Our custom built Download Codes system is designed to make the process of offering MP3s or FLACS, accessed via unique download codes, as simple as possible, whilst offering a highly customisable download page. Although the process is straight forward it is important that you prepare your audio and artwork correctly and consider the web address you will use. The information below provides a detailed guide, but if you have any questions please contact us.
We provide you with the required number of unique access codes and a URL link. The codes can then be printed onto a record sleeve, sticker, business card, flyer or whatever else suits your requirements. We also give you a user name and password that gives you access to your own admin area where you can upload MP3s and style your unique access page with packshots logos and other artwork. The purchaser will be able to use the URL (web address) to reach your dedicated download page, their unique access code can then be entered (together with contact information if you wish) to allow the customer to download individual tracks or a zipped version of an entire album. Your password protected admin area provides details of the number of codes that have been redeemed and enables you to download the collected emails as a CSV file (spreadsheet) to add to your mailing list.
You could offer a free digital version of a vinyl only release simply by adding a sticker. You could sell live tracks via business cards on your merchandise table at gigs. You could promote a new band's songs via a flyer at someone else's gig. The options really are limited only by your imagination.
Key Production's download codes system is an automated web application, so it is important that your audio tracks are supplied correctly. The artist name and track title displayed on the download page are taken automatically from the ID3 tag (or meta information) embedded in the MP3 (or FLAC) file. So it is vital that you check the information on the file(s) is correct and specify the track order.
We recommend MP3s encoded at 320kbs and they should not exceed 320kbs. MP3s encoded at a higher bit rate than 320kbs may incur an additional charge to cover additional bandwidth. FLAC files can be supplied at 16bit or 24bit and should be compressed to the smallest file size. We offer different pricing for both 16bit and 24bit FLACs to reflect the increase in bandwidth required to deliver the larger files sizes associated with FLAC files.
The artist name and track title displayed on the download page are taken automatically from the ID3 information embedded in the MP3 file or the meta data of the FLAC file, so it is vital that this information is correct. You must add the ID3/meta information for Artist and Track name and check the information is correct before you upload the MP3s.
If there are multiple tracks then the running order must be be indicated. The information can be added to the ID3 tag of MP3 files or the meta data of FLAC file.
Before you upload your tracks they must be collected together in a folder and then zipped to produce a .zip file (albumtracks.zip). You will not be able to upload your files unless they have been zipped.
Our Music Download Code service is effectively a specialist hosting service with a custom application to streamline and optimise the process. As such, you will require a unique domain for the page (or pages) that you set up via your admin area. There are a number of options and requirements.
The simplest option is for us to register a domain name on your behalf, specifically for the downlod page(s). We will provide you with a unique Domain Name (.co.uk) which will be agreed with you and will be registered for two years on your behalf and in your name. This might be something like www.yourlabeldownloads.co.uk. and the cost of this is incorporated into the setup cost. If you wish to use something other than a .co.uk then there may be an additional charge. Remember that for your page(s) to remain live the domain name will need to be renewed after two years.
Record labels may wish to set up a sub-domain using their existing web address to create a specific location for downloads. This requires the label to set up a custom A-Record for their domain pointing to an IP address that we will supply. The label will be responsible for setting up the DNS details of their sub-domain correctly and according to our instructions. The sub domain might look something like this: downloads.yourlabel.co.uk
Each release will have its own unique web address (URL) which will consist of the domain or sub-domain and a directory name relating to the specific release. For instance a release with the title New Album might look like this: www.yourlabeldownloads.co.uk/newalbum. It is vital that the full address is printed with the unique codes so your customers can access their audio tracks.
The Download Codes App creates as many codes as you need for a release. The codes are random, unique and non sequential. If you have a repress you can ask the system to output further codes simply by pressing repress and specifying a quantity. The control panel requires you to add a 3 letter prefix for each release to which the code is appended. In this way you can identify the job a code applies to, simply by looking at the prefix. The app creates the list of codes as a CSV file that can be downloaded and sent to the printers.
One of the great things about the Key Production Download Codes App is the degree of customisation available for your landing page. It allows you to maintain record label branding or artist identity accross all your pages or provide different bands with their own distinctive look. The download page for each release includes a list of the tracks for the download as well as a form for the user to enter their unique code and an email address. Displayed next to the tracklisting on the page is a square image. This can be a pack shot or any other image provided it conforms to the correct specs. In addition you can add a large background image and a banner image, again provided they conform to the correct specs. There are also typeface and colour options available to further customise your download page.
It is best to have designed your page before you upload the images and style the text so you know how things will work together. Using our Photoshop Template may help you prepare images.
Displayed next to the tracklisting on the Download Codes page is a square image. This is generally a pack shot, but could be any image provided it conforms to the correct specs. It must be a square image 300 x 300 pixels supplied or uploaded as a JPG or PNG.
Displayed at the top of the page this would generally incorporate the band name and also acts as a button/link to a URL of your choosing such as the bands website. It must be a horizontal, rectangular image 960 x 150 pixels supplied as a JPG or PNG. A 24 bit PNG can use transparency to overlay a logo onto a background image or colour.
This image is centered behind the page contents and offers the designer a range of possibilities. It must be a rectangular image 1920 x 1200 pixels supplied as a JPG or PNG and we recommend the file size to be kept to less than 500 kilobytes in size. Remember that larger image file sizes will slow the loading of your page. Alternatively you may select a colour for the background instead of using an image.
It is possible to chose the colour of the tracklisting as well as the type of font used. It is also possible to set the colour of other elemnets of the page providing further customisation.
The text used for the title and track listing can be monospace (courier), serif (times) or sans serif (helvetica) and may be in any colour you choose described as a hexadecimal. Hexadecimal is an RGB colour system that looks like this #23A4R8.
The colour of the frame around the packshot and the containing boxes behind the text of the tracklisting can be any hexadecimal colour to contrast with the text in front. Be careful as it is possible to set the text and background to the same colour making it impossible to read.
This is a box that contains all the page elements. It may be a solid hexadecimal colour which will partially obscure any background image or can transparent revealing the background colour or image.
Once you have prepared your Audio and image files you can put your download page together. Go to the login page and enter your username and password. Click on Forthcoming Releases and select the upload button. Browse to find the zipped audio files on your computer then click the UPLOAD ZIP button. Depending on your internet connection and the size of file this could take quite a while. Remember the MP3s must be collected together in a zipped folder.
* WARNING ! Do Not Click the Make Live button untill you are completely happy with the MP3 uploads and design preview; use the preview button. You will not be able to edit the page after you have clicked Make Live.
To style the page, click on Forthcoming Releases and select the style it button for the page you wish to work on. Use the form fields to upload images and change colours and styles described above. To see the results click the submit changes button at the bottom of the page and then click the PREVIEW YOUR DOWNLOADS PAGE button. We recomend that you read the notes above and prepare your MP3s and images before you get started. It may be quicker to design your page using the photoshop template provided and then apply the design to your online page once you have decided how you would like the page to look.
We have to make you aware that you are responsible for all licences relating to the download you will be offering with your vinyl. You can buy a limited online music licence at the PRS website.