A webalbum is a type of free music album that is available online and that offers a unique visual environment for each song. Webalbum replace compact discs, with the website’s visual environment substituting for the traditional album cover.

This type of album is preferred by musicians who believe music should be distributed freely and without restriction in order to reach as many listeners as possible.

Core characteristics of the webalbum

• A webalbum is free; it is founded on the belief that music should be a loss leader for derivative products (live shows, CDs, ringtones, copyright usage, T-shirts, etc).

• A webalbum can be accessed anywhere; since is hosted online, it is freely accessible to the entire (wired) world.

• A webalbum offers content prepared for a specific physical format; since the most popular format remains the CD, a webalbum’s content is similar to that of a traditional compact disc, offering the equivalent of 700 Megabytes or 80 minutes of music (16 bits, 44.1 Khz).

• A webalbum is informational and visual; it paves the way for the resurgence of the concept album, without interruptions and with a unifying theme. It offers original songs combined with a visual environment that blends a unique atmosphere with every track.

• A webalbum is flexible; it is offered under a Creative Commons licence (a copyright management tool that allows for a complete spectrum of options, from copyleft to copyright), which allows all kinds of uses of its content.

• A webalbum is free; since it is not hindered by DRM (Digital Right Management), listeners can legally make as many copies as they want.

• A webalbum is universal; listeners can download the entire album or individual tracks, in various formats, including .wav, .aiff, .flac, .mp3 and more (such as .aac and other proprietary formats).

Optional characteristics of the webalbum

• A webalbum can be evolutionary; each song can be linked with varied audio and video content created by the artist or collaborators (such as live performances, remixes, models, etc).

• A webalbum can be participatory; each song can be linked with varied audio and video content captured by fans during live performances.


The first band to use this format was Misteur Valaire . Their webalbum was released on September 5th, 2007.
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