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Make your music flow

A Chennai studio says it can help you master and distribute your songs on the Net with Liquid Audio technology

Nurve, Chennai's teen rock band

Want to sell your music on the Internet? Liquid Audio, a music encoding system similar to Real Audio and MP3, can help you do it. And a Chennai company offers to master your songs.

Nurve from Chennai is the first Indian band to be promoted on Liquid Audio. The band was formed by Aubrey Sequeira Jr. and Aum Janakiram when they were barely 12.They were joined by lead guitarist Sanjay Anthony, drummer and percussionist Vasanth David, vocalists Nanditha and Arjun Thomas and Prithvi Chandrasekhar on keyboards. The band has been together for three years. Aubrey and Aum compose most of the songs.

Up for sale on the Net are two of their songs, Mirror, mirror and Driving me crazy. If you like the 30-second preview featured on Liquid Audio, you could download them for a little more than a dollar each.

Listening to Liquid Audio means you will first have to download their player. It took us about half an hour to do that. Liquid Audio is the name of a company in Redwood, California, which encodes music. The songs are watermarked to prevent copying, and therefore piracy. Liquid Music Network is affiliated to online stores like Amazon, CD Now, and Music Boulevard. They sell over 50,000 titles, and have tie-ups with leading record labels.

The technology came to India in October 1999 through Goldwire Aural, the youngest member of Goldwire, a 12-year-old media group. This Chennai-based company has a digital studio and the technology to master and distribute music through online stores.

The Music Magazine asked Prashant Nichani of Goldwire Aural how it all works.

How does a band use your technology?

If they have a source CD they can send it to us and if it's viable, we can master it for Liquid Audio.

What are the costs involved?

There is a cost for encoding and hosting songs. This is the only cost the artiste has to bear. Once the song is encoded and put up for sale, a commission will be paid to Liquid Audio, a percentage to the label -- that's us -- and a commission is paid to the artiste. We draw up an agreement. We are also working out the promotional costs like the cost of advertising which would be necessary to highlight a track or album.

Where does Goldwire Aural come into the picture?

We function like a distributor for independent artistes and labels. They can approach us, enter into an agreement and we host their music on Liquid Audio.

What are the advantages of Liquid Audio?

The biggest advantage is that it's fast, secure, ensures superb audio quality and is an ideal platform for independent artistes. The Internet provides the opportunity to host single tracks and the customer can choose and write his own assorted CD. We don't contend that it's the absolute channel, but it will definitely grow in about two years and co-exist along with conventional channels of distribution.

How is Liquid Audio different from Realaudio and MP3?

Liquid Audio is a secure format while MP3 is not. Realaudio is more into streaming audio and video while Liquid Audio functions like a distribution company on the Internet.

Parvathy P B

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