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Bandcamp's app is no longer listed on Google Play (play.google.com)
210 points by trynewideas 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 119 comments

While somewhat unlikely, for those who do not know what bandcamp is it's essentially Shopify for musicians:


It is by far and away the best way to support artists that I know of, outside of going to their shows. Buy stuff from bandcamp (music, merch whatever) if you can afford it.

You buy music, you download it in whatever format you want, and you play it wherever you want.

And as a regular reminder, download the music from Bandcamp (in lossless format preferably) after you bought it, don't just rely on the streaming app. One artist that I bought music from deleted their Bandcamp profile completely, in which case their releases also completely disappeared from my library. This is different from artists delisting releases from their profile, if you bought those you can typically still download them afterwards.

^^ This.

Another situation that can be avoided by this is where a release changes during its lifetime.

One release in my collection is a free download[1] (shamelessly so), but one track was removed after it was released commercially. So there’s a situation where my immediate download on day 1 of release has the original track order, but current downloads of it have the revised running order.

Since it’s Friday, I have no hesitation in recommending either or both releases. Good headphones are recommended.

[1] https://specialrequest187.bandcamp.com/album/zero-fucks

[2] https://www.discogs.com/Special-Request-Spectral-Frequency-E...

>It is by far and away the best way to support artists that I know of, outside of going to their shows.

Ooh! An issue close to my heart.

A lot of artists and labels also have their own websites and will sell their stuff directly from there, often via PayPal. Definitely not all of them, especially the younger artists, but I usually try and see if that option's there before hitting Bandcamp.

But YES. Bandcamp is usually the best way to support your favorite artists/labels. Please use it as much as you can, and even pay a bit extra whenever you think it's worth it. If you find yourself playing an album more than once or twice via Spotify, go throw that artist some dough on Bandcamp.

And please, treat yourself to a copy of it on CD or vinyl. Own the music you love.

I'd rather not support my favourite band than use PayPal. Good fans don't pay bands with PayPal.

I don't like any band enough to give them my credit card details directly, and neither should you.

I don't trust or like PayPal enough to give them my credit card details or money and neither should you ;)

Why? I've never heard of them being any trouble for customers, indeed their reputation is that they're extremely friendly to the end customer (will give you a refund no questions asked, never dispute chargebacks, ...).

Agreed, all the horror stories I’ve heard have been from sellers, not buyers. What am I missing?

Having your account locked out of the blue with no reason given, where paypal seizes your funds and the onus is on you to call them and spend many hours / weeks / months to get back your money.

Even if you never have funds on your account, suddenly getting banned means forgoing the use of paypal ever again with that card / address / name, unless you sort it out.

"Don't buy things using PayPal, otherwise there's a risk that you'll be banned from PayPal and won't be able to buy things using PayPal"

As the poster above points out, that sounds like seller concerns. I use paypal as a way to help anonymize my credit card so as a buyer I never worry about having funds in there. But it does sound like it's bad for sellers.

You're missing that you are fuelling half of the equation and letting the people that your are trying to pay deal with the bad half.

If a band has decided to accept PayPal then they've presumably decided the downsides are worth it to them. So saying that you'd rather not support the band at all than pay them via PayPal seems... paternalistic to say the least.

Random account closures, bad support, legally questionable behavior (e.g. they've had to be sued about illegal parts of their ToS a few times), making it difficult to recover account balance from them, ... And when "extremely friendly to end customers" gets to "regularly fucks over small sellers", that's also something not everybody wants to support.

The rules of the major card networks will protect you against card-not-present fraud, so I don't understand the worry. Some countries might even have laws that strengthen these protections further, though it might only be limited to credit cards.

You get your money back eventually, sure, but it's a lot of hassle to go through.

I never used paypal on bandcamp, and I use to support bands from there. Credit is an option that usually works

Sadly Bandcamp pays out via PayPal, so however you pay the artist can only receive their cut through PayPal.

Why do you dislike PayPal so much?

can't talk for OP, but they got a 10 year boycott from me because of this : https://wikileaks.org/PayPal-freezes-WikiLeaks-donations.htm...

PayPal has a reputation for shutting long time customers out suddenly and without any explanation.

Paypal has a long history of freezing accounts and leaving funds in limbo.

>And please, treat yourself to a copy of it on CD or vinyl. Own the music you love.

I know the surge of vinyl. But I do hope the later part of owning something make a comeback.

I consider the downloaded FLAC files as equivalent to ownership of a physical item. There's only so much shelf-space available...

Yeah, it lets them keep more of my money and having a flac is good enough for me. Its not like I'll ever actually play anything off a CD itself.

CDs suck. You are much better off buying the lossless digital version or paying more for vinyl. I say this as someone who cultivated a handsome CD collection years ago when Amazon used to sell classics for $5-8 brand new.

-- The jewel cases are flimsy, and just opening one too quickly can cause the hinge to snap.

-- Scratches and skipping. This has been a problem forever, and there's no solution.

-- Liner notes: I miss the times when bands would stuff in thick liner notes full of pictures, notes, trivia and lyrics. A lot of acts don't bother putting anything substantive in the notes. This is unfortunately true of vinyl as well, but at least vinyl artwork is large (12" x 12") and can be used as a decorative element in your home.

CDs are amazing. They sound much better then vinyl, take up much less space, can fit most records on one side (so no standing up mid record to turn it over). They are much more resistant to scratches then vinyl. Usually they are unaffected by them unless the scratches become really bad. And they are cheap, usually you can buy a used CD for $1-5 in your favorite record shop.

For me CDs serves the niche of wanting to quickly and easily listen to a record in superior quality. I guess I could get a digital audio player and add it to my audio setup and then upload the flac files to it, but that is a hassle I have yet to perform, it is much easier to just keep buying CDs.

A lot of songs were only available on iTunes, which is annoying if you're not an Apple user, you're forced to use its clunky app just to purchase song. I hope YouTube Music could offer song and album purchases to download later.

I replaced my Google Music subscription with a monthly purchase of music from bandcamp of equal value to my subscription.

It feels right.

> bandcamp is it's essentially Shopify for musicians

I don't think it is for musicians. It is a marketplace where you can buy and own music. You can pay as much as you want above a minimum price that is set by the musicians. Many albums are free or very cheap. Unlike other music providers the music is available in _lossless_ formats. You can also stream the music you own.

This is a heaven for people who do not like streaming providers. I purchase every single album through them.

They offer merch now -- while they don't do completely custom items like shopify might let you do, it is a little more than buying and owning music.

The albums I usually end up finding are ~$9 and pay what you want above. What bandcamp understands is that a lot of people know how to get the music for free. What makes me pick bandcamp is that I can afford it, I know where the money is going, and they let me download my music (they also have an app) with no fuss.

> This is a heaven for people who do not like streaming providers. I purchase every single album through them.

+1, though sometimes artists aren't on there, which is a shame.

You just described the buyer side of the marketplace while parent was right about the seller side. Many sellers on Bandcamp are smaller bands/musicians/labels selling their music and merch directly to customers.

True that. I guess the difference between the streaming services vs bandcamp is more relevant to the content providers (musicians) than to the users.

They also have Bandcamp Weekly[1] and similar "radio" shows which I like, exposes me to music I'd otherwise likely not stumble over.

[1]: https://bandcamp.com/?show=458

It's also good for finding unsigned artists, kind of like what mp3.com was (I wish there was an archive for mp3.com, it's so sad there isn't!).

A lot of the artists allow you to play their music on the website, and if you like it you can buy it in FLAC :) Some of my favourite music I have purchased from there!

I've been thinking about this. Surely, if the app stores maintain that their restrictions prevent users from being infected with malware, then they are legally liable for any malware that is installed?

I know they have a disclaimer saying that they're not responsible for damage caused by the user installing stuff, but that may be legally unenforceable? i.e. you can't remove someone's rights with a liability waiver.

If they have the authority to approve/disallow apps on the store, then surely they have to take responsibility when they allow malware on the store?

No, because new malware / legitimate apps are third party content. It's like how you can't sue Facebook or Twitter for someone using their platforms to spread illegal content or plan violence. What usually helps in these cases is that the platforms demonstrate good faith and fund moderation teams to remove harmful content once it is discovered. Likewise any malware on the App Store would get removed as soon as it becomes "popular." Now maybe you'd have a case if Apple or Google did nothing to remove this app, but that sort of laissez faire control doesn't really seem likely at this point.

As I understand it, though, that only applies if the platform doesn't control what is posted. Given that the app stores have an extensive vetting process, and complete control over what can and cannot be accepted, why are they not responsible for that content?

Some platforms like Discord allow individual communities to set screening options for media like photos/videos. If someone posts e.g. nudity the platform is supposed to reject the message from sending. However, if the nudity filter fails, that doesn't give you legal authority to sue Discord; once again it's a good faith effort and I think any court would agree that Discord tried its best to prevent said content from being posted, it just failed in this one case. Deciding to pre-screen content doesn't make you responsible for it, especially if the malware tries to hide itself. If someone brought an American flag to a football game and then unfurled it to reveal a swastika, I don't think anyone would blame the security guards at the entry checkpoint for not catching it.

I think if a security check that extensively searched every part of every single entrant to a venue failed to find a gun, and that gun was used to injure other people at that venue, then the victims would have grounds to sue whoever performed that security check, yes.

Especially if that security check refused admission to anyone with recording equipment at over 100% success (i.e. they turned away many people because they thought they had recording equipment, or might at some point have it). Where the security check is obviously more about protecting the venue's revenue stream than protecting the attendees, despite being advertised as necessary for the safety of the attendees.

Thinking about it more - this focus on removing commercial threats instead of security threats is what bugs me.

If your screening efforts remove 110% of all apps that break your commercial terms of service, but only 50% of all apps that harm users, how is that screening a "good faith" attempt to protect your customers?

The problem is that this does not model the situation accurately; there is no known malware available for download on the App Store to my knowledge. Any apps that actually do get past review unfairly (by using private APIs or otherwise) are quickly removed. Your model implies that Apple is willingly letting malware stay up on the App Store, which is not the case.

I've been doing some poking around and just found some confused people on Twitter. Bandcamp themselves appear to have said nothing at all as yet. Hopefully this can get resolved fairly soon, as Bandcamp is a pretty great platform and over the last year they have had a number of "Bandcamp Friday" events where they don't charge any commission on sales, so that's the best time to buy loads of music from your favourite Bandcamp artists and give them as much support as you can. I doubt that will last, but I know it's been welcome to a couple of my friends during the pandemic.

Bandcamp friday was fantastic, as far as I can tell it has now finished - there wasn't one last friday and https://isitbandcampfriday.com/ says it is over.

I love bandcamp. I have bought a decent amount of music through there (including physical media) and artists tend to really show their appreciation. I almost always get signed CDs, hand written thank you notes and other unsolicited freebees. This is the platform indie artists really like to interact with their fans. I use the iOS app and have no issues.

I love Bandcamp, but man do they need to improve their app and website. It's been pretty much stagnant for a long time and there's just so much potential. Handling of collections is just terrible. You cannot sort or group your collection in any way. You cannot even easily distinguish between single tracks and albums! You cannot create playlists. You cannot download several things at once. And most egregiously: Bandcamp must sit on a ton of data to make good suggestions to what other music I'd probably like, and they do pretty much nothing with it. The only thing I could find is when you click on an album, you see a few suggestions at the bottom, that's it. Such a shame.

Again: I love Bandcamp and regularly buy stuff there, but it could be SO much better!

I specifically like the fact that Bandcamp feels more like a record store than a Spotify. The Bandcamp Daily series goes in depth on several genres of music. It feels like a magazine, which is subtantively different from Spotify and Apple's approach, which is to throw playlists with pithy titles at the user, without any context.

IMO, that creates a situation where you don't really explore new music, but just continue listening to stuff you're already familiar with.

You know, I'm pretty old, and back in the day, the owner of the local record store knew my taste and introduced me to stuff he'd think I might like. And I created my own mixtapes with tracks from different albums and gave them to friends. So I don't see how Bandcamp would become "just another Spotify" if it introduced playlists and proper recommendations.

The local store owner did a bit more than slap a bunch of records on the counter and say "Liked that? Then you'll like this!"

That's what algo-generated playlists feel like to me: A dispassionate list of songs, without any explanation for why I would like them. Even your average RateYourMusic list writer attempts to write 2 lines for each song or record on the list. I'm more inclined to try something out when there is at least some human input about why I might like it.

For example, I have been exploring the music of Ministry, and this RYM list provides the kind of human touch I'm looking for to keep my interest.


I did reach out about the multi-buy situation - apparently BC doesn't have a useful way to say "this part of my collection sell for a price and this other stuff exclude it" because almost no one sells a discog and when I emailed them the responses I got were generally "we sell vinyl and other stuff in our store and selling it in one big bundle doesnt make sense"

It's actually not about buying but downloading. I regularly buy single tracks and downloading them one by one is very tedious: You have to click on "download", you get to a new site to download this single track, then you have to wait up to 10 seconds for the on-the-fly encoding, and finally you can download it. It's so bad I pretty much stopped "impulse purchases" of single tracks.

Gotcha yeah - that is annoying AF which is why I wanted to buy the discog because it has a "download all the things" button (or so bandcamp claims.)

Realistically if they had a "sync my library" or w/e button then I wouldnt have even cared about that at all.

I might be mis-remembering, but wasn’t Bandcamp recently looking for a front-end developer? Perhaps some changes are coming.

I don't know about that, but they are currently hiring a user experience designer: https://bandcamp.com/jobs

A quick twitter search shows that the App was removed as early as June 9. [0]

[0] https://twitter.com/search?q=bandcamp%20app&src=typed_query&...

good catch

Slightly off topic but Bandcamp really need to fix their broken 24 bit .wav delivery [1].

They seem to think it's OK to lay the blame on the DJ software that won't play their files [2], but re-encoding a 24 bit .wav file from Bandcamp into 24 bit .wav file using freely available tools fixes the problem.

I'm forever fielding complaints from customers (who are too lazy to search themselves) that the 24 bit .wav they just bought won't play in Traktor.

[1] https://support.native-instruments.com/hc/en-us/articles/210... [2] https://get.bandcamp.help/hc/en-us/articles/360046770013-My-...

> WAV files in 24-/32-bit resolution downloaded via Bandcamp may not load instantly and require quick supplementary treatment. Simply opening the respective file with the freeware Audacity and then shutting down the application without any further action resolves the issue.

wtf, whats the issue? And why does Audacity (apparently) modify files without asking?

24/32bit WAV is a bit more exotic/ambiguous than 8/16bit, it's supposed to use a different format identifier (WAVEFORMATEX) but sometimes doesn't, some software only handles one identifier, some only the other, the better software handles both of them... So I would tend to think that the DJ software just has incomplete 24-bit WAV support (which is no surprise due to this mess).

I hope they fix that, and also let users just choose 16bit download as a default, 24bit is pointless for playback purposes.

Maybe an update is coming?

Bandcamp is great to buy music but the app as a music player is not.

- No resume when launching the app

- No swipe for backward/forward playlist (more album than playlist, really) navigation

Your words are too kind.

It doesn't even make it easy to play music you bought with the app.

The app is truly dreadful.

If you're on Android, Newpipe[0] is a decent alternative. I mainly use it for Youtube but it supports Bandcamp out of the box pretty well, with background listening, autoqueue etc.

[0]: https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.schabi.newpipe/

interesting, I've been using the app for years now and I never thought of those features. I like the app, I prefer it over the free Amazon app (where I also buy music!). Amazon consistently bombards you with music you can STREAM, which means buying their subscription

I use Bandcamp App for 99% of listening and things like lack of playlist, lack of "individual track" favourites, etc. really lags behind other apps.

Hopefully these things will be introduced with a new release

I have been looking for it for a few days and found no articles or blog about it...


It seems no one known for now.

I wonder if they use background location permissions. Android's review team has been going nuts on those lately.

I've found that Bandcamp is the best for shoegaze, both from some of the originators to young bands that are still transforming the sound

I'm a big shoegaze-head myself. Which bands did you find on BC that you'd recommend?

I recently got Stellarium's second album. They're a noisepop/shoegaze band from Singapore of all places!

Slowdive and Beach House both have pages on Bandcamp. They're pretty popular though so sorry if you already knew this.

Yes, I do know both bands, but I didn't know Slowdive were on BC. Thanks for the tip!

There's quite a lot - sometimes it reminds me of looking through the import section at a local record store since so many are scattered around the globe.

I am more into the dreampop / shoegaze. So here's a list of some of my favorites I have found:

***Some of the Original-ists:




Andy Bell (Ride / Oasis Guitarist)



Soft Science

Subsonic Eye ("Strawberry Feels" and "Dive Into" are more shoegaze, lately a little more dreampop)

Pale Blue Eyes

Say Sue Me



Soft Wounds

Fragile Animals

The fin.

Citrus Clouds

Field Mouse



Adiós Cometa

there's also a pretty cool article about Shoegaze in Russia https://daily.bandcamp.com/scene-report/russian-shoegaze-ban...

I know we don't know what's happened yet, but this is why the DOJ should force Apple and Google to enable web downloads and installs of apps.

The world should not rely on these two companies for distribution, given that they've captured the entire mobile computing industry and all of the commerce that happens there.

Ford doesn't get to control where you go, and they don't tax the restaurants you visit. (They're also not a duopoly, but that's another issue.)

What kills me about Android is that F-Droid can't auto-update the apps without rooting the phone and doing some trickery. I appreciate the security measures, but having no official way to appoint another trusted app store is nonsense.

Fdroid will be able to auto update after android 12.


That's fantastic news, though I don't know what percentage of apps on fdroid will be covered? One of the requirements is:

> the app that’s being installed targets API level 29 (Android 10) or higher. (Google notes that the target API level requirement will advance in future Android versions ...

Because going into F-Droid and clicking "update" is too hard? You're already inside F-Droid every now and then anyway.

> Because going into F-Droid and clicking "update" is too hard? Yes. The average user doesn't even understand what updates are for and the extra inconvenience for everyone else is just an anti-competitive practice masquerading as a security feature.

If the average user doesn't even understand what updates are, he's better off in the Play Store anyway. Why force F-Droid on him?

Because libre software focus on user privacy among other things, and that isa good reason to install apps from that store

What's anticompetitive is not allowing another app or app store to be sideloaded at all.

Quit being disingenuous.

> What's anticompetitive is not allowing another app or app store to be sideloaded at all.

Yes, that's anticompetitive too. And?

Less anticompetitive is still anticompetitive!

Update your talking points.

https://www.xda-developers.com/android-12-alternative-app-st... - Android 12 will finally let alternative app stores update apps without bothering the user

That's what's happening _now_. This situation with third party stores not being able to auto-updates has been an issue for years. It is great that it's changing now, but it doesn't invalidate the fact that this was a persistent problem.

Not sure if you're aware, the current way is to tap Update, which downloads the APKs for each installed app. Then, for each app, you need to tap Install, wait 0.1-2s, then tap Install again, then wait until the update is done. I currently have around 20 installed from the store.

This all is to show that Google is low-key hostile to apps installed from sources other than the Play store. Which was the point of the parent comments.

Yes. I'm aware.

I still think you're blowing it way out of proportion.

Show me someone who is aware of FDroid who doesn't have the technical know how to update apps after sideloading FDroid itself...

> Show me someone who is aware of FDroid who doesn't have the technical know how to update apps after sideloading FDroid itself...

My mother, for one. I use F-Droid to let her auto-update NewPipe, since she uses that to download and listen to music in ways that the official application will never let her. Needless to say, NewPipe is not about to be made available on Google Play due to a conflict of interests.

This is not about the know-how, but rather about how Google treats other Android stores.

Which hasn't changed in any way from the day the very first app store could be sideloaded.

Much ado about nothing.

Searchableguy actually linked an article above where it says this will change, finally. (I wasn't aware either.)


You still need to install and approve the native popup for each individual app update.

If you have more than a handful of F-Droid apps, it gets quite tedious.

I bought a new phone just this week, and I'm looking forward to putting a custom ROM on it in part also to have more control over this sort of thing.

Even with a custom rom you still have to approve a native popup for each individual app update.

Custom ROMs usually allow root access, which lets you install the auto-update feature add-on for F-Droid.

Oh look, stock roms on phones with an unlocked bootloader also allow root access.

I'm not saying it's easy, I'm saying it's an available option in a very limited set of circumstances.

Web downloads work fine on Android

Not really, you have to enable some scary settings and they are no update or auto-update mechanism for web downloads on Android yet.

It's technically "there" but not good enough to be a reliable form of distribution.

If the app knows its own download address, it can just periodically check for a new version, download it, and prompt the user to install it. I have multiple apps installed that use this update mechanism, there's nothing unreliable about it.

Yes, there are warnings, but what is the alternative? You download an app once, it installs without warning and keeps updating in the background? That'd make it way too easy for malware authors.

Malware is supposed to be stopped by the sandbox & Play protect mechanisms. If the sandbox isn't good enough to be trusted for that, I don't think I have a good answer except maybe just not downloading any app at all including on the Play Store.

How I see it personally is you download the apk, tap "install", then the same permission prompt as the Play Store opens. The app is updated later the exact same way as the Play Store update (either automatically by pulling from an url or manually, depending of what the users have set as a rule for the Play Store)

Google scares you after you download them. And you have to enable the setting.

This should be as seamless as using web apps, and permissions dialogues should come up when the app attempts to use certain device features. (No different than App Store downloads today.)

All of this to say that web-downloaded native apps are not first class on Android. They should be.

I find the mobile Chrome browser and Android to be very encouraging of installing PWAs. And that it warns you once before installing APKs sounds like reasonable security, like Windows smartscreen and Mac whatsit. My F-Droid apps feel as native as the others.

Permission dialogs are very ineffective in desktop OSes, with users effectively being trained to just click through them to "get things done". Is there any research showing that they fare better on mobile?

If web-based installs were the norm, there would be better security hardening efforts made. Today Apple and Google don't have to care about it. If there reputation was at stake, they would care a great deal.

I'm also of the belief that we don't have to be a nanny state. We trust people to pour gasoline, drive death chariots at 70 miles per hour, open lines of credit as teenagers, buy and shoot guns, etc.

Why all the ceremony here? I think it serves the owners of the platform more than us.

> If web-based installs were the norm, there would be better security hardening efforts made. Today Apple and Google don't have to care about it. If there reputation was at stake, they would care a great deal.

Well, web base installs are the norm. That's how malware and ransomware spreads. The problem with security is that is usually anti features. That't why webbrowsers use the path of least resistance and declare that they are secure, they have containers and isolation etc. And Google with project Zero is playing the good guy.

It is all security theater. Security is expensive and no one wants to invest in it because it does not have a clear ROI.

> I'm also of the belief that we don't have to be a nanny state. We trust people to pour gasoline, drive death chariots at 70 miles per hour, open lines of credit as teenagers, buy and shoot guns, etc.

We do not trust people to buy and shoot guns.

> Why all the ceremony here? I think it serves the owners of the platform more than us.

Of course it serves only them. Security in android stops when you give apps access to SD card or camera or microfone or phone or contacts. And the fact that Google apps have all this access by default says a lot about how much google is interested in security.

So they should care about their reputation, but they should also let their platform be known as a place where they allow malware to flourish?

it's not just an "are you sure?" question, but instructions to go to the settings and enable installing from this app. it's enough to stop my kids from installing apps because they don't know how to set that permission (yet). a simple permission dialog would not have that effect.

besides that, permission dialogs are better than nothing. the worst would be apps being installed without me even noticing. just because people tend to ignore them that's no reason to abandon them. what would the alternative be?

> This should be as seamless as using web apps, and permissions dialogues should come up when the app attempts to use certain device features. (No different than App Store downloads today.)

Web app sandbox is better than native AFAIK, which is a good reason to add friction (because otherwise you're asking for worms).

It is more restricted because it has less features, it's not necessarily better.

Who cares? The point here is that web apps are safer to run than native. Yes, they're resource hogs, yes they're feature-poor, but they are still safer to run than native code, so it's perfectly reasonable that an OS makes it harder to run arbitrary native code than webapps.

That app is for artists and record labels, it allows them to manage their accounts. The Bandcamp app that most people use to purchase those artists music is not there.

Yes, you have linked to "Bandcamp for Artists and Labels", which is not the same as the plain Bandcamp app. I had Bandcamp installed on my phone via Play Store. I can still use it, but the app is missing from my list of apps on Play Store.

that link points to 'Bandcamp for Artists and Labels' (com.bandcamp.artistapp) which is different than 'Bandcamp' (com.bandcamp.android) [0]

[0] https://web.archive.org/web/20201015192746/https://play.goog...

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