Open Music

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What I mean, when I say Open Music

Open Music describes a music work that others can copy, redistribute, modify and monetize freely, without asking for permission. The term evokes the related concept of open source software for music. Such music is said to be under an open licence.

Open Music adapts the 5R from Open Content plus an additional R. You have the RRRRRRight to

Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the music (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
Reuse – the right to use the music in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the music itself (e.g., translate the music into another language)
Remix – the right to combine the original or revised music with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original music, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
Revenue – the right to monetize or sell the music (e.g. sell or add advertisements for profit)


Open Licences that qualify for Open Music

Public domain

Creative Commons Attribution, Attribution-Share Alike and Zero

Free Art License

Against DRM license

EFF Open Audio License

Green Open Music License

Free Music Public License


Ethymonics Free Music License



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Name Your Price

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Does Open Music have a value? It’s free, so sure it comes with several freedoms like Share, Remix, Monetize. Are listeners willing to pay for it even when it’s free? I wanted to know that and implemented a buy feature for every track you download. I wanted this like in a real life shop. You get the product, then you pay or just take it. You choose. I like the “Name Your Price” approach from Bandcamp. You choose how much to pay, even when it’s zero. Name Zero, you get it for zero dollars. You choose.

How does that work? You click the download button, the download starts and the “Say Thanks” modal with terms about crediting and a PayPal checkout button appears. You can choose from Minimal 0$, Standard 1$ or Generous 2$ or you just can ignore it. I’m looking forward how this develops.

You may ask: Is it allowed to sell Open Music? Yes it is. The CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licenses not only allows sharing, and remixing, it also allows commercial usage including distribution. That’s what I do.

I now support artists for almost 17 years. This means at least one to two hours of work a day. As starfrosch grows, the costs also grow. I like to work, but I don’t like to work and pay for it, that’s why I’m trying to find fair possibilities for listeners to support me and my work for Open Music.

hotlist.txt Specification

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To have a very simple interface for the starfrosch radios, we created a very simple specification to exchange Open Music. hotlist.txt is there to share your hottest mp3 machine readable in public, for our radios, but not limited to.

Create a text file called hotlist.txt on the root of your domain with URLs to public mp3s. You can see a working example here

That’s all. To download the files to your local hard disk simply run:

wget -nc -i
wget -nc -i
wget -nc -U "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:63.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/63.0" -i

Once you’ve created your hotlist.txt let us know.