Don't Catch the WAV
a.k.a. Looking at alternatives to the ubiquitous audio file format.
I get sent a lot of music. As a longtime music journalist, that’s not anything unusual, but it does mean that a lot of promos land in my inbox—the vast majority of them unsolicited.
Digging through those emails is part of the job, and over the years, I’ve seen just about everything, from personalized, essay-length promo spiels to typo-riddled blurbs that barely qualify as sentences. And when it comes to actually sharing the music itself, the platform options are seemingly endless. Spotify. SoundCloud. Dropbox. Google Drive. WeTransfer. FATdrop. DISCO. PromoJukeBox. Haulix. That’s just a partial list of the various sites and services people use, and it doesn’t even include the folks who still send audio files as email attachments. (Pro tip: don’t do that.)
There’s no one “right” way to send music to journalists (or anyone else in the industry), but some methods are definitely more advisable than others. Back in June of 2020, I actually did my best to outline some of those methods here in the newsletter—that particular edition was literally titled “How to Talk to Journalists (and Get Them to Check Out Your Music)”—and while I’m admittedly revisiting some of the same ground here, today I wanted to narrow the focus a bit further.
That’s because there’s one file-sharing practice that’s still incredibly common, despite the fact that it routinely causes headaches for those receiving the music:
People are still sending WAV files, and they probably ought to stop.