i generally respect the bandcamp ethos and business model and tend to buy a lot of my music from there nowadays. it’s also one of the few popular outlets that allow the upload of high-resolution audio, although i have my issues with the implementation.**
on the other hand, i don’t really see what value bandcamp is adding to listeners/artists over & above a simple direct-to-fan webstore. i’m trying to recall a time when i discovered something new via bandcamp’s recommendation engine – if anything, it’s their editorial work (bandcamp daily, or their various “best of” series) that’s led me to new discoveries. so while i don’t necessarily see anything bandcamp is doing as overtly deleterious to the ecosystem (as opposed to the streaming services), i don’t really have the sense that it’s adding all that much either.
with that said, i am planning to have greyfade releases available on bandcamp. i know people like and trust the platform, and enjoy the fact that they can have one credit card or paypal account on file for all their music purchases. the bandcamp editions, however, will max out at CD-quality digital (44/16). for those that want the high-resolution editions (which is really the digital format in which these releases are best experienced), that will only be available through the greyfade shop.
**while bandcamp does support the upload of high-resolution WAV files, they will only allow one resolution to be uploaded/downloaded, and they handle all the audio transcoding internally. as a creator and mastering engineer, i find this incredible frustrating and opaque, because i never know how my master is going to sound after it goes through their downsampling algorithms. i tend to leave some extra headroom to avoid transcoding-induced clipping, but there are inevitably other artifacts and dynamics/depth changes that occur, and i want to be able to account for those in a format-specific master that i can upload myself.
as a listener, i find it frustrating that WAV/AIFF/FLAC versions are never labeled with sample-rate or bit-depth information, and so i always have to guess based on the files sizes. and i also find it annoying that there’s only support for one WAV/AIFF/FLAC edition – what if i want to download a high-resolution master AND a CD-quality version (which is something i often want to do)? my current workaround as a listener is to download the high-resolution version and then downsample/dither it down to 44-16 myself so i have a version to take around on my iphone/ipod. but, i mean, this is really ridiculous/time-consuming/impossible for many other listeners who aren’t mastering engineers. for the greyfade shop, i’ve set it up so that if you download the high-resolution version, you automatically get the CD-quality version.
a final small gripe: i hate the way bandcamp names/organizes files in their download folder. i always end up spending a few minutes renaming the entire album and creating a file structure that resembles something that a normal person would use.