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My client wants to sell music on their site...need suggestions

Posted on 2011-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
My client has a site where she sells music CDs to Choral Directors / Music teachers, etc.  These are teaching tools for which her clients can either recieve a 'master copy' that they can burn to other copies for their vocalist (paying a per/burn license fee for each copy), or they can purchase as many CD sets as they need.

Anyway, she wants to offer another option where website visitors can pay and 'download' the music files.  So my question is this...is there a great host that specializes in this?  E.g., hosting large music files securely for download by only those who have access?  Please let me know.
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Question by:StellaBob
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Expert Comment

by:digicidal
ID: 36531838
It really depends on the number of files and the type she's looking for.  You could use something like FileDropper.com which has some extremely inexpensive plans but I know nothing of their durability.  However, most web hosts have expandability options for increasing the storage size on the server for rates that are very inexpensive provided she has any kind of decent traffic.

For example Rackspace.com has a cloud file storage product which bills at $0.15/GB/Mo plus bandwidth - so as an example storing 1TB (so about 1250 CD iso images) and 10TB of monthly bandwidth (so each iso downloaded 10X) - the monthly cost would be $1,950/mo - which would translate to a hosted cost of roughly $0.16/iso download.  I would think that this would be an extremely reasonable cost unless her pricing is less than $1-2 per CD which I assume is not the case.

There are many other providers, I simply chose Rackspace as an example due to their size and longevity - they've been in the hosting business for about 15 years I think.  The nice thing about a solution like this is that the service is scalable so you only pay for what you use and in months where her traffic is much slower she would be paying only the storage costs and not the bandwidth costs - also uploads to her storage account are not included in the bandwidth so filling her storage would not cost anything over the storage space it occupied.

If she failed to make a sale for download - her minimum monthly costs in the above example would be just $150/mo - so she'd have a very low fixed cost for the storage, not to mention she would in that case be free to move web hosts as she felt it was warranted - since the file storage would be separate.  (You don't have to have rackspace host you site to use the hosted storage accounts).

Anyway, you can do a search for "managed hosted storage solutions" or a combination of those terms for more info.
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Expert Comment

by:Tiras25
ID: 36539130
Check out networksolutions.com as they handle domain names and what not.  I'm sure they are not the cheapest service, but they've been in business for a while now (over 20 years).  I got tired of all the bs with chump change providers.  Good luck!

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Author Comment

by:StellaBob
ID: 36539394
I guess I'm looking for more of a music type of host, where they're used to hosting large audio files for download...or are all hosts created equal???
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LVL 9

Accepted Solution

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digicidal earned 2000 total points
ID: 36539780
A file is a file - just binary data and nothing more.  If you are looking for a media STREAMING site then that is a (slightly) different matter - but downloads are downloads whether they are music, video, software, documents, etc...  Based on the explanation you provided it seems that her site is not targeting people that simply want to PLAY an audio file online as much as download an audio file for later use in karaoke/choral/voiceover/etc.... production work.

Even in the case of media streaming the difference is very small however in that case you would simply be looking for a host that had the smallest network latencies to the largest demographic body of end users more than the cost of storage space and bandwidth.  Also audio files are not "large" in the grand scheme of things... HD video files are very large, DVD movie iso's are fairly large, but even a full redbook CD iso is able to be stored in less space than most modern cellphones have allocated for pictures/ringtones!  Single song tracks (even if they are WAV files) will take less space than many youtube videos occupy.  :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:StellaBob
ID: 36539797
You're the coolest.  Thanks for the explanation.  It's funny how the unknown seems more daunting than it really is.  Thanks for the help.
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