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Goodbye GarageBand! Where To Post And Promote Your Music Online NOW

garagebandAfter more than ten years in business, GarageBand is shutting down. No, not the Mac software. The music website! Geez, don’t you remember GarageBand? was part of the first wave of indie music communities. It was one of the first places where bands could go to post mp3s, and have them submitted to a peer review process. And it was one of the first places where listeners could go to browse through a large collection of unsigned bands. The deal, for artists, was that to post one mp3, you had to review thirty songs by other bands. Way back in 1999 when the website launched, this forced march community participation thing was pretty fresh.

But that was then, and this is now, and there are other options available to indie aritsts (ahem, GigHive, ahem). GarageBand lost a lot of traffic over the last few years because it stopped evolving.  First, the makers of GB created iLike, and then iLike became part of MySpace, and somewhere in there, everybody just moved on.

Former GarageBand users are encouraged to link their profiles to iLike, and to start a MySpace profile (like you don’t have one already). But what are some other options available to musicians who want to get their songs on communities and start receiving feedback? How far has the industry come, really? Let’s check it out!

AmieStreet – Maybe one of the best combinations of music community and music store on the web. Artists upload songs, songs are sold for free (or cheap!) at first, but the more a song is downloaded, the more it costs, so the price-point is community-driven. And to keep listeners involved, the site offers credits towards future downloads when you recommend songs that turn out to be hits. Which makes each listener sort of like the tiniest record label in the world. Cute!

Audiopolis – A community of musicians, for musicians. Like GigHive, Audiopolis seems dedicated to helping musicians create and promote music. Artists can upload their stuff, ask for advice, and connect with industry pros. The community is relatively small at this point – 120 members – but 42,000 posts in the forum prove that members are as dedicated and passionate as the site claims.

IndieByChoice – Allows artists to upload, share, and promote music and videos. Connected with the usual gang of social media platforms so that web-wide promotion is easy. Listeners can create playlists that stream on mobile devices, and they’ve got a player that lets you create a random, genre-based playlist. So far the community is small, but it seems to be growing, and even includes a few indie music labels, presumably looking to network.

MuzibooMuziboo is an emerging musicians community with a ton of functionality. Members can upload music, request reviews, track listeners, and connect with their other social media profiles. Props to Muziboo for offering Garageband users who are looking for a new home a free one month Pro account.

OurStageOurStage comes off something like a record label with a large and competitive talent pool. Artists can upload and sell music on the site, and compete to get on the charts thanks to listener reviews. Bands that stand out get the chance to win monthly prizes, like cash ($5000 every month), opening spots for major bands, and meetings with industry pros. OurStage seems to pull this off thanks to partnerships with major corporate types. Hopefully, unlike GarageBand, they come through on their promises.

PureVolume – Like GarageBand, this site has been around for a million years. The difference? PureVolume has consistently evolved over the years, and made its name launching the careers of some major emo bands, the likes of Paramore, My Chemical Romance, and Panic! At The Disco. Nowadays, the site is heavily commercial, with real indies competing for attention with unknowns being promoted by labels. Expect to pay for front-page exposure.

ReverbNation – One of the most comprehensive artist promotion sites on the interweb. Upload songs and videos, track listeners, find gigs, create an EPK, you can do it all here – even get set up to sell on iTunes. Only problem? ReverbNation tends to be a bit choked with self-promoters, and low on listeners looking to discover new music. Still, it’s a great tool for artists looking to set up a place to connect with an existing fanbase.

SectionZ – Feedback-oriented community where artists can post songs, or songs-in-progress, for reviews and help with improving tracks. Mostly a electronic-oriented community at this point, SectionZ is looking to expand across all genres.

SliceThePie – Wacky cash incentive-based site from the UK. You upload music, fans get paid to review it (reviews must be carefully thought out!), well reviewed artists make it to a level where fans can invest in them, and based on the funded band’s success, everybody gets, as they say, a slice of the pie.

Is your favorite community missing from this list? Post about it in the comments, and help us grow this resource!



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