Liveband is an online music store with a difference - they sell their own high quality recordings of live gigs - and it's all done in co-operation with the artists so you know they're actually getting paid. You can buy any gig recording from the website, or if you're at a gig being recorded by Liveband, you'll have the option to buy a voucher called a Livecard (you also get an empty CD case, which is cute). Once the gig is up on the site (usually 48 hours later, to allow time for mixing and mastering) you can cash in the Livecard to "pay" for the recording and download not only the music but also the album art so you can print it out and have a complete CD. Neat! All gigs are in Mp3 format, and their usage terms are reasonable - you can copy the track to 3 CDs and 3 PC or audio devices. It wasn't clear whether it's working on an honour system or if they're using DRM. I suspect it may be done on a case by case basis.The company says that "Files that are encoded with DRM will be promptly displayed as such on the performance profile page." I've emailed Liveband and will try to find out more about the DRM situation. You can use the audio player on the website to listen to snippets of the different concerts they have for sale, and there are free tracks available too. I downloaded two free Hoodoo Gurus tracks recorded at the Apollo Bay Bay Music festival last month. The sound quality is 160kbps, and it's a really clean live recording. It's cool to hear the audience cheering and inbetween song banter, without having to put up with a muddy bootleg that sounds like it was recorded in the soundguy's armpit. Now I'm keen to get a Liveband recording of a gig I've actually attended, so I can compare the live experience with what comes across on the CD. Right now Liveband's catalogue has a smattering of artists from the likes of Paul Kelly, the Hoodoo Gurus, Bertie Blackman, Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows and Luka Bloom. They're apparently going to offer to record visiting international artists - so hopefully bootleg-friendly artists like Tori Amos will get behind it, as she's touring later this month. Would be awesome to get Nick Cave & Grinderman involved as well. Hint, hint, Liveband guys! :) Liveband is such a cool idea, I really hope they get the support of the music industry behind them - if they can offer a broad range of artists and genres, this site will become a much loved site for live music lovers.
Download an MP3 memento of a live gig at Liveband
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