Shockwave-Sound Blog and Articles
New website feature: My Orders

New website feature: My Orders

Our new “My orders” page

Dear Shockwave-Sound.com users,

This week we have launched a new website feature: “My orders“. This new page allows you to get access to all your current and past orders – with download links for all your orders.

Our site has been online for almost 11 years now, and unlike many other sites, we have resisted the temptation to start with “user accounts”. At Shockwave-Sound.com, anybody can come in, place an order, get their product, and be on their way. We do not require people to sign up to a “user account”, with validating your email address, registering all your personal details, coming up with a user name, then forgetting your password between each visit, thus having to use the “forgot your password” process to have the password emailed to you, only to find that the darn email with that password in it doesn’t arrive, so you’re unable to log in and unable to get on with your day.

None of this happens at Shockwave-Sound.com, simply because we don’t require people to sign up for an “account” with us before they can place an order. However, there is a flip side to this. Because you haven’t registered a user account, all your past orders aren’t “connected” to each other in the same way that they would have been if they had been attached to your user account. Each order is just a separate entity, without “belonging” to a particular user or identity in a database. And for this reason, there has not been any real way for customers to come back to our site later and get an overview of their past orders, with access to past invoices, license documents and download links.

We now feel that we’ve come up with a good solution for this. By going to the “My orders” page, you can input an email address and a date range. When you click “Submit”, our entire order log is searched, and if any orders found to match that email address, an email is automatically sent out to that email address with a full order history, and access to download links.

For obvious reasons, the email with download links etc. can only be sent to the actual email address that the order was placed under. So if you placed an order 2 years ago under the email address abc@abc.com, you have to type that exact email address into the form, and the order history is then emailed to that address. If you no longer have access to that email address, and you need to have the order history sent to a different address instead, then you have to ask us to help you with that.

We hope, and think, that this feature will be helpful to all of our customers, old and new. Let me also take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!

New ‘Advanced Search’ feature at Shockwave-Sound.com

New ‘Advanced Search’ feature at Shockwave-Sound.com

Hi all,

Until now, we have always just had a single, simple “Search” feature here at Shockwave-Sound.com. This was fine years ago when we had only a thousand or so music tracks and sound effects. But as the years have gone by, adding new music and sound effects every week, or catalogue has grown to such a volume that it is sometimes necessary to go “deeper” in Search to find what you need.

We’ve had this in the back of our minds for some time, but the “kick in our behind” came one day recently when a customer wrote in to tell us that he was trying to find a “ding!” sound for a Powerpoint presentation, but when he searched for “ding” in our old, simple search box, he got 662 results, of which most were music tracks. The simple search box searches through all track titles, descriptions, keywords and — for example — it will produce a search result that includes every music track where the word “ending” appears in the description of that track.

A link to the new “Advanced Search” feature can be found directly underneath the simple search box.

Once on the Advanced Search page, you’ll see some options that should be pretty self explanatory.

You can search only in Music Tracks, or only in Sound Effects, or both.

You can search only in 24-bit, High Definition audio files, or you can choose to include also 16-bit, normal CD-quality audio files. Note that there is no option to search for only 16-bit audio files and not include 24-bit audio files in the search results. The reason for this is that every purchase of 24-bit audio files always includes also the 16-bit equivalent file. So if you are unable to use 24-bit files in your system, you can still include 24-bit files in your search, because should you buy the 24-bit file, you automatically also get the 16-bit file included.

You can search in Non-PRO music tracks, or PRO-registered music tracks, or both. “PRO-registered” or “Non-PRO registered” basically means whether the composer of that music track is a member of a Performance Rights Organization such as PRS, ASCAP, BMI or similar. If the composer is a member of such an organization, the music is still royalty-free for almost all uses, but in some rare cases, additional licensing may be necessary. If the composer is not a member of any Performance Rights Organization (i.e. the music is “Non-PRO”), that means the music is entirely royalty-free for all types of use.

You can make a search in Title only. This is the best option if you know the track title, or part of the track title, you’re looking for.

Or, you can make a different search that includes the Title, Description, Keywords, or Composer. This is useful to search for, for example, a mood (try a search for “romantic”), or an instrument (try a search for “acoustic guitar”), or a composer (try a search for “Arjun Sen”) or even a music style (try a search for “hard rock”).

Finally, you can limit your search to only a particular genre. For example, you can select the genre “Rock music” and search for the word “melodic”. Or, you can select the genre “Classical music” and you can search for the keyword “romantic”. You get the idea.

We hope you’ll enjoy our new Advanced Search feature and we hope it will help to save you some time and frustration. 🙂

“General Royalty-Free” vs “Completely Royalty-Free” music

We would like to try to explain some of the complexities of music use and royalty-free music. We’ve tried to make this as short as we could:

General royalty-free music (PRO Tracks):

Most music composers and publishers are members of various composers’ rights societies. Some societies oversee and look after the composers’ works with regards to physical manufacturing of products that contain their music. These rights are called “Mechanical rights“. Other societies oversee and look after the composers’ works with regards to broadcasting and public performance of their music. These rights are called “Performance rights

When you find music listed as “royalty-free” on this web site and other web sites, it usually means that the composer and publisher of the music are not members of any society that oversees their mechanical rights. This means that you can freely use their music on DVD, CDROM and any other physical object that contains their music, and you can have these CD/DVD’s manufactured in a factory, without paying any fee to any collection society for that.

At Shockwave-Sound.com ALL music is FREE of mechanical rights. We do not work with any composers who are members of any mechanical rights society. This means that ALL the music on our site is royalty-free for use on DVD, CDROM etc.

But many composers are members of a Performing Rights Organization (PRO). These PRO’s look after the composers and publishers rights to receive royalties when their music is broadcast or played in public. It means that anybody who broadcasts their music, or plays it in public (for example, at a trade show, or in a sports arena), need to obtain a license from their country’s performance royalty collection society. In most cases, this does not affect you (our customer) in any way, because the broadcasters already have this license and therefore no additional fees are actually payable by anybody.

For example, you buy a track from us by a composer who is a PRO member. You use the music on a DVD film and manufacture 5,000 copies of that film. No problem, the composer isn’t member of any mechanical rights society, so there are no fees to pay for this. A year later, your film ends up getting broadcast on BBC, or perhaps on YouTube. Now, the composer will receive a small payment for this. This payment is however just taken from the already paid, annual license that the BBC and YouTube pays to the performance rights organization. No extra money is payable by anybody. Nobody has incurred any extra expenses, because the license money was already paid by the broadcaster, as a large annual fee.

So, whilst the music is not entirely free of all strings, it is still fair to call it royalty-free because neither the producer, nor the broadcaster (who already has an annual license) has to pay any royalties.

The only time an actual additional expense would come into this situation would be if you decide to broadcast the music yourself, and you don’t already have a broadcasting license. For example, at a concert or at some kind of venue that doesn’t already have a PRO license. Some countries also consider telephone music-on-hold to be a “broadcast” – other countries do not.

As far as trade shows or sports events, here you would expect the venue/hall to already have a license from their country’s performance royalty organization, but you may want to check that.

Recently, the PRS in the United Kingdom have deemed that a person or company in the UK that uses music on a UK web site is classed as a ‘broadcaster’. And, as a broadcaster of music, if you want to use any music that is composed by a composer who is a member of a performance rights society, you need a license from the PRS. The license typically costs ÂŁ50 per year. This applies only to UK persons and companies with UK web sites.

Wherever you look for “royalty-free music”, be it on the internet or in traditional production music libraries, most of the music you’ll find is in this category. The composers are not members of any mechanical rights society, but they are members of a performance rights society, and it would be fair to call their music “general royalty-free”.

Completely royalty-free music (Non-PRO Tracks):

There are some composers who are not a member of any kind of composers’ society what so ever. They are not members of any mechanical rights society, so their music can be manufactured on DVD/CD etc. without paying any mechanical license fees to any organisation. And they are also not members of any performance rights organization, so their music can be freely broadcast and played in public without paying any broadcasting license to any collection society what so ever. Their music can be said to be “completely royalty free” – also known as “Non-PRO music”, “PRS free music”, “GEMA free music” and so on.

If you are going to need music that is entirely Non-PRO, you can choose to Search or Browse only Non-PRO music using our website. When you browse a music genre (by clicking on a genre in the list of music genres/styles on the right-hand side of our site), on top of the result list you can see an option to display “PRO and Non-PRO tracks” or “Non-PRO Tracks Only“. Click “Non-PRO tracks only” and your displayed track list will be updated to show only music that is “completely royalty-free”.

If you want to Search by keywords or track titles etc., and you want to display only Non-PRO music, then go to the Advanced Search page, and you’ll be able to see the “PRO and Non-PRO” or “Non-PRO tracks only” option there.