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Mastering House ???

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Mastering House ???

Postby pianoworldstage » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi

I recently intended to upload an album to CD Baby for digital distribution to all online music stores and streaming platforms, until i was informed by CD Baby that unless the album had been mastered and verified by a pro mastering house, the album would not be accepted by Apples iTunes music store.

Does this mean the original artist doesn't have the freedom to master their own work?
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:17 pm

Apple now requires all tracks to meet their MFiT standard, and to ensure that they have to come from one of Apple's approved 'aggregators'. There are more details here:

https://www.justmastering.com/article-masteredforitunes.php

https://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:49 pm

I wonder how much the 'pro mastering house' have to pay Apple before being accepted as such......
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:11 am

Sam Spoons wrote:I wonder how much the 'pro mastering house' have to pay Apple before being accepted as such......

Does that imply a touch of cynicism Sam? ;)

(it makes perfect sense though, knowing the Apple empire)


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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:18 am

:shifty: :shifty: :shifty: Just a little Martin.....

Thankfully my stuff is never likely to trouble the fruit...
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:55 pm

Actually I'm not sure what Apple get out of this? They get a higher standard of mastered work, but is that a major source of complaints for them?
If you want to cast a cynical eye over it, you'd ask, "Who benefits?" To which the answer is the pro mastering places who can get on the list.
But most mastering engineers I know of have been banging on about these issues (better resolution and more dynamic mixes = good thing) for years. So I'd be surprised if all these small, independent mastering engineers managed to get together and lobby Apple to change their process.
The cynic in me says this is driven by the major labels (and their recording studios) trying to re-insert themselves as gatekeepers in the system.
And succeeding. :(

That means my band won't be putting any more music on iTunes. Which is a little vexing.

(Interestingly I couldn't find anything on CDBaby's site about MFiT).
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:37 pm

I must admit that I've not heard anything about this from my main label client yet - though they go through a trade distributor rather than one open to all.
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:01 pm

I was wondering if you were already registered James, or what it takes to get registered.
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:06 pm

I've not really looked into it and, as I'm not part of the Apple eco-system, I'm not sure whether I'd be able to run the tools they suggest on the page that Hugh linked to. If it becomes a problem I'll have to investigate though.
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby pianoworldstage » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:28 pm

OP

Just to clarify, its called Apples Digital Masters Album.

CD Baby states that ITunes also accepts 16 bit files and the majority of CD Baby clients go with the 16 bit option for ITunes. 

Meaning ITunes accept 16bit files without the mastering house verification requirement, not sure? 

Whereas only the 24 bit file option for ITunes needs mastering verification? Therefore resulting in 2 paid submissions and 2 bar codes.

I've yet to hear from them for this to be confirmed. If the above is correct? It seems logical to go with the 16 bit option, therefore saving the expense on pro mastering, two album submissions and two bar codes.

Some what of a logistical conundrum..
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby MOF » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:45 pm

(Interestingly I couldn't find anything on CDBaby's site about MFiT).
It’s mentioned at the bottom of this page, https://cdbaby.com/mastering.aspx not specifically MFiT though “Note: Mastering must happen prior to submitting your album or single to CD Baby.”
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby blinddrew » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:09 pm

My reading of that is about using the SoundLab service and it's a reminder that you use SoundLab before submitting to CDBaby.
It never used to be a requirement to use a professional mastering house to get stuff into their distribution network. And, as indicated by pianoworldstage above, for everything apart from Apple it still isn't.
What I can't work out from their text is whether the 16bit approach gets you onto Apple's 'standard' format or just not on Apple at all. I'm struggling to find the page at the moment. (Mostly because my internet connection is not playing ball).
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby ore_terra » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:13 am

Hi

my band's latest stuff has not been mastered by a MFiT "approved" mastering studio (a good mastering studio though), and still it has been placed in apple music by cd baby. hope it helps.
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:16 am

I think it's just the case that you can't have the MFiT badge unless the material comes via an approved mastering house, and Apple are trying to promote MFiT as a superior quality format within iTunes.
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Re: Mastering House ???

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:24 am

Well that will come as a relief to a load of mastering houses who don't fancy being certified ;)


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