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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113 Comments

c3p0  on August 31st, 2011

your doing a great job, thanks guys

Vincent

evablue  on August 31st, 2011

[group hug!] :D

Qrobur  on August 31st, 2011

Actually, what you’ve done is promised and failed to deliver.

Let’s assume that’s because the difficulties were underestimated and not because of a misguided wish to lessen the impact the bad news of a few days ago.

Learn from this; you bungled the announcement and you’re bungling the management of users’ responses.

c3p0  on August 31st, 2011

Qrobur

i wonder are you like this also in the real world, or are you just a scared old little whatever, these people are trying there best and if you don’t like it get the fuck of this channel and get a life somewhere else, or in your case climb back behind that rock of yours!!!!!!!

fss34  on August 31st, 2011

hai guise.

its been 4 days now that i cant play anytracks i src from anything aside from youtube. like for instance i used to just drop links like this: http://www.fss34.com/uploads/5/3/5/5/5355854/xenuphile_mix1.mp3 into the search slot and it would grab and play it. also i do the same with democracynow podcast etc. whats going on. im trying to follow your blog and status on twitter but i havent found anything on this issue.

pls help.
<3 u guise.

LEVS  on August 31st, 2011

@fss34

You are not alone, all links are gone.

No playing of uploaded songs anymore. That is history.

The enthusiasm about it can be grasped at

http://blog.blip.fm/2011/08/27/80-million-blips-1-million-djs-strong-and-content-update/#comments

I used to play my songs, too, and now I feel like amputated.

Sorry not to have any better advice ….

:-(

LEVS

slipperydistortion  on August 31st, 2011

Apologies have been made. Acceptance of missteps have been acknowledged. Updates have been issued about the situation and the circumstances within reason. All the while, the Blip team (some of them p/t with f/t jobs elsewhere, mind you) has been working on finding solutions.

At this point, I think it says much more about people that prefer to be rude, to finger point, and to ignore apologies and explanations. It’s in the title of the post, for heaven’s sake. This isn’t a life-or-death, must-have service. It’s not like someone is withholding access to life-saving medical care.

That said, clearly Blip matters to us all. It’s understandable that every single person may want to vent (and should). How much becomes too much?

Multiple responses have been issued from the owner of the company who happens to be the only f/t person to my knowledge. He’s trying to be responsive while also trying to troubleshoot and fix a complex beast. God forbid if Jeff rushes the next implementation, something fails to work and the masses are screaming for flesh.

The problems, grievances and personal outrage have been well documented in the previous post.

At some point, the negativity ceases to be a waving flag (already duly noted) and becomes a blinder. It seeds bitterness and divides a community rather than nurtures it.

Feels like some of us are undergoing the early stages of grief for the loss of what Blip was: 1. Denial and Isolation. 2. Anger. 3. Bargaining. 4. Depression. 5. Acceptance.

I’ve read angry comments, suggestions (bargaining), and much more. We don’t yet know what Blip will be like in the next incarnation so it’s easy to be stuck in this in-between phase.

As I’ve said before, let’s wait and see what comes of it. If it can be feasibly and legally improved, then I think the Blip crew will be receptive to ideas. If not, I trust they’ll be open about it. If blippers don’t like the change, then there are alternatives.

Let’s just be cordial to each other. That’s my two cents. I’ll stand aside in case there are more arrows to be launched.

Qrobur  on August 31st, 2011

off topic

@c3p0: I don’t share your view, plainly. However, I am as free as you to say what I think — regardless of whether you agree or otherwise.

I’d like to think that the fact this is a civil response despite considerable rudeness on your part will not be lost on you.

My apologies to everybody else for this digression.

slipperydistortion  on August 31st, 2011

I posted this on the earlier Blip post, but thought I’d share here as well.

I’m going to miss those blippers that jump ship if we crossed paths on blip. (Rhyme unintended). It’s understandable that you do so.

And I want to thank the blippers that uploaded thousands of mp3s to make Blip a rich experience for all. I don’t think I realized before this uproar how much time and energy people put into uploading music for the benefit of all. For that, a well-deserved round of applause. I hope, somehow, your efforts are not a loss forever. For now, I just want to acknowledge your contribution and your loss.

Qrobur  on August 31st, 2011

@slipperydistortion wrote:

Multiple responses have been issued from the owner of the company…

I don’t know if Jeff is actually the owner or what, but you’re right to refer to the fact blip.fm is a commercial enterprise. That’s why we’re served adverts, that’s why Google’s odious doubleclick attempts to set cookies on our machines so more adverts can be aimed at us wherever we go on the web, and so on.

Given this is a commercial enterprise, users are entitled to look at this from the perspective of being customers of Jeff’s, not his friends. He’s trying (more likely hoping, in fairness) to make money from us.

Customers are entitled to be critical and eschew the “group hugging” that would be appropriate to a scout camp or a community.

Nothing I have said has been unfair, even though Jeff has a small, part time team around him. What I have said may not have sounded friendly, but then this is a commercial venture and not a love-in.

star45  on August 31st, 2011

@Jeff @briangreene @blip.fm

1 - We are continuing to read and process the comments? - what is that mean? read and process?, you’re not providing any feedback and vision to where blip.fm is going and at the same time you’re not disclosing the circumstances of these changes, it all leads to speculation and not to a constructive exchange of ideas.

2 - Again, we did not have choice in the matter (these are your words) - I see it a different way, yes you did and you still do, your silence on this subject you call “matter” is deafening. On my 1st comment I tried to outlined some of the structural issues in blip.fm and didn’t get a response, so I’m gonna try again from the beginning.

In order to make a song available in blip, users would go to the process of submitting the links making sure the songs were tagged correctly, etc. My question is, by doing that, were they uploading the song to a server? I don’t think so, in effect the were building a database of content tied to blip.fm via the user providing that link, therefore making it available as a search result.

This directly ties blip.fm to the content and probably makes them partially liable.

To put it all in pespective and since I can only speculate from here on, the (Entertainment Music Industry) EMI likes to keep a tight control of their assets, and as a routine they send lists of URLs and song titles that, in their view, should not be allowed for download or playback because they say so and not because it is so.

Just the threat of filing a law suite, has been enough for blip.fm to take this measures leaving them in a position to only support the lame database that u-tube provides, and as I said before, blip.fm is not u-tube or twitter or facebook.

Then, understanding that u-tubes does not offer quality content and scrambling in panic mode not understanding the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that protects them against many of EMI’s infringement claims, they proceed to make a deal with Grooveshark, and still nothing is being debated, no exchange of ideas totally undermining the potential of the blip.fm community to actually be part of a solution.

Just to make my point, for the last 2-years I haven’t searched for anything inside of blip.fm, I paste my own URLs and blip them directly without tying my URL to the blip.fm database therefore immunizing blip.fm from any licensing or copyright liabilities.

And last, you boast about the 80 million blips, any CEO in the Recording Industry that reads your headline would jolt out his seat, just to know what is this about and scream like they always do, “they are stealing my money!” - the way I see it is the total opposite “we are helping you make money by exposing new talent in the industry”.

. . . why don’t we just go ahead and elect Rick Perry for President and let him strip us from all our rights, and tell us what we are allowed to listen to.

Out of the 80 million blips probably half are u-tube content that complies with the low-quality stipulated in their upload specifications. The other half, probably contains a lot of re-blips and repeats of the same material because of their high quality sound or popularity, so what you really have is about 1 to 5 million fresh tracks that have been played at least once excluding all re-blips, replicates and u-tube garbage. You should know this because DJs are awarded Metals for this kind of achievement. My question is, do you know how much potential sales you have promoted in the music industry within the blip.fm community? this is your line of defense against a potential lawsuit and turn the table around, clear the misconceptions and stand as a future asset of the music industry.

I’ve read every single comment and it is obvious that in order for blip.fm to succeed, high quality content is a must and just to make it clear, the blip.fm community musical contributions far outweighs those of Grooveshark that are more inline with EMI empire to preserve their monopoly. Some will argue otherwise and in a nutshell they are the same culture signed on to blip right now, playing lame songs and bad quality material screaming “what a great song, look at me!”

And yes, it is political and yes it technical and yes it is about the money. I’m gonna repeat myself one more because you’re leaving the philosophical issue out of the picture and I want to tie it all to the together as one in my next comment, pointing out the flaws of blip.fm and the history of the music industry based on facts and not just speculation.

Or maybe not . . .

star45

c3p0  on August 31st, 2011

@qrobur
the first sentence starts with an apologie, but yet you are hammering on the same fact, like nothing happened, you are only thinking about yourself, like so many others here on blip. You don’t read, you just see it’s not finished yet and you think, Yes i’ll have them, your pathetic, and the funny thing is you know the word, cause it’s in your last sentence. It’s a bit said because you don’t even know what it means.

Qrobur  on August 31st, 2011

c3p0, do you think you could make that your final personal attack, please? I believe this space is intended for people who want to comment on issues pertaining to blip.fm., not to provide you with a forum to express your opinion of other users who happen to hold different views to you.

Thank you.

slipperydistortion  on August 31st, 2011

@Qrobur (and whomever might be reading),

I don’t think anything you said was unfair. Unfriendly? Perhaps to some, but it’s a comment section so the remarks will run the gamut. Fine by me. Were your points repetitive? Yes, but you still have the right to express your views.

Before I continue, I am not taking an adversarial position. I understand your points. Blip isn’t a “love-in” and no one in the community has to be in on the “group hugging.” It is a social media community AND a user base for a commercial enterprise. Regarding the former, social media users mirror the behavior of people in public so it’s not surprising to see people behave in different ways - contentious, amicable, etc. Regarding the latter, I’ll get into that below.

I do hope that the Blip crew learns from this experience and 1) improves its communication, 2) improves its services to increase user satisfaction, and 3) clarify user participation and expectations.

[Holy Hell, slipperydistortion! Who asked you for a freaking essay? Bear with me. Or not.]

Blip.FM is a commercial enterprise, whether $1, $1 million, or $0 is made from it. It is a social media music-based service intended to earn ad revenue that hopefully offsets expenses. Otherwise, it’s a failed business model. [Sorry, I'm not trying to patronize with Business 101.] Equally important, it’s also a service that not only is structured to attract users, but also has allowed users to upload into the database. The blurriness of users’ role in uploading is what’s at the heart of the upheaval (communications missteps aside).

I think a strong distinction needs to be underscored between customer and user. Blippers are users. As paying customers, they would be entitled to whatever the deal/relationship the seller offers. As users, that relationship is less clear and always has been. They’ve found ways around the basic system. Blippers have a sense of entitlement because they have participated in a social media community and spent time (and money in some cases) to improve the database and enrich the experience.

Along the way, Blip.FM has not done enough (in my opinion) to clarify roles, rights, and expectations of the company (as a commercial enterprise not as the facilitator of a social experience) and the legally permissible actions of blippers uploading content. That said, the legal stance of music rights/uploading is ever-shifting.

If people knew that these changes would eventually happen, then would they have invested so much time? Probably not. Still, it is/was the user’s choice to do so. Poorly communicated or not about that user’s ability, Blip as a commercial enterprise has to take care of business legally without (hopefully) alienating its users. Otherwise, they’ll leave and there is no business.

In my opinion, blippers that uploaded a lot of music are rightfully upset about the communications, but the entitlement amazes me.

Imagine if Facebook decided that users will no longer be able to post photos or access any uploaded photos. For whatever reason. Millions of people would be pissed off. Being able to upload photos is an integral part of the social experience that’s understood as part of being involved with Facebook’s platform.

The same comparison could be made with Blip; however, Blip’s platform has always been less clear cut. The difference is that Facebook users create and own the content (image/text) they upload (for the most part, stealing aside). Blippers upload music that they purchased a COPY of, but don’t own the rights to. [Let's set aside the squabble over artist vs. mgmt vs. record label ownership rights.] My point is that this uploaded content isn’t the Blip users’ and that’s made things messy for all involved, especially because Blip.FM’s strength and weakness and uniqueness is the partial dependence on individual blippers to improve the database that attracts the crowd that advertisers seek.

The fact that there are crappy YouTube videos and other database content available makes it even less desirable and more aggravating of an experience because blippers, by and large, added value to Blip with their contributions.

To reiterate my points a few hundred words ago, I hope Blip 1) improves its communication, 2) improves its services to increase user satisfaction, and 3) clarify user participation and expectations.

By improving its services, I hope that new music databases added that are appealing and some way can be found to tap into the rich mine of uploads that blippers have already invested time on. I hope that Blip could negotiate arrangements directly with artists and indie labels to continually build this database with new releases. All of that would be a win-win. Is it likely? Doubtful.

I’m going to hang in there and see what happens.

No hugs, please.

Jeff  on August 31st, 2011

@star45 Thanks for your comment. I will do my best to respond, but as I have written repeatedly in other posts, I can 1) not comment on the specifics of the licensing arrangement and 2) not opine on any legal interpretation of the DMCA or copyright laws.

POINT 1: (NOT PROVIDING FEEDBACK, VISION, DISCLOSURE) I have been active in responding to users’ complaints, criticisms, questions, and suggestions. I have spent hours reviewing and providing feedback to users both via the blog and via email. I know you are upset and I am trying to provide answers publicly so all users can benefit.

Again, removing hotlinks was a decision based on our licensing arrangement. Please refer to my commentary in the previous blog post. To be honest, the future vision of Blip.fm (like many start-ups) is unclear. We hope that users continue to use it to share music. Working with and figuring out solutions to this complex licensing issue takes time and involves real costs. I hope you can understand that.

POINT 2 (YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE IN THE MATTER): I truly wish I had more of choice here, but I don’t at this time. Having said that, we are trying to find a workable solution here. Running the site and handling the operational issues (e.g. controlling costs, product development, handling web traffic, and of course, licensing) is very different than being a user of the site. There are often tough decisions that need to be made that adversely affects the user experience in order for us to continue as an operating entity.

Also, while you provide an insightful interpretation of copyright law, I cannot opine or comment on the legal issues surrounding your questions.

You raise many strong points and I have taken note of them. However, this is going to take some time to solve. Hopefully, you’ll stick around to see how we can emerge from this difficult place.

Best,

J

GR8FL  on August 31st, 2011

@star45 my advice is to step back, breathe and take a few days off from this subject. I feel more than qualified to give this suggestion as I have suffered from poor impulse control many times.

The changes happening to blip.fm are not the end of the world, and as been stated many times and many ways, we still do not know how this will all work out in the end. So give this a break and let the process happen. It is out of our control.

GR8FL  on August 31st, 2011

aw, hugs to to anyway @slipperydistortion - when all is said and done, no matter how it works out, we should all engage in a little blip.fm love fest (of course, without the sex part). Just warm, good-vibe little hugs all around.

BTW - I miss blipping so much and I am really saddened with over 10,000 highest-quality MP3s (I convert from FLAC or WAVE to 320kbps)just sitting around on my hard drives that are just enjoyed by me and my dog and cats.

Nicekitty  on August 31st, 2011

Do You Take Requests?

There are some groups and some songs I am hunting for to no avail. Gradually I am replacing the part of my play list decimated by the changes with the help of other DJs. Still, I recommend you start a list of what we can so far NOT FIND and find some way to make it available. Are you going to post a list of the new songs you are adding? That would sure help.

scotlandlover  on August 31st, 2011

@GR8FL great comments and miss you blipside

@slipperydistortion enjoyed your comments very much, as well

@jeff thank you for continuing to work on the problem…thank you for a great site that has meant so much to myself and so many for the last few years…thank you for continuing to communicate.

J aka scotlandlover

slipperydistortion  on August 31st, 2011

Thanks, folks.

Qrobur  on August 31st, 2011

@slipperydistortion wrote:

I hope Blip 1) improves its communication, 2) improves its services to increase user satisfaction, and 3) clarify user participation and expectations.

There we are in agreement.

By the way, we are paying customers. We’re paying by having to have advertisements plastered over our screens and by being exposed to Google Analytics plus Quantserve ‘behind the scenes’.

The DJs who uploaded music or, as in my case, streamed music from their own machines that was not otherwise available may have been a minority compared to those who just want a bit of a chat over low quality videos, but they are what made this site distinctive and interesting.

It is precisely that contingent that blip.fm is losing, which in turn exposes blip.fm to the danger of becoming just ‘text chatter with a top 40 backing track’.

I’m hoping the new offering will revert to what made blip.fm compelling, that is, the DJs who worked to offer distinctive and new music. I’ve said elsewhere I’ll be happy to take a look at it when it is made ready. In the meantime blip.fm as it stands is a lame duck.

Currently, Jeff and his team need to manage their communication — make it timely, reign in their ambassadors, moderate these forums so that childish abuse is excluded — and manage the expectations of people more carefully.

So far they have done that badly and as a customer and ‘power user’ (Jeff’s term, not mine) I will, where I see fit, continue to criticise rather than endorse shoddy work.

Qrobur  on August 31st, 2011

Having criticised Jeff roundly for poor communication I will applaud him for his, albeit rather disappointing, candour here:

To be honest, the future vision of Blip.fm (like many start-ups) is unclear. We hope that users continue to use it to share music. Working with and figuring out solutions to this complex licensing issue takes time and involves real costs. I hope you can understand that.

Well, from my point of view that seems to confirm that what I view as a ruined blip.fm is all that we’re going to have in the short to medium term. It’s not even clear that a new offering from this team will ever emerge.

I wish them luck.

Sylak  on September 1st, 2011

@Qrobur: “I wish them luck.”

I wish you luck too! Your work is done here. Now its time for you to take your irritations out on the license holders. The music industry. Make a stand! Pump your fists! Tell them; “WE WANT MORE BLIP.FM MUSIC!”

LMAO :-)

Jeff  on September 1st, 2011

Hey everyone - we are still working on the update, but there are a few technical issues that we are trying to solve. Also, to manage expectations, please remember that this is not meant as a replacement for your lost content. This is only first step in an effort to figure out other ways to build our content repository. Again, we apologize for the delay, but please check back here for updates.

evablue  on September 1st, 2011

My apologies to the community for being unable to “assist” and fulfill your expectations as an ambassador. I am traveling and have intermittent internet access, work in real life, and can not read, write and multitask while driving. Unfortunately, I have to prioritize my real life at the moment over this volunteer position.

I would like to thank SlipperyDistortion for his valuable contribution to the discussion.

There’s not much more I can add that hasn’t already been addressed by Jeff. My comments would be superfluous as pointed out by disheartened users.

Although some of you believe that I am taking this all too lightly. I am not. I am a long time user and blip.fm addict with over 24K+ blips. I have listened to every single one of them in full and many more than once, AND I’ve listen to a plethora of user blips too. I’ve used blip for the last 3 years as my exclusive music player forgoing my own music collection. I even asked artists to upload their music to the site when I couldn’t find their songs. I’ve endured all the changes from when they removed direct uploads to blip (Remember that?! When you could upload music to blip servers? Ouch.), the addition and removal of imeem, to the dissolution of “blip.up” which I donated to use (A user bought server space so that we could upload music to his server for a donation?), and uploaded hotlinks. So, just like other users, I am affected/effected by these new changes. I am concerned about the future of blip.fm too as I’ve invested my entire musical listening life to this site. Blip has even added to my career as a music photographer.

Blip.fm is a community. It’s about the people and what people bring to the site which was your love for music and your ability to connect with music. Blip is going to be imperfect but if people choose, “this community” can still be “that community”. So we can’t listen to the music in a continuous stream? You can still share links through the 150 chars. Just sayin…

Blip.fm is more than community for many including myself. I have met many good people through blip online and offline from all around the world that I hope to continue to know. I have organized in real life “blip-ups”, met many blip.fm users in person, shared blip stickers by snail mail, added users to facebook, and communicated by email. I plan to keep these connections.

I’ve read all the comments on both posts and I have to say that I am saddened by all the negativity. This is a volunteer position which I take seriously despite your beliefs. I understand that I may conflict with your personalities and that I am too “light” in my demeanor. If I can bring levity to the situation and just a few of you smile then I think I’ve added to the community. We can’t all be serious all the time. My levity is not to demean anyone or person. If I have, again I apologize. It was not my intention.

Being unable to focus on this discussion properly, I forgot to step back and look at the big picture. I forgot that many users have not been here for 3 years like myself and many others who have endured all the ups and downs together. I should have been more sensitive to the comments, realizing that because many of the same issues are being brought up again that the new users didn’t experience the previous major blip updates. I should have explained what the previous changes were and how they’ve affected us.

Most of you don’t realize how amazing blip.fm was as a product when it started and then over time, they’ve adapted, did their best to remain integral to the vision of the site, add as many features as they could, please the users and deal with outside legal pressures.

Should have…

A little too late… perhaps… the choice is yours to make. I gotta say, take it or leave it. If you have more negative comments to make, I ask that they be constructive. I’m not asking people to kumbaya. I’m asking people to try and be patient. You might not like change but that’s life. We all heart blip and wish for it to be better. If it isn’t then maybe some of you need to move on and focus your energies on something that suits you better.

Hopefully, we all learn from this and do better including blip.fm. I hope the community remains and continues to share music in all our quirky ways.

Again, I apologize if I can’t response sooner and I will do my best when I can.

Thank you for your understanding,
Eva

StreamingMimi  on September 1st, 2011

I understand that everyone is trying to stop their heads from reeling over the sad happening of a few days ago, and I realize that the best thing to do is for all of us to calm down. Okay, all I ask is how do we do that?

Until I close my @StreamingMimi station, and I know it will soon come to that, I have been blipping videos that I do not want to blip. No other choice anymore. I am trying to stick it out, hoping we will get our ULs back, but unfortunately, it seems clear that that is not going to happen.

Yesterday @LEVS made a point that I think is extremely important and needs to be quoted here again, in case any of you missed it. Pay attention especially to his last paragraph, where he sums it up CLEARLY!

@LEVS: “Now somebody seems to claim that license regulations are violated because my songs are not officially licensed to be streamed, again, to emphasize, not downloaded but streamed.

Therefore the pointers in the blip registry are made void.

…. and only YouTube content can be used from now on

But ….. if I look at the YouTube stuff, the vast majority of it is uploaded by PRIVATE internet users, too!!!!
I take the freedom to question that those songs are there under license.

So what has happened, is that the pointers to my (unlicensed) high quality songs have been eradicated while the pointers to the (unlicensed) poor quality songs on YouTube can still be used!!!!”

WOW! what a enlightening point he made!!!

My final thought: Blip.fm is slowly going down the ‘You’ tube”.

LEVS  on September 1st, 2011

@StreamingMimi

Thank you for emphasizing the point I was trying to bring over!

And thank you even more to make me see the ‘You’ tube in an entirely new perspective!!!

Metal_Rocks  on September 1st, 2011

Since the events of the 27th I have found blipping has become somewhat of a chore. Whereas around 95% of my previous blips were from my own tagged tunes, all of which were easily located, the songs that I’m forced to play lately have taken the joy out of what Blip.fm used to be about for me!

I’m finding much of what I search for in the YouTube results, but spending 5 or 10 minutes trying to locate a decent version of a song to use as a reply to another DJ takes the spontineity out of the blipping process.

The hardest thing to deal with for me is the loss of some great DJs as a result of the cull of the hotlinked tunes. DJs such as @SpinningDiscs and @Schoork whom I regard as great blipfriends seem to have given up on Blip. The three of us joined Blip.fm around the same time and quickly became listeners of each others’ playlists, sharing great tunes and experiences.

I am still holding out for the update and ‘new content’ hoping that I will still be able to find some great tunes but fear that my station will become a more ’sanitised’ or ‘radio friendly’ place whereby I will be unable to find and promote great new rock and metal tunes as well as some of the more obscure stuff I used to love sharing with people!

…all we can do is wait!!??!!

daretoeatapeach  on September 1st, 2011

@LEVS @StreamingMimi

If the hotlinking were only to our own songs, maybe that would be true. But as it is, most of the time when you would find an mp3 on Blip it was coming from some random blog somewhere, that did not give permission nor get credit for streaming your song. On the other hand, YouTube is just one site, so they can give permission officially. But you can’t get permission to hotlink from every site on the Internet.

Complicating matters, streaming music isn’t inherently legal, simply because it isn’t downloaded. Did you know bars have to pay a hefty fee to the recording industry’s union just to have permission to have a jukebox? Copyright law is complex and stupid and virtually always benefits the industry.

StreamingMimi  on September 2nd, 2011

Another day in Blip.fm hell!

GR8FL  on September 2nd, 2011

Hotlinking, also known as bandwidth theft, is not the same as streaming music from your own, paid sources.

One of the inherent problems that I experienced with blip.fm, as someone who continually blipped music from my servers, was as stated previously, finding via Google or through my analytics on my site, that there were hotlinks all the way from China. Not just a few, but 1000s of them. I attribute this directly to what I termed leakage of blips going to external sites such as Twitter, FaceBook, Last.fm, etc. As of now, China, Thailand, and some eastern European countries are the source of my biggest fans.

If there could be a way to paste in links from only your own sources and prevent them from being hotlinked all over the world and prevent sites from being hotlinked without express authorization, well… that would be great. But, I know this seems to be wishful thinking and probably will not happen.

Just posting this note to make the clarification on what is considered hotlinking.

CD  on September 2nd, 2011

If music blogs put downloadable mp3’s on their site I wouldn’t call it bandwidth theft if I copy the link to a song and send it to a friend. If he likes it then he’ll probably visit the blog, it’s all part of the promotion. Blip.fm works the same way.

If they don’t want this type of traffic then they could just let you listen to the music through an internal Flash player or something similar. Some do but most choose not to, because they actually want the traffic.

It’s better for them if you hotlink the the song on blip and the domain is visible or you mention the blog once in a while than if you stop going there at all. Which is what I’m gonna do with most blogs from now on.

GR8FL  on September 2nd, 2011

Downloading a song from a blog is preferable than hotlinking.

I would mind less if some site would simply download a song and host it on their own site (especially if permission was sought in advance) instead of direct linking through their sites which results in my paying bandwidth bills to benefit the leech.

And yes, I do have bandwidth protection tools in place through flash mp3 players and .htaccess controls on my site.

Jeff  on September 2nd, 2011

Thanks again everyone for their comments. I just wanted to let everyone know that we are making progress and solving some of the technical glitches that are holding us back. We will be working through the long weekend and hope to have something up shortly.

We appreciate your patience.

Best,

J

Daretoeatapeach  on September 2nd, 2011

@CD, No, that is incorrect. If you link to her site, that’s great! Everyone encourages that. If you link directly to the song, your friend goes and downloads the song but never actually visits the site. You friend has no idea that site even exists. They see the download, or the image, but not the site where it’s hosted.

It’s the difference between: link:www.coolsite/post-about-band <GOOD
link:www.coolsite/post-about-band/name-of-song.mp3<BAD

When I took songs from music blogs, I would post a link to the blog where I found it. But because Blip acts as a search engine, many of the songs it pulled up where those same mp3 links. I know this because I have Mozilla enabled to show me where all my content is downloading from, and I would see the names of popular music blogs dash across my screen, mixed with the names of Blip’s ad providers.

Publicity is my trade so believe me I understand that bloggers post songs so people will go to their site and learn more about the bands. They don’t post songs so that people can download/stream them without ever going to their site. Hotlinking does not help their traffic, but it does cost them money because they have to pay for bandwidth.

Daretoeatapeach  on September 2nd, 2011

@GR8FL I understand that what you and I were doing crossed no boundaries, because we were linking to our own songs. But many of the mp3s that came up in search were not uploaded by blippers, but were in fact hotlinks. And when you get down to it, the Blip architecture was not set up in such a way as to make it clear that this link or that link was uploaded by a user. Particularly with so many Dropbox users, as I can prove I own futureisfiction.com but I can’t prove I own Dropbox (thinking forward, the only way I can imagine that it would be possible to tell our uploads from hotlinks is to give Blip the username and pwd to our blogs/Dropbox accounts, which would be an ill-advised security nightmare. Open to other ideas though). Thus while I don’t condemn our behavior, it remains true that many of the links that came up in search were coming up exactly the same way that those search engines in China were finding your songs. If it is wrong for them, why is it OK for Blip?

Daretoeatapeach  on September 2nd, 2011

@CD Sorry to comment atcha’ twice, but I think this point needs elaborating.

You say: “It’s better for them if you hotlink the the song on blip and the domain is visible or you mention the blog once in a while than if you stop going there at all.”

To clarify, when have you EVER discovered a music blog because you saw where it was streaming from on Blip? I’m not talking about a situation where a Blipper took the time to write, “This song comes from YourNewFavoriteBand.com.” I’m talking about a situation where you searched for a song, and played it and happened to notice where it was streaming from, and THEN went and visited that site. I think most people don’t even have it setup so that their browser even tells them where stuff is downloading from, so they couldn’t even make it past step one. And then, it’s this tiny little bit of info streaming across the bottom of the page, with no context, mixed in with all the other things the page is downloading (usually the ad content), which many people wouldn’t be tech-savvy enough to tell apart from the site info.

I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever visited a site because I saw where it was streaming from on Blip. Not once. At best, I’ve added a message to Blip like, “notice the only link to this is coming from CoolMusicBlog.com,” and I’ve never once even seen another blipper do that much.

Qrobur  on September 2nd, 2011

IIRC dropbox public links contain a unique and unvarying ID for each box. In other words, every link from my (disused) dropbox has the same ID within it.

Users of blip with dropboxes could be asked to declare that ID (for instance, on a form in their blip settings pages) and it could be stored against their blip ID in blip’s user database. If users posted dropbox links it would be possible to parse the link for the ID and check they were posting from their own dropbox and not someone else’s.

In case somebody was uploading links to other resources, such as mp3s on somebody else’s blogs, it would be possible to check the file size of the linked item and reject small files on the assumption that an mp3 will always be several MB in size.

I should say I’m only musing here. I doubt this is of use to blip.fm.

@mark_till  on September 2nd, 2011

I am very grateful that this cannot ever happen again:
http://twitpic.com/r927e/full
it truly sucked to see how many people were having “computer problems” after they blipped some of these driveby type download sites.
Good Riddance to the whole lot of these malware dudes.
Mark

futuremike27  on September 2nd, 2011

If blip.fm being temporarily unavailable makes you angry, you can always bide your time by ordering a pizza. Eat the whole thing & then call the pizza joint demanding free food because you didn’t get what you ordered. blip.fm is free! Who are these people?

fortharrison  on September 2nd, 2011

Free…. Free…. has anyone paid a nickel to join blip? Has blip ever limited you playing time?
think about those two things….
I uploaded music that I liked, I didn’t upload as much as some of you but I did and it required time, effort and energy. Sorry for your loss and mine, but the site is free. I’m not leaving I’m just going to find another angle. I think as with all things change is inevitable, ahh but to adapt…
Thank you Jeff for providing a place to share and discover music, the human spirit is alive and well, if we as a group would put as much effort into redirecting our options as we have done in complaining maybe we would have already discovered another path….
Cheers my global music loving friends, put your complaints to bed, find us another path to make the music we love available… one true media …

Jason

Dawnrazor  on September 2nd, 2011

@futuremike27

I heard you had a job at the bakery, kissing buns.

You do it well

Qrobur  on September 2nd, 2011

In my book any site displaying advertisements and allowing entities such as Google and Quantserve to capture your habits is not “free”.

GR8FL  on September 3rd, 2011

@Daretoeatapeach since August 2010, I had all my MP3s in the blip database removed because of issues with my paid server account being leaked all over the world. You can do a Google search of my old dropbox account - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/441291/and still see 1000s of hotlink leech sites even today. This Dropbox (DB) account has been inactive for over 1 year. These MP3s were only played through blip.fm. If those songs stayed in blip (that is the only place I distributed them) and did not leak out to the rest of the Internet, then all would have been fine. But that was not the case, and I decided to have all 3000 or so registered MP3s removed so they would not show up in blip search and render “unavailable” if someone tried to blip and also killed that Dropbox account.

Since then, I have a paid host account for my blog as well as another DropBox account. I have directly blipped from each of these sites by keying in the song URL into the Search box. None of these blips were registered in the blip database, so you could not find them on search. Only way to play these songs was to reblip me or know the exact URL. Also, I kept moving the stored MP3s around, so after a while, reblips would render “unavailable”. I did this as to keep the hotlinking leeches down to a minimum. But even doing that has caused leakages that can only be attributed directly to blip.fm. All this is moot now, as I have well over 10,000 high-quality MP3s (@320kpbs) sitting on my hard drives and servers that are listened only by me and my dog and cats.

I deeply miss the musical blip experience of sharing music with other audio enthusiasts located all over the world. I miss listening to some of my favorite DJs and exchanging messages about the song or event or whatever. I miss being surprised and delighted by what I heard, and as a result sharing something that was inspired, which they in turn, returned. I miss the immediacy of doing all the above - the real-time aspect is totally brilliant. And I miss the use of simple “props”, the mutual validation we gave each other on our already outstanding taste (okay, maybe that is stretch). I miss the plain fun we had. Perhaps, with the new update, that can be brought back.

Sylak  on September 3rd, 2011

Blip.fm has been around for how many years and there is JUST now a legal issue? I call BS! Blip is trying to make some money by messing around with exclusive sources! Our uploads are probably getting in the way of that. ;) That is my guess. ;)

@The101HiWay  on September 3rd, 2011

In as much as I can appreciate all the hard work, having enjoyed some of the Dj’s uploads etc, in spite of the anger/frustration you may feel, I suggest the advice offered by Jeff is key ~Be Patient~

I knew when joining Blip some time ago the issues now being addressed would eventually happen. Having a personal experience in the industry as far back as the mid-60’s, ownership is a close guarded policy and practice. I for one, appreciate and respect the authors right and ownership. Generally, I do not play music I do not have in my library, where Blip allows us to play what we are urged to play on impulse ~for FREE~

At the same time, we’re allowed to network and make a few new friends/acquaintances from miles away. I’m personally, more about enjoying the music, while appreciating my fellow blippers musical tastes or likes, it is about sharing. Be it, thru u-tube or other sources, it takes a little more effort to locate a HQ sound worthy of playing nowadays… so, who said life was gonna be easy. Some of the best blipsters have spent a lot of labor in the past to provide ease of accessibility to the music we love ~ we’re now fretting of its loss.

Such is Life in the big shitty ~ let’s find a way to deal with it… or, not. Should it come to the latter… it’s been nice knowin’ ya. C’est la vie, I’m tired of all the whinnig.

Sorry for being brutally honest ~ it’s about the music kids, in any manner or fashion we hear it. Blip.fm has done their utmost best to provide a format/forum for us to share for free. Show some respect and appreciation to them AND the agencies/artist their struggling with ~ it’s gotta be a bitch!

I’m just grateful I chose to leave the industry when I had and not have to deal with the under-belly of the business of today. It was bad back then, can’t imagine what it’s like now.

Hope no one attacks me like I’ve seen occur here… if so, piss-off, as I just sayin’ ~ thank you and have a nice day.

Sylak  on September 3rd, 2011

Do you want to filter out video blips?
Yes, that helps me save bandwidth

@avivajazz  on September 3rd, 2011

Like you, @GR8FL, “I have well over 10,000 high-quality MP3s (@320kpbs) sitting on my hard drives and servers that are listened only by me” … but unlike you, I don’t have any dogs or cats to listen in…

However, I’m waiting patiently to see what will become of Blip.fm … for the better, or for the worse. C’est la vie. I’m grateful for the good times I had with Blip … and I’m sad to see the fracturing in the Blip community. I no longer see blips from some of my favorite DJs. That’s cause for sadness. I have a sense of loss…more over the loss of my DJ buddies than for the loss of all those 6,000 hotlinks I registered to Blip…or the loss of the time and energy I wasted…or the loss of the opportunity to share fine tunes otherwise unavailable.

I hope Blip.fm can provide a rallying point for a renewed community…especially among DJs with unusual tastes…the kind of DJs that are so precious to me, and so hard to come by in life…

I’m glad, @GR8FL, that you’re still around, if only to write in these Blip blogs. ミThツnks

Dawnrazor  on September 4th, 2011

I notice you still haven’t explained why you removed the ability to flag covers, incomplete versions, etc…Or is that just one of the many “improvements” we have to enjoy now?

basasa  on September 4th, 2011

At least let us blip from soundcloud and jamendo.

Why do perfectly legal, creative-commons licensed artists be collateral damage in an agreement (I assume) to fight piracy?

LindyLuv  on September 4th, 2011

I have been “test driving” the new @blipfm for several days now and I know there are further changes to come. I was angry at first, especially because I lost some of my uploads, but I’m willing to let that go.

What I have discovered so far are several things about the “new” @blip.fm. You can often find a song that has just an album cover with a pure, excellent sound (like an mp3) such as Paradise Lost’s “Small Town Boy,” or the explicit version of “Green Day’s “Working Class Hero.” This is good news. Also, for people who love The Beatles, there seem to be many more tracks available.

On the down side, there are often songs which aren’t available in the search, so you must do the You Tube search yourself and input the URL. Also, the older You Tube videos are not high quality (no surprise there). Sometimes you get a cheesy video but a good quality audio of a song.
There are still LOTS of home-made videos which have been uploaded to You Tube and, let’s face it, they suck! I wish the ambassadors of @blip.fm could remove these since we all spend time wading through them looking for originals.

Other than that, I am anticipating the Grooveshark songs. I have seen the DJs who have migrated to this community, but I have not listened to any of their music uploads.

I am trying to practice a little patience while the transition takes place.

@mark_till  on September 4th, 2011

LindyLuv said:
“You can often find a song that has just an album cover with a pure, excellent sound (like an mp3)”

That’s been my experience also. Well done!

The advantage of static images in a YouTube video means that people who don’t have the bandwidth can listen to the song. It isn’t about videos for me unless they are done from multiple camera angles or some other way memorable.
Thanks
Mark

evablue  on September 4th, 2011

THE SITE IS NOT UPDATED.

The ability to blip MP3s HAVE NOT BEEN ADDED YET.

The Blip.fm dev team are still working on the updates this weekend. They hit some unexpected glitches connecting to the database/api etc so it’s taking longer than expected.

HOPEFULLY the update will be completed in the next day or so. Watch the MAIN BLOG PAGE http://blog.blip.fm. There will be an announcement when the update has been pushed through.

Thanks for your attention.

Qrobur  on September 4th, 2011

There are still LOTS of home-made videos which have been uploaded to You Tube and, let’s face it, they suck! I wish the ambassadors of @blip.fm could remove these since we all spend time wading through them looking for originals.

Even if YT had everything I wanted and leaving aside that videos are a excresence music does not need, that is reason enough not to use it. There simply isn’t time to weed out the enormous quantities of rubbish from the odd good YT entry.

As it happens neither YT nor Grooveshark come anywhere near to having a good proportion of the music I would post. Judging from the postings of many of the DJs in my list, that would be true of them too.

Qrobur  on September 4th, 2011

Tsk. Excrescence.

GR8FL  on September 4th, 2011

@LindyLuv why are you talking about the “new” @blip.fm? It is not out yet and clearly only some of you are on the test panel. Maybe I am being over-sensitive, but my reaction is like you are waving candy that I can’t have.

LindyLuv  on September 4th, 2011

@GR8FL ~ I have been using @blip.fm as it is, in its current state. I know that there are still songs coming. If you don’t want to be patient and still want to silently blip, that’s your choice. There is some candy there, but as I stated, you have to discover it for yourself.

JustJac  on September 4th, 2011

@GR8FL

I’m guessing that the “new” blip is what we all have now as opposed to the “old” blip where we could play music from other sources besides YouTube.

@LindyLuv

“On the down side, there are often songs which aren’t available in the search, so you must do the You Tube search yourself and input the URL.”

Found that myself, but even if I search YouTube and get the URL, 9 times out of 10 it shows as unavailable in blip anyway … depends on which country you’re online in I guess.

I’m still waiting for the update to see if it’s workable though. But even if it’s not, from my experience things change often around here so fingers crossed that there will be a compromise with copyright and licensing somewhere down the line.

GR8FL  on September 4th, 2011

no need to get snippy with me @LindyLuv - I incorrectly assumed when you said you were test-driving the new blip.fm that you were pre-testing the new update, which has not been rolled out. I will remain as patient as I have been with my silent MP3 blips.

Vacuum_Boots  on September 4th, 2011

I’m not sure why the changes are being made but unfortunately this is rendering my favorite site useless. I’ll of course be back to check in to see how it’s all running. Hopefully things fall into place and blip.fm will still be relevant for all us devotees. Fingers crossed.

Olliemyboy  on September 4th, 2011

Been away in rural Cornwall UK for 2 weeks, but it dawned on me when I came back to London that UTube had crushed the life out of my modest 99% non UTube posts.
I really enjoyed the station mind, and hope the ‘music’ returns.

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Sylak  on September 4th, 2011

Hows everybody doing? I’ve over at youtube watching videos and I have been over at grooveshark listening to music. Whats going on here?

avivajazz  on September 4th, 2011

@Jeff (or any Blip ambassador or Blip team member):

A question:

1a. Will all of Grooveshark’s inventory be available to blip on Blip.fm?

1b. Or merely a part? If just a portion of Grooveshark’s inventory…what portion? What’s the criterion / criteria?

Dawnrazor  on September 4th, 2011

@avivajazz

Jeff’s stated before that it’ll just be the tracks Grooveshark has a “valid licence” to stream so it’s only part of the inventory, it seems the user uploads will not be included.

Whether that licence is for specific tracks from publishers or a blanket licence to everything from publishers they have deals with is the question.

avivajazz  on September 4th, 2011

Thanks for your answer, @dawnrazor… that clarifies things pretty well, and makes sense.

Sylak  on September 4th, 2011

My play list is now capped at 1000 songs. blip wont allow any more. I hope grooveshark helps this place make more money.

Dawnrazor  on September 5th, 2011

well, lets see what happens when Blip comes back up…What will we have taken away from us this time?

StreamingMimi  on September 19th, 2011

Just a quick announcement to anyone who may care:

My @StreamingMimi station has been ‘Temporarily Closed: Under Protest’ since 12:01 AM, 9-13-2011.

I miss everyone and I am hoping to return as soon as I see some improvements being made of the mess Blip.fm has become.

Warm love,
Whitney

StreamingMimi  on September 19th, 2011

Hmmmm…it’s amazing how the listener count works these days. Early today I got 4 new listeners and then this evening just 10 minutes after I had last checked I lost 26. Since I am not blipping (see post above) I can understand if I lose listeners, but 26 in 10 minutes? I smell a Blip.fm rat!

Lilian  on September 21st, 2011

I like your streams. Please go on. And now its 27… ;)

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@ Blip

Will all of Grooveshark’s inventory be available to blip on Blip.fm? Or merely a part? If just a portion of Grooveshark’s inventory…what portion? What’s the criterion / criteria?

Thanks in advance.

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I tried disabling and re-enabling plugins, deleting and recreating posts and pages, changing themes, and even deleted the htaccess file, and then reuploaded it when that didn’t work, and it is still not working.

I can’t think of anything I’ve done on my site in the last couple of weeks except to update pages.

I do weekly database backups, and have a few of those if I need to redo something. I primarily use the ProPhoto theme, and don’t know enough about coding to look at it in that kind of detail.

I am sick over this! Please tell me there is an easy fix, and that not all is lost!

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Your site works very fine. It’s very fast. I think you have one or more huge dedicated servers to handle such a big number of listeners?! By the way, the “new” design of blip.fm is great.

Purbita Ditecha  on February 18th, 2013

No need to apologies as it is working fine and speed too very fast now. By the way blip.fm has already created history via more users friendly interactive.

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My play list is now capped at 1000 songs. blip wont allow any more. I hope grooveshark helps this place make more money.

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