Archive for 'Announcement'

Can we Work Together to Keep Blip.fm Alive? (I think so!)

Team Blip,

I wanted to move this to a separate post.

I can’t thank you enough for your outpouring of support and kind words.  Quite honestly, it’s the community of wonderful and diverse diehard music fans that keeps me incurring the painful personal debt for server and bandwidth costs every month.  I have read every single one of your comments and I’m really impressed with the level of passion and excitement that you write and describe blip.fm… some of you are amazing writers btw!

Since I can’t help myself, here are some of my favorites:

All of us appreciate this site, as it has grown to have special meaning to many of us.” - @LindyLuv

There is nothing like Blip anywhere else.” - @Bob0

Many of the other music sites do a better job of streaming high quality music, but no one does a better job than Blip of connecting music lovers socially.” - @Foggieloaner

To us, the dj interaction at blip is the site’s primary advantage over any of the other music sites, and so this feature of blip.fm should be enhanced by whatever means possible in the future.” @webbedradio

Blip may be small compared to other online services but we are a close-knit community.” - @surreality

There were so many more great quotes that I want to include, but this one floored me!

I’m a musician. Music is my life. I’ve performed it and participated in it in many different ways but almost always with others. I’ve purchased tons of music, yet there’s something missing when I listen to it or perform it alone. This is why Blip.fm is so important to me. Psychologists agree that relationships are a basic human need and that humans seek “belongingness” defined by Wikipedia as the “human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group.” It also states, “This desire is so universal that the need to belong is found across all cultures and different types of people.” Blip.fm is more than just a music [site]. It’s a community of avid music lovers.

That said, Blip.fm is much more. It is unique. It is therapeutic. It is a support system. It is an outlet for creativity. It is entertainment. It is a vehicle for advertising/discovering new music and becoming educated/educating others. It is a place to make friends almost anywhere in the world and foster understanding/respect for diversity worldwide. It is a way to expand one’s foreign language skills. It is a musical “Twitter”. It is art. It can promote physical education, dance, studying a musical instrument, or music history. It is fun. And all of this in REAL TIME. You can’t get much more amazing than that!” - @GeorgeSand / Kathyrn

Thank you to @Scott-hn @8Oclockstart @playfulx and many others for the helpful brainstorm of ideas as well!

To summarize, here’s what I’m hearing from the group.  Please let me know if I missed anything.

Blippers would be open to:

1) periodic donations

AND/OR

2) a monthly subscription

In exchange, Blippers would like:

1) periodic maintenance of the site

2) better communication from me (sorry folks, I’ve been really bad about this admittedly)

3) fixing outstanding bugs (please help point these out)

4) a way to integrate more music content or partner with other streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, and/or SoundCloud (this one is harder than you think due to a whole host of issues)

5) Upgrade the totally outdated server infrastructure (this one will not be easy either)

6) I’m sure more - please keep adding them in the comment section

Also, I would like to address a few questions.

1) What are you going to do with the money if the Blip.fm community helps out?

First and foremost, I would likely need to hire engineering support to keep the site up and going.  Second, there are ongoing server and bandwidth costs.  Third, Blip.fm still resides on some completely outdated and brutally slow (and expensive) servers.  (This will be a PAINFUL cost and process, but let’s not get into detail here.)  Finally, I would like to slowly try to dig myself out of the massive debt of paying from these servers month after month.  I know that making a donation requires trust and I hope you can put that trust into me to help keep Blip.fm alive.

2) Where have you been and why have you neglected Blip.fm?

I’ve been focusing my efforts on building Feed.fm.  We also built Fuzz as many of you know as means to showcase the API behind Feed.fm.  As many of you acknowledged in your comments, I’m grateful that you understand that I do need to run a business to support my family.  Feed.fm is the latest endeavor that best meets that need.

Forgive the brief commercial, but for those of you that don’t know what it is, Feed.fm provides a legal way to add popular music (THINK: Deadmau5 to Zeppelin) to websites, apps, and games to drive engagement, retention, and revenues.  If any of you run a US business interested in adding popular music, please hit us up at support@feed.fm.  I’d love to work with you!

Running a start-up is brutally hard and quite frankly, I need to focus my energies on efforts that show the most promise.  Blip.fm was once that glimmer of that promise and maybe with your help we can grow it again.  Maybe a mobile app?

3) What’s the timing of the changes if we decide to contribute our hard-earned dollars to the cause?

To be honest, I don’t know.  I still need to think this through and figure out what resources I would need.  I would also like to understand what in your mind is a reasonable monthly charge.  $5, $10, open for what you think it’s worth?

An initial donation might really help to get things started.  We would then possibly move to a monthly subscription.  I’m honestly not sure yet, but I just want to share some of my initial thinking here.

Also, some of you asked about the ads.  They barely provide any revenue.  If we can figure out a reasonable revenue model, I would be open to turning the ads off… again, I need to think all of this through but more on that later.

Anyway, thank you again for your efforts here and all of the great comments.  I’m going to periodically check back and I’d love to start the conversation if you are up for it.  Also, let’s all agree to be civil to each other as I’m sure you will have differing opinions.  Please also be patient with me as these things take time.

Looking forward to your comments!

Best,

@jeff

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

Facebook Integration Update & More

We’ve updated our Facebook integration to the new open graph api and OAuth 2.0 authentication method. What does this mean to you?

  • No more expiring sessions, i.e. blips not posting to Facebook
    The old authentication was session based and the sessions would expire after a certain amount of time.
  • Post to pages other than your profile
    If you manage multiple Facebook pages, you’ll now be able to choose which pages your blips get sent to.
  • Choose Facebook page to receive blips

  • Find out which of your Facebook friends are on Blip.fm
    When viewing your account details we’ll show a list of all your Facebook friends who are also Blip.fm DJs.
  • Facebook friends who are on Blip.fm

If you’ve already integrated you’re Facebook account, you’ll need to update your Facebook authentication to see these updated options by visiting:

http://blip.fm/settings/integration

Click the “update authentication” link.
Update Facebook Authentication Example

Also In This Update

Also included with this update were a number of performance improvements and bug fixes. If you’re interested in this geeky stuff like us, let us know and we’ll shed more light on some of the steps we’ve taken and what else we’ve got planned to make the site even more snappy!

Love Mom? Enter The Mother’s Day Badge

We’re happy to announce a new badge to add to your stash. Earn the Mother’s Day badge by blipping a song in her honor and including the hashtag #iheartmom. We will feature all these Blips in a special #iheartmom channel in the Tag Tuner. You can only earn the badge between now and end of 11:59 PDT on Mother’s Day (May 9th).

Also included in tonight’s maintenance were some other improvements to the badges system. All badges are now calculated relative to a particular user’s timezone (you can set that on the account settings page) and not just what we store in our database. We also adjusted the Big Spender and Headliner badges to look at a true 24 hour trailing time period, so no longer do the props you get / receive in order to earn these badges have to fall witihin the same day, just in the past 24 hours.

Thanks for Blipping!

– Yan

Blipathon Is Back

Thanks to @briangreene, the Blipathon is back. For a second year in a row, we ask Blip.fm DJs to do their thing all day Valentines Day to raise donations for charity.  Blipping will kick off at 12:00AM on February 14th and run for 24 hours ending at 11:59PM in your local time zone.  DJs will be blipping messages with the hashtag #blipathon and a link to (http://msf.org) seeking donations for this years chosen charity Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders.  Donations should be made directly at http://www.firstgiving.com/blipathon.

Just to say thanks for participating, we’ll give 100 credits on a random basis to 10 participants that use the #blipathon tag.

Open your heart & open your wallet this Valentines Day and give as much as you can. DJs are needed to take part and push the viral one day campaign in social media. More details via http://blipathon.com.