Archive for 'Maintenance'

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

Tonight’s Maintenance

UPDATE 5:53 am PST - We’re having issues with one of our database tables. We’re in process of repairing this table, but this will likely take another hour or two.

Tonight’s maintenance will add one major new feature: the ability to follow your blip friends on twitter (if they’ve integrated their twitter account) right from within the Blip.fm website. There are also a number of bug fixes and performance improvements. Most notable of those is the quicker removal of YouTube links that have become unavailable. We’re also continuing to diagnose and fix the slowdown issues that have been affecting the site as of late. The blog will be updated with more details once the maintenance is over

–Yan

Tonight’s Update

Hey everybody. Wanted to give a quick rundown of what tonight’s maintenance is going to cover. Unfortunately, it’s not that exciting, mostly just small tweaks and fixes.

  • Tweaks to the search. “-” (dash) and ” ‘ ” (apostrophe) characters have been causing some weirdness / bad results. That has been fixed. The new search also has a number of cool advanced options that we haven’t really covered - look for a blog about that soon.
  • Tag Tuner improvements. The tag tuner should be much better at finding blips for artists, genres, and hashtags that you enter manually, not just those in the tag cloud itself. Pagination has also been improved a bit.
  • Badge email preference. We like the badges and the response has been overwhelmingly positive, but it was always our intention to make this an optional part of the Blip.fm experience. You can now choose on your settings page to not be notified about new badges you’ve earned.
  • Badge email improvements. We’ve added the particular blip that triggered the pioneer badge, and also a general description of each badge in their respective emails, so you know exactly what you did to earn them.
  • Fixes to the “block user” function. You will no longer receive any communication (emails) from users that you’ve blocked.
  • Backend stuff. As always, there are a number of bug fixes etc… that can’t really be tied to any particular part of the user experience, but they’re important too :-)

See you on the other side!

Mainenance: Debut of the TagTuner and Badges

We’re updating the beta site (http://beta.blip.fm) with some huge new features. Details to come after we get the site back online… hang in there, you’re going to like what you see!

All of these features will be on the beta site while we work out all the bugs. We’ll be acknowledging the people who help us squash the bugs, so make sure to send us your feedback!

#1: The TagTuner
This is a big deal in terms of music and DJ discovery. Now instead of sifting through all the noise on the “All Blips” page we make it easy to tune into the music that you want to hear. You are presented with a tag cloud of recent trending topics (broken down into hashtags, artists, and genres). When you select tags, only blips that match those categories will filter through to your blipstream. If you want to hear U2, Madonna and Acid Jazz right now, you got it. Nobody else does this. In fact, we have a patent pending on the concept.

#2: Badges
We’ve been seeing a ton of people do extraordinary things on Blip.fm. Some people find the best music before anyone else, others know how to work the crowd, some DJs get props from tens of thousands of listeners, then there’s the guys that blip all day everyday. We wanted to do something to let you guys show off a bit. After this update, you’ll see a box in the right column with the different badges that you can earn for reaching certain achievements. Some of them are pretty easy to get, others will take a bit more work. We plan to keep coming up with new badges as time goes on, so if you have any ideas for something awesome, send it our way.

NOTE: We’re going to reset these badges once we push all these updates to the main site, so that everyone can start out on a level playing field. Don’t worry though, for helping us work out the kinks you’re going to get something that can’t be got otherwise.

#3: DJ Quick Add/Props
Add any DJ to your favorites or give them props without having to go to their profile page. This is something we’ve had lots of requests for.

#4: Block DJ
Prevent a DJ from sending you @replies and adding you as a favorite DJ. You’ll never see their blips in your personalized blipstream again.

#5: Weekly Update Emails
This one you might not get to see for a little while, until we push the stuff to the main site, but it’s rad. Every week we’ll send you an email with the activity that’s happened over the past seven days (who’s given you props, reblips, new listeners, etc.).

#6: Faster Page Loads
We’re going to spend the next few weeks trying to get your pages loading and playing music super fast. This should be incremental if you use the beta site, so it should keep getting faster as we tweak things.

-ian

Zombies in the Matrix

A little unplanned maintenance to take care of this evening. We should be back online in just a few minutes.

Wow, you guys blip a LOT. We tracked the problem back to a corrupt table in the master database that stores all the blips that people post. Don’t worry, they’re safe, but due to the total number of blips it takes a while to get things back in order.

We’re already planning some changes that will keep the site up in case of failures like these, but as luck would have it we got hit with the ghost in the machine just a few days before we had planned to move over to the new setup.

If anyone is interested in the more nerdy side of running things, I plan to write a series of posts about the kind of hurdles and pitfalls you might run into when you’re building an internet company. There seems to be a common path from initial release through to scale that you don’t find out about until you’re dealing with it.

-ian