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"A Music Adventure." [locked]

level 44
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 8:05 p.m.
I hear what you're saying, KosmikRay. But there are many "manys" out there. And if the site evolves away from one fit, it evolves towards another. And perhaps it changes shape enough to make several groups happy.

Clearly if it fails as a business it will cease to exist, so I'm not worried about sam and james simply tweaking it for the sake of tweaking.

I signed up during a period of flux, and frankly consider the site still in late beta stage, or version 1.0 at most. 1.0 of anything still has kinks to work out. I'm gonna give it at least 24.23 hours to find its new feet. Maybe even 82.19 if I feel generous.

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level 36
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 8:57 p.m.
My question(s):
Why is it bad for good artists to get constantly promoted and their bumps raised to the front page? Isn't that the point of good musicianship? To build up an audience and recognition?

I listen to all the songs on the Browse>Newest. I bump what I like and sure as hell, I support the artists that have consistently shown value to my ear drums. I do the same with records in the real world! I support bands I like, regardless of whether I don't like one of their songs as much as the others.

Those who think that the "Competitive" part of this site is wrong, should focus on what they feel comfortable. I like the competition. I like the challenge of evaluating a song's worth for me as it gets posted. I like the community that I have discovered through it.

I think less restrictions. People had choices before. If they wanted to discover overlooked songs, they could do so through the search options. If they (like me) liked to ping new songs that get posted, that was also an option. The options are slowly being taken away and that's something I dislike.

I am with Kosmikray and Batface89.


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level 16
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 9:29 p.m.
Well said.

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level 34
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 10:19 p.m.
After shoveling through nine pages of melodrama...
Note: An important point to remember for those interested in finding new/underbumped gems: You can still sort the browse page by number of bumps. With that in mind, there are a number of different strategies to be pursued.

Moving on...

When I first suggested doing away with browse>newest oh so long ago, my goal was never to 'cripple' the site, or to make it harder to find new music. My issue was with the fact that there was a localized flurry of activity on the first few pages of browse>newest. I think doing away with it is the right move in the long run. Those ten to thirty songs became an extremely fine focal point. However, new avenues should be created. I am sort of in agreement with the Blurry Blue Wonder in that regard, that there should be as many ways as possible to experience the site.

@sam & james: In that first thread, I proposed an idea similar to timyjl's a few pages back. I think a randomized page with newly posted music for people who want the freshest music would allow everyone to have their cake and eat it too. I think twenty-four hours is too short, though. Make it several days to a week. Add a separate page for undiscovered songs. Another for songs with between 1 and 50 bumps. As many criteria as you can think of, because my point and (if I've interpreted it correctly) your goal is to give people a unique and personal experience, and the way to do that is to give them as many choices as possible. I believe that focusing too much on the Rack is a mistake. Some people won't like that particular way of interacting with the site, so the more alternatives, the better.

@everyone else: Take a deep breath.

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level 37
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 11:03 p.m.
To phreakymonkey:

I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Seriously though, I like what you've suggested. Adding more functionality to parts of the website would open up new doors, like including a "go to page" option. I think what hinders a lot of people is they don't want to click through dozens of pages. Same thing with more search options. I've been searching by limiting the number of bumps all day, and it works well enough, but being able apply date ranges, comment ranges, maybe even a level range, would create more flexibility.

I think what you said, about making the site a more personal experience, hits the nail right on the head.

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level 33
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 11:16 p.m.
just quickly, not a criticism, just an observation... if the rack is supposed to play newest tracks more frequently, they need to look at their algorithm. Newest thing I found out of 12 songs was a day old, average I'd say is 12 days. ...but yes, I am biased on the pro-Newest Sort engine.

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level 33
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 11:25 p.m.
oh... BTW, (yes I just love to see myself text)
I'd like to commend the membership for having an objective, rational and mature discussion on this subject matter. Good group of thoughtful, well spoken peeps here. All the posts have offered great ideas and feedback. O.K. I promise not to post again for a few more pages... honest.

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level 17
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 11:31 p.m.
Did anybody really read through the original post? Did James not say that they were working on new ways to "lubricate" music discovery? This thread is starting to get really old and repetitive.

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level 21
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 08 feb 08 11:37 p.m.
@Che - Stop Reading

People are entitled to their opinions and if enough people share the same opinion I would say that there probably is something to say for it.

@ Everyone Else - Enjoy the music however you have to find it as that is why we are all here. I have confidence that a medium will be reached but as James offered very early in this thread "There will be growing pains" (I think that is a direct qoute.)

I don't see any reason to criticize or mutiny but ideas are a great thing whether they are rehashed or not.

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Alex Gloworld
level 15
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 1:50 a.m.
As those of you who may frequent other sites forums, it is a pleasant change to see a thread get to this sort of length without a hint of the name calling that seems to dominate so many other forums and that so many threads seem to descend into there. I think this is a good reflection on how much people enjoy this site and how much they want to play a active part in its ongoing development.

Also, from the point of view of the musicians putting their music on here, unless they have also created listener profiles, they are not experiencing what makes this site so different from the 'passive' music sites elsewhere.

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level 17
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 8:40 a.m.
Kosmikray, despite how eloquently you made your case, you seem to commit a pretty fundamental fallcy: You pre-suppose that giving listeners what they want must be a good thing. In this case, I don't think it is.

Participants in this 'game' are going to gravitate towards whatever gives them the highest rewards, and to a large degree that's why browse:new was so popular. Unfortunately, the hyperfocus on that section created a framework whereby only songs that had immediate and broad appeal could be successful. Corporate radio functions under a similar framework, and it has led to a domination of shallow and homogenous songs that I'm sure the61 doesnt want to imitate.

Doesn't unpolished, challenging music that takes more than 1 minute to appreciate deserve some attention, too?

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the moon and monday
level 18
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 9:14 a.m.
Another band perspective.. The browse -> newest system was the only place on the web, that i know of, where anyone who uploaded new music would be heard by a good sized group of active listeners. It has been such a great opportunity for a completely unknown group like ours. I hope any other artists, new to the site, will have the same advantage when this is all worked out.

This place has been amazing and I'm confident that when all the bugs are worked out it will keep getting better and better!

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level 37
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 10:57 a.m.
It's not hard to see how much thought and care have gone into the development of this site. I applaud the attempts to tweak things until the proper balance is achieved. But completely removing the ability to see which songs are new is Throwing Out The Baby With The Bathwater. I don't amputate my arm because it has a bad case of poison ivy.

What You Haa-ad (Ooooooh) And what You Lo-ost...
Browse/New, whether you think it was a problem or not, was an undenaible success at focusing the attention of a lot of listeners on nearly *every* new arrival to T61. That is an incredibly valuable tool to just toss aside. If I was away from the T61 for a day or two, I could go to Browse/New and see what I might have missed. And yes, I listened to the less "successful" tracks as well. A few things got through the cracks - not many.

So, valuable to me and (even more, I would argue) valuable to the artists, whether or not you agree with the implementation.

What You've Done
Now that Browse/New is gone, it's like walking into a record store with no New section.

"But I spent three hours sifting through albums yesterday - isn't there *some* way to find what's new?"

- Well, what we've esentially done is mix all of the new stuff in with all of our least popular items. You'll just have to look through all of them again.

"But I don't want to do that every time I come here."

- Unfortunately, you don't have a choice. But it's more adventuresome, right? Don't you want the spirit of adventure?

Yes, but not *all the time*.

What The Problem Isn't
1) Was the problem that Browse/New would never scale when there were many more songs and listeners? James described the problem as:

"...hundreds of tracks being uploaded every hour and millions of eager listeners all elbowing each other to stake out the latest coconut records song."

Would there be some logistical problems with this? Maybe so, but I can't help seeing that kind of traffic as more opportunity than problem. By removing Browse/New you've solved the issue by getting rid of the opportunity.

2) Was the problem that the poaching that occurred on Browse/New was somehow contrary to the "spirit of discovery"? Maybe, but I don't see how Browse/New ever prevented anyone from sifting through lesser-known tracks trying to find undicoverd gems. Somehow we've created, out of thin air, an adversarial relationship between people who gravitate to Browse/New to do their bumping, and people who don't. I'm sorry, but who cares? What's the real issue here?

"Authenticity" And Undue Influence - The Real Problem
As I see it, the *real* issue is that that Browse/New was a cheap/"inauthentic" way to earn points quickly. One of the goals of the site is to allow people to develop influence and reputation, and Browse/New seems to be a quick-strike method to earn what should by rights be nurtured and developed over time. Influence should come by, for example, creating great playlists that earn you subscribers. whe you add an interesting new track, those subscribers may support your bump with bumps of their own.

How To Fix It
Is the way to fix this to completely get *rid* of Browse/New? To me, that's incredibly shortsighted. You would indeed be throwing out the baby with the bath water, no matter what kind of other new track "lubrications" you put in place. And as others have said, the "mystery" tracks were one of the more intruguing parts of the site.

The problem is not that Browse/New existed, the problem is that there was too great a value placed on being the one who refreshed/refreshed/refreshed and then clicked first. Or third. Or tenth.

Why not simply restict access (a la The Rack) or minimize values for new or hidden tracks? Why does it a) cost 50 points and b) earn a fantastic bump multiplier, just for being First? Change it.

Some ideas to prevent quick accumulation of point from Browse/New:

a) While they are hidden (1 hour), Browse/New tracks can only be discovered by users with less than 300 (500, whatever) points (similar to The Rack). This keeps new users interested and able to get those early level-ups, and keeps more experience users from powering up.

b) Simply reduce the points/bump modifiers for new tracks. Once they hit X number of days, back to normal.

I can't believe I spent two hours thinking about this. I really enjoy this site and I'll give it some time to see how things shake out, but the inability to see what's new? Long-term, that's absolutely a deal-breaker.

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level 17
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 11:04 a.m.
They're not done. They said that loud and clear. I think they needed to make this change as soon as possible -- no matter the unpleasantness -- to prevent users new and old from using that page as a crutch to drive the experience.

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level 17
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 11:06 a.m.
Also, I think it's interesting to note that a bunch of listeners just hopped on the new Band of Horses tracks added in the last hour.

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level 16
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 11:12 a.m.
also interesting to note that that Band of Horses is a well established band here.

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level 17
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 11:43 a.m.
@Silkworm: believe it or not, many listeners absolutely HATED the concept of hidden songs when they were implemented a month ago. One high-ranked listener preached armageddon...it was ridiculous.

@moosebumps: I'm not going to play that game. I just thought it was interesting that people still found ways to find newly-uploaded songs on the site.

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level 44
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 11:43 a.m.
Even more interesting: I don't subscribe to them (my oversight), so only knew they'd posted a new song from Che's post right here. So. Agreed things are evolving. Agreed sam and james aren't done yet.

But until that next step, because I'm not houndogging the last page of Browse:Bumps, I'm missing new music I want to catch. I know it'll change eventually. That doesn't mean I can't wish for it out loud.


Over and over again.

Have I mentioned....?

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level 46
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 11:47 a.m.
I'm sort of surprised by the contention that a few have stated that it was near impossible for older songs to be posted before the change; just before the change, I'd become accustomed to watching an increasing rate of songs get posted more than a month after they had been uploaded onto the site (this includes the posting of a song last week that I was the first to bump back in December). That isn't to say that it was necessarily easy for them to get pushed up past the newer songs; it certainly didn't come without concerted bumping efforts to get the song posted. Now, should it have been as difficult to get those songs pushed up? I'm not entirely sure and I think there will always be people that don't agree on this.

This isn't to say that I necessarily disagree with this change; I've reserving judgment at this point since there are supposed to be additional changes coming.

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level 40
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 12:32 p.m.
Agreed. There are concerted efforts to bring those less fortunate tracks to the surface. Tomorrow in fact 100+ deserving yet unloved artists/songs will be given a chance to see the light of day. All completely user driven.

Part of the issue I have noticed with good stuff not being recognized is the predominant softer indie/alt/rock genre bias that dominates the top level of the Hot and New pages. When a different genre posts it is usually at a very low bump count and typically remains >200.
am confident this will change as the site grows.

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