iTom: Free Music From Tom Smith

Music in every style -- except dull. Tom Smith, the World's Fastest Filker and the prototypical geek folk-rocker, releases new music for free download on a regular basis. (It was a song a week for almost a year.) You can subscribe to the RSS feed, purchase a better-quality MP3 of the song, or purchase three months' worth as a downloadable album.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Welcome to iTom!

Hi there! And thanks for checking out iTom.

The idea behind this is simple: Every week, I'll have a brand-new, never-before-heard song up here for download. You can get a 128 Kbps MP3 of the song free by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can also support the artist, i.e., me, by purchasing a higher-quality (192 Kbps) MP3 for only 99¢, or you can wait a few months for me to collect the songs into a downloadable album. (If you'd rather make a donation, you can do that through PayPal.)

The songs are released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license, which basically means:
  • you can copy or distribute the files
  • you can make a derivative work (e.g., a parody, a remix, a music video)
  • you must attribute the original song to me ("Words and Music © 2006 by Tom Smith -")
  • you can't use the song or the file for commercial purposes
  • any derivative work you come up with must have an identical license
And that's pretty much it. The real idea here is a combination of [a] keeping myself musically fresh, [b] getting some new stuff out there for you guys, [c] becoming better-known in the online music world, and (ideally) [d] generating some more regular income. :)

If, by the way, you stumbled across this, and you've never heard of me, Hi there! My name's Tom Smith. I'm a mostly-comedy folk-rocker with a penchant for SF/fantasy, pop culture, politics, and lousy, lousy puns. Think "Weird Al" Yankovic with a much larger book collection. You can hear some of my other songs at and on my page at MySpace.


At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Gclectic said...

I love the concept, and will be tossing a few months worth of donations your way just as soon as I can prevail upon someone with a PayPal account to process the transaction for me. (Frankly, till the album comes out, the 128k tracks will do just fine for me -- my ear can't resolve any higher fidelity -- but I still want to pay you for your efforts in some convenient manner.)

I've just got one concern with how to handle these releases, and you may or may not be able to help out. Anytime I add a song to my collection, I try to tag it properly through MusicBrainz, so that everything is right and proper. Even though you've already put perfectly good tags in the MP3 file, it's still going to end up periodically being retagged as part of my standard maintenance, so I want the database to be correct.

The question is, can I reliably enter "I Want My Flying Car" on MusicBrainz as track 1 of an album named "iTom 1.0", and just continue to extend this virtual album as new tracks are released? Or should I expect that when the compilation comes out it will have a different name and track ordering? In the latter case, would you have any objections to the existence of an "official" MusicBrainz discography that listed both versions of the album -- the incremental and the re-issue? (If either (1) or (3) is true, I can proceed happily on my way, knowing that I won't be causing undue confusion. If (2), then I'll have to go back to the old drawing board.)

At 2:47 AM, Blogger filkertom said...

Listen, I'd never heard of MusicBrainz. I can't possibly keep up on all the online music & file ID systems. If you want to do that, that's fine -- just remind me so I don't mess you up later. As I'm not planning to write thematically for three months and then switch gears, calling it "iTom 1.0" made sense to me, so let's run with that.

At 5:40 AM, Blogger Wolfger said...

Tom! Great to see you doing this. I've been a fan of yours since Penguicon 2.0, and it's great to see you doing a "Thing a Week" type deal. Just one complaint.... Your feed works fine in my newsreader, but not for my podcast software. Any chance of getting a podcast friendly feed so that I can get my weekly dosage of Tom Smith greatness without having to... you know... lift a finger, or anything strenuous like that? :-)

At 9:22 AM, Blogger filkertom said...

Thanks, Wolfger! I'll see if I can sort it out today. I also have to figure out what's up with the LiveJournal feed. Gah.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger tmh said...

Hey -- I just noticed that you are named Tom and are doing a song-a-week project. Just wanted to say "hi". I am a fellow madman -- I started my song-a-week project a few months before yours, but I've missed enough weeks here and there that I'm more or less in the same place as you -- I've got 33 songs. Anyway, please feel free to visit my songs, blogged at and posted permanently to the internet archive here: Best of luck to yoU!


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