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Computoser Accepting Bitcoin For Algorithmically-Generated Music

Posted on : 13-03-2013 | By : Bozho | In : Opinions

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I just made my algorithmic music composer (Computoser) accept Bitcoin (only if you need tracks for commercial purposes, they are free otherwise). First, why Bitcoin?

  • there are no fees, there is no business entity verification process – you just set it up and start accepting payments
  • it is practically the only payment solution that works in my case. I need it to be international, to allow merchants from my country (Bulgaria, an EU member), not to have too high fees (the price is $0.99 for two tracks, so PayPal’s $0.40+ fee is not an option), not to have a monthly fee (I don’t think I’ll sell anything in the beginning, and even if I do, the volumes will be too low). Stripe is a good option that meets all but one of the above criteria, but I hope it will land on the European market soon.
  • computer-generated music is entirely “digital” – it doesn’t require any human input or physical materials and so is Bitcoin. It made sense for a digital currency to be the means of paying for generated music.

And why I decided to have a payment option in the first place? All the tracks are free to listen to. and licensed under Creative Commons. A .midi source file is available for download, thus allowing anyone to improve on the computer-generated piece. However, as the algorithm was recently getting better and better (far from perfect, of course), I thought that generated tracks can be used as stock audio. The price is minimal (1 track costs $0.50), and when you get the mp3 and midi files, you can use them for commercial purposes (royalty-free, of course).

The Bitcoin integration itself has some caveats, which I’m going to describe in a separate, more technical article. There are multiple payment providers to choose from,  and I selected Coinbase. It’s not perfect, but it’s mostly straighforward and I got it working quickly.

Comments (3)

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