MyDrive Music Disk

Perhaps because my original work was in radio, I tend to pay more attention to music and dialogue in video than most video editors I know. I have collected production music for years. I note that the racks of CDs in many video studios though are disappearing – partly because they are a magnet for dust.

A few weeks back I saw an ad in BBC’s Ariel magazine advertising a (free) harddrive full of music. At the moment, in Europe, it only available in the UK. JW Media Music Ltd tell me they have explored various means of getting music to clients. They offer Internet downloads and have released larger itunes based hard drives in the past; both as attempts to cut down the waste produced by sending out so many CD’s.

Although these endeavors have both been received well by clients, the MyDrive has been the most universally accessible format to date. The software (originally created by an Australian library we represent in the UK, Beatbox Music) offers a really straight forward search interface. You just plug it into a Mac, PC or Avid using the USB port and there are 10,000 tracks from five top music libraries waiting to be explored.

Having auditioned the tracks you want to use, simply hit export and save the file to your computer as you would a word document. All the music rights (MCPS) registration details are saved on both the track name and the MP3 meta data, so no need for post-it notes all over the place as with CD’s.

Also featuring on MyDrive in the UK are Beatbox, Standard Music, Noise Pump, and LA Post. Although some other publishers have experimented with the idea, it is a device which has so far not been matched by any other UK Libraries. JW Media say they have over 500 in circulation at present in the UK alone, with more and more requests from editors, producers and sound engineers coming in everyday. The device is free, as the music contained within it is all set rate, MCPS administered music which the user pays for either directly to the MCPS or through their broadcasters blanket license (such is the case for the BBC).

I believe it is important that if music publishers want to get producers to log the right content details, they provide a device like this to manage the metadata. In the past, I have seen so many producers either get things wrong or make things up because they didn’t regard the admin as part of their production task. And since this can be automated, I agree with them.



  1. A though provoking post Jonathan. A few years ago I did Windows XP course and on of the attendees guys worked for a commercial radio station. I was intrigued when he told me how most of the music came ‘down the broadband pipe’ as 320K MP3s (or was it AAC?) files. He also said how the royalty info etc. was logged on a central data-base that effectively just send out monthly bills!If only you could resurrect Media Network just one more time a do a mini documentary on how a modern radio station manages it’s music and news, the internet must have made such a huge difference to the way they work!

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