With MP3.com gone and uncertainty about what (if anything) is going to replace it as the central clearinghouse for unsigned and indie music, a number of contenders for the throne have emerged. Here is another one – Mperia:
- So what is Mperia?
The long version: Mperia is designed to let independent artists sell their work directly to their audience. We’re also here to facilitate the independent music community, by allowing independent musicians and fans to connect together.
The short version: We’re here to damn The Man and fight the power. Werd.
What does “Mperia” mean?
It’s Latin for ‘a website that brings the rock’. Seriously, though, if you look at our logo it starts to make sense.
What is BitPass?
BitPass is a micropayment system. It allows content creators (like independent musicians) to sell their work without all the hassles of other payment methods.
So why should I buy music from Mperia?
Because you’re not a spoon-fed little moron, right? You don’t just buy what The Man tells you to buy. You hate The Man, just like we do. Damn The Man. You want your hard-earned pennies to go to the people who actually make the music — not some creepy record exec who hasn’t bought an album since Streisand Sings Live. right?
Do I have to have a BitPass account to buy Mperia music?
Yup. We don’t deal with The Man. Damn The Man.
Do I need a credit card to use BitPass? Can I use PayPal? How easy is BitPass to use?
You can find answers to all those questions on BitPass’s Spender site. Personally, we think BitPass is easier to use than a George Foreman grill. And that’s pretty damned easy.
I want to download music for my home computer…but I’m stuck in this Internet cafe somewhere in Bavaria! Can I buy a song now and download it to my home computer later?
Sure! Your purchase is linked to your BitPass account, not the computer you happen to be using. You can buy the song now and download it up to ten times for the next seven days.
I run Linux. Can I still use your site?
Of course! We love that tubby little penguin. Both Mperia and the BitPass payment system are 100% Linux-compatibleTo listen to streaming previews, you’ll need a Shoutcast-compatible music player. We recommend XMMS.
Just don’t try to use Lynx, okay?
Can I browse Mperia on my Palm/other PDA/Hiptop/weird keitai handheld I bought in Akihabara the last time I flew into Tokyo to shoot a whiskey commercial?
Boy howdy, you are the gadget guru, aren’t you? Not yet, unfortunately. But very soon.
Can I sign up if I’m under 13?
Sorry, little rocker, no can do. Your parents would sue us.
Are you gonna, like, sell my e-mail address to Northern European pornographers?
Why? Do you want us to? Seriously, though — we hate spammers. Badly. We will never, ever, sell your address to spam people. If we did, we’d be like The Man. Damn The Man.
Can I get an Mperia e-mail address? How about an Mperia t-shirt? G-string? Instant “The Man” Repeller? I want merch, damnit!
Whoa, whoa, slow down there, Tex. All that stuff is coming soon. We swear.
Why should I sell my music through Mperia?
Well, you could sign a record contract. Then, after the label decides to “delay” the release of your first album because they have to put all of their marketing resources into some boy band…and then decides you’re in breach of contract because the album they never released didn’t make them any money…and after your contract finally expires five years later and you’re playing bar mitzvahs in Broken Neck, Mississippi for beer money…well, you get the picture. You won’t even get your own Behind The Music special.
Look: Record companies lock you into contracts. They make you dance like a chimp. They’re The Man. We hate The Man. Damn The Man. We offer you absolute freedom to do what you do, and make some money doing it.
Do we guarantee that you’ll get rich and end up necking with a Hilton sister (if that’s your kind of thing) on Total Request Live?
No. You get out of Mperia what you put into it. But we can guarantee you a fair shot…and that’s more than any record label will offer you. Trust us.
How much does it cost to create an Mperia account?
Nothing. Nada. Zip. We take a percentage of each purchase, so we don’t make money unless you do.
What percentage do you take?
We take 30%. 15% of that goes to BitPass, the other 15% covers hosting and bandwidth and paying Francis, our psychotic code geek. He needs lots of Rockstar energy drink to maintain the hotness you see before you.
Can I link directly to my Mperia songs from my homepage so people can buy them directly from me?
Nope. We’re not set up that way, for lots of reasons. You can link to each song’s page, if you like.
How do I get to be a Featured Artist?
What you do is, go down to the nearest train station at midnight with a bottle of Rebel Yell and an autographed picture of Jack Benny…no, I’m just kidding.
We feature artists if they catch our attention or sell a ridiculous amount of music. Do one of those things (or send us lots of money in small, non-sequential Tuvalan currency) and we’ll put you up there.
I did this totally hot mashup of Ethel Merman and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Can I upload it?
Nope. See, there’s this thing called the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and if you uploaded musical material you don’t own, the Man is gonna come down on you…and us. And nobody wants that.
You also can’t upload songs with samples of copyrighted music or cover versions of songs unless you’ve obtained a mechanical license(s) for the songs you’re using. Sorry about that.
Can I put my songs under a Creative Commons license?
If you own them, sure — we love the Creative Commons (and they throw great parties). We’re working on putting together a system which lets you automatically put your songs under a number of licenses, including the Creative Commons. Until then, you might want to note that the song is CC licensed in its comments.
Do you offer this DRM thing I’ve been hearing about?
Nope. And we don’t plan to anytime soon. Read this article to find out more.
How often do I get paid?
Once a month. You can get paid before that, but you’ll have to pay a handling fee.
Are you gonna, like, get me gigs and stuff?
Nope. We aren’t a management company. What we will do is give bookers the chance to contact you directly to book gigs. We also give you a place to advertise your upcoming gigs to your fans. ‘Cause we really want you to get on the road and out of Mommy and Daddy’s basement.