Music Swap 2020 | now in beta! June 28, 2020 4:00 PM   Subscribe

The first version of the digital-only music swap 2020 is up for comments / testing.

The idea is:

1) You sign up and upload your mix sometime before August 1, 2020.
2) We send you your swap group.
3) You enjoy your group's mixes , maybe comment on them.
4) You can browse and comment on all the other groups' mixes or tags, too.

There's 4 platforms at present: Spotify, Apple, Youtube and filesharing (where you submit 1 or more links to downloadable files). Not sure if there should be any others. There's no option to upload files directly to the site.

The groups will be figured out after the deadline. If there's not that many people in a platform, the group could be the whole platform. If there's a lot of people, it could be random or maybe (very maybe) some sort of clustering algorithm. Open to suggestions.

Please comment here on errors, issues, ideas, complaints, etc., or send me a memail.
posted by signal to MetaFilter Gatherings at 4:00 PM (66 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Yay! Thanks for putting this together, signal.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:28 PM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Surprised no one mentioned Mixcloud in the prior thread. I haven't uploaded there, but I've seen MeFites or MeFi adjacent people use it.

Also, this sounds fantastic, thanks for setting this up!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:45 PM on June 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I love this, and that's such a cute little website! I was just thinking yesterday about making a beachy mix to play while hanging out in my backyard, now I have motivation to actually do it.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:27 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

You sign up and upload your mix sometime before August 1, 2020.

How many songs -- or how long? -- should one's mix be?
posted by terrapin at 5:31 AM on June 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

Organiser of last year's swap here. This is fantastic, thanks for doing this and congrats on the slick website! I've signed up and will start thinking about my mix soon. :D
posted by daisyk at 8:34 AM on June 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

How many songs -- or how long? -- should one's mix be?

I don't know if there have been guidelines like this in the past, but I'd say however long you want to make it. For me, I'd think about how long I'd want to listen to a mix or playlist.

If you feel like you need a few more songs in your mix, but don't want it to be too much longer, look to Short Music for Short People, 101 punk songs in under 50 minutes (Wikipedia).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:44 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wow, what a great interface. Lovely work.

(I haven't put any thought into what my mix will consist of this year, but it may be that I have it on Spotify and downloadable. I just picked one semi-capriciously since I was asked to make a choice.)
posted by mykescipark at 12:13 PM on June 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yay! Thank you!
posted by holborne at 1:35 PM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

This makes me happy. This is something I can dig into right now without the added challenge of packing a CD or getting to the post office, which I struggle with even when things are good (and things are so very much the opposite of good right now!)

Very excited to pick a theme and get working. Thanks for making this happen!
posted by firei at 2:57 PM on June 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is wonderful! Thanks. Can't wait to put some fun music in!
posted by gemmy at 5:40 PM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all your kind words. Let me know thoughts, ideas, problems, etc.
posted by signal at 7:19 PM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yay! This is so exciting! The project is great and just what I need right now, and the site is adorable. My contribution will probably be bangers and bops by artists from various countries with rambling liner notes.

Really looking forward to this!
posted by danabanana at 7:14 AM on June 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

This is fun. Mine is up. I went the Apple Music route as it was easiest for me, but as I state on my submission, if someone wants the files via another method I will.

Thanks signal
posted by terrapin at 10:48 AM on June 30, 2020

great, terrapin, you're the first, I think. Was it ok, simple to understand? Any hiccups?
posted by signal at 12:19 PM on June 30, 2020

The only thing it took me a second to figure out, but may not be obvious is that one has to be in code mode to paste the embed code. Everything else was intuitive to me.
posted by terrapin at 1:33 PM on June 30, 2020

I did not expect such a polished web page. Neat! (Also, I love the idea itself.)
posted by eotvos at 5:05 PM on June 30, 2020

Yay! Clearly I need to check MetaTalk more often!
posted by kitten kaboodle at 6:17 PM on June 30, 2020

I'm dumb. How does one create a mix in Apple? And if you create a mix in Youtube, it's permanently attached to your account, right?
posted by koucha at 1:32 PM on July 1, 2020

koucha: I have been making playlists in iTunes for years, and have had an Apple Music account for a few years too, and I had to look it up! Here's what I found...

Apple has a how-to on their website.

If that's not clear, feel free to MeMail me.
posted by terrapin at 3:48 PM on July 2, 2020

Now that I'm about to upload things. . . I'm a bit befuddled by the idea of tags. (To be clear, I don't object to them at all.)

If you're using them, what are you using them for? Genres? Artist names? Abstract ideas? Emotions?

(This also prompted me to look back through old swap files. I realize that I now know IRL and have eaten meals with someone I sent an album to from thousands of miles away, having no idea who they were. Which is kinda neat.)
posted by eotvos at 11:47 PM on July 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you're using them, what are you using them for?

I used them for genres.
posted by terrapin at 7:47 AM on July 4, 2020

Can someone with such powers add this thread to a sidebar so others can find it once it rolls off the front page?
posted by terrapin at 7:48 AM on July 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Woop! I was just wondering if that was gonna be a thing. I am excites.
posted by Zarkonnen at 11:14 AM on July 8, 2020

Started planning out the songs I'm gonna put in there. Last year was entitled Love and Dread (terribly illegal filesharing link). This year is shaping up to be Love and Dread II: Love Harder.
posted by Zarkonnen at 11:30 AM on July 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you're embedding a spotify player and adding a cover image, set the embed's width to 600 so it matches the pic and give it a more generous height:

[iframe src="" width="600" height="900" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"][/iframe]

(notice the width and height parameters)
posted by signal at 2:04 PM on July 8, 2020

Or, actually, set the width to 100% so it works on cellphones, etc:

[iframe src="" width="100%" height="900" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"][/iframe]

I'll fix the width of the images so it matches.
posted by signal at 2:05 PM on July 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Added the option to change background and text color.
posted by signal at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

It doesn't seem like anything is getting saved when I hit "save and preview" - if I then open up the site in a new window none of the text I entered is there (also I'm not seeing a preview, just the same page again with the stuff I entered prepopulated). I tried disabling my adblock and firefox tracking protection, but it didn't change anything. Don't see any javascript errors in the console. Any advice, or am I just not understanding how to use the site?
posted by whir at 10:40 AM on July 10, 2020

Huh. It should save. Could you try with another browser?
posted by signal at 1:21 PM on July 10, 2020

I think the form isn't being saved, let me check it and I'll let you know.
posted by signal at 1:26 PM on July 10, 2020

I just tried various times, leaving all the fields blank and it still saves, let me know if you keep getting this problem.
posted by signal at 2:14 PM on July 10, 2020

Thanks for checking, signal. I tried it in Chrome and creating and editing the mix worked fine there. Once it was created I was subsequently able to edit it in Firefox, so I'm guessing the problem (if it's not specific to my own setup somehow) was with initially creating the mix in Firefox. Anyways, I'm good to go for now, thanks!
posted by whir at 9:16 PM on July 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by signal at 8:12 PM on July 11, 2020

Just an update, there's 37 people registered so far, with about half on Spotify, one third on file links, the rest on Apple and 1 on Youtube Music.
posted by signal at 1:47 PM on July 15, 2020

Finally finished my mix after MUCH FIDDLING. My mix is comprised entirely of ROIOs, in tribute to all the live music we're missing, and all the great live music we've experienced. Can't wait to share it with my group.
posted by mykescipark at 12:15 AM on July 26, 2020

My file is linked. I'll know if I'm happy with the mix I'm submitting in a few weeks.
posted by carsonb at 6:17 PM on July 26, 2020

Since the deadline is fast approaching, can a reminder be sent out? Also this post is not tagged with music or swap =)
posted by soelo at 8:59 AM on July 27, 2020

Thanks for opening this thread back up, cortex.

I have been peeking and so far 8-9 mixes have been uploaded. I haven't listened to any of them yet, but I am eager to!!!

"Let there be songs, to fill the air!"
posted by terrapin at 7:35 AM on July 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wait, terrapin, how are you peeking? I didn’t even know we could see anything other than our own stuff.
posted by holborne at 10:33 AM on July 30, 2020

holborne, I peeked by going to my list and clicking on a tag, which brought up some playlists. Fun stuff in "pop"!
posted by danabanana at 12:35 PM on July 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

I peeked by looking at my own URL and wondering if I changed the 2 to a 3 or 4 or 5 what would happen. The result was other people's uploads. I didn't look at the songs or play any songs. *crosses heart*
posted by terrapin at 1:27 PM on July 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

In case anyone else is curious and or paranoid, the cheat above only works if you've logged in with an account on the swap site. It seems like it's not getting indexed externally. (I'm also not downloading or listening to anything before the official swap happens. That would be cheating.)

To be clear, I don't think this is a bad thing or needs fixing; I'm terribly impressed by how much went into the website already. Looking forward to the swap.
posted by eotvos at 9:24 PM on July 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Done! I really, really love the website, and think its charm and ease of use is part of why I was able to actually complete this. I like my mix but it's not too far out there. Can't wait to listen to the others!
posted by dirtdirt at 11:19 AM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Done - and I love the site. I hope we can keep updating as time goes on. I haven't been able to give quite as much attention to my mix as I'd hoped (how am I so busy when I never leave the house?) but it's not embarrassing....
posted by jzb at 11:33 AM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

eotvos: " the cheat above only works if you've logged in with an account on the swap site. It seems like it's not getting indexed externally."

Yes. You can only view somebody's mix (and soon, groups!) if you're logged in.

I wouldn't think of the cheats as cheats so much as hidden functionality…
posted by signal at 11:44 AM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also, how do we feel about extending the deadline by a week? We have 44 signups but only 21 mixes, give them time to catch up? I could send out an email this weekend to the stragglers...
posted by signal at 11:49 AM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

jzb: "I hope we can keep updating as time goes on. "

There's nothing technical in the current site that would make that difficult, in fact I'm going to have to manually disable editing.

Functionally, not sure if it makes sense to be able to keep editing indefinitely, though, especially with the comments function, it would be bad if somebody comments on a track and then the tracklist changes, IMO.
posted by signal at 11:51 AM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

"how do we feel about extending the deadline by a week?"

I support this!

"not sure if it makes sense to be able to keep editing indefinitely"

Fair. Adding new mixes? Just seems like an awesome site, I think it could be a great hub for music discussions since Metafilter doesn't really have a section for that...
posted by jzb at 12:02 PM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

jzb: "I think it could be a great hub for music discussions since Metafilter"

Absolutely, let's think about how it should work.
posted by signal at 12:41 PM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’d be good with extending the deadline, as I would still like to do some tweaking.
posted by holborne at 12:51 PM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Votes aye to deadline extension. I've waited this long ;)
posted by terrapin at 2:41 PM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

OK, I extended it to Saturday 8, will send groups out that Sunday.
posted by signal at 4:40 PM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yay! I'd only managed to fill one and a half sides of the C-90 I'd been supplied - with a week's extension I can now complete the tape :)

A very very late feature request (that just occurred to me) - could people individually mark their mixes as complete and then they would be published? Releasing asynchronously would be analogous to posting out mixes, and it gives stragglers every chance to complete. I once received a mix in the mail two months after the closing date. It was still very welcome.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 4:51 PM on July 31, 2020

I think after this first version is good, I'll revisit the idea of having separate Swaps. We can flesh it out together.
posted by signal at 5:08 PM on July 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm fine with extending the deadline too, though I'm done already, slackers.

One thing is I need to change my mix type from Spotify to file-sharing, and I didn't see any way to do that in the interface. (I couldn't find everything included on Spotify. Not sure the mix type actually does anything though?)
posted by whir at 7:02 PM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm gonna use the mix type to create the groups. Send me a memail and I'll switch your type.
posted by signal at 8:11 PM on July 31, 2020

I sent an email to everybody who hasn't uploaded their mix.
posted by signal at 6:02 PM on August 1, 2020

Verrrry belatedly signed up and submitted. Thanks for pushing the deadline!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:01 PM on August 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Deadline day has passed. Excited.
posted by terrapin at 7:36 AM on August 9, 2020


The groups are assigned. Since we didn't get so many mixes, I just grouped everybody by platform.

If you log in now, it will take you to, at the top there's a link to your group. The other groups are also accessible at the bottom.

There's a comment box in every mix.

To those who didn't make the deadline, I'll leave the editing function open in case you want to add you mix at a later date.

As always, if you have any problems or suggestions, post it here or send me a memail.

Thanks to everyone, hope you had / will have fun!

(I'm emailing this same message to everybody who participated.)
posted by signal at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh, if anybody adds their mix in the future, let me know and I'll assign you to a group.
posted by signal at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2020

Haven't listened to my group's yet, but I can tell by the track listings that they are going to be excellent. Thanks to signal and all participants! Great fun.
posted by mykescipark at 2:47 PM on August 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

FYI, I cloned my Apple mix to Spotify as well. There's a link for you spotifites on my mix page.
posted by terrapin at 4:20 PM on August 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Thanks so much for putting this together, signal! I’m already really enjoying my group’s playlists.
posted by holborne at 5:01 PM on August 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Thanks, everyone, and especially signal!

I haven't had a chance to listen to my group's mixes yet. But, they're on my phone and I'm looking forward to them.
posted by eotvos at 6:19 PM on August 11, 2020

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and for participating!
posted by signal at 6:42 AM on August 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

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