Announcing FUZZ: Calling All Blippers in the US to Test New Product

Jeff here from Blip.fm.  As some of you may remember, we started our music efforts with an artist marketing product called Fuzz Artists back in 2006.  Despite our efforts, it never really went anywhere and we were lucky when our engineers came up with an idea for a “Twitter-like” product for music.  As you know, this eventually became Blip.fm and we made the painful decision to shut down our first product when Blip started to take off.  With your help, Blip.fm grew and things were going great… at least for a little while.

Things took a downward turn when we encountered some “content challenges.”  We lacked the resources to close content deals, and the decent content sources we had all dried up. In order to stay in existence, we changed many aspects of the service (needless to say, for the worse).  We lost some of our favorite Blip DJs, users were extremely upset, and the community forever changed. To be honest, it totally sucked.  My staff shrank to just me, my co-founder and part-time engineering help.  We kept Blip going on a shoestring by running it out of my basement.

While it was yet another difficult time for us, we regrouped, put together a new team, and started thinking about a new product.  In the meantime to my surprise, many Blipppers stuck with us and continue to do so today.  You know who you are and, on a personal level, I can’t thank you enough.  I would’ve called it quits a long time ago, if it weren’t for your support.

The elephant in the room is the question many of you want answered: what is going to happen to Blip.fm?  The honest answer is I don’t know for sure.  For many reasons, some personal and business, I want and will try to keep Blip going as long as possible, and to fix things when they break.  I hope that I’ll be able to do more than that some day, but the reality of limited resources means that day may not come for a long time, or at all.

That brings me to the new FUZZ.  Think ‘People-Powered Radio’.  While it’s not Blip.fm – nothing could replace it – we have built some of what we think are the best aspects of Blip into an internet radio service.  Most importantly, we continue to believe that the most compelling recommendation is when it comes from REAL PEOPLE and that thinking forms the core of FUZZ.

Since most of you have strong opinions about music, we think you would be perfect to help us test, provide feedback, and build stations as early adopters.  If you are interested, sign up at http://fuzz.com/register to be next in line for new batches of invites.  Over the next few weeks, we will open it up to more and more Blippers.  For a temporary period of time, we will reserve your Blip user names so make sure you use (and check) the email address tied to your Blip.fm account.

One major downer is that, for now at least, FUZZ will be available only in the United States due to licensing restrictions.  To all the international blippers out there, we understand the anger and disappointment this will cause.  As we move forward, we will look for the opportunity and resources to add other countries to FUZZ’s reach.  This is a bummer for our international users, and for us U.S. blippers who have benefited from all of their efforts. For more about this topic and internet radio regulations, you might want to check out http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/articles/internet-radio/

FUZZ is in a private beta stage and still figuring things out so we appreciate your patience and feedback. You’ll be helping us to make a better online music experience. Sign up for an invite, and stay tuned!

Hope to see you on FUZZ.com soon!

@Jeff

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ALO at the Sessions TODAY (February 24th) at 11AM Pacific

Hey everyone!  One of our favorite bands, ALO will be playing at the sessions today at 11AM Pacific.  Check it out here

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Blipping and Propping not Properly Working

We understand that there are currently problems with blipping, propping, and re-blipping.  Please bear with us as we sort this out.

UPDATE: Yan has found a temporary fix and we will continue to investigate over the next 24 hours.  Please let us know if you come across any issues.

Best,

Jeff and Yan

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Grooveshark Integration Arrives

UPDATE: Site is back up. Also forgot to mention that the -video search flag is also working again.

Hey Everybody,

First off, we’d like to thank everyone for their patience. We know this transition hasn’t been handled well and that getting Grooveshark tracks integrated took longer than we and you would have liked. That said, there are now nearly 1MM pristine MP3 tracks available via our search in partnership with Grooveshark’s api. Again, we know this is in no way a replacement for the tracks that are now unavailable, but we hope that it will at least serve as an initial attempt to improve the content quality while adhering to our licensing arrangement. Here is a small sample of some of the artists that are now available for blipping and streaming:

Bright Eyes
Radiohead
Daft Punk
Blur
Beastie Boys
The Dandy Warhols
Depeche Mode
Milton Nascimento
Talking Heads
David Guetta
Gomez
Arcade Fire
Grizzly Bear
She & Him
Lily Allen
Katy Perry
David Bowie
Kate Bush
Dr. John
Coldplay
Interpol
Ice Cube
Gorillaz
LCD Soundsystem
Kylie Minogue
Bob Mould
Diana Ross
The Sex Pistols
Sparklehorse
KT Tunstall
Robbie Williams

We’ll be monitoring usage this week and working with grooveshark to ensure that their api can handle normal usage from our site. It’s possible that there may be some rate limit issues, e.g. unavailable tracks at times, while we work through this. Also of note is that due to some technical limitations, all of the tracks we’re licensed to play don’t actually have a corresponding mp3 to play. If this sounds a little weird, don’t worry, it is :-) Essentially there’s always discrepancies between the list of licensed tracks that are provided to us and grooveshark and the playable tracks themselves. In light of this, we’ve made our search smart so if a track is unavailable and there actually isn’t a corresponding file on grooveshark for the result, then it will no longer be shown. This means as time goes on you’ll see less and less unavailable tracks.

Finally, this is just the first step. We’re continuing to investigate options to bring back added content where possible. We also remain focused on ultimately providing a new offering that improves and expands upon the Blip.fm experience. Please let us know if you come across any issues with the new grooveshark tracks and email us via support@blilp.fm. As always, we appreciate your support and understanding.

– The Blip.fm Crew

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Apologies - We are Still Working on The Update

We just wanted to let everyone know that we are still working on integrating the new content into the site.  We are testing the new search results and the playback in our staging environment and we hope to have everything working within the next few days.  It’s taken a lot longer than we expected and we apologize for the delay.  Also, it’s important to note that while we think the new tracks are an improvement, we understand that this is not a replacement for the hard work that you have gone through with the hotlinks.

We know this has been a difficult time for many of you with the recent content changes and we are investigating some possible solutions to improve the situation.  As many of you know, we’re a small team and we’re hustling to do the best we can with limited resources.  We have been reading, processing, and doing our best to respond to your comments, questions, and frustrations.  Again, we appreciate your patience as we work to find possible solutions that exist within our licensing arrangements.

Please check back here for updates as we will report back to you on a timely manner.

Best,

The Blip.fm Crew

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