Exploring CoinDL.com (p.s. buy my book)

Posted on July 7, 2012

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One of the aims for this blog is to explore some services that may or may not be of use to casual Bitcoin users. And one of the services I’ve been keeping an eye on is CoinDL, a site where you can upload digital content, set a price, and get paid in Bitcoin. Buyers then get instant access to the download. I vaguely remember a site like this a year or so back, but it was a bit rougher, and had various filesize limits which made it less usable. (Anyone remember the name of it?)

CoinDL has its limitations too, which I’ll go into, but on the whole it seems like a fairly useful service for making content available, if you’re advertising the content elsewhere.

Here’s my experience with it so far. I wanted to make my e-book Butterflies and Sand available for Bitcoin download, so I signed up with CoinDL. Registering for basic access (for buying stuff) is fairly straightforward. Registering a seller needs a bit more information like postal address, and took a few days to get OK’d – sign up in advance if you’re planning on a time-sensitive release.

Adding an item for sale is fairly straightforward – add in some details, choose whether to set the price in BTC, or in USD (and have the site convert it for you), and so on. The ‘trickiest’ bit is re-sizing a preview image (if you’ve got one) to a small size – you can upload a larger one, but might have to wait longer until the site admin resizes it for you. Hopefully automatic preview generation is coming in future.

There’s then another bit of a wait until your new item get approved, and is ready for purchasing. Yay, done. You can see my e-book here.

There are some useful features if you want to upload items that should be packaged together, such as album tracks. You can suspend items if you want to stop them from being on sale temporarily. On the whole, the site seems to function well.

It’s a little on the basic side, but I guess we’ll see new features if the site picks up use. For instance, there’s a handy New Releases page – but not for individual categories – and the link disappears when you log in. There’s also no page to show you what’s sold recently. So if you’re going to upload items, there’s not much point relying on the site to do any promotion for you.

Will I carry on using CoinDL? I’ll see how it goes. So far I’ve only uploaded a few bits and bobs, with no takers yet – it’s hard to know the general site traffic as there only seems to be sales stats. Still, it doesn’t cost me anything to keep it there, which is great.

(P.S. Buy my book!)

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