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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

Crowd Sourcing Search Results

Why Crowd Source?

Tonight’s maintenance includes the first phase of something we’re really excited about: crowd sourcing search results. Most of you have probably experienced the frustration of finding someone singing a cover version of a song or a poor quality live version filmed from a cellphone instead of the track you were looking for. If all youtube videos had some sort of metadata that identified it as a cover or a live version (or even if people titled things similarly), we could do this ourselves. Unfortunately, that’s not the case; so we need your help!

Phase 1: Flagging Tracks

You’ll find a flag icon to the right of the preview link in search results. If you feel a track should be removed from our results, simply click the flag, choose one of the applicable reasons why the track is bad and click OK.

Phase 2: Independent Review of Flagged Tracks

While the process of flagging bad tracks is going on, we’ll be working on phase 2 of this solution - allowing users to independently verify that a flagged track is indeed bad. The independent review of flagged tracks is necessary to ensure that we only remove bad tracks and not those that are flagged inaccurately or accidentally. Since this process will be a little more tricky than simply flagging tracks, it will likely be gradually rolled out so that we can tweak things along the way.
Stay tuned for that!

As always, there are some small bug fixes included here and there in this code push as well. Thanks for blipping!


Yan

Emergency Maintenance

As many of you have realized, our database servers have been overloaded for several hours now. We’ve place the site into emergency maintenance mode in order to get things sorted. We estimate that this window will last around 1 hour. Thanks,

Maintenance Recap: New Embed Widget

The main focus of tonight’s maintenance is our new embed widget. The appearance of the widget is highly customizable so you can make it look good wherever you want to put it. We made the decision to have blips link back to the site as opposed to play within the widget for three reasons. First, given our limited resources, maintaining the widget is much easier without having to update it as we add / remove content sources. Second, we wanted to ensure a consistent experience for all viewers of the widget and avoid any confusion that might stem from some blips being playable (as dictated by content sources) and others not. Lastly, we wanted the widget to be lightweight in order to load quickly wherever it is placed. We hope you like it!

There are some other odds and ends included as well:

  • An improved sign-up flow
  • Updated search result ordering
  • Quicker removal of bad song links
  • Various bug fixes

As always, if you have any feedback on the widget or the site in general, be sure to drop us a line at feedback@blip.fm. Thanks for your support!

– Yan

Maintenance Summary

Tonight’s maintenance deals largely with SEO, performance enhancements, and bug fixes. The next release will focus more on user experience and feature updates / additions. Thanks for your patience and support! See you on the other side!


Yan