responses to a few things that have been mentioned:
Bandcamp is a pretty good platform as far as platforms ever can be. It is one of the few platform services I can bring myself to use at all. The functions provided are pretty close to what i would want to see. If it were a artist/worker owned coop there would be no need for resonate IMO. So, while we shouldn’t imitate it’s features blindly - if Resonate ends up looking a lot like bandcamp in terms of function, I’ll be pretty happy.
In terms of selling - free music and price, I think a pay what you like option, with a minimum (which can be zero) solves the issue, from a technical perspective. Race to the bottom is another thing, a social problem rather than a technical one. It would also be nice to have the option to pay an artist more for a track/album after purchase. A sort of “this music has grown on me and I want to pay more now” option.
I don’t like the idea of artists opting out of downloads. At all. As a listener I couldn’t take a musician seriously who did that. However it seems to me that article 7 really dictates maximum artist choice. it points towards yes, not no.
Artists should retain all ownership and rights, be able to decide what, when and how they make their art available to the public, and the value of their art.
But if the community decides to make downloads mandatory I won’t be complaining.
I don’t actually care what format is implemented first, as long as a lossless format is available within a few weeks of downloads becoming available.
My preference for flac first is based on the following points:
flac can be converted to mp3, but the reverse is pointless and misleading.
a master definitive lossless version needs to exist as a source to create the mp3 in the first place, so exposing that should actually be less work than creating the mp3. Sure that master version might be currently archived, but we know it needs to be made available at some point so why not start at the logical beginning, with the definitive version of the track?
However that is really up to the devs how to approach the structure.
I would suggest that these just be flagged and then basically ignored in whatever way is convenient, until such time as an automated upload system for artists is in place, at which time all artists with lossy master files could be prompted to reupload. But this suggestion is predicated on the notion that only a small proportion of the current catalogue has a lossy master.
I’m also wondering, could some dev work be saved by requiring artists to upload flac files with correct tags already in place? The current manual system required me to enter all my tags into a spreadsheet - even though I’d already added them to my flac files.
My point is that requiring artists to stick to a standard format isn’t all that onerous, and artists can be helped with a how-to guide written by someone (like me) whose time is at less of a premium than the devs with detailed knowledge of the code. I can’t help the devs write code to cope with messy and incorrect uploaded files, but I can write a guide for artists to help them upload correct files that require less processing.
It also occurs to me that there might be rare special cases where no lossless master exists. Maybe odd ephemera such as field recordings made on a phone or something. Do we exclude these, or maybe allow them with a flag that basically says “lossy master”. If the slot that holds the (normally flac) master file were to be made format agnostic then it needn’t compromise the structure.