steps up to online MP3 challenge

Get your band out of the garage and onto the Internet with -- your neighbours might thank us...

MP3 music site launched Thursday, and was quick to disassociate itself from all existing MP3 download and exposure sites.

The site founders claim that is the only site created by musicians, for musicians, and make a big deal out their desire to get exposure for new bands based simply on the quality of their music, rather than marketing talent. The company says its goal is to become "the premier Internet A&R site". is launched jointly by Jerry Harrison, record producer and ex-Talking Heads member; Tom Zito, Silicon Valley entrepreneur; and Amanda Lathroum Welsh, former head of research for Netscape's Netcenter and designer of Garageband's proprietary ratings and review engine, which determines which bands get contracts. Top bands stand to receive $250,000 contracts and the support of proven producers.

Jerry Harrison said in a statement: "For the music industry, we want to be the premier A&R Internet site, both by identifying hot new artists to sign and promote and also by developing and nurturing those promising new bands that are not quite ready to head into the studio to cut their first album."

The company believes that the goals of virtually any budding musicians trying their luck on the Internet have very little to do with computing or distributing MP3 files and everything to do with signing a real-life recording contract.

A statement on the company's Web site reads: "Even the Internet has failed truly to address this issue. While companies like and tout their ability to empower any band to have its music be heard, these and other Internet music sites are essentially warehouses bulging with undifferentiated material: what's good is treated identically to what's horrible. There's little or no filtering, and absolutely no artist development. While these places promise a future of digital distribution, there's little evidence of revenue yet to be seen. Frankly, bands are more interested in having their CD displayed at Tower Records than in achieving 10,000 downloads at"

Are you in a band that has unsuccessfully touted its wares on the Internet? Do you fancy giving a whirl? Tell the Mailroom.


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