Hey, that's my song! July 2, 2012 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Mefi Music appearing automatically and streaming from Hype Machine -- what's the deal?

Recently our band's facebook page got a like and a comment from someone who heard our stuff on Hype Machine / Hypem. I was curious to know how we got on there as I'd never posted anything.

So I did a search for Sportswriters, and it turns out that the site aggregates all the posts I've done to MeFi Music.

Searches for other Mefi musicians seem to throw up the same result.

The site indexes by the MP3 'artist' tag rather than the Mefi handle, so you need to search for 'Josh Millard' rather than 'cortex', for example.

If you look at the results for a particular song it consists of various links back to music.mefi, and the post itself, which is fair enough. But there is a play button which streams the track without you having to visit music.mefi or the post itself.

I'm not sure in my case that I'm actually complaining about this as Hype Machine is a fairly decent site with a well thought out interface and active users who really do listen to music. As a user I like it. Plus, they have reasonably generous and direct linkbacks to the source. In short, it doesn't set off my scuzzometer, but the streaming thing seems a bit hinky, no?

What are they doing technically (making a local copy and streaming it, presumably)?

How do we feel about this? At the least music.mefi folks should be aware that anything they post is likely to be reflected by, and streamable on, Hype Machine.
posted by unSane to Etiquette/Policy at 8:21 AM (17 comments total)

I think this is an automated thing we don't have much of any control over. A bunch of music blogs just find music sites and reproduce the RSS feeds (the music is still played from our server). In the past, we had some sketchy sites do this and we asked them to stop, but I think of hypemachine as being kind of a cool proto music blog and unless everyone has a problem with them syndicated there, I'm ok with it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:23 AM on July 2, 2012

We make the MP3 URLs available in the RSS feeds so people can do stuff like subscribe via iTunes, or listen in a newsreader. When you click play at Hype Machine, it loads the MP3 from our server. So there's no local copying going on.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:28 AM on July 2, 2012

This is something that is, for better and for worse, basically an inevitability given that we don't lock down Music posts away from public visibility. An mp3 is just a file that gets served to a listener, and there are lots and lots of sites/bots/whatevers out there that scour the web for mp3 content.

Like you say, Hype Machine is a decent site, so they're not really on my radar as trouble. Skeevy/scummy random aggregators and stuff, not so great, and like Matt said with those situations we'll try to poke them if we see it happening, but there's not a whole lot of control we can exert there with normal resources even.

Core takeaway is that posting a song on Music is exposing it to the internet, and the internet tends to consume all things. So go in knowing that a song will likely show up in some other places as well, tags and all, which is not something we can really put the cat back in the bag on, so post with caution if you have reservations about a given track being forever a part of the internet's collective memory.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2012

What are they doing technically (making a local copy and streaming it, presumably)?

Ask him or him. They're both pretty active on Twitter.
posted by griphus at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2012

OK, got it. I didn't twig that they were syndicating the RSS feed. That makes a lot more sense. Thanks.
posted by unSane at 9:08 AM on July 2, 2012

Is the first link busted or down?
posted by cjorgensen at 10:15 AM on July 2, 2012

I'm interested in this conversation, as someone running (with permission) torrents and a song-a-day podcast based on Mefi Music.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:22 AM on July 2, 2012

One of the reasons I mentioned this was that I'd recently been digging into the Soundcloud terms of use, with a view to a web project I've been discussing with friends. The relevant bit basically says that although you can use the Soundcloud streaming widget to share your own content, you're not allowed to aggregate third parties' content and present it as a kind of alternative streaming service to Soundcloud.

In other words, if you run a service where people can post their own Soundcloud links and you embed the widget within your page (much as Facebook allows you to do, or lots of audio forums) that's fine... but if you trawled through Soundcloud and aggregated links to songs then that wouldn't be fine.

That means, for example, in the case that we were thinking of, we wouldn't be able to randomly pull music off Soundcloud and embed widgets in our own page, we'd have to make it a social service where users would post links to Soundcloud songs which we would then be able to embed.

Anyway, the fact that it's streaming from your server makes quite a lot of difference and if you guys are cool with it, so am I.
posted by unSane at 12:13 PM on July 2, 2012

well, it's interesting feedback to see what people like - and they're more than welcome to stream my stuff
posted by pyramid termite at 12:44 PM on July 2, 2012

Heya, Arkadiy from the Hype Machine here.

On the tech details: mathowie is correct, generally speaking the streams are served directly from the original site. The mp3 urls come from the RSS feeds and/or visible links on the page, we don't do anything insidious to get at them.

We also take the whole DMCA takedown request thing very seriously, so if you want an individual work of yours removed, send us one of those (see our slightly outdated FAQ), or you can also write us through the contact form and we will help. Feel free to write to us if you have concerns with the way the files/posts are picked up, too.

Initially, we were a bit on the fence about adding MeFi Music to the system because there is some duplication of the community functionality (favoriting, sharing) and because the format is a bit different from the typical music blog, but me and Breefield were such big fans that we decided to try it. Here is the actual representation, which users can subscribe to, kind of like a semi-public newsreader. I think it really adds something special to the otherwise largely trend-driven world of modern music blogging (along with other left-field sources like Dusted Magazine) -- I'm a subscriber, as well as an avid reader on here.

Oh, and hearing that Etiquette/Policy's band was discovered by a new listener with the help of our service brings a bit of warmth to my cold, dark heart :) This is (at least one half of) why we do what we do.
posted by parkan at 2:13 PM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

By the way, I think the very fact of a reasoned discussion on the value of having content presented in this way is really important, and MeFi is one of a very few internet communities where this is possible. We're really into that. The typical discussion with blogs seeking to be listed in our index tends to be very different.
posted by parkan at 2:15 PM on July 2, 2012

unSane: depending on what you are doing, SoundCloud may very well give you permission to use API streams in your application more broadly than delineated in the ToS (and possibly even write an unreasonably flattering blog post). They're very nice people!
posted by parkan at 2:15 PM on July 2, 2012

Hey parkan! Soundcloud + Hypemachine is my favorite combination since combos.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2012

Hey parkan, thanks so much for turning up and explaining. Really appreciate it. I joined HM and look forward to using it. Cheers.
posted by unSane at 3:45 PM on July 2, 2012

I think Hype Machine is great. The small issue I've had with it is that I record under the name "bgm" and my songs are tagged thusly. So over there I'm bgm in a musical form, but as far as I can tell, I've got no way to assume that identity or engage with people. Yes, people can click on the link but that takes them here, where, as a Metafilter Member, I'm chococat.
When I found Hype Machine I was excited that people were liking my songs but I found it a little frustrating that I'm sort of removed from it by several steps.
Also, it seems that my songs have the "mistagged artist" tag, which I assume is because of bgm being an abbreviation for "background music" from anime and video games, (which I am also lumped in with, understandably) but it's not "mistagged" as such and I don't really have a way to address that.
Anyway, cool site, for sure.
posted by chococat at 9:12 AM on July 4, 2012

I can appreciate the technical difficulties but it sure would be nice to connect a Soundcloud or MeFi music or Bandcamp profile (or indeed a HM user profile) to an artist tag.
posted by unSane at 11:13 AM on July 4, 2012

Huh, 9 people like one of my songs on HM. That makes me happy! Wheeeeee!
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:13 PM on July 4, 2012

« Older Facing the Auditors   |   demographic mismatch, or possible meetup activity? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments