In a nutshell, OpenLIVE is about better music. Based on ‘a-la-carte’ downloads (pay per purchase and own the track) OpenLIVE aims are twofold: first, provide music content in High Definition (CD quality or better). The premise is that everyone can hear the difference between this and MP3 audio, and if given the choice, will go for the former.
Second (and this is where it gets exciting if you’re a fan of live music like this journalist), venues all around Australia will have access to OpenLIVE’s exclusive technology, which will allow live gigs to be recorded, mastered and released in High Definition to the public 24-48 hours after the concert. This will allow OpenLIVE to develop a huge (and unique) live music database that will provide fans with content they have previously had no access to. Now that sounds good, in whatever form you hear it.
For Music Fans by Music Fans
Co-Founders Andy McIntyre and Simon Tait had a need for High Definition audio to help with their demonstrations. However, gaining access to this was challenging to say the least. As musicians, they were also aware of the commoditisation of music in recent times. So they decided to build a platform that can deliver High Definition music and aid in reversing the trend of music commoditisation.
Artists spend enormous amounts of time mastering their craft, and producing their recordings to get them to sound exactly as they want. This is a time consuming process, and very costly. OpenLIVE’s argument is that people then listen to low-quality versions of that music, in the process ripping the soul out of the art. While they admit people aren’t going to stop listening to music on the go, they contend that doesn’t mean people have to listen to poor quality MP3 audio. OpenLIVE are setting out there stall to do justice to the time and care it takes artists to produce their work. This is also of great benefit to music fans, who have had to become used to low quality music.
And about those Musicians…
OpenLIVE plans to produce a superior product, which in turn will yield more money back to the artist. Further, with a new revenue stream through their live music arm, artist stand to be in a better financial position by getting on board with OpenLIVE. Artists don’t pay to be on the platform, and they get a return from each sale.
Although ultimately only time will tell whether people care enough about the HD/MP3 quality difference, being able to listen to great live music is exciting, and you can’t fault the intention behind their product.