Graceful Sunset Mix
August 11, 2015 10:07 AM   Subscribe

“For any service that interoperates with content on the open web, yes, we think this is going to get more common, for the next little while anyway. Trends tend to be cyclical. We can all see where the current one is going, but it’s hard to say what the next swing of the pendulum might look like.” - Popular (at least on Metafilter) Music Discovery and Microblogging service This Is My Jam is shutting down, without screwing its users, but with some dire predictions about the open web.
posted by Potomac Avenue (21 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
(at least on Metafilter)

Social Explorer for TIMJ users
posted by Going To Maine at 10:50 AM on August 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:54 AM on August 11, 2015


.
posted by ignignokt at 11:02 AM on August 11, 2015


But now how will I know what song I've never heard of is being listened to by someone I don't care about?
posted by bondcliff at 11:03 AM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


The kids I e-hang-out with use 8 tracks for mixes. It's only a matter of time until that goes the same way.
posted by immlass at 11:08 AM on August 11, 2015


So the main problem is with the sites that actually host the music? They seem to be saying that YouTube, Facebook and the like are constantly changing their code and its too much for a small operation like this to keep up with. And the music itself is becoming ever more legally restricted, so it's getting harder for them to serve a large user base.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:18 AM on August 11, 2015


yet another reason I will not buy a streaming subscription. All it takes is for one executive to change their business plan, and the entire music ecosystem goes "poof".

Buy your music, discover online but buy it, own it, put it on your harddrive. I think Streaming Everything is a trick by phone companies to jack up your phone bill (and device manufacturers are clearly in cahoots by not adding SD cards to phones) < /rant>
posted by rebent at 11:23 AM on August 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


I loved this service, it worked with Bandcamp and Soundcloud really well, and would post right to my tumblr. There was a great feature where you could just listen to all of the jams of people you followed like a radio station, too.

.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:31 AM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


The kids I e-hang-out with use 8 tracks for mixes. It's only a matter of time until that goes the same way.

Social Explorer for 8tracks users
posted by Going To Maine at 11:31 AM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


But now how will I know what song I've never heard of is being listened to by someone I don't care about?

Unfortunately, now you have to make a little more of an effort to be a curmudgeon :( I bet you'll find plenty of stuff elsewhere on the internet to not care about if you just look! Comment back if you do.
posted by thedaniel at 11:43 AM on August 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


.

🎶
posted by DigDoug at 11:48 AM on August 11, 2015


I think I don't understand the worries about this cyclical end of the "open web" - do they mean 3rd parties are making it harder to embed their media? Is/was the open web really about being able to embed elements from other sites/services in your own platform? It seems there is more music than ever streaming for free, on YouTube at least, but I can't comment on the embedability, beyond some country code nonsense that made me find a Soundcloud link instead of posting a YouTube clip to TIMJ recently.

When I read the notice, I thought they were talking more about this project being done, and the hassle about transitioning the service to support mobile devices, instead of "end of the open web." Maybe I focused on the wrong things.

Anyway, from the Guardian:
For distraught fans looking for an alternative to the site, music site Popjustice has annointed a successor: mobile app Cymbal. “We’ve seen a few ‘WhatsApp for music’ / ‘Tinder for music’ apps floating around over the last year or so but this looks like it’s a lot better,” the site reports.
Cymbal sounds like a filter for Spotify Premium, which doesn't sound like the replacement for TIMJ the Guardian touts. "In order to hear complete songs, Cymbal has to link up with a Spotify Premium account."
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since it's not dead maybe the right symbol is

|
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:13 PM on August 11, 2015


In order to hear complete songs, Cymbal has to link up with a Spotify Premium account."

Not having a SP account is a tragic error. Clicking that hard right now.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:14 PM on August 11, 2015


the music itself is becoming ever more legally restricted

When I stopped posting to TIMJ, it was because almost every time I was trying to link a video or song, I was coming up with a "you can't use this song" because the rights holder was refusing embeds. The reason for that isn't legal so much as that the poster (usually the label or the official artist channel) want to send people back to youtube to get advertising bucks. Paradoxically, this meant it was easier to embed unauthorized copies than it was to actually just go to the label or the artist to encourage other people to listen to their work.

The problem was less the legal restrictions than the practical restrictions designed to force people to watch ads.
posted by immlass at 12:28 PM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yet another reminder that I should really sign up for an 8tracks account and maybe also remind people of Soundsgood, which is a lot like 8tracks except with a largely French community and the ability to see the full playlist of a mix, which 8tracks still restricts for unknown-but-probably-legality-related reasons.

I think the "death of the open web" angle is really all about how music discovery now takes place more and more in walled gardens. Let's say you want to make a digital mixtape for the world. Your options are basically:

1) upload a bunch of MP3s somewhere, which is vaguely illegal but in a quaintly old-fashioned way that's more likely to be aggressively ignored than sued or cease-and-desisted;

2) cobble together a playlist from YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and other services using a site like 8tracks or Soundsgood, which is fine except for all the reasons why This Is My Jam is so hard to maintain now: third parties changing their APIs, increasing restrictions on what can be embedded on other sites, copyright holders becoming more protective of their online media, and the inherent unreliability of using unauthorized versions of the same music (all issues I ran into constantly while using TIMJ);

3) use a service like Spotify to share a playlist, but then you're restricted to whatever Spotify has on its service (which is quite extensive but still has many, many, many gaping holes that will never be filled), and in order to listen to it your audience needs a Spotify account. Plus, if any of the tracks you put on the service ever disappear, your playlist loses that song and there's nothing you can do about it;

4) host your playlists locally with legal backing from the artists involved, which, unless you're Pitchfork or Stereogum or someone equally large, is highly unlikely to happen.

True, it's not like it's our god-given right to be able to share mixes with one another or anything. But it feels like there should be a better way to do this than the four rather flawed options above, something that makes it easy for people to share music while making sure artists get paid fairly. But between here and there is a no man's land of copyright red tape. So who knows.
posted by chrominance at 2:04 PM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


All of which is why for the end user, just torrenting music or movies or whatever is always the better option, legality and morality set aside. You get what you want, get to keep it as long as you want and are not dependent on third parties having to make a profit from keeping you supplied.

Anybody who's been running a blog for a while (and mine are not much younger than MeFi itself) knows linkrot happens quickly, but is soo much more noticable when embedding other people's content, like Youtube videos. Sometimes I come across old posts of mine where the video has been disabled for some reason or other and I have no clue anymore what it's about.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:05 PM on August 11, 2015


1) upload a bunch of MP3s somewhere, which is vaguely illegal but in a quaintly old-fashioned way that's more likely to be aggressively ignored than sued or cease-and-desisted;

Anybody remember muxtape's ten seconds of fame before its foregone destruction?
posted by Going To Maine at 2:32 PM on August 11, 2015


A friend of mine has been in the past a member of this or that quasi-secret file sharing community, where members host large databases of music (often with a particular theme) but entrance is by invitation only and usually comes if you're spotted behaving appropriately on an open forum where members hang out. It wasn't unknown for bona fides being tested by the supplicant providing something that wasn't already there, which can be categorised as 'harsh but fair'.

I don't know how much of that still goes on, but it was noticeable (my friend tells me) at the time that there was a decent chunk of the membership who were working musicians, some reasonably well-known, who had a particular passion (or worked in) that particular genre.

These places were particularly good for the seriously obscure, as some members had very impressive record collections pulled together over decades of obsession, and if you had a yen for the sort of place that, say, Nurse With Wound might lead you, there was nowhere else like them. Certainly a step up from the Soulseeks, which themselves are a step-up from what you might expect to find on torrents, at least in the usual places. It might be that there's been sufficient leakage of content from the private clubs into the public anonymous systems that the need for them has diminished, but somehow I doubt it. I'll get my friend to have a look and see how much of his collection from those days is now mirrored in the open.

I'd guess that given Mefi's demographics, some of you will know exactly what I'm talking about. But it's certainly a workable model for flying under the radar while amassing excellent resources and becoming part of a community of like-minded heads.
posted by Devonian at 3:00 PM on August 11, 2015


what.cd and indietorrents are both still going fine, I think. But this is a curious direction to go in; if I want bleeding edge or odd ultra-rare thing, there are still blogs you can google up that have plenty of rare material and just dump albums for download. (e.g. WFMU DJ Flash Strap’s album blog) I mean, if something's lost by the death of TIMJ it seems like it's the ability to share a single track with strangers and friends. Which, fine, but that's not something those communities (or my random album blogs) really rectify.

All of which is why for the end user, just torrenting music or movies or whatever is always the better option, legality and morality set aside. You get what you want, get to keep it as long as you want and are not dependent on third parties having to make a profit from keeping you supplied.

I don't really agree with this. If I buy something from Google Music / Bleep / Bandcamp, I can download the tracks and keep them for as long as I want on my own resources. The fact that a middle man makes a profit by connecting me to the artist isn't a problem with the system; that middleman is creating a valuable pipeline. It's not like the pirate bay isn't happy to be raking in money hand over fist from its own ads.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:50 PM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


:(
posted by threeants at 9:40 PM on August 11, 2015


« Older "Re-Compositions, Not Covers"   |   Trigger Warnings and Respect in the Classroom Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments