-kbps mp3's. Constant bitrate (CBR) strongly preferred. Music must be at least 192-kbps. Talk/interview/radio programming can be lower if necessary.

Step 2. Upload -- once the mp3s finish uploading, the FMA parses info from the id3 tag. So double check to make sure the artist's name is spelled exactly the same way as the artist you are uploading to (i.e. selected at Step 1, in the dropdown menu). That dropdown lists all artist you Admin exactly how they're entered into the FMA database. The FMA will treat The Band (with a "the") as an entirely different artist than Band, and you might be an admin for The Band, but not just Band.

Step 3. basic Artist/Album info -- be sure to choose a genre (or genres) for your upload so that people will discover it when they're browsing by genre. Images are worth 1000 words.

Step 4. Agree to the license, or choose a different Creative Commons option. Click ok to publish everything to the front-end for all to hear, and then edit more details below.

From there, you'll want to view the album to make sure it looks good on the front-end. There should be an edit pencil in the top right. Hit that to see more advanced album fields, including the option to add purchase link(s). Do the same thing on the artist page, where you might want to add things like a donation link.

A Note About Compilations
Any album can be a compilation (i.e. contain tracks from multiple artists), but every album needs an album Owner. So, in Step 1 of the Upload Audio workflow, you'll need to choose an album owner. This could be one of the artists, or it could be the name of your curator, or the name of the person who compiled the compilation.

In Step 2 of the workflow, each track has 3 columns: Artist - track# - Album. Wait for the tracks to upload and for (once the progress bar reaches 100% and a play button appears on the left). If it doesn't automatically recognize the correct artist name from the id3 tag, you should rename it now.

When viewing a compilation on an Artist's page (as part of their discography), it will only show the tracks that the artist has contributed to the compilation, and indicate that there may be other tracks on the compilation which can be accessed via the Album page. Albums that have more than one artist will include Artist name before each track.

In Phase II, we're going to integrate our database with Music Brainz -- they handle compilations really well, by allowing for multiple artists to "own" an album.

A Note Aboute Genre -- choosing genres from the Genre Tree
THE GENRE TREE:
To keep things organized and to make it possible for people to browse by genre, we're growing an FMA Genre Tree of "approved" genres, with top-level genres and sub-genres. There should be a link to the Genre Tree from every spot on the site where you are able to enter a genre, but just to be sure, here it is: http://freemusicarchive.org/genretree.

Official genres will show up as auto-complete options as you type, so try to choose from these options. It's best to rely on the auto-complete options, because our database treats "Hip Hop" as an entirely different genre from "Hip-Hop". Unofficial genres have to be approved by editors before they are visible on the front-end. If you feel strongly that a new genre should be created, or have suggestions for how to make the Genre Tree more useful, please share them with idea @ freemusicarchive.org

HOW/WHERE TO CHOOSE GENRE
choose a genre from the Tree on Step 4 of the upload workflow. If you want to get more in-depth and give each track its own genre, or change after the fact for Metal Rouge, go to the Edit Album page and select the tracks you want to edit. Click "Edit Tracks Individually" in the bottom-left. You can listen to the track on the File Info panel, and give it a genre on the Basic Info panel. You can navigate from track to track using the Previous / Next buttons, then hit Save All Edits when you're done.

Multiple genres are possible, but you must hit "add" if you are adding more than one genre (up to three).

*Editing an Artist's genre (via Artist Edit page) will only impact future uploads, and will not affect tracks that have already been uploaded. These must be edited from the Manage Tracks or Edit Album page. [video]

WHICH GENRE SHOULD I CHOOSE?
It should be the predominant sound of the music, not a subtle influence. Like if you're describing beer, people might say it has hints of raspberry. But somebody shopping the grocery store for raspberries is going to be very upset if they get beer instead. Likewise, if an FMA visitor is looking for Blues music, and they browse the FMA for blues, but instead get a sort of bluesy punk rock band, they are going to be upset and won't trust us! Please choose your genre from the perspective of somebody browsing the website.

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4. Guidelines for Uploading audio, text, and images

As an Artist, you may upload and contribute Content, including audio and/or video files, artist/album/track descriptions, images, and blog entries. All Content on the Free Music Archive must be legally accessible / downloadable by Site visitors for free. This is essential to the site's mission. You are responsible for verifying that the content you submit is legal and does not infringe the rights of any party, in accordance to the site's Terms of Use and Upload Policy.

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a. AUDIO GUIDELINES
Some big red flags to watch out for:
* Mashups
* Remixes
* Cover songs
* Music that is incorporated into non-music radio programming
These types of audio works CANNOT be licensed under Creative Commons unless you can verify that all of the source material (including recordings and compositions) are licensed under Creative Commons.

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b. IMAGE GUIDELINES
*The FMA provides 3 metadata fields to help preserve information about images: (1) Caption, (2) Copyright, (3) Source URL
*only upload images that you have taken yourself, or that you have the right to post and does not infringe the rights of any party
Some possible resources:
#1: see if your organization has ever posted photos of the artist on your website
#2: search for a Creative Commons image on Flickr using Advanced Search
#3: use an image that the artist and/or their record label has provided specifically for promotional use. Be sure to provide copyright info

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c. TEXT GUIDELINES
You must only submit written content that you have authored yourself, or that you have the right to post (i.e. GNU licensed content from Wikipedia). Please provide attribution (name, source URL, date, and any applicable copyright info) for content sourced from other websites. Content that you or your curator have already written about the Artist or Album/Live Session/Radio Program can be a great resource.

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5. FAQ's

Q: How do I add a 'More Permissions' contact for further licensing?
A: on the Manage Artist page, under the Your Public Info section, choose "Yes" for "Allow Email" and be sure to fill out the Contact Email field

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Q: How do I add tracks to a pre-existing album?

1. Sign in, go to the Album page (freemusicarchive.org/music//) and hit the Edit Pencil. Another way to get here is to enter a pre-existing Artist / Album title combo on Step 1 of the regular Upload process, or by going to Participate (dropdown menu) --> Manage Albums --> Edit.
2. Scroll down to the Album Tracks section and hit Browse Your Files to upload your new mp3(s).
3. Once a black Play button appears next to the track, verify that the ID3 tag for Artist and Track Title have been properly parsed.
4. TO ADD GENRES / METADATA: hit the Check Box next to your new tracks, and then Edit Selected to enter Edit Tracks mode.
5. TO PUBLISH: hit the Check Box next to your new tracks, and then the License button to choose your license for these tracks and publish them, and voilà -- they are live!

 

Q: How do I change the license for my track(s)?

A: for ALBUMS: Login and go to Manage Albums (via the Participate Dropdown menu). Click the name of the album. Scroll down to the Tracks section, and you'll see the license listed above the tracks in green highlight. Click that, and you can change your license using the CC licensing API.

for SINGLE TRACKS: login and to go Manage Tracks (via the Participate Dropdown menu). Search for your track from the top-right search bar. Hit Edit once you find the track, and change the license via the Copyright tab dropdown menu. Click Save Edits. You'll be notified that this agreement is "pending," and taken to a new page to sign off.

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Q: Other artists have a $ symbol for donations. How do I add my own donation link to my artist page?

A: Check out the DONATIONS section of your Artist profile (click the Edit Pencil on your Artist Profile, and scroll down). There are three fields:

1. Donation URL -- any website you use to accept payments, sell merch, feel free to link it.

2. PayPal -- simply enter the email address you use to accept PayPal donations/payments. You must have a PayPal account already set up. if you use a PayPal account to accept donations, this will replace. *This will replace the Donation URL*

3. Flattr is a social micropayment system that makes online giving as easy as hitting a "like" button. The flattr button appears as its own button on the page. Once you have registered for an account at Flattr, simply enter your Flattr username into the field and a Flattr button will appear on your Artist profile page.

See above for more info about editing your artist profiles

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Q. Why can't I upload files from my iTunes library?

A. it might be that your itunes converted the files to .aac/.m4a instead of .mp3. We hope to be able to accommodate these other filetypes down the line, along with .aif, .wav, .flac, and .ogg, but for the time being we can only accept .mp3 uploads.

If you used itunes to convert the file from a lossless format (like .wav, .aiff, or an audio CD), you can change your preferred format to mp3 by going to

File: Preferences: General...
...when you import a cd (Import Settings)
mp3 --> custom --> 256 and uncheck Variable Bit Rate (our "preferred" mp3 format is 256kbps regular-stereo constant bitrate...but any mp3 will work)


then convert the tracks to mp3 by right-clicking on it in your itunes library and hitting "create MP3 version". It's best to make an mp3 out of an uncompressed file like a .wav or .aiff, not .m4a or .aac which are already compressed.

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Q: How do I reorder albums on my Artist page?

A: Hit the Edit Pencil on your artist profile, then you can click and drag to re-order your albums. Hit the Edit Pencil again to save your changes.

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Q: Wait, I have two profiles, what the f?

A: Your member profile is different from your artist profile. Did you read the first part of this page?

 

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Q: How do I import Tour Dates?

A: Tour Dates are scooped up from last.fm, a great website with a great API. If you haven't claimed your artist on last.fm, go for it now!

 

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Q: How do I add a link to purchase my album?

A: That's on the right-side of the page when you're in Edit Album mode. See above for more info about editing your albums.

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Q: How do I add a user to help Manage my Artist?

A: Make sure you know their user name. Now go to Manage Artists, and in the Users field, start typing their name, which should appear as an auto-suggestion. Choose the auto-suggestion. See above for more info about the Artist page.

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Q: How do I delete songs I don't want to share any more?

A: Simply go to Manage Tracks, search for your track, and delete it. See above for more info.

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Q: My band is [X genre], and I entered this, but it's not showing up on the front page...why?

A: The genre you entered hasn't been added to the FMA Genre Tree. We need to keep this tree organized to help users who prefer to browse-by-genre. We are adding to the tree all the time, and your suggested additions will help us grow the best tree in all of genre forest land. Take a look, and suggest changes to idea [at] freemusicarchive.org

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Q: Who put all of this info about my artist here?

A: The Free Music Archive has a team of Editors who strive to provide quality info about FMA content. If you would like to oversee this info yourself, without editor supervision, please email claimthispage_at_freemusicarchive.org and we'll lay off.

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Q: What's the difference between Related Artists on the FMA and Related Projects? Is one for artists that sound the same? And what are Associated Labels?

A: They are both for artists who share actual members. Artists who sound the same will be linked togther once we enable user tagging. The difference between the fields is that "Related Artists on the FMA" creates a link for artists who are on the FMA, while "related projects" is just plain text, for artists who don't currently have FMA profiles. Similarly, Associated Labels is for labels who the artist doesn't have represented by their FMA material.

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Q: How do I change the Genre for the Track/Album I just uploaded?
A: Albums don't actually have a genre of their own, but their tracks do. So to change genre for an album, you'll need to change the genre of its tracks. You can do this from the Edit Album page, like in this video:

http://screencast.com/t/YmNmMDdiNWM
...I hit Cancel at the end of the video though, rather than actually choosing a genre, but hopefully it's clear that you just pick one or more genres from the dropdown menu. Pick up to three.

If each track should have a different genre, hit the button in the bottom-left of the Edit Track window to edit each track individually.

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