How will you prepare your master recording for delivery to your client?

Delivering Audio Masters using Online Method

The second method is online delivery. In this case, you will not need to worry about burning the tracks in CD or DVD since the entire delivery will just be downloaded by your client. To do this:

a.) Prepare the WAV or 320kbps MP3 version out of your entire master recordings. For mp3; use the MP3 ID3 tagging system. In this way, do not forget to add track titles, track artist and all important licensing information to be embedded in the MP3 file. Make sure the track title is present in both the filename and in the ID3 tag system of the Mp3 file.

b.) Put all of your MP3/WAV tracks inside a folder.

c.) Zip the folder into one package. The end result is a .zip file that contains all of your MP3 or WAV tracks. Zipping is highly recommended for delivery since it will compress the files and reduce the overall file sizes.

Compute the MD5 checksum of the resulting zip file. You can read this tutorial for details. You can see an example implementation of checking and verifying MD5 checksum here.

d.) Upload the zip file to your website folder. The uploading can take some time depending on the size of the zip file. This would look like the one shown below:

Online method delivery

Online method delivery

e.) Send the download link to your customer AND the value of the MD5 checksum result for the zip package.

f.) Your customer will then download the zip package from his/her computer. This can take time. For example at 23 MP3 tracks at 320Kbps bit rate will have a total file size of 185MB. So if your customer has a very slow Internet connection, the downloading can take a very long time.

After downloading, your client can check the MD5 checksum of the downloaded zip package. If the MD5 checksum result matched with the one you provide in the email, therefore the downloaded package is not corrupted and safe to use. This is why you should implement MD5 checksum as a means of verifying file integrity. A lot of downloads online can become corrupted due to some errors during the data transmission.

Again, to upload a big file online, you need to use your own hosting space (such as your website hosting space). Make sure your client is allowed to acccess and download the zip package. Test your download link in different computers (outside your network) to make sure it works.

If you do not have your own hosting space; there are other great online solutions for sending files such as YouSendIt and SendSpace. They offer free accounts but it is limited. Search it in Bing for details.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Delivery


1.) Low cost since you do not need to pay for a courier.

2.) Safe, since the downloading link is entirely private and sent only to your client. Sending through courier can have some risk pertaining to the loss of the material as well as damage.

3.) There are some countries which you won’t be allowed to send a CD. I have tried this with FedEx before in sending an audio CD to Vietnam from Philippines but it’s been denied due to some regulations. In this case, you will only be using online delivery method.


1.) If your customer is using a very slow internet connection; then the downloading can take very long. In some cases, it will timeout thus repeating the download process that further adds the delay. Incomplete downloaded packages are corrupted, so make sure it is verified by your client using MD5 checksum.

2.) Online delivery is not recommended for extremely large file downloads in slow Internet connection. For example at 5GB download may appear impractical to some customers with very limited Internet bandwidth. Make sure you communicate with your customer and agree on the delivery methods.

3.) Also if you are using free file hosting solutions for sending files; they will impose a limit and your zip package file size may be greater than this limit. Thus you will not be able to send them the package without upgrading your account.

Content last updated on July 26, 2012