Liquid Stereo
·  Liquid Stereo Home - Where it all starts. Where the music never ends.
·  On The Stereo - What's Serena listening to? Find out here. If you would like to review indie artists too let us know!
· - Have a new song online? Cut a new disc? Let the world know with our free press release forum at
·  Message Board - Interact in a discussion board full of promo tips, Liquid Stereo artist news, and more!
·  Site of the Day - Win our daily award and help promote your site -- and ours!
·  Artist Resources - Our online guide for musicians looking to get heard in the digital age.
·  Webmaster Resources - Hosting and content tips and solutions for band Websites as well as artist pages.

Featured Artist Sites
·  Late Tuesday - Smooth Rock
·  MOEV - Industrial Electronica
·  Hero - Soft Rock & More
·  Fiorella Terenzi - Electronic Astronomy
·  This End Up - Power Punk
·  Mandy Edge - Pop Rock
·  Sahlene - Pop!
·  KJV Presents - Musical Comedy
·  Aether - Modern Rock
·  Salty the Pocketknife - Psychadelica
·  Jason Artman - Alternative
·  The Eric Mulford Band - Acoustic Rock
·  Ramsay Fiction - New Rock
·  Craig Strang - Piano Rock
·  Electrosquad - Synthpop
·  Butch Berry - Rock Americana
·  YUD - Instrumental Rock
·  Jesse Sarvinski - Pop Rock
·  Aristotle - Acid Electronica
·  Wet - Edgy Rock
·  The Plastiks - Punk Pop
·  DeRoyce - Powerful New Age
·  DJ Martinee - House & Latin
·  Dogma Sinaca - Columbian Rock
·  Paris By Air - Dance Pop
·  Chris Cutler - Children Favorites
·  michaelnathan - Post Modern
·  Snap Dragyn - Folk Rock
·  X-Project - New Age Trance
·  Paper Rain - Retro Rock
·  Tom Diotto - Retro Rock
·  Sonic Ruin - Hardcore Electronica
·  2-K-Otic - Hip House Rap
·  Tanya Z - Gothic Ambient
·  Last Kid Picked - Punk Pop
·  DirtNap - Blues Grunge
·  Common Heroes - Rock
·  Mutant Industries - Industrial Noise
·  Mighty Joe - Hook Rock
·  Simplicity - Progressive
·  Tristan Dee - Acid Jazz
·  Tripwire - Alternative Rock
·  The Pale - Rock
·  Earth Songs - Native American
·  The J-Class Racers - Rock
·  Speed Limit 35 - Guitar Rock
·  Ripped Upheart - Punk
·  The Livesays - Album Rock
·  Jeff Neavor - Orchestral
·  Robbie Rupard - Spiritual Rock
·  Bad World - Righteous Rock
·  The Christines - Post Modern
·  Terrakore - Nu-Metal
·  Through The Woods - Vocal Pop
·  Coco Street - Soul Groove
·  moonlife - Synth Alternative 
·  I FEEL LUCKY - Random link to one of the featured artists


The Rise and Fall of
by Rick Munarriz

I was oblivious to 1Sound.

I knew that Rod Underhill -- an attorney, author and member of the founding group -- was up to something new music-related, but I was sketchy on the details. That all changed when Lana Crowley contacted me. Rod's partner in the venture wanted to talk to me. He had some ideas that he wanted to bounce off of me. He wanted to know if I was interested in lending a hand.

Why did Michael Danke want a piece of me? It could have been a combination of things. I was one of the few indie artists to have sampled the major label life when my band Paris By Air was briefly signed to Sony's Columbia Records. I didn't exactly fit the mode of the starving musician. I had an MBA. I was a writer-analyst for the Webby-award winning Motley Fool website.

Michael would later admit that he wanted me for my words. On the message board I had created a NO FEE SOPHIE persona, trying to assist my fellow artists with tips and tricks for online, and offline, promotion. I hosted virtual promo clinics. I kept my identity under wraps as long as possible, but I welcomed the opportunity to take off my disguise under my own terms. took notice and had me write weekly promo tips that appeared on the artist log-in page. invited me to be the panel moderator for the Getting Signed forum at its final ACE event in San Diego.

Michael appreciated my word weaving ways. He needed editorial content for his new site and figured I would be a natural. He also needed someone to moderate the 1Sound message board and he liked the way I was able to remain diplomatically positive through many of the flame wars.

I never bothered to ask if there was any money in it for me. I wanted in. The more Michael told me of the 1Sound vision the more I realized that it was the right way to go. The whole theme park concept where blogs, satire and other editorial content would help draw an entirely different crowd was appealing to me because I had long lamented how music sites had failed to market beyond the ranks of fellow musicians.

While no uploads would be turned away, a musicologist system in which songs would be ranked, made sense to me. Only the top rated songs would be eligible for the charts. Whether a song would be eligible for featured spots and plays on the streaming webcast stations would also depend on the song's quality rating. Yes, I realized that would turn off a lot of musical artists, especially those who would be ranked poorly, but after hearing too many useless charts that were gamed to the point where one had to stream through a lot of garbage to get to the good stuff, I found the 1Sound vision fresh and promising.

Music sites were losing a ton of money by putting up with gaming. Folks would band together and just play each other's songs to elevate their chart position and everyone lost. The best song typically got buried. The site got hit with huge bandwidth bills on the hosting side. The fan would tune into the chart and never return after getting turned off by the chart track quality and assume things would only get worse

So, no, I never asked to get paid. Michael had mentioned that I would probably be the first to draw a paycheck down the line, but I was offered a 3% stake in the venture and that was good enough for me.

I went to work. To save some coin, the site's programming was outsourced to Romania. While there were bugs here and there the Romanians did a more than capable job. The site looked slick. The graphics, created mostly by Dee from Caustic Soda, were snappy yet conveyed business. By the summer of 2002 early signups were being taken and I did my part in the recruiting process. On various artist-related message boards I tried my best to explain the 1Sound vision -- at least as much as I was told to divulge.

There was one amazing aspect to the 1Sound plan that never came to be. Michael and Rod were working on a promotion in which site visitors that would be streaming the station would earn chances at a huge prize payout. That would have really opened up the site to the casual user that loved the potential lottery aspects of sites like and Ultimately, the insurance companies wanted too much in premiums before underwriting that kind of policy, no matter how obscure the odds of actual winning may have been.

I was never privy to the power struggle between Michael and Rod. Michael wanted to launch slowly, building up a set number of blog accounts before opening up the editorial areas and signing up a set number of artists before launching the message board. In December of 2002 Rod decided to open as many areas as were ready -- which meant everything save for the editorial content areas.

Timing was the key as was about to get restrictive on the number of songs that would be featured on free accounts and many artist-friendly features like deep-linking (where artists could play the MP3s off the 1sound server no matter where they were) were no-no on the site. The MP3 uploads allowed on 1Sound for each artist page went from 2 to 3 to 4 to, finally, 6. The site never wanted to be the hub of an artist's entire works -- only the best tracks of any particular artist.

I didn't hear from Michael for awhile, eventually both Rod and Michael confirmed that they had parted ways. I was a simpleton in a simple role. Despite all of my experience in analyzing Internet companies (I had been doing just that for since 1995) I chose the passive route. I never questioned 1Sound's financial state. I never questioned the changing faces. Lana put me in contact with Michael and Rod yet -- poof -- I never saw her in 1Sound duty again. Zeeza was going to create some hip editorial work including zodiacs and add a little femme fatale sex appeal to counter the content that Rod and I would eventually be scribing but after designing my avatar for the boards and some emails exchanged over the first few months of the site, she too seemed to have vanished. Dee, who took some time off for health concerns in her family, never came back. And, yes, Michael was now gone too.

Michael went on to take his blog-driven vision to He was, heck -- is, brilliant. While everyone may remember how 1Sound was able to sign up more than 1500 artists the site also managed to register more than 6000 bloggers. Here were folks scribbling about their daily lives -- bringing an entirely new demographic of teenage angst and more to the 1Sound front door where artists had always wondered why their music was never exposed to the ideal audience. How did Michael get so many blog-minded writers to show up? He was a text-ad visionary, recognizing that paying pennies for targeted ads on sites like Google and Yahoo! made perfect business sense.

While I tried to keep my nose to the grindstone I missed everyone who had played a part in the site's formative days. What's worse is that Rod and Michael's split was not amicable. Michael felt he was forced out. Rod felt that things were going too slow. Yet that created the biggest roadblock of all -- the 1Sound domain was originally registered by Michael. Rod and 1Sound's financial silent partner Bryan controlled the server hosting accounts yet Michael had the domain. It would seem that if either party wanted to dismantle the site it would have been easy. Michael could have the domain point elsewhere. Rod had the keys to the content.

While each one claimed legal ownership it wasn't a pretty situation. I was cut of the diplomatic mold where no bridge was ever burned and I was asked to keep producing for a divided company that may have been one nasty argument away from evaporation. Rod argued that Michael was locked out of the ability to redirect the domain. Either way, it was a wrinkle in what had been such an amazing start.

Thanks to everyone's work early on, 1Sound became a hub of traffic. Our daily Alexa rating was peaking at better than 20,000 which was amazing considering how so many music sites that had been around for years were ranked significantly lower. Along with the site's stance on filtering for quality, companies like Microsoft were in the early stages of content distribution talks. Yet after Rod and Michael split the company's finances began to weigh heavy.

As far as overhead, 1Sound was lean because no one save for James (the site's excellent techie-minded programmer) was drawing a paycheck during the final months of 1Sound. There were two hosting companies charging $300 and $600 a month respectively, and James was on for $1,500 a month. That was $2,500 in fixed overhead and the site had yet to get ambitious in terms of monetizing itself.

An investor was needed. Bryan found a willing ear in a publicly-traded Vancouver company by the name of Consolidated Gulfside Resources. CEO Jack Wasserman had a vision of piecing a few music sites together and he was drawn to 1Sound's content and traffic.

I found out about this only after a letter of intent was made public over the summer in 2003. Up to that point the site was starting to come undone. James was still around but after not being paid due to the site's sluggish finances, he was understandably not working on the site. After a few months of negotiations between Wasserman and Bryan, Rod stepped into the picture and James was paid. He also commissioned James to do some amazing programming work that featured localized charts. Yes, the old had localized charts but these were a thing of beauty with local classifieds, area information and more. It was great stuff.

Wasserman had brought on a pair of techies to help gauge the logistics behind his desired changes to the site as well as implement some necessary bug-fixing. When Wasserman had a change of heart and decided not to pursue the buyout of 1Sound, one of the techies approached Rod about not being paid by Wasserman.

Heading into the extended Thanksgiving weekend of 2003, the hosting logs showed that the Wasserman-hired techie logged in and, effectively, shut down most of the site. It was brutal timing. had announced that it was about to shut down until CNET would re-establish itself in early 2004 and that left 250,000 artists scrambling for a new place to host their music.

In November, realizing that Wasserman was set to move on, Rod turned to me for ideas on making 1Sound a viable, sustainable venture. I had been passive all this time. I regret it now. But at the time I just felt it wasn't my place to question the direction or even wonder about the financial well being of the site. I realized that the site was going to die, Rod was getting disillusioned and I had been quiet for too long.

I proposed a three-pronged attack.

1. Reconcile with Michael Danke. If 1Sound was to continue it would need to patch up that rift. Rod didn't think that would be possible. He had suggested eventually migrating the site over to Bryan's domain. I also offered up out of my collection of domain names. Yet this would have taken us, almost literally, back to square one in the sense of having to re-establish ourselves with a brand new name. Too many artists and too much press had been generated by to squander.

2. Grow revenue. Again, thanks to the Motley Fool I had box seats to witness the boom and bust of the dot-com bubble. I may not have known how to repair the severed bond between Michael and Rod but I did know that the site was doing precious little to grow revenue. Given Rod's traffic projections we could have made a good chunk of change by something as simple as implementing Google text ads on our pages. We needed to team up with an affiliate program like Mixonic so we could offer CDs to fill the void that would be leaving behind, and profit from the fact that it would be completely outsourced and incremental revenue-wise. We needed to launch the editorial areas that had been under wraps for too long. By putting out more written content we would be able to attract the non-musician crowd and lower our average cost per page served while attracting a target audience that would have been less immune and more likely to follow through on following our sponsored ads.

3. Cut expenses. I knew that we were overpaying at least one of our hosting companies. We had to shop around for a better deal. I certainly didn't want to ask James to accept a lower paycheck though maybe there was a way to substitute some equity in the company in the near-term.

As the site was brought back online, Rod had agreed to the outline of the plan. After consulting with Bryan I was assigned the title of President and I would be entitled to a larger chunk of the company. All I asked was for Rod and Bryan to finance the company through January to give my plan two months to see if it was bearing fruit. Rod agreed.

Then it happened. The logs showed that the same programmer went back in and wiped out the site's database. The first hack was a quick fix. The second was potentially fatal. There was an amazing outpouring of support as sites like IC-Musicmedia and ArtistLaunch offered to help get 1Sound back on track. That's the one image that I will always remember. Instead of laughing at a rival site's problem and drooling over the potential of one less site to share artists with, the indie-minded sites wanted to help.

It was early December and Rod explained that he wanted to see if Wasserman would take care of his programmer so he could come fix what was dismantled. After a few days, Wasserman wrote us all back. The programmer had denied any wrongdoing. I recognized the stalemate. I knew this was about to get legal.

The last post on the message board -- just about the only part of the site that was functioning properly in the end -- was on January 1, 2004. It was a toast to the site coming back strong in 2004. Shortly after that, even the message board found error messages.

Will 1Sound come back? I sure hope so. However, every day that the site remains offline is one day wasted. It's one day removed from the high traffic ratings and the promising portal meetings. This is not a pretty story yet I can't pinpoint a villain beyond the hacker that ultimately destroyed the site. I walk away with respect for everyone and the parts they played in growing 1Sound's presence and nurturing its vision.

The OMD (online music distribution) model is not dead. 1Sound had so much promise. It just never had a chance. I learned a lot -- maybe enough to eventually prove that the model works.

You can create a site based on free music -- for both the musician and the potential fan -- and still cover expenses. I miss 1Sound. Badly. I also refuse to concede that the defeat is permanent. Ultimately I guess I am a hungry musician after all.

  -- Rick Munarriz

      Liquid Stereo 

Keep The Music Alive

Liquid Stereo Thanks You
We hope you like what you've heard. We hope you check back soon for more cutting edge music from the leading independent artists of the digital world. If you have any interests in being featured or in sponsorship please contact us.

Copyright 2003 Siteclopedia. All rights reserved.
 About Siteclopedia - Contact Us