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To our faithful listeners,

We've decided to formally shutdown thesixtyone.com -- our servers will go offline at midnight, May 1st 2017.

Artist tipping and music purchases will be functional until then, so please spend any remaining credits by month's end. 
A final payment will be made to artists following the shutdown.

thesixtyone was our baby for most of our twenties. We're incredibly sorry we weren't able to keep things going in the 
right direction.


Thank you for being a part of it.


James Miao & Samuel Hsiung

"A Music Adventure." [locked]

level 30
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 12:46 p.m.
I'll be the first (I think) to say, I think the Rack Refund is a great idea.

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level 37
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 2:46 p.m.
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.

(I'm sure you meant <200)
Isn't that a function of the site or a function of the current blend of listeners and their preferences. Most people I've seen have "rock" and "alternative" under their names. Dunno if that's generated related to bumps or listens.

@all the people saying the dissent is whinging: It was a favored feature of those who enjoyed the gaming aspect of the site (the one aspect that truly distinguished thesixtyone from lastfm and the ilk). Moreso, it was a feature that in no way detracted from those who weren't interested in the gaming style. (I'd certainly be interested in hearing how it did detract, if I am wrong)

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level 37
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 2:47 p.m.
(that was supposed to say "Is that a function of the site or...")

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level 40
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 4:10 p.m.
errm… yes, < is correct, whoops.

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level 44
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 4:49 p.m.
@supergrover - Most people I've seen have "rock" and "alternative" under their names.

This is largely a function of what gets posted - what there is to listen to. I started out listening mainly to dance/electronic here, but there really is relatively little dance posted that's not a (IMO) second rate remix (please tunebox me something to prove how wrong I am), and electronic is often split with either rock or alt, so I saw my descriptors change several times. I do wish I could choose one or two for myself, let people know the kind of music I want to find, instead of the kind I've already found.

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level 42
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 5:08 p.m.

no disrespect meant to anyone, but WOW! when the changes were made i never would've thought that there would be this much of an outcry. i apologize for being ignorant by not reading through the ENTIRE 11 pages in this thread prior to posting, but i've been busy listening to music and bumping what i like (like usual :oP).

i don't know if it's been mentioned...but why not put things back the way they were (i know that part's been mentioned...repeatedly, lol) and just increase the discov... erm, i mean "first bump" time period to several more hours for higher levels? it seems that tweaking the site this late in the game is causing some problems with listeners and musicians alike. so, couldn't developments in the realm of listener abilities be used to solve the "focal point" issue while keeping the (addictive) experience intact?

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level 37
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 5:10 p.m.
It's probably trivial to fix the distribution of bumps to genres - if Rock,Alternative is most popular, raise the points reward for less popular genres. I wouldn't classify what I listen to as Rock,Alt normally, but that's what I have. This would mean less of a net loss of points for those that are bothered and so don't bump non-Rock,Alt tracks... this might give all those classical,instrumental tracks a chance. ;)

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level 36
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 7:04 p.m.
I can only speak for myself, but I think this change actually decreases my adventuresomeness. Before, I would generally listen to the browse->newest with a filter of 25-50 bumps minimum (sometimes, especially at lower traffic times like the middle of the night, I would remove that filter). I would hear a huge variety of stuff and if I really liked a song, I would check out that artist to see if they had more good stuff. I would also use the front page and the announcements on my profile page, but the cool new sounds always came from listen to browse->newest.

Now that there is no browse->newest, I just listen to the front page and scan my profile announcements. This means that I'm only listening to stuff from artists I already know or to stuff that's popular enough to hit the front page.

I simply don't have enough time in the day to scan through thousands of songs to find a hidden gem. I appreciate all the work that some of the big players put into this site to call some hidden gems to our attention, but I can never play that role and still keep my job.

I'm not going to make any idle threats about leaving the site - I have more than enough music on my radio station to keep me interested in coming back for a month or more even if I don't find anything new. Maybe this will give me a chance to form solid opinions about music that I wasn't sure about before. Maybe it will drive me to purchase more albums from people that I listen to a lot instead of just looking for the cool new thing every day. But it will definitely not make me more adventuresome.

Sam, James - thanks for all your hard work on this site. I hope you continue your practice of listening to us listeners and the awesome musicians and find the mix that works best for everybody involved. You guys rock!

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level 36
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 7:16 p.m.
Sorry for the double post - I just wanted to explain one of the reasons why I used the filter and one of the reasons why I think that the61 is the most awesome music site I've ever found. Before I found this site, I feel that I had two options for music - listen to the radio which only plays the stuff that is generic enough to fit everybody's music preference (boring) or follow indie-music blogs and listen to tons of unproven musicians. The downsides of the first method is clear to everybody on this site, or else you wouldn't be here. The downside of the second method is that I'd have to sort through a lot of worthless music to get some good. It was a very time-consuming process and often not worth it, especially if some of the music gave me a headache in the process.

What we have here that I've never seen anywhere else is a means of setting my personal tolerance for how popular something has to be before I listen to it. I can stick to the front page and get a nice general sound, or I can scour the rest of the site to pull up something new. And I can set my tolerance on the fly by shifting the minimum bump limit. The result is that no matter my mood (adventuresome or just looking for good background noise), I could find new music on the61. I really feel that removing the browse->newest diminishes that control while looking for new music and forces me to either be in "active listening" mode, sifting through great and worthless together, or stuck on the front page. I've done both before, but that mix is where the61 was really set apart from the rest in my sight.

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level 43
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 7:37 p.m.
For me it makes searching for something that may not otherwise hear quite difficult. It would have almost the same effect to just hide the bumps of anyone over level XX for 24 hours and leave the search the way it was. Or even leave the title/artist hidden for some amount of time based upon the popularity of the genre.

Finding the ones with "----" for title and artist was like opening a present - what was it? would it suck? would it rock? That _was_ the adventure.

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level 39
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 8:06 p.m.
So, after reading at least 9 of the 12 pages of posts so far (several of them my own), things seem to fall into two camps:

"Stop whining and wait to see what Sam and James have up their sleeves," and

"The way things were didn't detract from the adventure if someone wasn't into the game, and this change pretty much kills the game aspect."

As the astute reader might gather, I fall squarely into the latter camp. I respect Sam and James' vision, but agree wholeheartedly with KosmikRay: if you see people really digging a feature and getting into it, DON'T GET RID OF IT, ENHANCE IT.

On the whole, it sounds like this change is turning off a lot of longtime and mid-time listeners (like myself). I didn't see or hear a lot of people complaining about the system before the removal of Browse > Newest, but this seems like a pretty major hue and cry from the established base. While I will concede that a new system may engage a whole new generation of listeners a new way, alienating roughly half of your established base of really rabid fans seems like a very bad business model.

I'm already less inclined to hop on and see what's new, I hope either the new changes come soon to re-engage me, or the old model is restored. I'd hate to lose something as cool as theSixtyOne after only a month or two.

Sam, James - you guys are quite assuredly Da Bomb, but at least give us some idea of what we can expect here. I want to be motivated to stick around long enough to find out, but the simple disabling of my favorite feature isn't much incentive.

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level 14
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 8:42 p.m.
A lot of us relied on the browse->newest section to help listen to the new stuff on thesixtyone...fair enough. That's because thesixtyone is a still a relatively young site where the new stream of music is still small/manageable. Yet a lot of us also listened to that page because it allowed us to get in early on songs and make some big point gains. If there weren't any points to earn, would many of us still use that page? Not likely. Try finding good videos on YouTube by watching the hundreds of video uploaded hourly. It's not too difficult to imagine how browse->newest could quickly become useless when site volume continues at exponential growth. But what then? Many listeners have been "trained" to rely on this page as their source of points. It's like parents who wrongly reward their kids with lavish things for good grades only for their kids to find out later in life that life doesn't generally reward for good grades. It's like developing a Pavlovian response, then cruelly snatching that away. Know what I mean? For this matter alone, I think the action taken was warranted. It will be interesting to see what James & Sam have up their sleeves.

To me, a lot of listeners technically earned "ill-gotten" points from the browse->newest page, and now the site is evolving to address this. Many MMOs would simply wipe every account and ask to userbase to start over (heck, thesixtyone is free of charge to us).

Also, when you think about it, the concept of "new" in a record store (or in any store for that matter) was devised for n00bs. It was a view for people who didn't want to bother looking through stuff to quickly disseminate what's different that week. Additionally, "new" in a store is generally a curated experience devised by the retailer...they picked the interesting "new" things that might interest their customers. So, for that perspective, the "new" in retail isn't quite analogous to the "browse->newest" of thesixtyone. I would say that the "new" tab on the homepage more fittingly serves this purpose. Don't want to get deeply involved in the music discovery experience? Fine, that's what the homepage is for.

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level 16
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 10:38 p.m.
high five KosmikRay

any other web endeavour would kill to have hordes hounding it's pages

the only logical reason for the squash: dollars and sense

browse:newest milked too much bandwidth without fruiting enough $$$

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level 43
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 09 feb 08 10:52 p.m.
i don't know about you guys, but i just had a great "adventure" =D

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level 17
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 10 feb 08 1:47 a.m.
I don't like the implication that has been made a number of time that those who bump off the Browse:newest use this as their sole 'tactic' and that that method in some way distracts from discovering good music.
As in the bricks and mortar record shop, if I have time I'd sift through all the 'racks', if I was just passing I might pop in and look at my favorite genre or artist or in the Newest box.
Unless I'm being very naive I don't think anyone used Browse:Newest 'just' to amass points, after all t61 points can't be spent in your local travel agent. The wheat and chaff was still sorted. And the points later spent on more wheat.

I'm happy to wait and see what happens. But let's not make this an 'us and them' thing.

BTW the Rack quality is much improved and a great way to find good music. However one needs to have time to listen, something I don't have a lot of. So I shall continue to check out whats new, albeit in a much more fiddly and time consuming way.

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level 40
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 10 feb 08 7:39 a.m.
I'm shocked how much the system changed when the "newest" area went away... I just recently started going to the page, and I don't really miss it... But songs take longer to get momentum and now lesser known artist just kind of bounce along...

I've always listened to a bunch of music -- love the rack for that reason -- but this change has shifted the eco-system. Time will tell if it shifts the balance too far to "Adventure" and too far from "Game".

That said, I applaud James and the gang for keeping their eye on finding the right mix. Maybe we listeners would wring our hands less if you didn't bother to explain yourself, ala Google's algorithm. You are working towards the best possible experience, maybe you just tell us when you get there... (but if you guys are like me, you'll always be in a beta...)

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level 36
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 10 feb 08 7:47 a.m.
Reading and re-reading through this thread, I still can't find the answer to the "WHY is it wrong for good songs, good artists to consistently get high bumps?" Just because I don't care for 'My Cunting Daughter' as a band, doesn't mean I will support then any other time, whether it's Browse>Newest or Browse>Only My Cunting Daughter Songs!!!

And as far as the bumps go, if one doesn't like the game, do as you will. It was the great part of the site. It allowed you to do what you wanted and effectively. I still say more control is detrimental to the "Spirit" of this site.

In essence, each new change makes this site get closer to the traditional Record Company model: We tell you what to listen to, how and when. You will pay what we say and the songs that we like get rotation. That's not a good model for this kind of music utopia.


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level 37
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 10 feb 08 8:21 a.m.
I've stated that as well, Apocalypse, and haven't seen anyone mention how bumping good artists is detrimental.

Someone noted that Band of Horses was still discovered... ok... so why change it?

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level 44
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 10 feb 08 9:06 a.m.
Che made that observation. And I thought it was quite ironic that the only way I found the new Band of Horses tracks was in a discussion thread debating the merits of the the removal of Browse:Newest.

Until and unless the next evolution of new track mining is implemented, listener engineered events like KosmiKRay's bump party (scheduled for tonight), and individual listeners using their walls and subscriptions to both bands and other listeners is the only way the niche music and little known bands are going to get any attention.

Then there's going to be the ubergamers who systematically go through the entire artist catalog and add every single artist to their subscriptions...

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level 39
Re: "A Music Adventure?" | 10 feb 08 9:53 a.m.
I'm fully indifferent as having a browse>newest function has minimal impact on how I use the site, but I understand why so many people are upset.


I think the problem wasn't that people were bumping good bands, the problem was that people were bumping familiar bands. (Which, as an aside, also goes to the popularity of cover songs).

Then if songs got uploaded at weird hours or didn't get enough to get rapidly posted, they would essentially disappear. Take Marconi's Radio for example.

That's not the only way, it just happened to be the way. That song showed up fairly rapidly on the activity page.

The ads are pay per click through. I would guess people listening to that page might be less apt to click through. But couldn't be sure without seeing the statistics. Out of habit I don't click ads anywhere since most advertising is crap.

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