Using the Site


About Sutros

What is Sutros?
Sutros provides musicians with all of the online tools they need to get their music heard.

What can I do on Sutros?
Artists can distribute and promote their music, interact with fans and increase their online availability by releasing their music under a Creative Commons license. Listeners can discover new music, create playlists, download and share the music they find with others.

What are the rules for using Sutros?
Please read through our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines to find out everything you need to know about taking part in the Sutros community. Also, it is worth your while to familiarize yourself with Creative Commons licenses and protocol.

Why is the site called ""?
Ah, yes. Our excellent, catchy name is taken from Mr. Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro: digger of mining tunnels, builder of superb (now defunct) public baths, grower of burly facial hair, the 24th mayor of San Francisco (1894-1896), a self-made man. He did great things, he had a great name, and we hope the same holds true for us.

Do I have to pay anything to use all this?
Everyone that visits Sutros is able to listen and download music for free, though there are plenty of advantages to creating an account. Come sign up!

Getting Started

How do I sign up for a free account?
You can create a free account at http://
You will be asked to supply a valid email address, choose a username and password, and review our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines. Once you approve the terms and conditions, a verification email will be sent to you with an activation code that must be submitted to us within 10 days.

Is there a minimum age requirement to get an account?
You must be at least 13 years of age to have your own Sutros account. As part of our compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, we ask that children under 13 practice Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 day and night throughout their childhoods, record it and then post it on Sutros when they are of age.

What if another artist has already taken my name as their username?
Different songs can share the same name, but artists must select unique usernames. If you are unable to select your name or band's name as your username, you can choose a different name and listeners will still be able to find you through a keyword search.

I've forgotten my password. Help!
Not to worry. You can retrieve your password by clicking the "Forgot?" link beside the password field. You will be asked to supply your email address so that we can send you a password reset message.

Can I change my username or password?
Sure thing. Once you are logged in to your account, you can change your username or password by clicking the "Account" link on the upper right-hand side of the page.

How do I sign out of my account?
It's a good idea to sign out of your Sutros account once you're finished listening and updating your Public Page, especially if you share a computer with meddling roommates or hopelessly CC-challenged family members. Simply click the "Log out" link on the upper right-hand side of the page.

How do I delete my account?
If you decide to delete your Sutros account, all of your profile information will be removed and cannot be restored. You may sign up for another account at a later time, but you will need to totally rebuild your profile. To delete your account, please send an email to support[at]



Songs on Sutros are contributed by musicians, not fans.

How do I upload music to Sutros?
Once you have registered your account, go to your Music tab. Beneath the "Upload a new song" title, you will see a "Browse" button. This will take you to a list of music files on your computer. Select the song you would like to add to Sutros, then be sure to click the "Upload" link.

How should I format my songs?
Your music must be in MP3 format. The song file must be no larger than 10MB, and we suggest a bitrate of 256 kb/s. If you need help converting your files, take a look at our tip sheet for MP3 conversion.

How many songs can I upload?
You are free to upload an unlimited number of songs to Sutros. Please do!

Will my uploads expire?
Nope—Sutros is a permanent digital archive. Music files are stored for life through Amazon S3.


We don't control the rights to your music. You do.

What is copyright?
Copyright is literally the "right to copy." It is actually bundle of rights that allow an original creator to keep exclusive claim to the reproduction, modification and performance of her creative work.

For a complete explanation of copyright in the United States, check out the website of the U.S. Copyright Office.

What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides free licenses for artists to easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. As a musician, you can keep the copyright to your music and grant listeners permission to listen, share and download your songs. To learn more about Creative Commons licenses and how they work on Sutros, take a look at our Creative Commons pitch.

What is the difference between copyright and licensing?
Under copyright, you reserve all the rights to your songs. Period. Licensing is when you keep the copyright to a song and grant others permission to use it for a particular purpose.

Usually when people discuss music licensing, they are usually referring to a commercial contract where a musician grants another person or organization permission to use their song to promote a product or service. On Sutros, you can offer your music for commercial use or, if you release your song under a noncommercial license, organizations can contact you directly to arrange commercial use of your song.

Can I publish a song in the public domain on Sutros?
Songs in the public domain are not protected by copyright and may be used freely. That means that anybody is free to copy, cover and share those songs.

You are more than welcome to publish your music to the public domain on Sutros. Simply select that option as your license.

Can I upload a cover, remix or a song with samples of other artists' music?
Yes, you can if the original song is already under a Creative Commons license and if you respect this license. In many cases, however, it is not possible to contribute covers, remixes or music with samples to Sutros if you do not have the original artist's permission to rework their song. The good news is that songs in the public domain and songs that are released on Sutros with a Share Alike clause in their licenses are intended to fuel your creative fire and may be covered, remixed or sampled, provided you include proper attribution to the original artist.

What if a song seems to violate copyright or the Creative Commons?
We're all trying to play by the rules around here, but sometimes things can get a bit confusing. If you come across a track that seems to violate the parameters of Creative Commons or if you have any doubts about whether your own work falls under those boundaries, please take another look at our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines .

If you are a copyright owner and you determine that a song does indeed violate your copyright, a good first step is to contact the user and politely ask them to remove it from Sutros. If that doesn't work, please file a Notice of Copyright Infringement and we'll take it from there.

Please note that if you violate copyright laws or the boundaries of Creative Commons, your account will be closed.

What are my obligations toward Sutros?
You don't have any obligation or exclusivity with Sutros. You can distribute your music here and at any other venue you choose.


It's always good to give credit where credit is due—especially when your liner notes are fully searchable online. Be sure to thoroughly label your songs so that anyone searching Sutros can easily find your music and the musicians that contributed to it.

How do I choose a song image?
You can choose a different image for each of your songs. This image will appear beside the song in a search result and in any playlist in which it appears. If you choose not to select an image for one of your songs, your artist picture will appear as the song image.

To select an image, click the default image on the song edit page. An index of files on your computer will appear. Select an image, then click "Upload." Your selection will be saved as a small tile—just click on the tile and the image will be assigned to your song.

What information do I put in the Credits section?
You can give full attribution to all of the people involved with a track and the roles they play behind the scenes. Roles might include producer, sound engineer, lyricist, or any other you see fit.

Please note that if you would like to link a Credit entry to another Sutros user, you should format your Name entry, "Sutros: Username"

What do I put in the Instruments section?
You can give attribution to each instrument and musician in the Instruments section. Select the instrument first, then type in the name of the musician in the adjacent field.

As in the Credits section, you can link a musician entry to another Sutros user by formatting the entry, "Sutros: Username"

What are tags?
Tags are keyword or category labels. The more tags you assign to a song, the easier it will be to find you in a search. You could designate your song with some basics—maybe it's a Blues song with voice and guitar. End of story. But if you have been up all night banging out a Classical/Reggae/Bluegrass opus played primarily on a kazoo, with a little glockenspiel and lute thrown in—by all means, categorize away! There might be a listener out there with those exact search terms in place.

What goes in the Description section?
This section acts as your liner notes where you can inform listeners of the lyrics to your song, pay your full respects to those who helped produce it, or tell a thing or two about your inspiration for the song and the circumstances of its recording.

How do I embed a link in the Description section?
You can embed a link to your website or outside blog in the Description section by including a tiny bit of HTML coding. Now take a breather, because it's a lot simpler than it seems. Say your band's website is called WEBSITE. Well, in order to link directly to your site, all you need to do is type:

<a href="">WEBSITE</a>

Not so bad, right? Give it a try!
Alternatively, many applications, such as YouTube, provide an embed code for their applications, which you can simply copy and paste into the Description section.


Anybody who visits Sutros can listen to your songs, even if they don't have an account. Here are some other ways to share:
• Share your Sutros web address (i.e. with all of your friends.
• Send playlists and individual songs to people as attachments in an email.
• Encourage others to embed your songs on their blogs and peer-to-peer networks.

What is embedding?
Embedding inserts a Sutros music player on a different website so that your songs can play directly from there. A blogger anywhere in the world can reference or review your music on his or her blog and provide an embedded link to listen to your songs for free on Sutros. The embed code for each song is included on its Song Page.

Using the Site


You can adjust your basic information from your "Edit Profile" tab.

How do I set my user picture?
Your user picture will appear beside your name throughout Sutros and can be changed at any time. From you dashboard, go to your "Edit Profile" tab, click on the default picture, and select an image to upload from your computer.

What are the rules behind adding images?
You must have the legal right to make use of an image, just as you have for the music you upload. That means it's best to choose an picture you've taken yourself or one in the public domain.

What do I put in the blank About field?
This is a space for you to write anything you would like your listeners to know about you and your musical background. You might want to introduce yourself and tell a bit about the instruments you play, the musicians with whom you perform and the music you create. You could go on to disclose any musical training you've received, which grand concert halls you've graced, your influences, your views on the state of musicianship in the age of machines, your willingness to provide instruction on clawhammer banjo, your pets' names, your astrological's up to you.


All of the songs that you have uploaded to Sutros are available here.

Can I change the order in which my songs appear?
Not at this time, no. Songs in your Music tab automatically appear in the order in which they were uploaded. However listeners can sort your songs by applause and date of upload.

Can I remove one of my songs from Sutros?
You can remove your music from Sutros at any time. If you choose to do so, that song will no longer appear on any aspect of Sutros. However, as the creator and rightsholder, you should be aware that once you publish a song on Sutros under a Creative Commons license, that song carries the rights of that license indefinitely. Sutros cannot remove your music from independent blogs and outside peer-to-peer networks where your music is being played.

To delete a song, select "Edit," then select "Delete This Track."

How do I download a song?
Registered users may download all of the music on Sutros.
After logging in, simply click the "Download" link beside the song name and it will be transferred to your computer in MP3 format. From there, you can import the song into your favorite audio players.

How do I applaud a superb song?
Show your support for a great song by applauding the track. Simply click on the clapping hands icon from the Song Page or search result and your applause will be heard throughout the site.


Spread the word about your upcoming performances by uploading event listings to your calendar.


You can release promotional photos of yourself and your band, footage from your performances and full-scale music videos.


Let your listeners know how they can get a hold of you to book an upcoming show, arrange a press interview, inquire about lessons or pass on their compliments. If you would prefer not to share your private contact information, you can invite listeners to leave a comment with you through your Sutros page.


All of your playlists are stored under this tab. Playlists may include both your own music as well as tracks you've discovered on the site.

How do I add a song to a playlist?
After you have turned up a song that you would like to add to a playlist, click on the "Add to playlist" link in the song listing. A drop-down bar will appear so that you can either create a new playlist or add the song to an existing list. Individual song pages also have an "Add to playlist" link at the top of the page.

Can I download an entire playlist?
Yes. There is a link at the top of each playlist page that allows you to download the entire playlist at once.

Why has a song disappeared from my playlist?
Artists are able to remove their music from Sutros at any time. If a song no longer appears in one of your playlists, it is likely because the artist no longer wants to share it on Sutros or because the song does not comply with the Sutros Community Guidelines.


We know how seriously you take your work. It's in good hands. For a thorough description of our practices concerning your privacy, take a look at our Privacy Policy.

What information does Sutros collect about me?
We keep track of standard technical information for all visitors, such as your IP address and internet service provider, and we collect additional information about your usage of Sutros services, such as the number of songs you've downloaded. The information we gather is used to improve our services and to devise new features.

Will Sutros share my personal information with other organizations?
We will never share any of your personally identifiable information without your prior consent.

How do I unsubscribe to emails from Sutros?
We apologize if you have been receiving unwanted mail from us. All you need to do to get off the spam wagon is to go to your profile page and modify your contact preferences.

Someone is using my account without my permission. What can I do?
Oh, this is a terrible situation indeed. You can report any misuse and abuse concerns to privacy[at]