music update? April 16, 2003 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Just want to know more about how the musi.mefi thing is progressing; and of course, requests... [more inside]
posted by folktrash to MetaFilter Music at 8:41 AM (50 comments total)

so how goes this music thing? bandwidth? server space? i think there exists the possibility for a very close knit community to be developed here (inside of the existing one).

what percent of what you've received has been posted? i would love to see this idea developed further should your resources allow. i'd deal with the text ads.

things i would love to see - "playlists" that anyone can assemble from their own musi.mefi user page. so say - i want to go see what cortex or victors is listening to. also, as has been mentioned, comment areas for each song. a short form, all fields optional, for the owner to fill out, that type of thing. plus some kind of sub grouping. as this list continues to grow (assuming it does so) it's going to be increasingly difficult to browse. the "new nthday" has helped in the beginning here, but it'd be nice to see it broken out. like, the top 3 most recently added songs, the next - top 3 most downloaded songs, it broaches the competition thing, but i just want to see what everyone else is diggin, so i can catch a listen, and i dunno, maybe a couple more groupings of that sort. one thing i think would be a good idea not to involve is genre. just skip it. it's too ambigious. people can put in genretypetext in the individual description, but i mean for programmatically sorting i say skip it. um, yeah so.

one thing - (osten.2.4, ie5.2, itunes3.0.1) when i check a bunch of tunes, and then play, i get a stream per song, not one stream containing all the songs selected.
posted by folktrash at 8:44 AM on April 16, 2003

I've been slowly posting everything I get, with no minimum quality filters whatsoever.

I agree that there's a great opportunity here to develop this further, but unfortunately I just grabbed an off-the-shelf product that doesn't do much beyond sort and play music files.

If anyone would want to develop a full-fledged music/voting/rating/sorting system in php/mysql, I'd be happy to host it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:27 AM on April 16, 2003

Hey Jimbob, could you email me? I can't find your email address, here or on your web log, and don't have ICQ. I'm interested in seeing if you're open to collaboration.

I wonder if a simple comment system might serve as well a rating system... sortof like having each artist or song be a thread. I'd think comments are a bit more community-oriented and informing than the simple numeric value, though they take more time to make. Maybe attach a numeric rating with a comment.
posted by weston at 9:38 AM on April 16, 2003

Audioscrobbler is a good way to see what others are listening to - a quick download. It must be a kick to see your music being listened to there. My stats. I hope you can see them without being logged in.
posted by iconomy at 9:54 AM on April 16, 2003

I hope you can see them without being logged in.

Yes we can.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:02 AM on April 16, 2003

"If anyone would want to develop a full-fledged music/voting/rating/sorting system in php/mysql"

I find myself without a pet project for the next couple weeks. If people can create a wish list for such an application I can build it out fairly quickly.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:55 AM on April 16, 2003

So far, the handful of songs I've downloaded have been really fun, and of better average quality than I expected. I'll be e-mailing those contributors whose work I've enjoyed, once I get a little more downloaded. (I'm on a 56k dialup, so it's taking me 8-15 minutes per download.)

I second the call for some sort of comment system. Of course, I'm way too busy to build one. So I'll just quietly wait for someone else to volunteer.

It would also be cool to see stats on numbers of downloads.

On the subject of bandwidth & server load, I tried to download some more songs about 6:30 this morning (EST) before going to work. Every time, the download slowed to a crawl and essentially stopped after about a minute. Was the server getting hammered around that time or was my ISP just being flaky?
posted by tdismukes at 11:02 AM on April 16, 2003

I still wanna make something for this project, but am unsure how it'd be received. My 'style' is heavily influenced by Laurie Anderson and Ken Nordine. Spoken word crap. What'd be really cool would be to write copy and do voiceovers for some of the music I've been listening to from other MeFites. However I've no idea how that'd be received, even with the common copyright thingy in play, so I was thinking of maybe reinstalling Acid Pro, but the canned music from that just sounds.. canned.

I was thinking maybe it'd be neat to take quotes from MeFi over the years, like "administrator! Please hope me!" and somehow incorporate such phrases together. Something artsy with a sense of humor. I'm still playing with ideas in my head.

Then there's this other project I was working on with some guys making mods for Freedom Force and I haven't finished my part of that yet. Guess that should come first. This does look like fun though.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2003

It would be nice if our member profiles reflected participation in Music.Mefi, ie:

krisis has posted 0 links and 5 comments to MetaFilter,
and 1 thread and 4 comments to MetaTalk.
krisis has shared 8 songs with Music.Mefi.

It would raise the profile of the project amonst the larger community, and it will allow you to see with a glance if one of your favorite members has uploaded any music.

Also, can we think of a catchy shorthand name for this wonderful project? Right now it sounds so unweildly when i use it in a sentence. Two of the obvious ones, MusicFilter and MetaMusic, are in use elsewhere, so we'd need to think of a good one. Or, am i just to lazy to type it out every time? Thoughts?
posted by krisis at 12:09 PM on April 16, 2003


spoken word over some nice tracks would be awesome.

[listening to saul williams and blackilicious right now]
posted by th3ph17 at 12:15 PM on April 16, 2003

y6y6y6: i'll help you bounce ideas, and be your little tester if'n you want.

zachsmind: i can't wait to hear it man.

krisis: the profile page is an excellent idea for rasing awareness in a appripriate way me thinks.
posted by folktrash at 2:15 PM on April 16, 2003

oh, and i like MefiMuSi
posted by folktrash at 2:15 PM on April 16, 2003

behold, for my spoken word track will soon be upon ye !
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:25 PM on April 16, 2003

Sarge, will you be doing it in one-and-two-word snippets over hundreds of tracks? Because I don't know if I have enough storage for that. ;)
posted by yhbc at 2:32 PM on April 16, 2003

Again, since I used an off-the-shelf product, I can't integrate it into the MeFi site anytime soon, nor can I add rankings, genres, and/or ratings to the music site.

In the mean time, anyone that uploaded something is welcome to add it to their user page themselves by hand.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:40 PM on April 16, 2003

MuMe is good
(I pronounce it moo-meh)

and i'm so loving it--keep em coming!
posted by amberglow at 3:00 PM on April 16, 2003

y6y6y6: It would be awesome if the music site worked just like like metafilter, where people could post their own songs instead of fpps, comment on other people's songs, et cetera.
posted by Hildago at 3:03 PM on April 16, 2003

Hildago: My god, i think i would die of happiness if we did that. I've tried a few ways and shapes to get together a collection of self-recording bloggers to chat, write, collaborate, and conversate, and it never quite panned out. To create a sortof "songwriterFilter" would fill what is an awesome void in the internet, which has plenty of hosting for self-made music, but not enough peer-to-peer discussion of it. Definitely a venture of MeFi proportions, at least in planning it.

Mathowie: I figured as much; it was worth a shot. Though, if the demand continues, maybe it will be worth converting to something not so out-of-the-box ??

(But, if we ran with the Hildago idea, then each fpp a person made would be a song, and that could be integrated into profiles. Hmm...)
posted by krisis at 3:56 PM on April 16, 2003

krisis: are you thinking essentially a direct copy of the Metafilter/Metatalk interface, with some little added boojiggy for uploading the mp3 you're posting as part of the posting process? Thus maintaining the familiar (and well-loved) Metafilter look/feel while adding a couple necessary details to provide playlist/download-tracking/etc functionality necessitated by a MeMu thing?

Because that's what I'm thinking, now that I think of it.

Matt: would that be an utterly insane idea, or would it actually be workable/sensible/etc?
posted by cortex at 4:07 PM on April 16, 2003

I'm going to install Andromeda on one of my servers tomorrow and see how easy it will be to bolt parts onto it. It seems very odd that it doesn't already come with a discussion and rating feature. If they make it easy to add html to the displayed list of songs then I'm good to go. Give me a couple days to get something up and running.

"where people could post their own songs instead of fpps"

Are you sure about that? Wouldn't the front page get cluttered fast? Wouldn't it be better to get to the discussion from the song list? Hmmm.... And I'm not sure such a thing would play nice with Andromeda (which is the code running the musi.mefi thing now). Hanging a discussion off each song might be easy. Hanging songs off a Metafilter clone (and keeping all the nifty Andromeda features) might not even be possible.

I sorta assumed Andromeda stored all the good stuff in a database, but it doesn't. It seems to traverse the directory tree and display lists based on that. Ick.

We'll see. Keep the ideas coming.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:18 PM on April 16, 2003

It could be set up like Tapeworm, maybe? It seems very functional, from a non-musician's viewpoint. Members post original beats and tracks, and other members download them and remix them, and then upload the finished mp3 for anyone to listen to. You can collaborate in advance or just browse for sounds.
posted by iconomy at 4:26 PM on April 16, 2003

"Because that's what I'm thinking, now that I think of it."

Just to put a finer point on it - This may not be doable without rebuilding all the code Matt is currently using for *both* MetaFilter and the music site.

So, we have existing code in PHP which is good at organizing and displaying MP3s. And we have good MetaFilter code which is in ColdFusion and SQL Server. These do not go together. I have standalone code which looks like it might tie into the music code, but it would still be two separate applications.

Hmmm..... I *might* be able to build an upload app that would feed Andromeda transparently....

Let me build something over the next couple days.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:30 PM on April 16, 2003

Is that really all there is to Andromeda? I mean, it gets the job done, but it seems to be missing a few things that would be really useful (ie: genre info, ratings, comments, airplay data, more of an "Artist Page" layout, ect). I was also disappointed to see that it rather transparently reads from the file-tree, it makes the package a little less impressive. Does it do that dynamically, or does it actually compile any sort of database along the way? If not, surely anyone could somehow bootleg a workable php/mySQL database to work alongside of that pretty easily, right?

Cortex: I just meant to say that i have always wished for a MeFi-like environment (ie: [semi]open subscription, front page posts, lots of loving snark, ect) where people can not only have discussions like the one i started last night, but get their music heard while also looking for suggestions about gear, gigging, forming a band, and so on. I think that this site would have to be built with the community aspect locked in from the start, or else people just spam it as another venue to self-promote their music. But, yes, i do feel that familiar look/feel of MeFi would lend credibility and functionality to such an effort (as it has to all sorts of sites currently running free-filter & metaPhilter, and some of them really suck).

iconomy: Well, sortof, only without their dopey disclaimer stating "Aspiring rock stars need not apply." I want to be allowed to apply, damnit!

y6y6y6: A link to a song with no commentary accompanying it would be just as annoying as a link on the MeFi front page without any commentary accompanying it. At the same time, i think that simply adding a comment field to the song database doesn't really generate much active discussion. Lying somewhere between the two is a place to say: Here's my new tune... I really tried to emulate the harmony from "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," but at the same time i feel that it is too derivative of "Eat The Rich." Also, i hate the second line in the chorus. Help!

I don't mean to sound as though i have some perfected master plan about any of this; it's just a concept that i've had floating around in my head for years. Would it be active? Would people use it? Would it attract new members? Would it be totally insane to host all the files on-site? More thoughts?
posted by krisis at 5:37 PM on April 16, 2003 is taken, but .net and .org are available.
posted by Vidiot at 6:33 PM on April 16, 2003

I vote for MuMe: I don't see the necessity of Matt buying yet another domain name. If this idea involved the whole world I'd agree, but Matt said he just wants a place for MeFites to share some tunage. So music under the MeFi umbrella sounds perfectly cool.

I can't find my old Acid Pro discs. I think I let the ex-wife take them with her.

Based on reading that Creative Commons website, could I just try offering a spoken word piece to Matt's project and ask other people to back it up with their music, or say that my mp3 submission was open to have other people edit it and goof it up and either make me sound really cool or make me sound like a chump? People could take my words and cut & paste and mix'm around, put sucking sounds in the background, or they could add some cool reverb and make me sound like a rap star. Or would it be cool to take an instrumental piece that's already up there and do a voiceover over that? Or would that be uncool?

Or maybe I should just let the big boys play?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:02 PM on April 16, 2003

just go for it zachs, have fun.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:08 PM on April 16, 2003

Amen. I personally volunteer to make a mix with sucking sounds in the background. :)

Actually, I think it'd be cool (nay, hella cool) to have several different people make something from the same spoken-word seed material. Hell, I'm in.
posted by cortex at 9:41 PM on April 16, 2003

Ditto what cortex said.
posted by Jimbob at 10:24 PM on April 16, 2003

best tagline yet:

metatalk: sucking sounds in the background

I'd love to see some collaborative stuff on MeMu (or was that "MuMe"?). Speak, ZachsMind!
posted by taz at 10:56 PM on April 16, 2003

zach, i sent a spoken word track to matt just before you posted about doing one so there you are, its like christmas eve waitin for the new songs to go up here , this is great !
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:44 AM on April 17, 2003

Sounds like I'm looking for the same thing as krisis. I'd love to see a combination of songwriter's circle and radio station. We've already got a (maybe dysfunctional but alive) community here; that gives us a chance to create something where people help, encourage, and criticize each other instead of just promoting themselves. I might be able to work myself up to posting my half-baked songs if there was a chance of getting some useful feedback and maybe even finding a beat scientist to collaborate with. And I'd love to have way to express my appreciation for some of the music that's already up there.
posted by fuzz at 6:24 AM on April 17, 2003

Okay. Andromeda is very easy to work with. Thankfully they've made it easy to embed it inside something else, or embed something else inside it. I see two strategies, both of which require a bit of work on Matt's part. But not too much:

1) I'll write a file upload tool which will upload the MPs file, build a directory if needed, create a link to the discussion from each song listing, and add a post for that MP3 to a MeFi style discussion page. So you'll see a songs list as you do now, but there will be a link to the discussion thread. AND you'll have a MeFi style page where each post links to the songs list.


2) I'll build a MeFi style discussion forum and a script Matt will run every time he adds an MP3. This will build the links and discussion forum as above.

The main difference is that with option #2 Matt has more control over what gets uploaded.

With both options I assume Matt will replicate the Metafilter user list so that only members will be able to upload, comment, etc. The upload tool would control what file types and sizes would be allowed.

Please advise.

I'll start building option #1 over at MF Distilled today and should have it done tomorrow. Since I already have the discussion piece in place I'll just need to build the upload part. Once I get something to work (assume tonight) I'll add a link here and on the menu over there.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:08 AM on April 18, 2003

ybybyb - I presume you will also have a one-time script to add discussion links for the songs which have already been uploaded?
posted by tdismukes at 8:23 AM on April 18, 2003

No. You presume incorrectly. Since that would be the exception, I'd worry about that later. Probably not too hard to do though.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:33 AM on April 18, 2003

Option 1 sounds ok, but I'd need to block non-members from that form, and also I'd somehow need to get the 17k user db over to that box in mysql (not impossible, but tricky).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:43 AM on April 18, 2003

"Option 1 sounds ok,"

I'll have a working version tonight. I've been looking for a good excuse to build a robust file upload tool.

"but I'd need to block non-members from that form"

Yeppers. I assumed that. So you'll see a login request rather than the form if you aren't logged in. The script will place the file in a folder with the same name as the user, creating it if necessary. One tricky bit is that the webserver will have to write permissions for those directories. Not a big deal I think, but maybe an issue.

"and also I'd somehow need to get the 17k user db over to that box in mysql"

The way I've done this in the past is to have a script on the SQL Server machine write out a text file where each line is an insert statement for the database rows. Then just suck that text file into the MySQL side via PHPMyAdmin.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:25 AM on April 18, 2003

Would we be able to replace or remove files with this newer system?

I support the metafilter principle of "think before you hit submit." However, for instance, I have discovered an excess of crackly artifacts in my file after listening to it through something other than my un-pre-amped headphones. I can live with it, but it would be nice to fix it without troubling Matt. What if someone realizes that the awful song about their ex-girlfriend was in bad taste? It's something to think about. You don't want comments hanging out there or disappearing if a file is removed. Also, people might want to know whether they will be able to take something down for various reasons before putting it up.

I think a "check your file before you post!" principle would work.

If there is a submission limit, what if you fill it up and have new files that are better? If it kicks one off to make room when a newer submission is uploaded, what happens to the comments on the one that gets cycled out?
posted by mblandi at 9:57 AM on April 18, 2003

a comment or rating system would be great. preferably any comment system - it would be nice to be able to let those artists who've posted good tunage know how good i think their work is (so far, clockwork (austin hall) is my fav)
posted by Zebulun at 11:43 AM on April 18, 2003

I'd like to encourage ID3 tags. I've got a bunch of MP3s on my desktop now and I don't know whose they are. Now I have to go back through and manually edit them... Free time slipping away... Enjoyment decreasing... Holsteins rebelling...
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:20 PM on April 18, 2003

It's not vital to know this right now, but it would be nice to stick it in while I have it on my mind.

1) What should I make the maximum file size for uploads? There are numerous benefits to making it as small as possible while still being practical. And I DO have to set some limit. Is 7 megs too small? Too big?

2) What file types should be allowed? Right now I'm just allowing MP3s. And I'm assuming MP3s all have a ".mp3" extension? Is that right?

Please advise.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:18 PM on April 18, 2003

1) At 128Kbps 7MB would be a bit over seven minutes. Sounds adequate to me. Exceptions can be handled manually, I presume.

2) Depends on the platform. On the Mac there's no need for a file to have an extension for the computer to know what kind of file it is, so theoretically Mac MP3 files could have any extension, or none. In practice most do end up with that extension (although I'd allow upper and lowercase variants).
posted by kindall at 2:09 PM on April 18, 2003

my preference would be to also allow ogg as well as mp3.
posted by modge at 2:18 PM on April 18, 2003

The problem with having no extension is that I want to prevent people from uploading "bad things" and then running them on the webserver. I might be able to get around this by making the upload directories read only for the world (744), but I'm not sure I trust that. No reason why I shouldn't really. I think.

They gave us the day off here for Easter (?), so I'm mostly done. Just need to have the script start a forum thread. Gimme a couple hours and I'll post a link.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:44 PM on April 18, 2003

Okay. Here's where the test is: On the side menu, way down at the bottom you'll see three links - Music Upload, Music Forum, and Andromeda.

Use the music upload to add music to the system (you'll need to be logged in). Use the music forum to view current threads. Use andromeda to browse the uploaded files.

This works for the most part, BUT IS NOT DONE. Items still to fix:

- I was able to upload files larger than 2 megs for a while there, but no longer. Not sure why. I'm working on it.
- The thread that gets started has some default text. That will need to be fixed so that people can write their own thread text.
- The look and feel is the default for the existing site. I'm not going to mess with that right now. It can be customized though.
- The disussion system is not as robust as MetaFilter's. That can be fixed but is a longterm item.
- Again, because you didn't listen the first time, this set up will only handle mp3s under 2 megs. For now. I'm working on it.

So..... The process:

1) Login or register.
2) Upload a file (less than 2 megs).
3) Visit the music forum and chat.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:45 PM on April 18, 2003

Oh....... And I need to add a link back to the mp3 in the forum thread. I'll do that.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:48 PM on April 18, 2003

Oh...... and I need to make a link back to the discussion forum on each of the music listings in Andromeda. Duh. I'll add that.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:11 PM on April 18, 2003

Who da man? y6y6y6 da man!

Who let the y6y6y6 out? Woof, woof woof!

Etc. This is exciting.
posted by cortex at 4:18 PM on April 18, 2003

[another y6y6y6 cheerleader post]

Big up yo' massive!

Got the skills to deliver the thrills.

posted by asok at 6:12 PM on April 19, 2003

Okay. Seems to have the major bugs worked out. Larger file uploads enabled. Links to the MP3 in the disussion forum in place. Link to the discussion thread in the song listings.

Please test.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:52 PM on April 19, 2003

I would like to express my excitement and enthusiasm towards this.
posted by frenetic at 4:21 PM on April 22, 2003

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