What is Netlabels.org?

It all started years ago with a passion for free minds, freedom and first of all my love for music. The term netlabel and its idea was still unfamiliar to most music lovers. My first contact to netlabels was – I guess – in 2000. I discovered my first netlabels through a then very active and friendly mailing list called Netaudio.

My desire to collect information about netlabels, to get an overview of the phenomenon was big and I started my first list. Back then it was already difficult to keep up with all the netlabels. I think the list collected some 50 to 100 netlabels.

The next step was the so-called The Netlabel Catalogue. Its first iteration was a CMS where I collected the information and it still was too much to do, so I made the – then clever step – and moved over to a Wiki-CMS. Like the Wikipedia, netlabels and netaudio enthusiast had the possibility now to contribute their netlabels and releases to the Netlabel Catalogue.

I used an unknown Wiki-CMS before I moved over to the MediaWikia CMS developped for the Wikipedia
The first Wiki-CMS (ComaWiki) in Edit-Mode

This wiki grew and a little community of netlabels worldwide used the netlabel catalogue to present themselves, their new releases and their back catalogue. It was a well-loved resource.

Unfortunately more and more hackers and spammers tried to rip the catalogue apart and finally suceeded. While it was a little side project I had not the nerves to repair and secure it all the time. I didn’t know how to handle the attacks and finally turned the Netlabel Catalogue off.

A fresh restart with GitHub

Moritz »mo.« SauerIn all the following years I researched an easy way to build the catalogue again. I even paid a programmer to build a unique CMS for me, but I had no money to spend it on a free resource with creative commons music, where there is no chance of financing the project to do it properly.

Now I have a new idea: I will try to rebuild Netlabels.org from the ground up. It will be a static resource build with the help of GitHub, a platform for programmers. It will be some work for the netlabels to get involved, but I think it’s worth the effort and it’s save and it’s the open source-way.

Let’s try it!

Moritz »mo.« Sauer, Cologne, Summer 2015