MeFiMusicSwap'20? May 29, 2020 10:57 AM   Subscribe

What are the general feelings on doing a digital-only MeFiMusicSwap?
posted by signal to MetaFilter-Related at 10:57 AM (45 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I think it's a fine idea, personally!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:58 AM on May 29, 2020

Ooh, count me in!
posted by zeusianfog at 11:25 AM on May 29, 2020

There's been one before, no?
posted by holborne at 12:18 PM on May 29, 2020

Last year there was digital only option, but some people still did physical.
I'm wondering if doing it digital only it would still make sense to do swap groups, as there's no shipping costs?
Maybe, just spitballing, it could be 1 big group, but to see/listen to other's contributions you have to send in your own.
And some sort of comment system on each set, maybe?
Not sure if it would work.
posted by signal at 12:24 PM on May 29, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm in.
posted by eotvos at 1:10 PM on May 29, 2020

I'd be interested.
posted by Twicketface at 2:03 PM on May 29, 2020

I haven’t been here long enough to remember the last one, but I was part of a similarly-focused mixtape/CD swap Yahoo group, maybe 20 years ago? I’ve been nostalgic for it lately.

If it would be a matter of Spotify playlists (or similar), I’d love to take part.
posted by armeowda at 8:12 PM on May 29, 2020

I'd do it.
posted by limeonaire at 10:34 PM on May 29, 2020

The digital swap last year was great - I spent a great holiday last summer listening through MeFi mixes. Not going anywhere this year for obvious reasons but could absolutely do with some more tunes.
posted by brilliantmistake at 1:05 AM on May 30, 2020

Big yes.

I'm still in favour of swap groups personally, just because sending in my swap and getting hit with dozens of other mixes would get me overwhelmed and I would end up listening to less music, overall.
posted by Glier's Goetta at 5:12 AM on May 30, 2020

I’d be interested
posted by frumiousb at 6:18 AM on May 30, 2020

.zip files of 10-15 songs appropriately numbered and with album titles adjusted so they appear as a single group in iTunes would be welcome. Spotify is a thing I do not partake in and don't plan to sign up for.

The physical CD swaps were fun but I am not sure I'd want to do that right now.
posted by hippybear at 8:23 AM on May 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

I want a wrap-up at the end where there's a big list of links to everybody's mix instead of having to catch people not in my group talking about a good mix and having to memail everyone for their mix individually because they weren't in my swap group. Eventually.

And if digital, just a bit a bit of standard organization so you can toss them into your library and be able to find them again.
MeFiMusicSwap2020 - zengargoyle - What the Fucking Hell/
01 - Artist - Title.mp3

And yeah, last year's digital version thread probably has a lot of tips about tagging programs and such if it goes that way.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:45 AM on May 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

As far as I'm concerned "What The Fucking Hell" could be the theme for all the mixes. It's appropriate to the times.

Not the title for each mix. That makes things messy. But the theme...
posted by hippybear at 10:50 AM on May 30, 2020

I didn't title my last one, but noticed that some people did so take it as just an example if you have a title. I don't particularly like theme, I'd be horrible at theme. I also didn't like the last C90/CD length sort of constraint because I had to toss out a few longer mixes to keep it under a playtime constraint. Some sort of combination of time vs number of tracks would be a bit nicer. Having to choose between that one longish good mix vs four other good songs was a bit traumatic. :)
posted by zengargoyle at 11:09 AM on May 30, 2020

Oh, slight derail but in the spirit of swapping things...

I have a single C-90 cassette tape that I think has the last KROQ Flashback Lunch with Adam Ant in studio playing acoustic guitar.

If anybody has the things to digitize that, I'll send it to them.

I just can't think of any other reason I held onto that one cassette. I might be totally wrong.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:32 AM on May 30, 2020

I would be into this.
posted by jzb at 1:37 PM on May 30, 2020

Spotify would be much easier for me, and I suspect others, than putting together a zip file with a bunch of MP3s labelled just-so.
posted by zeusianfog at 2:16 PM on May 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

But many people will want to submit tracks that can't be found on Spotify (I, for one, wouldn't have been able to find any of the tracks I submitted last year), so sharing audio files directly should remain an option.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 3:21 PM on May 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

I just stumbled on my pile of MeFi Music Swap CD’s a few days ago & got kinda wistful, actually.

I would be good for a file swap in lieu of CD’S & have the Dropbox space for .aif files so it’s full quality. Spotify has literally no meaning to me, so if it goes that way, I can’t participate.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:23 PM on May 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

Devils Rancher: I have at least one CD from you that I've listened to not infrequently, so yay CD swap years!
posted by hippybear at 4:38 PM on May 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'd love to! Spotify is not an option for me either.
posted by mayurasana at 5:12 PM on May 30, 2020

It would be nice in the case of sending actual copies of music files (rather than streaming links/playlists) if it were limited to artists that have either embraced the sharing model or the people sending it actually paid for a digital copy for the recipient. Musicians are especially hard hit by the shutdown. There's a ton of great music available for next to nothing on Bandcamp and the like.
posted by Candleman at 6:50 PM on May 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh sure, let me go back two decades to track down that eclectic track to make sure it's authorized for transmission. Bonus point for sragging pandemic and starving artists and assuming that there isn't a sharing and bait factor from giving you something you've never heard before.

I solemnly affirm that the only person I've known personally who was against such sharing of new things was a Bro Nazi who wouldn't even let you borrow a CD for fear that you would copy it.
On the other hand.... A bit of sharing makes people want and seek more of that thing.

It's not just NEW, it's also old that you've never heard. And hopefully like. Or say "Meh". You can't sustain pay up front for experience without knowing what to expect.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:28 PM on May 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Folks, do not make this thread weird. Make your choices about how you want to participate and let others do the same.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:56 PM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

My bad. Sorry Candleman and everybody else. A late night nerve pinch got me all graaar. I'm sorta surprised to wake up and find it not deleted. Apologies.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:20 PM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I've got a lot of work now, but if there's no other available platform, I could, over a few weeks' time, write a simple site where:

1) Users can sign up with an email and password. Not sure if this could be checked against mefi itself, or if it needs to.

2) Users post mixes consisting of a title, zero or more images, optional text and a link to a shared file, a youtube or spotify or soundcloud playlist URL, an embed code for a player, a file sharing site URL, etc. Not sure if I'd have the server capacity for people to upload mp3s or aiffs.

3a) We could do groups, which could be randomly assigned.

3b) We could also do platform-groups: spotify, zip, apple music, etc.

3c) We could do no groups, just 1 big list.

3d) We could have user created or predefined tags, i.a.: postrock, easylistening, selfmade, oompaoompa, etc. Mixes have 1 or more tags, you follow whatever tags you're interested in, get notified when something gets added.

4) Each mix has its own page where users can comment on it.

5) Not sure how this works in terms of dates. Can you post whenever? Do we close submissions after a certain period? Can you post more than once?
posted by signal at 1:55 PM on May 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm in.

Not a fan of streaming services for this. Licensing and copyright can be wildly different across international borders. Just because a song's available on Spotify or Apple Music in one country, doesn't mean it's available in another. The variety of music from international senders in the previous CD music swaps made it so much more fun. I'd hate to be geo-fenced for this one.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 12:29 AM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

I love the idea and have actually just shared a silly mix tape with some friends of mine online. Sadly I can't really broadcast it here but people can message me for the details. Fair warning, I was born in 1975 and I have no taste.
posted by AndrewStephens at 6:32 AM on June 1, 2020

I’m so in. We could use the wiki for off site posting, groups and comments?

I’ll also offer to make album art for anyone that wants it, as much as I can. One of my hobbies is taking things my friends say and making them look like album titles.
posted by lucidium at 7:25 AM on June 1, 2020

Maybe we just use a wiki as the overall platform? I don't mind making one from scratch, but sometimes it's better to just use something that exists.
posted by signal at 9:12 AM on June 1, 2020

Users can sign up with an email and password. Not sure if this could be checked against mefi itself, or if it needs to.

This is not easy and I've done it before for a very early attempt at an XMPP chat server. You write a script to check your memail. You have them send you a memail with a particular Subject and Content. If they can send that memail then they're a MeFi user. Create account based on username and provided password in Content. It werked? Unless MeFi gets into OAuth sort of things it's probably a PITA (and OAuth is it's own PITA).

Using the Wiki is a decent idea, but unless it supports groups of members it degrades into a MeFi raise-the-flag pirate operation instead of a group swapping some tunes. Also, is the Wiki indexed by search bots or not (not sure).

I'm in, but last time I ended up with an eleven hour list of things that I had to pare down to 90 minutes. I might just use the same big list and pick other things. They were all on there because they made me happy and I don't think I've added much new since then.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:40 AM on June 1, 2020

Oh, you probably could use the Wiki to gather a list of users and send memail with a password like normal site operations. But you probably get the gist.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:45 AM on June 1, 2020

I'm not really comfortable hosting mixtapes for the whole of metafilter, but I did implement a simple mixtape sharing service for some friends last month.

I ended up just securing everything behind bog-standard basic access authentication with a small pool of accounts to control access. Uploading was manual - they shared the files with me and I uploaded them, which doesn't scale but I don't have many friends who wanted to make mixtapes.

Not everything needs a high-tech solution. If we all trust each other, someone could just set up a server somewhere, hand out a single set of credentials for downloading the mixes, and give out a smaller set of trusted credentials with upload access.

Anyone who wants to listen just needs the "public" credentials. Publishing a mixtape would mean either getting ahold of the trusted credentials for manual upload (ftp?) or contacting someone willing to do it for you.

I am happy with the frontend I created - if you want to see how it worked for us, MeFi Mail me and I'll give you access to the site and 3 (three!) whole mixtapes.
posted by AndrewStephens at 10:29 AM on June 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm interested, but unsure how it could/would work.
posted by hydra77 at 8:41 PM on June 1, 2020

Im in. put me in the file-swapping group, Spotify is not my jam.

I loved the mixes I got last year.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:42 PM on June 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh yes please I am in as heck

I can't share and wouldn't want to receive files, so I'd rather go in a Spotify or titles only group :)
posted by greenish at 6:21 AM on June 4, 2020

So, I'm thinking we do platform/format groups (spotify, apple music, downloadable zip-files, something else? *), and maybe break them down into smaller groups if we get too many people in any one? Still not sure how big groups should be.
Also, for every platform, I think you should be able (and encouraged) to put together a cover, liner notes, maybe back image?
I also think tags area a good idea to help discoverability.
If this sounds OK, I could put something together some time between this weekend and next. Any comments, guidance, discussion or help are welcome. I'd use Django+Bootstrap, probably.

* last time I did zip files + spotify playlist, seemed to work OK.
posted by signal at 8:01 PM on June 4, 2020

If anyone is looking for a way to 1) support Black artists, producers, and Black-owned labels, and perhaps 2) capitalize on the next Bandcamp Day (happening tomorrow, June 5, 2020), while 3) mixing up your mixtapes and listening habits, here's a managed Google spreadsheet of 1000+ Black Producers / Artists / Labels for Bandcamp Day.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 PM on June 4, 2020

The old swaps were 5 people, with each sending out 4 and receiving 4. That was the CD days.
posted by hippybear at 9:40 PM on June 4, 2020

I'd like to participate if there ends up being a Spotify group.
posted by terretu at 12:27 AM on June 5, 2020

Coming in way late but I used to love the CD swaps back under my old identity. Sonos definitely be in if it works out there’s a way I can do it—a couple options would work I think and I can definitely do Spotify.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 4:12 PM on June 10, 2020

Also coming in late to say I'm keen to participate! Thank you, signal!
posted by snorkmaiden at 4:06 PM on June 16, 2020

Just an update, I'm probably like 75% done on this, but have been a bit slow and down these past weeks, so I haven't finished it. Will probably have a version up for comments this weekend.
posted by signal at 6:40 AM on June 17, 2020

Took a little longer, it's up:
posted by signal at 4:06 PM on June 28, 2020

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