CD Baby

Guest blogger Chris Robley is a songwriter, producer, poet, blogger, person, and marketer at CD Baby.

Follow Chris on Google+.

Whether you’re a Timeline hater or fan, the switch has been flipped and there’s no going back; all Facebook Pages (including band, brand, author, and company Pages) have been automatically updated to Facebook’s new Timeline format.

Users still seem split down the middle as to whether the change is an upgrade or a setback, but either way, we might as well take a deep collective breath and get used to it. After all, Facebook still reigns supreme in the world of social media, and any artist who’s serious about their promotional efforts should maintain a Facebook presence.

Well, now that I’ve got the glum news out of the way, here’s some sunshine; Timeline does provide great new promotion tools you can use to advance your career. It also gives you more control over how your content is displayed. Facebook Brand Pages used to act almost like fan forums. Now you have the ability to shift the visitor’s attention towards the stuff you want them to see most of all. Unlike the old Page setup where a post was a post (uniformly sized and chronological), Timeline gives you flexibility to draw more visual attention to the good stuff.

For Facebook neophytes, check out this video first. It will walk you through many of the new Timeline features. For the old pros, read on!

A Music Marketing Checklist for Facebook Timeline

If you haven’t figured it out already, Facebook Timeline does not allow fancy landing pages anymore. Your fans must land on your Timeline first. Then you can use a tabbed navigation to feature apps, photos and other content. Facebook also forbids calls-to-action and other direct marketing jargon on your cover photo. So you can no longer turn your Facebook page into a giant arrow that says, “Click the like button above.”  In lieu of these changes, how do you increase the effectiveness of your Facebook presence and get more likes? Well, I’ll tell you.

1. Choose a striking “cover photo” (851 x 315 pixels)

Now you can post a header/banner-style picture of your band, stage setup, or whatever else you like (as long as it doesn’t contain ads, calls-to-action, or contact info) at the top of your Facebook Page. This is the 1st thing visitors will see when they check out your page, and it’s a great new visual branding opportunity. The dimensions are 851×315 pixels, with a minimum width of 399 pixel—so you’ve got a lot of space to play with.

But now that the same cover photo real estate is available to every band on the planet, you’re going to have to really catch peoples’ attention. Whatever kind of image you choose, make it pop! It should be the most striking thing on your Page—make it tell the story of your band WITHOUT words.

IMPORTANT: the cover image CANNOT contain advertising lingo. No calls-to-action. No sweepstakes announcements. No MP3-for-email exchanges. No asking for “likes.” No contact info. No URLs.

2. Update your profile pic (180 x 180 pixels)

Now that your Facebook timeline has a “cover photo,” you might want to update your profile pic.

Your profile picture is displayed both at the top of your Timeline Wall and represents your Page throughout the Facebook network (news feed, messages, ads, stories, etc.) Select an image that is square (180×180). An album cover? Head shot? Band logo? Whatever looks good; but make sure it also looks good when it’s scaled down to 32×32, too. That is how it will appear in your fans’ news feeds.

3. Arrange your apps to highlight the most important content

Only 4 apps/tabs can be displayed now on the Timeline homepage (though up to 12 can be displayed in an expandable app/tab area). The apps/tabs appear beneath the cover photo towards the right hand side of the page. The photo tab automatically appears first.

Highlight the vital stuff first! Make sure your music store is included in those top 4 tabs (such as CD Baby’s MusicStore for Facebook) so it will be immediately visible to interested fans. Don’t make them do any extra clicking; you might lose the sale!

Note: When fans click on one of the apps, it will open as a new page.

You’ll also be able to customize the appearance of each app/tab. According to Facebook, you can:

Adjust the way your custom apps appear on your Page by going to “Manage” from the admin panel and choose “Edit Page” in the drop-down menu. Under the “Apps” section, click “Edit Settings” for the specific app image (111 x 74 pixels) you’d like to adjust.

 Take advantage of larger app width: Page app width can now be adjusted to be “Narrow” (520px) or “Wide” (810px) in the Developer App under “Edit App”. The Developer app can be found here: https://developers.

[Sell your music on Facebook in a matter of minutes with CD Baby's MusicStore for Facebook app]

How do I change the order of apps/tabs in Facebook Timeline?

If you don’t know the answer to this, don’t beat yourself up; Facebook did NOT make this function very intuitive.

  • First, to the right of the 4 featured apps/tabs, you’ll see what looks like a scroll bar with a number (the number of your remaining hidden apps). Click that number.
  • The app screen will expand to display all your apps/tabs.
  • Decide which app/tab you’d like to remove from the Timeline Wall.
  • Click the pencil icon in the top right of that app/tab.
  • Choose from the “swap position with” dropdown menu the app/tab you’d like to move to this position.
  • Bam! It’s done.

One last thing about tabs: the tab/app images/thumbnails can now be customized! (111×74 pixels.)

4. Write a catchy blurb about you

Your “About” section will display up to 150 characters. That’s barely more than a tweet, so describe yourself succinctly!

5. Add a “Founded” date

This allows you to go back in time and add pictures and videos from before the date you created your Facebook page (so you can tell the complete story of your band).

6. Put past album releases and photos into your timeline

Now you can dig back into the archives to tell the story and discography of your band, from your very first practice to your latest gig.

Marking time with Timeline

One important, and perhaps-obvious thing to point out is that all this Timeline business is about making your content viewable according to your band (or brand) chronology. Since you can re-date photos, video, and posts—you can tell the story of the development of your band. Want an example?

Coldplay has put up a bunch of content going waaaaay back—all the way back to a photo of their very first practice in the 90’s. I’m sure they paid a staffer to backfill their chronology, but it can be very engaging for a fan to browse through the years and track the band’s development. While you might not have the time, money, or staff that Coldplay has to help out, you can still do some pretty cool things with the Timeline if you look at it as another means to tell your story as an artist

7. Post “Milestones”

Facebook has added a new post category that allows you to set a “milestone” for big events like label signings, album releases, awesome reviews from Magnet, the New York Times, etc. Milestones, just as the word implies, mark your key moments across the Timeline. The dimensions for Milestone images are 843 x 403 pixels.

8. “Pin” a status update

Got a new video, album release, or festival date you’re promoting? “Pin” it, and then you won’t have to worry about sending multiple reminders or updates. Pinning a post features it at the very top of your Page for up to 7 days. Since large images are always eye catching, pinning works particularly well if your post has a picture in it. After the 7-day period is over, the post will return to its place in the Timeline according to its date.

How to highlight/”Pin” a post

Hover over a story and click the star icon (“highlight”) to make it wider (the width of the Timeline). Click the pencil icon to “pin” the post.

Hide, Delete, or Re-Date a post

The pencil icon also allows you to hide, re-date, or delete a post.

Re-dating is useful when reorganizing your content to tell your band’s story chronologically in the Timeline.

9. Familiarize yourself with the admin panel

The new admin panel is where you’ll keep track of your activity on your Page. It will notify you when people write on your Page Timeline so you can respond accordingly. You’ll also see the number of new likes and a basic insight graph.

Notifications about new messages (yes, people can contact you privately using messages now) will also appear in your admin panel and you can respond from there.

There’s also a “Build Audience” tab that allows you to easily increase your likes and fan interaction. From here you can:

  • invite friends directly through Facebook
  • send invites to your fan-list of email contacts
  • share the page
  • create a Facebook ad.

10. Prominently feature a “like” box on your own website

A “like” box on your website or blog will allow visitors to become Facebook fans without leaving your site.

11. Promote yourself with Facebook ads

They’re cheap! And if you use them correctly, Facebook ads CAN be effective. Run a few ads that lead folks to your Facebook Page. See how it goes. Hopefully they’ll click “like.” Check out our article on running Facebook ads for more info.

12. List your Facebook band page URL on all your materials

Make sure to clearly list your Facebook URL on all your CDs, posters, websites, etc.

13. Create compelling content

Umm… yeah. No big revelation there. It all really goes back to content. Share your awesome songs, poems, videos, rants, and tour diaries and your Facebook fanbase will grow on its own.

14. Use large images in posts WITH calls-to-action

The images in your posts CAN have advertising and calls-to-action. Also, by highlighting the image, it can expand across the screen to match the size of the cover photo. That’s a lot of advertising space! Use it.

15. Use Facebook “Offers”

“Offers” are a new Facebook story-type. They’re similar to coupons; Offers help you spread your promotional message to Facebook users by giving discounts.

16. Use the “Reach Generator”

Facebook’s “Reach Generator” helps you promote a post from your Page. An average of 16% of your fans are seeing your content in their newsfeed per week. Now you can now pay to have that post displayed for a guaranteed 60-85% of your fans over the following month.

17. Forget about Facebook for a minute

Remember that better songs, better gigs, better performances, and better videos are what is really going to drive folks to your Facebook Page. But you’re not going to create that compelling content if you’re staring at a computer screen all day.

It’s almost summer! Get out of your dingy basement and put on a fresh t-shirt. Go for a walk. Fall in love. Life is what fuels art. Only occasionally is it the other way around. So go out and live. Put that lived experience into your art. Put that art on your website. Post what’s on your website to Facebook. Share it. Repeat.

About the Author

Chris Robley is a songwriter, producer, poet, blogger, person, and marketer at CD Baby.

Follow Chris on Google+.

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Over the past few weeks, Berkleemusic has added several new courses to our award-winning online curriculum.

Check out these great new courses, now enrolling for April 2nd:

Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice by Pat Pattison

This course is designed to help you write clearly and strongly in your own unique voice, bringing your full self to your writing process every time you write.

New Course: Creative Writing

Music Licensing by Alex Holz and Scott Sellwood
Learn how to make money through creative licensing of your music! In this course, you’ll discover how to create new avenues for placement of your own music, identify current opportunities for your copyrights, and how to use online resources to introduce your music to music supervisors, ad creatives, video game producers, and more.

Rock History by Steve Morse

Discover the history of rock ‘n’ roll in more detail than you can imagine from the people that lived it. Learn about the musical and business trends in rock, major technological innovations, the prime innovators, and the historical context that has seen rock alternately flourish and struggle over the past 60 years.

New Course: Creative Writing

Project Management for Musicians by Jonathan Feist

Working in the music industry involves a never-ending series of projects. These projects come in all sizes, budgets, and levels of complexity, but for each, setting up a process for planning, executing, and monitoring your work is crucial in achieving your goals. This course will provide you with an overall approach, with many specific tools, to help you successfully complete your music industry-related projects 

New Course: Creative Writing

Microphone Techniques by Andy Edelstein

Effective microphone techniques resulted in some of the most iconic music ever committed to tape. Consider Phil Spector’s signature “Wall of Sound,” which relied heavily on appropriate microphone techniques, or Led Zeppelin’s iconic recording of John Bonham’s drums on “When the Levee Breaks,” recorded with a stereo microphone on the second floor stairway at Headley Grange Studio. Whether your sessions feature a single vocalist or rapper, metal trio, or large big-band jazz ensemble, the ability to get good sounds is essential to producing competitive results.

New Course: Creative Writing

Language of Film & TV by Lori Landay

Gain a thorough understanding of film and television, and learn to communicate effectively with directors, producers, and others involved in the production of these media.

New Course: Creative Writing

Music Video Editing with Final Cut Pro by Mehdi Hassine

Learn all the steps and tools necessary to create a high-quality audiovisual experience, including how to assemble, enhance, and maximize the use of video, audio, and graphic content.

New Course: Creative Writing
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Online Student Justin Klump

Congratulations to online student Justin Klump on being selected to play at Berklee’s 7th Annual South by Southwest Party in Austin on March 16th. The Portland, OR-based singer/songwriter was chosen from dozens of submissions to represent Berkleemusic at SXSW.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this year’s Berklee party at SXSW!” say Justin. “It’s an absolute honor to be chosen to perform alongside many great acts.”

Justin is currently working towards a Master Certificate in Writing and Producing and has already completed six courses. “It has been invaluable in the development of my songwriting and producing,” he says. “Both the coursework and my instructors have helped me to hone my voice as a writer, and strengthen my skills as a producer.”

Watch the official music video for Justin’s single, “I Love You So,” below.

Read the full press release from Berklee College of Music below. (more…)

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In December, Berkleemusic hosted an online Open House with instructor Dan Thompson, author/instructor of our online courses Critical Listening 1 and Advanced Audio Ear Training for Mix Engineers.

Dan is an independent writer/producer and recording engineer, his credits include work on records, feature films, and television series and movies, including ER, The Sopranos, Swimfan, The Sweetest Thing, Melrose Place, Malibu Shores, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Touched By An Angel, Soul Food and NCIS, to name just a few. Dan has authored articles on music technology for EQ and Electronic Musician, has been a presenter and clinician on music production topics in the U.S. and abroad, including at the Panama Jazz Festival, and his book Understanding Audio (Berklee Press, 2005) is a required textbook for Berklee College of Music’s own Music Production and Engineering classes, as well as for numerous other music production and engineering programs throughout the country and abroad. He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the Audio Engineering Society (AES), and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Learn more about Dan and his online courses at

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A few weeks back, we hosted a live Orchestration Clinic with Ben Newhouse, author/instructor of our online courses Orchestration 1, Orchestration 2: Writing Techniques for Full Orchestra, and Music Composition for Film and TV. Check out the archived video above.

Ben Newhouse has worked as a music supervisor and composer on dozens of television shows, films, and stage productions for media corporations including ABC, FOX, MTV, and Disney. He has arranged movie themes, sixties pop music, Broadway shows, and scored for several full-length feature films using Digital Performer.

Learn more about Ben and his online courses at

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Instructor Pinar ToprakPinar Toprak is a composer with an impressive number of credits (27 scores in the last five years), including the 2010 film “The Lightkeepers” (starring Richard Dreyfuss, Blythe Danner, and Bruce Der) for which she has been presented with the International Film Music Critics Association Award for Best Comedy Score in 2010. She is an instructor of Berkleemusic’s online course, Orchestration 1. We recently sat down with Pinar to talk about her background, the IFMCA award, and what it is like to teach orchestration online.

Tell us about your background.

I was born in Istanbul and began studying music at five years old. I got my degree in Classical Guitar from Istanbul State Conservatory but my main passions were always in composition and film. After several years of studying piano and jazz theory in Chicago, I applied to Berklee and moved to Boston at 17 years old.

At Berklee, I combined my two greatest passions: music and film, and finished my bachelor’s degree in film scoring within two years. After graduating Berklee, I finished my education with a Master of Music degree in composition and my thesis was commissioned by California State University and performed by the CSUN Symphony Orchestra.

My goal was always to intern with Hans Zimmer. For one month straight, I called his studio asking for an interview. My persistence paid off and I was finally given the opportunity to join the Media Ventures team as his programmer.

Although it was an incredible experience, I wanted to begin pursuing my own projects and so I made the decision to leave the studio. Following this transition, William Ross, a famous orchestrator, worked with me on five or six projects including video games and feature films. These eventually led to me being asked to compose music for the film “The Lightkeepers.”

You won the IFMCA Award for “The Lightkeepers.” What was the process like?

I had about two weeks and two days to compose over one hour of music that would be used for the film. Even though I faced a lot of pressure, I sincerely loved the entire experience; everything from working with the director, to the creative control I was given, to the music that resulted from the project. After I finished I felt instant gratification; I was extremely proud of the work I accomplished.

What is it like to study online?

Studying online makes the entire classroom experience so much better. Not only is it highly accessible, but it also is the most efficient way of studying. You customize your own learning experience down to when, where, and how you want to do it.

Students are able to learn from one another and interact freely; the exchange of music and conversation is incredible. It’s the quality yet the practicality of it all that makes it the best way to get a music education.

What is it like to teach Orchestration 1 online?

Since I live in LA and work directly in the film industry, I am able to share with my students the most up to date and relevant information out there. I prepare them in a realistic way for the industry they are up against, whether or not they are directly experiencing it. I want my students to connect with their education in a deep way and to do that you have to go above and beyond traditional classroom protocol.

I have the pleasure of teaching individuals from all over the world, from all walks of life, with all different talents that have one common thread of wanting to study music with a top-notch institution.

Who is Orchestration 1 designed for? How can someone use this course advance his/her career?

Really, anyone is suited to take Orchestration 1. I’ve taught students on all different levels, including those that knew nothing about orchestration and sequencing to those that were extremely well versed in both areas. I’ve even taught individuals looking to improve their writing and notation chops. That’s the beauty of teaching music online; I am able to work on a more private basis with my students to help them meet their personal goals, and not just meet the collective goals of the classroom.

There was one student who started my course with very little knowledge of the basics, but she had a great attitude and strong determination, which I appreciated. Through engaging in discussions, reaching out to me with questions, and learning from the work of her classmates, she was able to submit a very impressive final project that consisted of a fully orchestrated and well produced three minute piece that could be used in a feature film. Watching my students grow like this in their own way is a very special thing and probably one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching.

By the end of my course, students fully understand the process of orchestration and how to be successful in the field. I want them to take away both technical and practical information that will be valuable to them across any discipline they choose to pursue. Studying online with Berklee is worth every bit of the time and money that my students invest in it, and that’s something that isn’t true for all institutions.

Berkleemusic’s online summer term begins June 27, 2011.

Find out more at or contact a Student Advisor:

1-866-BERKLEE (USA) | +1 617 747 2146 (Intl) |

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Celebrity Online Scholarship ProgramEach term, Berkleemusic recognizes sixteen of our best and brightest online students for outstanding performance in our certificate programs. These students are awarded a $1,300 scholarship in the name of a renowned music education champion.

Congratulations to our Summer 2011 scholarship winners:

Herbie Hancock Scholarship Winners
• P. Lehti
• M. McDuffee
• B. Popkin
• J. Poyser-Blaize

Phil Ramone Scholarship Winners
• J. Bucsis
• T. Byrd
• A. Popp
• L. St Valentine

Tom Snow Scholarship Winners
• T. Berry
• V. Goldstein
• S. Gray
• G. Whitt

Steve Vai Scholarship Winners
• P. Glover
• V. Konstantinidis
• J. Leiser
• B. Massie

Learn more about Berkleemusic’s Celebrity Online Scholarship Program.

Berkleemusic’s online summer term begins June 27, 2011.

Find out more at or contact a Student Advisor:

1-866-BERKLEE (USA) | +1 617 747 2146 (Intl) |

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Berklee, Midem, and Harvard hosted the first-ever Rethink Music conference here in Boston last week. Berkleemusic was behind the scenes, interviewing some music industry heavy-hitters to share with our community.

Check out some short video clips we’ve posted from pros at EMI, Topspin, Next Big Sound, and more. It’s useful content for any future-focused musician or music business professional.

* Peter Gotcher, Chairman of Dolby and Topspin
* Jim Eno, Producer and Drummer from Spoon
* Tod Machover, Professor of Music and Media, MIT Media Lab
* Ian Rogers, CEO Topspin
* Nancy Baym, Professor of Communications Studies at University of Kansas
* Maggie Martin, Manager EMI Publishing
* Alex White, Founder of Next Big Sound

We captured more than six hours of video from the conference. Stay tuned—there’s more to come.

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Fast-Growing Audio Platform To Power Berklee’s New Online Community

SoundCloudBerkleemusic, the online continuing education division of Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, and SoundCloud, the fast-growing audio platform, have joined forces to provide over 75,000 Berkleemusic members with an easy way to upload, share, and solicit feedback on their music.

“This relationship with SoundCloud is part of Berkleemusic’s continuing efforts to identify and integrate the most current technologies into our online school and associated online community,” said Berkleemusic CEO Dave Kusek. “Many of our online courses cover the best practices associated with using best-in-breed music and marketing software, and it’s a natural fit to integrate SoundCloud’s forward-leaning audio technology into our growing online community.”

Berkleemusic LogoSoundCloud, with its unique waveform player, is a leading tool for artists to share original content online. The platform allows artists, labels, music professionals and other audio creators to upload, record, promote and share sound across the web. It also enables user feedback, download and play counts, and can enable sharing between friends, classmates or the whole world. With over three and a half million registered users, artists from every genre—including house, electronica, classical and jazz—use SoundCloud to preview and share music with fans and peers on a daily basis.

Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud’s founder and CEO, says: “We’ve been working hard to create the best possible platform for sound creators, and that includes helping third-party developers build amazing integrations using our API. Through this partnership, is demonstrating its leadership in understanding and employing new technologies to benefit people in education. We’re also excited to offer our premium members special access to Berkleemusic’s extensive online music courses and certificate programs.”

Berkleemusic continues to be at the crossroads of technology and education in music. Most recently, Berkleemusic teamed with Grammy®-award winning guitar virtuoso Steve Vai to set the Guinness® World Record for the world’s largest online guitar lesson; 4455 students were certified as taking part in the lesson. Berkleemusic also announced a donation of $7000 — one dollar for each student who signed on for the lesson — to the Steve Vai Online Scholarship Fund at Berkleemusic.

Berkleemusic’s spring term is enrolling throughout the week of April 4th.

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It’s Official! Guinness Certifies Berkleemusic and Vai Following Live Online Event For Worldwide Guitar-Playing Audience

Steve Vai and the Berkleemusic Team
March 3, 2011—Steve Vai and the Berkleemusic Team at Livestream’s Studios in New York (L-to-R: Video Producer Jesse Borkowski, CMO Stefanie Henning, Steve Vai, Director of Marketing Mike King, and Web Software Developer Niall Burkley.) Photo credit: Andy Alt

After several weeks of careful tabulation, it’s now official: Berkleemusic, the online continuing education division of Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, and Grammy®-award winning guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, have set the Guinness® World Record for the World’s Largest Online Guitar Lesson. This first-of-its-kind initiative, held at leading streaming media platform Livestream Studios in New York City on March 3rd, brought together almost seven thousand members of the international guitar community in a celebration of online music education. Guinness certified the world record based on Berklee having recruited 4,455 students over the first 15 minutes to the lesson. Berkleemusic also announced a donation of $7000—one dollar for each student certified as taking part in the lesson—to the Steve Vai Online Scholarship Fund at Berkleemusic. The fund rewards and assists outstanding students studying in Berkleemusic’s multi-course certificate programs.

“I am very happy and proud to announce that Berklee College of Music was officially awarded the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest online guitar lesson,” said Berkleemusic Chief Marketing Officer Stefanie Henning. “This was an amazing collaboration of all the teams here at Berkleemusic with tremendous support from Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown, the College faculty and students, and, of course, the day’s guest of honor, Steve Vai.”

Berkleemusic and Steve Vai have also co-authored a new twelve-week online course: Steve Vai Guitar Techniques. This online course, nearing the end of its first session, presents students with the chance to gain a deep understanding of Vai’s death-defying playing styles, repertoire, techniques, and musical concepts from anywhere in the world, and to incorporate their learnings into their own playing.

Building on the renowned guitar curriculum that Berklee has offered to students for decades, the course is now open for enrollment for the school’s spring term which begins on April 4th, 2011. For more information regarding the course, registration information, and to sample an online guitar course, visit

Vai, who is currently finishing a new solo album and preparing for an extensive world tour to coincide with its fall release, is a Berklee alumnus with a devoted fan base in over seventy countries. He is a passionate advocate for music education and exploration. “I hope this record encourages players to continue to cultivate their own unique style and spirit on the guitar,” Vai says. “I think this record really showcases the interest that exists in guitar education worldwide. It was a true pleasure working with an institution like Berkleemusic, who share my interest in helping to bring more skilled musicians into the world.”

Fans can view the archived online lesson, chat and question transcripts, as well as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel’s pre-lesson promotional videos, at

Watch live streaming video from berkleemusic at
Steve Vai
March 3, 2011—Steve Vai warms up for the World’s Largest Online Guitar Lesson at Livestream Studios in New York. Photo credit: Andy Alt
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