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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Safer Sound Files, How Do we Do it

I am opening a discussion about the need to keep sound files that are on the composition showcase safer.  I am very protective of keeping the experience conductors have uniform. One of the big reasons conductors don't come knocking on composer's websites is that the experience is time consuming. Each composer has their works displayed in different ways, forcing conductors to hone their sluthing skills to find what they are looking for.  After trying that myself, genuinely wanting to support our members, I saw how daunting that task is. 
One of our composers has resisted putting up his/her works as MP3s in the CCMC library because of concern for his/her works being used nefariously.  I have asked our webmaster to make suggestions but let's discuss it here. 
First:  What are resources we could use to have the sound files reside on ChoralNet, yet be more secure than present?
Second: What resources are there off of ChoralNet that we could use such as Sound Cloud or other players?
Replies (15): Threaded | Chronological
on April 12, 2013 7:11pm
Not trying to drive you to my website, however, I recently installed a plugin that turned my mp3 files into an audio player with volume controls.  I think as an added bonus it seems that you can't just download the file. It seems to be buried in the code of the player.  Maybe something like that would be a quick and easy fix.  Take a look if you have the desire and time.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on April 14, 2013 11:56am
It appears that Joseph's website uses WordPress and that this audio plug-in is for WordPress websites only.  Does anyone know of anything similar for non-WordPress websites? (I don't know how to use WordPress and I don't have time to figure it out.)
I use the Yahoo Media player and SoundCloud (alternatively) on my website, but both of those permit people to find and download the mp3.
on April 13, 2013 4:44am
SoundCloud is pretty good - you can enable online sharing while disabling downloads. Allowing Soundcloud embedding would seem to be an obvious solution here.
on April 13, 2013 8:09am
I have had files on SoundCloud pirated by other websites, and SoundCloud has admitted to me that they can't stop it. But I agree with Donald that the concern for composers is overblown.  You are never going to make much money from a choral recording.  So I just accept that I can't control its distribution, and instead I usually want my music to be shared as much as possible.
Applauded by an audience of 3
on April 13, 2013 5:36am
Hello Jack,
I am wondering in what way someone could use a compser's MP3 files nefariously. I am presuming these are SOUND files, not actual scores. If they (i.e. SOUND files) can be used nefariously as MP3s how would making them available in some other form change things? I think I may have missed something somewhere, so please excuse me if I have. I have never found it a problem to give my MUSIC files away to anyone. What possible problem could there be? Maybe I could hear from other composers on this...
Applauded by an audience of 1
on April 13, 2013 7:24am
Donald-- an example: there are many sites that pirate mp3's from throughout the web, and then offfer them for for download. Sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee. Many are on servers in other countries. So for example, let's say you have a choir like Chanticlleer record a work of yours and they give you permission to use the recording for your own marekting purposes for your piece. Wonderful. If you place it on your website, or here in the CCMC library, in a way that it can be easily downloaded for free, that mp3 may end up on countless other mp3 sites, and thus could reduce the revenue that Chanticller hopes to generate by controlling the rights to their recording. The composer would not reap any rewards from this illegal distribution either.  For example - try a Google search of "  J'entends le moulin mp3 patriquin  " & let us know if the sites that show up were all granted permission to carry your mp3. 
on April 13, 2013 3:56pm
Thanks Rich, for your explanation. It is very logical and explains well the situation. Thanks also for your words of wisdom above, Greg! You took 'em right out of my mouth but I'll send them along anyway!

 I think that sometimes too much is made of copyright law. Or perhaps it would better be put that the law is not sufficiently flexible to allow for situations in which no real harm is done in certain cases which are considered infractions, but au contraire, benefit to both parties – the ‘robbed’ and the ‘robbers’ – actually accrues. Yes indeed, “a Google search of J'entends le moulin mp3 patriquin” turns results, but up a mere 31. Of course there are more, let’s say 100+. What harm…?

 I’ll put it this way, if I had been able to stop every single ‘pirated’ MP3 I would not be sitting here in Portugal enjoying the clear mountain air between spates of composing and editing, and I would not have heard as many performances as I did of this work in Dallas, and I would not be able to afford a new new-website (coming up)! And I would not be making such embarrassingly pompous statements except to point out a serious flaw in the copyright process. The truth is that each and every performance of J’entends has only served to make it more popular. I would there were so many ‘illegal’ performances of my other works! Some very fine choirs have recorded it and I am pretty sure it has not detracted from their CD sales to have ‘free’ versions of their CD songs on the web. This could well be the case with pop songs, but in my books that is a totally different ball game. 

 You mention Chanticleer. Good example. I have just l listened to a live video of theirs– Bieble’s heavenly Ave Maria – in the footsteps of 284,762 other listeners of this piece alone! This appears to be a legitimate video, but if it wasn’t they surely would have had it pulled, OR they would have let it be, knowing that it would bring them more listeners and more CD sales. At $.99 a song, which is what they sell their music for on their site, did they really lose close to a quarter of a million dollars by having a ‘free’ video? (There’s a disclaimer on the site that this video may be copyright protected (!)). The answer is pretty obvious, and it’s pretty obvious why they have a plethora of ‘free’ videos of their music, as the net result is to get their music ‘out there’! Yes, but you say, “there is a copyright law which says that no one is allowed to post a video without permission”. True, but… (see my article on the subject at (n.b. the final ‘r’ of ‘answer’ is not in the URL!) It deals with Canadian copyright law and is a bit outdated, but the implications are still similar and in force in Canada and the USA.) … it is only by addressing the problem and the obvious shortcomings of the law that adjustments will be made that will benefit all parties.

 Jack mentions that one of the ACDA Community composers “has resisted putting up his works as MP3s in the CCMC library because of concern for his/her works being used nefariously.” I think this composer is not taking advantage of the obvious– that having his/her music up there can only increase overall music sales. I would resist using this as an argument for a complicated system of ‘theft’ prevention. In any event, all you pirates, this is to give you ALL permission to do anything you want in the way of putting recordings of my music up anywhere on the net; the more they are copyable the merrier! Please note it excludes CDs (commercial or not) and similar mass copying devices.

 Maybe someday my name will be Rich Patriquin! (LOL)



 p.s. If someone really wants to make a recording available anywhere for perusal purposes only, simply cut off the last five seconds!

Applauded by an audience of 2
on April 14, 2013 11:03am
Thanks Jack, this is an important conversation to have. My vote is for an embeded player such as SoundCloud (easy to use, free, and also socially conscious). We should definitely stay away from using anything based in Flash as it is old technology and not available on many mobile devices (phones, tablets). I see the arguments on both sides of this issue and know that some people are just going to steal things - no matter what they are or where they are. However, anything we can do to prevent it is a step in the right direction. 
Those of you unfamiliar with SoundCloud's capabilities can see it in action here:
Jake Runestad
on April 14, 2013 11:45am
Hi Jake - I hope they 'steal' MY things, as well as those of others who recognise that there are very positive benefits! \
Having said that, I really like SoundCloud and hope to use it on my new website.
on April 14, 2013 12:13pm
My problem with SoundCloud is that it is not free.  There is a size limitation on the free service, which I quickly used up with just a few of my pieces.  I also don't like that I have to upload the music to their website.  I would rather have the music play from my own website, which is how most of my music is on my website, using the Yahoo Media Player, but that is not especially elegant.  I am sure there are more media player options out there.  I just haven't taken the time to research it further, and I would love to know what other audio players people like to use.
on April 14, 2013 2:40pm
I know a lot of people use soundcloud, but I find to be a much more logical and useful platform.
  • The platform is free (there is no ceiling on uploading music that when you reach you have to start paying for their service).
  • Embeding players in a variety of skins are available.
  • You can sell your music (they take a small commission) or offer it for free (up to a point).
  • If you don't want anyone to buy a track, just for preview, you can put a ridiculous price on it ($1000).
The other logical option is to use either YouTube or Vimeo, and just put up a slide that has info on the piece as the video portion. Alternately you can export the images of your composition and create a slide show, as so: Be sure to leave a link to the score in the first line of description.
on April 14, 2013 3:23pm
I'd like to hear what others think about bandcamp and I mean the website, no stories please. 
The problem with YouTube for K-12 professionals is that YouTube is often throttled or blocked by school districts, some of our biggest consumers.
I considered using the ChoralNet player that can be found by clicking on the MP3 audio clip tool in the tool bar of posts and comments(eighth notes)l, but that will only play 1 minute of sound.  I fall firmly on the side of wanting the whole recording with just one click from anyone willing to provide it.  I don't buy a car without test driving and I don't buy choral music without a perusal score or complete recording.
on April 14, 2013 7:35pm
Is Vimeo as big a problem as YouTube, as far as site blockage? Vimeo has much better default video quality, but I've used youtube exclusively because it is so much more popular. I'll have to rethink that.
Here is how I've used BandCamp:
I've created albums for my proper albums, as well as albums for recordings of live performances (my opera The Other Wise Man) and demos for my choral music site. If you go to you can see how I've embedded one of the larger players into my page.
on April 15, 2013 2:32pm
I don't know much about Vimeo and am not sure why it is not blocked by my employer while YouTube is.  Perhaps they just haven't got around to it yet.  I think it is a safe bet that if K-12 institutions choose to block YouTube, Facebook and other soical networks used by children, they will also block Vimeo if they start seeing it is eating up their band width. 
I really like the BandCamp player on your site for your albums.  Having samples of your opera as tracks that you could skip through was easy to use.  I enjoyed listening to parts of Abinadi again.  
on April 15, 2013 2:38am
Hello all,
For once I'm glad I procrastinated! I'm in the throes of creating (with a lot of help as I'm a bit of a luddite here) a new website, and will now do more research on the best sound platform, taking expense very much into consideration. Many thanks for all your input, and to you Jack, for getting it going. This is GREAT stuff!
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