The Music Xray Blog
technology enhanced identification of high potential songs & talent

How to Turn Your Songs into Opportunity Magnets – For Free

Posted by Mike McCready | June 5th, 2010 | No responses


Those of you who know me probably know I’ve been working for years trying to solve the quality music filtering problem. There is just so much talent and so many songs already out there (and millions more being created each year) that it can’t all be evaluated for commercial deals the way it should be.


What I’ve learned is that nothing replaces the expert human ear when it comes to A&R. However, technology has emerged that can enhance the music industry’s human skills in much the same way a medical doctor’s skills are enhanced by the X-ray machine and other modernities. The X-ray machine doesn’t do the job of the doctor. It just gives the doctor additional information upon which better decisions can be made. Today, no one would consider seeing a doctor who doesn’t use state of the art technology.

So whether it has been using computers to help predict hit songs or developing an A&R platformthat harnesses state-of-the-art technology to help the industry perform better, solving the music filtering problem has been my passion for a long time.

I’ve been thinking about a clever way to describe Music Xray’s new Song to Opportunity (S₂O) Matching system and the best way I’ve come up with (so far) is that:

It turns your songs into opportunity magnets.

Or maybe it’s the for songs and opportunities to find each other.

Maybe it’s the Pandora for A&R…

However we describe it, I think it’s pretty cool. You upload your songs for free and then sit back and wait to be alerted when an industry professional is seeking a song like yours. Give it a shot. The more songs you upload the more alerts you will get.

Here’s how it works:

1. Some of the hundreds of music industry professionals who use Music Xray to find songs and acts have given us a few “seed” songs. That is, songs that have a musical style and sound similar to what they would like to have submitted to them. For example, if they are seeking a new single for Britney Spears they might give us a few of her songs plus an additional song in the style and sound they are seeking.

2. Music Xray uses software to analyze the acoustic properties and underlying mathematical patterns of the “seed” songs and compares them to those in songs that have been uploaded for free into the company’s system by artists and rights holders.

3. Music Xray notifies the artists when there is a match between what professionals are seeking and the artists’ songs.

We’re not making any formal announcements nor really talking much about this while the service is in beta. Nevertheless, we’re thrilled that Music Xray is pushing the envelope. It’s the first enhanced A&R platform in the world. It harnesses cutting edge technology to enable the industry to filter through large quantities of music to find the most appropriate songs for each opportunity.

This is A&R on steroids.

Click here for more information.


Tip of the week – What is Music Xray (and why is it so great)?

Posted by Mike McCready | June 2nd, 2010 | No responses

Music Xray is an A&R platform that helps people who professionally receive songs manage and make sense of them easier than ever before.

By creating a state-of-the-art, efficient and organized A&R Platform that the music industry can use for free, we enable many of the industry’s top companies and talent buyers to make themselves directly available to artists, songwriters, song owners and performers via song drop boxes. Even companies that previously did not accept unsolicited material have found that Music Xray enables them to open their doors. The platform is also a facilitator of communication and conversations between artists and industry professionals that makes the interactions rewarding for both parties.

Additionally, Music Xray has made it easier for top producers, coaches and even artists themselves to offer song critiquing and career coaching services, (sometimes for free), making Music Xray the easiest and fastest way to get advice, education and insights about music and the music business.

Subscribe to the new Song Cat A&R Podcast to hear great Music Xray songs and discussion about the music business.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Why You Shouldn’t Hide Your Songs Under a Bush

Posted by Mike McCready | May 29th, 2010 | No responses


We’ve all heard the old stories about the artist who submitted their song to someone in the music business and never heard back. Then, at some point in

the future they heard their song on the radio as a smash hit recorded by someone else and the whole thing ended up in a contentious lawsuit or simply

never got resolved. These days, some artists believe that when they put their songs “out there” they run the risk of it spreading virally and millions of

people will end up listening to the song but the artist never will never see a dime.

As in every industry, the music industry has its share of unscrupulous people so I’ll never go as far as to say that this won’t ever happen again but in my

opinion, the potential rewards of getting your songs heard far outweigh the risks. Here are four points that illustrate why:

  • There are now over a million songs being created and digitally distributed EACH YEAR. There is no lack of great music and smash hits out there and an

    industry professional would rather do legitimate business with a willing artist than to steal a song. There’s just too much hassle involved in stealing a song

    and in today’s digital age. It’s pretty easy for an artist to prove a song is theirs.

  • If you don’t get your song in front of the right people you have no shot. There are plenty of artists out there who understand that hiding their music is

    only going to lead to never getting a deal. In other words, competition is robust and if you don’t get your songs in front of the right people there are

    plenty of other artists who will.

  • Right or wrong, most music business professionals believe that there is no song or artist that can’t be replaced. That is to say, no matter how good you

    are or no matter how good your song is it really doesn’t make sense for a music business professional to try to “steal” it from you. Why get embroiled in

    contention with an artist and damage your own reputation in the business when it’s so easy to find artists with great songs willing to do deals?

  • Mass exposure gives you a better chance of achieving fame or reaching a deal than obscurity does. That is to say, if you are lucky enough to put a song

    out there and to have it take off virally you will do really well. The currency of the digital age is attention. If you get people’s attention you have a better

    chance of converting it into income than if you languish in obscurity. Unless you are a writer of hit songs with a proven track record, a network of

    contacts waiting for your next creation and top artists beating down your door for your songs you need to do whatever you can to establish yourself.

    Having one of your songs go viral will help you establish that.

There is one last issue you should understand. Most music professionals and companies will not accept music submissions if the music they receive is not publicly visible and streamable somewhere. There are a lot of complex legal issues surrounding this but explained briefly; industry professionals and their companies do not want to be put in the position of perhaps being the only people to have ever heard your music. If they were and someone were to copy your music, they could be liable. Industry professionals would prefer to never hear your music than to be put in that position. Therefore, one of the requirements of submitting music via Music Xray is that the music is streamable from the site. This is explained clearly in our terms of service. If you’re not comfortable with it, please don’t use Music Xray.

But again, there are lots of other reasons (see above) why making your music available is in your best interest.

Tip of the week – How To Make It As an Artists in the New Music Business

Posted by Mike McCready | May 19th, 2010 | No responses

Check out this article on The Huffington Post:

It covers some of the new opportunities and paths to success now open to artists in the emerging new music business landscape.

“… after years of drought, we may now be moving into the best time to be a musical act in decades, if not ever. A time when there is less incentive than ever before for any business person to prey upon the aspirations and naivety of artists and a time when artists can hire their own business teams and be off to the races.

“I am certain that we will see some very creative ways in which artists will become famous. There will be more paths to success than we’ve ever seen. I don’t claim to foresee them all but here’s one replicable way I think it can be done.”

Subscribe to the new Song Cat A&R Podcast to hear great Music Xray songs and discussion about the music business.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

How do I set up the Next Big Sound Artists Statistics Module on my Music Xray?

Posted by Mike McCready | May 16th, 2010 | No responses

For those of you who have not activated it, the Artist Statistics module displays all sorts of data about the artist and help you see your traction and

progress at a glance.

However, YOURS MAY CONTAIN NO DATA and instead of seeing cool and informative graphs you

may only be seeing a message that says, “Could not locate any information for the artist name supplied.”

But you can change that

and we HIGHLY recommend you do, especially if you are submitting songs to industry professionals or have some of your songs pending review. Any

changes you make now will still be seen by professionals even though you’ve already submitted!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Click here (if that link does not work, copy and paste the following link into your browser: and set up an account at Next Big Sound (requires only email address and a password of your choice).

  2. After that, you should be taken to a screen asking you for the “artist’s name”. If not, go back to the link provided above once you’ve opened

    an account and are signed in.

  3. Enter the artist’s name. It will have to appear identically in the artist name field on your Music Xray song info module so if

    you have not entered your artist name and song title in your song presentation packs you have to do that too before the graphs will appear properly.

  4. Then enter the URLs to all the pages it requests such as your MySpace page, your Facebook page, Twitter url etc…
  5. Once that is finished your Artist Statistics module on your Music Xray should work just fine. Let us know if you have any questions.

Having trouble entering your artist name and song title in your Song Presentation pack?

It could be because you never claimed it after you uploaded it during the submission process.

Here’s how you do that:

  1. Find an email you were sent right after you uploaded your song from Check your spam folder too.
  2. Click on the link that is provided in the email and then follow the instructions. You should be able to log in and make changes to your song

    presentation pack at that point.

  3. Let us know if you have any questions by getting in touch with us via the contact page:

Tip of the week – How To Best Use Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | May 11th, 2010 | No responses

1. Get feedback on your songs from qualified industry professionals.

2. Submit your songs for roster consideration, song placements and much more.

3. Use your song presentation packs to promote your songs across the web while putting their best foot forward.

Subscribe to the new Song Cat A&R Podcast to hear great Music Xray songs and discussion about the music business.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Tip of the week – The Nature of Unsolicited Material

Posted by Mike McCready | April 27th, 2010 | No responses

You’ve probably seen or been told that most music companies don’t accept unsolicited material (i.e. music they did not request be sent to them). There are many reasons for this but Music Xray is helping music companies solve the problems typically associated with unsolicited music. That is why you are seeing more and more of the traditional music companies joining Music Xray.

By solving problems for music companies and other music industry professionals, Music Xray is able to solve problems for you, like “How do I stand out? How do get my music into the hands of the people who can help me?

Music Xray is a platform that enables you to interact directly with top music industry professionals and submit directly to be considered for revenue generating deals.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Accepting song submissions on Music Xray is easy

Posted by Mike McCready | April 23rd, 2010 | No responses

Accepting song submissions on Music Xray is easy

Whether you’re a Grammy-winning producer, a music blogger, a label or just a guy with a website, you can begin using Music Xray to accept song

submissions. With your free dropbox you have the following options:

  • Accept submissions completely free (100% free for you and your submitters).
  • Charge a submission fee.

  • Donate any percentage of your fee to charity.
  • Promote your opportunities/your dropbox on your own websites and through social networks.
  • We promote many of the new opportunities to thousands of artists (we make sure they’re real).

If you are posting songs you’ve received we have a couple different options. Like this or like this.

If you want to open a drop box click here and log in under Music Industry Professionals.

Tip of the week – Why We Use Third-Party Log-ins

Posted by Mike McCready | April 21st, 2010 | No responses

You’ve probably noticed that in order to log in to submit music we ask that you use a third-party account.

1. It is secure. When you log in using a third party account (your username and password from another service) you are not giving us your password. Essentially, you are logging-in to that third-party service and they send us a code telling us you are who you say you are. We never get to see your actual log-in details.

2. It’s fast and easy. By using a third-party log-in, you do not have to remember yet another username and password. When you change your password at Facebook (for example) that’s all you have to remember.

3. It’s the future. More and more sites are moving to this type of log-in. We don’t rule out re-introducing our own username and password system but you will start to see more and more sites around the Web moving to this type of login feature. Just look at a few of the sites around the Web that are using this system already.

One last note: Our song submission site and the song presentation packs are separate applications that require that you log in separately. We recommend that you use the same third-party account for both applications and there is even a feature in the presentation packs menu that shows you how to associate your old username and password that you’ve been using with us to a third-party account. For more information on this topic and to avoid confusion, click here.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Tip of the week – Getting Your Music Career to the Next Level

Posted by Mike McCready | April 13th, 2010 | No responses

Music Xray is focussed on two things.

1. Getting you and/or your songs signed.
2. Getting you the coaching / advice and feedback you can use to get to the next level.

If the first point isn’t happening for you, concentrate on the second point to learn why and then go back to trying to place your songs and get yourself signed to revenue generating deals. It’s that straight forward. There are no hidden secrets.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.