Speaking from experience (working for a large independent label with
over 125,000 tracks in our archive, as well as representing other
catalogs of comparable size, including three classical
labels--Mediaphon, Everest & Vox), the lack of uniformity of file
format, metadata and artwork requirements by the digital retailers
causes this process to be an endless one.  And, just in regards to the
classical genre, iTunes' "style guide" of 21 pages just in regards to
entering metadata according to their wishes (which may not reflect your
archived database entries) just causes the process of putting up (in
particular) classical tracks to be a tedious, EXTREMELY slow process
(which can be held up arbitrarily by iTunes as part of the "scrubbing"
process, which can take up a minimum of 4 (and maximum of infinity!)
weeks to wait.

Every digital service has its own specs in regards to file format, the
metadata form and information required, and the subsequent encoding of
all of this.  Mobile delivery is even MORE frustrating, as the encoding
for 500 different handsets (no interoperability there!) and adding new
encodings each time a new handset is released, results in most
independent labels being frustrated by the obstacles.

Mark Jenkins
Madacy Entertainment LP

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bob Olhsson
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 3:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Sony, BMG and the health of the music biz

-----Original Message-----
From Tom Fine: "...The idea is that a wide variety of 
deep-catalog content, if made constantly available in a medium that
little to distribute (ie digital downloads) will, in sum, be profitable
time. The key is over time." 

Let's not forget the major labels have only just come out from under a
that left who will own what very much up in the air. I understand a huge
problem has been determining what royalties are involved and even the
ownership of masters. Contrary to what one reads, royalty agreements and
master ownership have always been all over the map. Another issue has
an appropriate file format so that everything doesn't need to be
every year or so.

I have no doubt that the future of recorded music catalogs is precisely
but I don't think it's quite as easy to accomplish as it sounds. I'm
the folks involved want to set everything up once correctly rather than
it remain an endless work in progress that never really becomes

Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
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