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Like Twitter, but with more music, less minutiae
December 10, 2008 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Blip.fm has been described as a Twitter for Music. The site allows users to create streaming playlists by searching for music hosted elsewhere online. You can make a playlist for your own listening pleasure, immediately find and hear a song that's been running through your brain, follow the blips of users (or "djs" in their parlance), and give and receive affirmations of musical taste ("props"). If you want more of the world to know exactly what you've listened to at any particular moment, you can integrate your account with last.fm, friendfeed, twitter, and the like. Unlike the late, lamented Muxtape, there are no copyright-violating uploads (that blip.fm hosts, at any rate). Surely the RIAA will have no problem with this site. Right?
posted by bibliowench (44 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Still no Rune Lindblad. Fail.
(this will be my goto litmus test artist for online music hosting things until I think of something even more abstruse)
posted by FatherDagon at 8:20 AM on December 10, 2008


I've hooked mine up to my Twitter account and have been enjoying the ability to Tweet "I am playing air drums to [Song X] and I would like for you, digitally, to have an opportunity to join me."

So it kind of occupies that weird social networking niche between "Absolutely Vital" and "Hugely Pointless".

In other words, I love it.
posted by Jofus at 8:23 AM on December 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


I found Robyn Hitchcock's The Yip Song, so it passed my test. I'm not really into Twitter but I like blip.
posted by Locative at 8:23 AM on December 10, 2008


have been enjoying the ability to Tweet "I am playing air drums to [Song X]...

They've got Ornette Coleman on this thing? I may have to check it out.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:25 AM on December 10, 2008


Next will be Peep.
posted by netbros at 8:33 AM on December 10, 2008


Interesting concept. But it can't steer me away from Pandora.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 8:36 AM on December 10, 2008


I can't give props to myself? Where's the volume knob? Please unsubscribe me from google toobar. (I'll play around with this today -- thanks)
posted by not_on_display at 8:39 AM on December 10, 2008


Not related to Blip.tv, I assume?
posted by jbickers at 8:52 AM on December 10, 2008


OK, let me:

MetaFilter: occupies that weird social networking niche between "Absolutely Vital" and "Hugely Pointless"
posted by jbickers at 8:53 AM on December 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


On August 19th I 'blipped' The Ballad of Dorothy Parker by Prince. Or so the site tells me, I have no memory of signing up or even hearing of blip.fm before. Anyway, it looks interesting. I wonder how long it'll take me to forget all about it this time?
posted by jack_mo at 8:58 AM on December 10, 2008


** Works in Canada too (unlike Pandora.)
posted by isopraxis at 8:58 AM on December 10, 2008


Also, this is a bit like RadioPop, a clever 'social radio listening' thingy from the BBC Radio Labs that lets you track what you listen to on the radio and 'pop' the programmes you like (I think they plan to make it possible to 'pop' at the song level in the future too).
posted by jack_mo at 9:02 AM on December 10, 2008


Blip.fm irritated me right off the bat by allowing users to feed "blips" to their Twitter account without requiring authentication of said Twitter account. So now folks, like me, are getting @replies to Blip users on our Twitter feeds if we happen to have the same username. Makes the show replies tab on Twitter relatively useless for me and it's really frustrating as I use Twitter quite a bit.
posted by elfgirl at 9:08 AM on December 10, 2008


So on my personal server, I often have an album or two's worth of music lying around open, because I've recently emailed my [friends|family|etc.] and told them to check it out. Just last month, I was looking at my server logs, and there were a lot more hits on that section then there should have been, from various random sources.

I wonder if this is one of them.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:19 AM on December 10, 2008


Looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen. But pretty cool in the meantime.
posted by spilon at 9:33 AM on December 10, 2008


They have every single artist that I couldn't find on theradio.com. Win.
posted by ardgedee at 9:55 AM on December 10, 2008


I wonder if this is one of them.

It absolutely is. I used Blip.fm for a week, but when I realized that all the music available on the service was essentially being hosted on other webservers, I was severely turned off. In fact, I don't think I ever saw one song load from Blip.fm itself.

Really shady.
posted by Remy at 9:55 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bummer about it being shady. I'm really digging it. I never got into textifying, SpaceBook, or Twithering, but this I like.
posted by diogenes at 10:03 AM on December 10, 2008


Twitter... euurgh. No thanks.

A tweetless alternative: seeqpod.com

No sign-up required.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:26 AM on December 10, 2008


Surely the RIAA will have no problem with this site. Right?

No problem whatsoever! I mean, it's not like the group operates like this:
SIMPLE RIAA DECISION-MAKING FLOWCHART

+------------------------+
| Is there any possible  |
|   way for the RIAA     |--<>-+
    |          | good one |
    |          +----------+
    |               
+---------------------------+
| Is the RIAA gettin' some? |
+---------------------------+
    |               |
  \Yep/           \Nah/
    |               |
+----------+    +-------+
| It's not |    |Unleash|
|  nearly  |-->-|  the  |
|  enough. |    |hounds!|
+----------+    +-------+

posted by Spatch at 10:45 AM on December 10, 2008


(oh god. epic pre-formatted ASCII fail. Looked perfect in the live preview, I swear.)
posted by Spatch at 10:45 AM on December 10, 2008


Yeah, I don't really see how this can work out in the long run. I am enjoying listening to random stuff on the main page, though.
posted by dixie flatline at 10:46 AM on December 10, 2008


I'm no expert, but it seems likely that there will only ever be

1) Explicitly licensed music that costs money and is difficult to deal with but legal (Pandora / iTunes) or

2) Web aggregators that spider the internet in search of Lemurrhea's unprotected music, thus returning almost anything you could ever want with as much meta-data as the hoster feels like adding but which are "shady" at best. (e.g. jaseeq / seeqpod)

It used to be that the big advantage of 1) was that they wouldn't get shut down overnight, but that's less and less true, right? These days it seems that the big advantage of 1) is that the metadata is perfect, and each song does what it says on the tin. I wonder how long that advantage will last?

(Oh, I guess there's also: 3) Torrents that contain every single scrap of music that David Bowie ever recorded in a massing 19gig file when all you really wanted was his cover of Jaques Brel)
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:38 AM on December 10, 2008


Oh, I forgot to add the option #2 is guaranteed to be more up to date and more likely to have your crazy indie bands, simply because the pool is so much larger...
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:39 AM on December 10, 2008


Spatch: I thought that was purposeful. Seems like the correct flow to me.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:43 AM on December 10, 2008


It's interesting, but I really can't see myself actually using it, unless my friends start using it en masse. Starting me off with a bunch of "friends" I don't know isn't great. It makes Blip a much-less-thorough approximation of the "my neighborhood" channel on last.fm.

But you know what I really want? I want a music site to create an always-on Quicktime stream of music I like. I could then listen to that stream from any computer in the world with some sort of media player (not to mention cellphones or other devices) without having to install some crappy app or go to a Flash-based website first. They could put a 30-second ad after every song, and it would still be more convenient when I'm away from my home computer and just want to listen to something.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:26 PM on December 10, 2008


There's a third option, Squid Voltaire. It's called Your Parents Start Using Bittorrent.

Listeners and artists--not just the nerdy, WFMU-listening ones, but the vast majority--will reject RIAA-member labels, paving the way for new labels and new distribution models with more progressive IP policies. RIAA knows that this will happen, which is why they're adopting a lawsuit-based business model.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:30 PM on December 10, 2008


I miss Oink.
posted by chunking express at 12:42 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You and me both, chunking e., you and me both.
posted by signal at 1:07 PM on December 10, 2008


Just use one of its replacements.
posted by inigo2 at 1:27 PM on December 10, 2008


Send me an invite, and I'll start today.
posted by box at 1:34 PM on December 10, 2008


ehrm, Spotify? you really don't need anything else.
posted by mr.marx at 1:54 PM on December 10, 2008


I used Last.fm pretty religiously until this summer and I know a lot of people who like Blip.fm. Not sure how social media fits into my music listening tastes, but I still try.
posted by businessninja at 2:01 PM on December 10, 2008


If they already go after torrent sites and THEY don't host any content, how is this different?

roll truck roll, doesn't last.fm do that? Maybe not Quicktime but flash?
posted by 999 at 2:36 PM on December 10, 2008


Maybe I didn't explain myself clearly enough. I want QuickTime because most of the time that I want to listen to something like Pandora or Last.fm, going to some Flash website is really inconvenient. On the other hand, almost every computer has some sort of media player that can play streaming audio: Quicktime, Winamp, even RealAudio. Forget fancy iPhone apps; they were making cellphones eight years ago that could play an mp3 stream. Even this thing can play one.

When I'm at my parents' house or sitting at someone else's computer, I don't want to open an extra browser window and log into some silly website. I just want to punch in a URL and go back to what I was doing.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:49 PM on December 10, 2008


Bowie covered Jacques Brel? Must. Own.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:17 PM on December 10, 2008


Bowie covered Jacques Brel? Must. Own.

Amsterdam

A song I could possibly enjoy if I didn't associate it with macrame, Lambrusco, Fondu, and all other things my parents thought were cool in the 70s.
posted by bibliowench at 5:14 PM on December 10, 2008


If they're cataloguing the available music elsewhere, then they're a bit like playlist.com, which you might like.

I write this without having looked at blip.fm yet.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:13 PM on December 10, 2008


Oh. It's like twitter, playlist.com, & last.fm very lightly jumbled together.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:20 PM on December 10, 2008


roll truck roll: Why do you think the masses will reject the RIAA? I hear it over and over, that the new dawn is coming soon, and they will reject mass marketed pap. All I see are people downloading Britney Spears and the new Metallica album. Looking at Pirate Bay right now, the top albums contain almost all RIAA albums. Meanwhile, legaltorrents has an order of magnitude fewer seeders and leechers.

I see dozens of distribution models, and not a decent business plan among them.
posted by zabuni at 6:41 PM on December 10, 2008


NAPSTER. Napster. How old am I? Shit. I'm 32. Napster!
posted by unknowncommand at 9:21 PM on December 10, 2008


Here's my blip.
posted by nthdegx at 2:03 AM on December 11, 2008


>There's a third option, Squid Voltaire. It's called Your Parents Start Using Bittorrent.

Bittorrents are probably the line that most of the general public won't cross. If something's just there on your browser or winamp and you hit play and music comes out (like seeqpod or other radio-like sites), it doesn't seem that wrong, whereas going to the effort of finding and installing torrent clients, searching for content and actively downloading stuff to your own computer... it's pretty clear now to most people that you're "taking" something when you do that.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:41 AM on December 11, 2008


It's called Your Parents Start Using Bittorrent.

My parents won't be using Bittorrent any time soon, but my 60 year old uncle has used it to build a collection of 60,000 songs. Then again, he's always been ahead of the curve when it comes to stealing software and music. He showed me how to use some pre-Limeware peer-to-peer network in like 1996.

posted by diogenes at 9:38 AM on December 11, 2008


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