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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A little rant about CD shipping prices

As someone who has been selling my music on CD's by mail-order since 1991, I think it's finally time for me to write a few words on my frustrations with the ever increasing Postage prices. :-(



I don't know if Norway have the highest postage prices prices in the world, but it would certainly seem that way to me. Every year for as long as I can remember (and sometimes twice a year) the Norwegian postal service have increased their prices, to the point where it now costs the absolutely ridiculous amount of -- wait for it -- about US$ 12.75 !!! in stamps, to send ONE CD to USA and other non-European countries. Yes, you read it right. For a small packet with a weight between 100 grammes and 350 grammes, I now have to put 70 NOK (US$ 12.75) in stamps on the package. And that's only the actual stamps. I haven't included the bubble-wrap envelope which is another $1 approx when purchased in bulk. Plus maybe $0.25 in labels, ink, stickers that are needed on the envelope.

So really, when a customer orders a CD on my website for $15, I actually have to pay about $14.00 to ship the CD out to the customer! Stupid, or what??

And this is for completely normal, NON-registered, NON-tracked, bog standard air-mail postal delivery. Want "Registered" service? That's another 180 NOK (US$ 32,75) on top of the normal postage cost!

Unfortunately, one normal CD in a regular jewel case, with a small bubble-wrap envelope, comes to just over 100 grammes in weight. Now, if you put 3 CDs in the package, it's just under 350 grammes, so a shipment of 3 CD's costs the same amount as 1 CD, as they are both in the "100-350 grammes" weight class.

But if you come up to 4 CD's, then you are up to the weight class "350 - 1,000 grammes" which costs an incredible 160 NOK = US$ 29.10! Again, that's completely normal, standard, non-registered postal service. And again, that does not include any bubble-wrap envelope or anything else. It's only for the actual stamps I have to put on the package.

Now. Of course, before I can even send the CD to you, I have to get the CD's sent to me first, from the CD-factory.  I can probably get this done, with shipping costs and import duties, for around US$ 2.50 per disc.

All in all, this means that by the time I've had ONE compact disc sent to me from the factory, and sent to one customer in USA who wants to buy my CD, we have spent a total of approximately US$ 16.50 in shipping and shipping-related costs.

And of course, that does not include the actual cost of manufacturing the disc in the first place!

My friends, this is some of the reason why I'm trying to get away from the physical disc, the CD, and trying to sell my music as downloads instead. From my download-shop I can sell you a FLAC download of almost all of my albums for $12 per album. FLAC files are completely lossless; they have exactly the same sound quality as the physical CD. Or if you prefer MP3 downloads, I sell my albums at $10 per album, and that's for high quality, 256-kbps MP3 files. All album downloads (both FLAC and MP3) contain high resolution graphic files of the cover images, so those who want to "build" themselves a real CD at home can do so by printing out the cover artwork and mounting it in a jewel case.

It's with a heavy heart that I've had to once again increase the postage costs that are added to the shopping cart total when you shop for CD's in the CD-shop on my website. You may not like it when it says: One CD: $15. Shipping: $11.90. This may seem high to you, but the fact is, after Paypal have taken about 5% of the amount before paying it to me, that's not even close to paying for the actual costs involved with shipping out that CD.

I will continue to offer my albums as CD's, for as long as I have stock. But really, the writing is on the wall for the whole "physical products in the post" as far as music sales are going.

I had a little chat with someone about my frustrations over the postage costs, and she said "It just goes to show that vital services like this shouldn't be privatized. Because where there are private shareholders, there are people who want to make as much profit as possible, and that means prices will go up". She may have a point, but I don't entirely agree. I don't think the problem with the Norwegian postal service is the fact that they are privately owned. I think the problem is that they have NO competition. Private ownership and private business ventures must always be followed by competition. If there is no competition, they can do whatever they like and the customers just have to take it. Either way, I believe a State owned postal service wouldn't be any better. Perhaps it would be a little bit cheaper, but I believe the only way to a better and more affordable postal service would be competition.

One thing is for sure: The way it is now, people do anything to avoid having to send something by post.

Ok, this rant turned out a little longer than I had planned, but it felt good to get it off my chest. The real reason I wanted to write this was to explain to you that when you see $15 for one CD and $11.90 for shipping charges in my CD-shop, that's not out of greed on my part. In fact, I make a loss on those $11.90. It costs me considerably more than that to ship out the CD; at least to non-European countries.

Thanks for listening! :-)

- Bjorn

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Couple of new music tracks and various news

Dear friends,

Just a little update from Bjorn Lynne....

Nanoteknika and Crystal Horizon:
My two new CD albums have been very well received -- thank you so much to those who have ordered it. I’m getting a lot of great feedback through Facebook and email. If you have an opinion on these albums, please feel free to write your own little review (anything from 3 words to 30 pages welcome!) and submit to me by email and I’ll post your review on my website.
New tracks:
Fantasy Exploration #1: Made for the purpose of using in background for fantasy games, TV/Travel, etc. and licensing out as stock music. You can hear this track on the mp3 page of my personal website: www.lynnemusic.com/mp3.html
Hi Speed Berliner: This is very unusual for me; I wanted to make a sort of hardcore techno track which I haven’t really done since about 1996 when I made the music for the "X2" PlayStation game. This track was not made for any Bjorn Lynne CD or anything like that, but for licensing to media producers, Flash producers, animators, etc. as stock music. You can hear the track (albeit with a "preview" voiceover) at www.shockwave-sound.com/track/7050
As you can tell, I like to play around and have fun with various music styles, even though the music is a million miles away from what I would call my "musical heartland". :-)
Twitter:
I’d like to connect with as many as possible of you through Twitter.. I’m at www.twitter.com/BjornLynne . In the words of that old Genesis song: "I will follow you, if you follow me..." ;-)
Facebook:
If you’d like to connect at Facebook, you can find me at www.facebook.com/bjornlynne
Sound/Music for Nintendo DS games
Since I started my music publishing company and run www.Shockwave-Sound.com the royalty-free stock music website, I don’t really tend to work much on games any more, but there is one games development company that I still work for a little bit now and then, and right now I’m working on music and sound-fx for a Nintendo DS game. I can’t share any more details yet due to Non-Disclosure etc
On a personal note, my wife and I have just bought a piece of land here in Stavern, Norway. We were pretty lucky and managed to grab hold of what is probably the largest piece of land still available for development here in this small town. We’re now embarking on the long and costly affair of building "our dream house". Should be lots of fun, and lots of work!

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

All the best,
-          Bjorn Lynne

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New track, "Fantasy Exploration #1"

I composed a new music track, "Fantasy Exploration #1", which you should be able to hear in the Flash player below... The purpose of this track was to make it available for licensing for use in media such as games, video/film, exhibitions, installations, etc.

With this track I've tried to create a track that would be a nice background for exploring new areas and mystical lands. I've deliberately tried to make it non-emotional, not too sad, not too happy, not too light, not too dark, not too exciting, not too boring, not too spooky, not too light... :-) Just middle of the road, all the way! But still with a little bit of mysticism. I hope you'll enjoy it. If you want to license the track for use in media, you can find it at www.Shockwave-Sound.com

- Bjorn

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My two new CD's now available as MP3 or FLAC downloads

Hi all,

The "pre-ordering" period for my two new CD's "Crystal Horizon" and "Nanoteknika" is now over. In total, exactly 100 Crystal Horizon and 97 Nanoteknika CD's were pre-ordered. Many thanks for your support!

All pre-ordered CD's have been shipped out. If you haven't already received yours, it's right around the corner.

The two CD's can now be purchased as download albums, in high quality MP3 (256-kbps) or in Lossless FLAC format. The purchase also includes high-res cover artwork images - with cut and crop marks and everything - so you can print the artwork and make yourself a CD-cover for the album, if you want to. The whole album is $10.00 as MP3 or $12.00 as FLAC. They can be purchased from my download shop, where payment is done through 2Checkout. 2Checkout accepts all major credit cards, and Paypal.

It is still possible to buy the physical CD's as well! These can be purchased for $15.00 from my CD-shop.

For those who have already received your CD's, I hope you enjoy them. :-)

All the best,
- Bjorn

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Now taking pre-orders for two new Bjørn Lynne CD's

Dear readers,

I'm very happy to say that today I have opened the pre-ordering for my TWO new CD albums, "Crystal Horizon" and "Nanoteknika", both of which will be released later this month (probably around the 25th of October).

Many of you are asking about buying autographed CD's, and I have decided to do it like this: All copies of this CD that are pre-ordered before the actual release date will be autographed by me and shipped out to you by me, personally. As soon as the CD's are actually manufactured, I will autograph, pack and ship out all pre-ordered CD's personally. After the actual release customers will have the CD shipped to them  directly from the manufacturing plant - NOT by me personally. Therefore it is only possible to get it autographed if you pre-order it before the actual release date - which is tentatively set for October 25th. This goes for both of the two new CD's.



The two new albums will also be available to buy as high quality MP3 and lossless FLAC downloads, with high-res cover artwork, directly from my site. But only from the same day when I actually start sending out pre-ordered CD's to customers.

Over the coming weeks and months, the CD's should also eventually make their way up on other services like iTunes, CDBaby, Payplay.fm etc. But this will take a good number of weeks from the release date.

Crystal Horizon and Nanoteknika are both $15.00 each as physical CD's. They can be pre-ordered right now from the Bjorn Lynne CD-shop.

The download versions (with high-res printable cover artwork) will cost US$ 10.00 each in 256-kbps MP3 files, or US$ 12.00 each in lossless FLAC format.

You can listen to previews of all the tracks on by "Crystal Horizon" and "Nanoteknika" on the web pages for each of the albums. I hope you'll enjoy them. :-)

All the best,
Bjorn Lynne, www.lynnemusic.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Bjorn Lynne album(s) on the Horizon....

oday, I got this email from Robert Kriger: "Is there a way that I can purchase some of your latest creations that have not made into an album yet such as solar winds, Funkwah, perpetual flux, Koloss, etc… I have been a great fan of yours since 1998, and have pretty much all your albums. keep up the good work! By way, please tell your friend Jogeir Liljedahl that his album out of silence is phenomenal and I can't wait to hear new material from him."


I thought that this kind of deserved a real answer, not just to Robert, but to other people reading this...

The situation is: I’ve actually got a lot of music more or less ready for release on new Bjorn Lynne CD’s. I think I have enough material for at least two CD’s. The only thing that’s kind of keeping me from releasing this new material on CD’s is that I need to “collate” it. I need to go through the material and choose what to use and what to leave out. Also, choose which tracks to use together on one CD to make it either one or two more or less cohesive albums, rather than just a totally random collection of tunes of all styles and moods. Also, I need to put it all together as gapless albums (I like to make gapless albums) :-) And not least, I have to try to come up with some cover artwork / CD cover design/layout, all that. It’s these things that have been holding me back somewhat for the past 6 months or so.

But…. After I got your email, I got a little “kick in the behind” and I will actually try to pull myself together a little bit and get this done. Most likely I’ll release one album of only my own stuff (electronic, spacey, melodic), and another album with more upbeat/driving stuff, together with my friend Adam Skorupa. (We’ve released one album together in the past).

Please keep watching my website and my newsletter for updates soon!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Question about using music in a film

Question from Kacpar Królak:
I got a question. If I buy one of your present/future tracks. May I use them in one of my movies? "Under cover of darkness" suits well to my idea for a vampire movie :-)
Answer from Bjorn Lynne:
Hi Kacper,

You can buy my tracks in two different ways:

You can buy my tracks cheap like $1 per track or less, from places like CDBaby.com, iTunes, Payplay.fm etc. You pay very little for the track, but the track is then only for personal listening. The same is the case if you buy one of my CD's for around $12 etc.

The other way you can buy my music is to buy it from www.Shockwave-Sound.com. Here you pay a lot more per track (about $15-30 for one music track), and here you are buying a license for using the music in media and in-public. So you get to download the music, and you also get the legal rights to use the track in your movie, or whatever other media you want.

So... the answer is yes. If you buy my music from www.Shockwave-Sound.com you can use the music in a movie etc. But if you buy it very cheap from some place like iTunes.com etc., then you can only use the music for personal listening.

Of course, I very much appreciate ALL support I get from people who buy my music, whether it's from iTunes, Shockwave-Sound.com, my own personal CD-shop, or anywhere else.

- Bjorn

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New sound effects site launched by Bjorn Lynne

Dear visitors, readers,

I'm happy to announce today the launch of my new website, www.1SoundFX.com. This is a brand new site that I've been thinking about developing for years, and I've finally got around to doing it. Today the site is taking live orders for the first time.

1Soundfx.com is, quite simply, a site to obtain sound effect files from. Even though the site is now live with approx. 10,000 sound effect files online, I'm in this for the long haul, and I plan to keep developing the site and the sound effects catalog for years and years.

I know from experience that it takes a long time to make a site successful in the long run. I started my royalty-free music website Shockwave-Sound.com back in April of 2000, now more than 9 years ago, and this site is a huge success today with more than 3,000 unique visitors each day and doing a lot of business. Over time, I want to do the same thing with 1SoundFX.com

So, what's so great about 1Soundfx.com? :-) It's a quick and convenient site with a huge sound effects library that will keep growing for years and years. Customers can easily and quickly buy sound effect files and then download the purchased files any time they want to from within their user account. Customers can buy larger amounts of "Credits" before buying sound files, thus saving up to 40% off stated prices. Once a file is purchased, you can download your sound file as well as a printable tax invoice from within your account area.

Contributors are welcome to participate with their own professional quality sound files. See "Contributors" at the bottom of www.1SoundFX.com for details.

And finally, each week there are 5 new professional sound effect files to download completely free from the "Free downloads" section inside your Account area.

Welcome one and all, to 1Soundfx.com !

All the best,
- Bjorn

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Help me name this track!

Hello folks,

I've been working on a new music track over the past few days, and the result can be heard below (this is a 95% finished version, a few minor tweaks may still be done...). My problem is that I can't think of a name for this track! So I'm asking you people to help me name it.

Additionally, I have two slightly different versions. The first version (Drums type 1) has some rather electronic/spacey drums whereas the second version (Drums type 2) has a slightly more organic/live style drum track. Please be sure to let me know which one you prefer!

This track was produced with two guitars (one electric and one acoustic) and the rest is 100% software. No hardware synths were used for any sounds. The main the soft-synths used are Novation V-Station, IK Multimedia Sonik Synth 2, Spectrasonics Atmosphere, Pentagon and SONAR's built-in "DropZone" synth.

Type your title suggestions in as "Comments" to this blog post, or post them on my Facebook wall (My Facebook profile is here), or even email your suggestions to me -- just as long as I get to see your track name suggestions, I'll be happy! :-)

On an entirely different subject, I have an update regarding my CD "Dreamstate" from 1995. This CD is now completely sold out from my own personal stocks. They have 16 copies in stock at CDBaby.com. Those are the last 16 copies ever. No more copies will be made of this CD will be made. When those 16 last copies are sold from CDBaby.com, the album will become a "download only" album forever.

That's all for today. Thanks for reading! Here is the Flash player with the two versions of the new "As of yet untitled" track:


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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Various news and new music from Bjorn Lynne

Dear friends around the world,

It's been a long time since I posted any real news about my music and upcoming releases, and I'm sorry about that. Trust me, I haven't been lazying around. :-) I have been very busy with various music licensing deals, my music publishing company Lynne Publishing and, of course, I've been producing some new music.

Although I have no specific plans for a new album release just yet, I'm starting to build up a good number of tracks in at least two different genres: (1) Progressive electronica, like Colony, The Void, Beneath Another Sky, and (2) Upbeat, melodic, techno-trance, more like the Amiga-scene music with a lot of patterns, sequences, synth lines and arpeggios.

Below you can hear my latest creations. I used a long time on "Solar Winds" and this is the style of music that will be on my next "progressive electronic" album. "Koloss" will probably also be on that album. If anybody has any suggestions for album title, or suggestions for album cover artwork, please send them to me. I'd love to see/hear your suggestions.

"Perpetual Flux" is an example of my more demo-scene like music of which I also hope to release an album this year. I've already posted a few other tracks in this style earlier, including "Supersymmetry" and "Tempest Drive". I have about 7 or 8 tracks in this style that I'm satisfied with... and one or two that I'm not really that satisfied with and will probably be "shelved".

"Funkwah" is something I started and finished in a single day. It was meant as a light hearted escape from my larger musical projects. It's just a little tune, made for licensing through my stock music library. It won't be on any album.

Either way, I hope you'll enjoy my latest creations. I spend a lot of time with "admin" these days but I do still enjoy composing and producing music. I'm now almost entirely software-based, having got rid of a lot of my outboard music studio equipment. I'm now working almost exclusively with my RME Fireface 400 Firewire sound card, SONAR v7, three guitars and bass guitar, a bunch of software plug-ins and, of course, my trusty old Kurzweil K2500 keyboard which I'll never get rid of. They'll have to pry it from my cold, stiff hands... :-)

I have a couple of holidays coming up. Next weekend I'll be in Manchester UK with a couple of mates to visit pubs, a football game and a stand-up comedy show. A real boys weekend. :-) Then a couple of weeks after that I'm off to the Canary Islands (off the coast of Africa) for two weeks with my wife and daughter. It's good to get a break from the long, dark Norwegian winter.

As ever, thanks for taking the time to read this and to listen to my creations. I hope you're enjoying them. I'm very much looking forward to being able to announce a new CD (or even two!) some time in 2009.

All the best,
- Bjorn

PS: Hook up with me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Bjrn_Lynne/503781394

Bjorn Lynne launches series of one-hour Ambient music albums

Dear friends,

From time to time over the past few years, I have been composing and producing a long, continuous album of ambient/relaxation music. This has been done partly to provide a music track for my "Nature Sound Series", which is a series of hour-long nature sound recordings (slow waves, rainfall, forest ambience, etc).

For the first time, this music is now available without the nature sounds -- as pure ambient music albums.

There are 6 albums available, and each one plays just over 60 minutes continuously. Each album is made as a single, long track. However, each long track is not simply a bunch of repeated notes and lines over and over again. Each one contains a fair bit of variation and exploration of various ambient moods.

The titles are as follows -- follow the links to hear a 10-minutes sample of each album.
Should you be interested in these albums, they are available to download in MP3 ($8 each) or in lossless FLAC format ($10 each) from the Bjorn Lynne download-shop.

Nature Sound Series:

As I mentioned, these same musical recordings are also available mixed with sounds of nature. They go under the artist name Nature Sound Series (which is another of my pseudonyms). The Nature Sound Series CD's are not available to buy through my personal website, but they can be bought through CDBaby.com, both as physical CD's or as MP3 downloads. Specifically, you'll find the Nature Sound Series CD's here:

All the best,
- Bjorn

All Bjorn Lynne & Divinorum albums now available as FLAC downloads

Hello folks,


I have to say "due to popular demand" -- which means that more than 2 persons have asked me about it! ;-) -- I have now made nearly all my albums available to purchase and dowload instantly as lossless FLAC files from my download-shop. They are also still available as MP3 downloads. Both versions (FLAC/MP3) also include high-res images from the cover artwork, so if you want to print your own CD cover and make yourself a real CD that way, you can do that. The FLAC versions cost $2 more than the MP3 versions.

Albums now available as FLAC/MP3 downloads:

Bjorn Lynne: "Irish & Celtic Instrumentals"
Bjorn Lynne: "Quiet Places"
Bjorn Lynne & Adam Skorupa: "Undercover"
Bjorn Lynne: "Beneath Another Sky"
Bjorn Lynne: "Soothe"
Bjorn Lynne feat. Eco-Mcz: "Statement"
Bjorn Lynne: "Return to Witchwood"
Bjorn Lynne: "Colony"
Bjorn Lynne: "The Gods Awaken"
Bjorn Lynne: "Accelerator"
Bjorn Lynne: "Wolves of the Gods"
Bjorn Lynne: "Revive"
Bjorn Lynne: "Wizard of the Winds"
Bjorn Lynne: "Decade"
Bjorn Lynne: "The Void"
Bjorn Lynne: "Witchwood"
Bjorn Lynne: "Dreamstate"
Bjorn Lynne: "Montage"
Bjorn Lynne & Seppo Hurme: "Hobbits & Spaceships"
Bjorn Lynne Relaxation Music Series: "Amazon Evening"
Bjorn Lynne Relaxation Music Series: "Under the Sea"
Bjorn Lynne Relaxation Music Series: "Tranquil Landscapes"
Bjorn Lynne Relaxation Music Series: "Image Reflections"
Bjorn Lynne Relaxation Music Series: "Endless Oceans"
Bjorn Lynne Relaxation Music Series: "A Journey Within"
Divinorum: "Power Liquids"
Divinorum: "Talisman"
Divinorum: "Isms"
Jogeir Liljedahl: "Out of Silence"
Jogeir Liljedahl: "The Wanderer"
Bjorn Lynne: "Worms World Party - Original soundtrack"
Bjorn Lynne: "Worms Armageddon - Original soundtrack"
Bjorn Lynne: "Phoenix - Deep Space Resurrection"
Bjorn Lynne: "Worms 2 - Original soundtrack"

For more information or to purchase any of these albums in FLAC or MP3, please go to the Bjorn Lynne download-shop.