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HipHop: A "Popcorn Time" for music (gethiphop.net)
140 points by galapago on June 5, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 155 comments



> We believe that listening to music should always be free and available to everyone, and that only owning it should bare a cost.

I hate this entitlement. As if it was their decision. As if they were running a social movement.

I am all for open access to arts, but this is the artists decision and not some programmers, just because they can.


Completely right! They have to build a spotify / popcorn clone for open, not for commercial music.

I took a short look into their source code and I discovered that they are using youtube (google video) for playback, the iTunes API to get the top list, LastFM to get the covers. One song is round about 20MB because they play the entire video. Nothing more then a youtube fronted stitched together from 3 API's and inspired by Popcorn Time. I think google will block it as soon as they can.

And after a short try I mentioned that some songs are only bad covers from private people. Well ... yeah


HipHop is using Youtube's 128kbps or 192 audio stream only. It fallbacks on the video in the rare cases Youtube does not provide audio streams.


Except Google cannot block it so easily : API calls cannot be filtered out from legit ones using API keys or IP addresses


I hate the "have your cake and eat it too" mentality. If you want to control distribution don't put things on the Internet. This isn't 1999, what happens when you put stuff on the internet is well-known at this point. If you're unhappy with it, start a new network that has DRM baked-in so this isn't an issue.


Much of the music available of on youtube was not released by the artists.

If the statement were "we want to make access to freely available music easier" (and we cannot police how it got to our sources) - sure. Go with it!


Even if the artist chooses not to distribute digitally, it may well appear online in some digital format anyway.


Only if they are creating art that is inherently digital.


Any art form can be converted to a digital format against the artist's will.


Exacty.. Is it also their "belief" that artists that worked hard on something should not be paid for what they made? Because then I think that would be as awesome as: Hey I have an idea, and you can be my partner. There is no money involved now, but would you be willing to work for a year without pay? See you Idea-Man


> but this is the artists decision and not some programmers

I think you meant to say "it is the copyright holders decision and not some artists"


Who to assign the copyright to is the artists decision, so it is - ultimately - the artists decision.


As I said below, if this is backended on YouTube artists will collect royalties provided they are collecting them.


> I am all for open access to arts, but this is the artists decision and not some programmers, just because they can.

Looks like this very app proves your assertion wrong: programmers -- by creating this app -- made it so listening to music is free.

I'm not commenting on the moral aspect of it, only the practical.


> I'm not commenting on the moral aspect of it, only the practical.

I would accept the practical part if they hadn't put out that statement.

I am commenting on the moral aspect of it, not on the practical.


I absolutely agree. Plus how is 'owning music' different from being able to always listen to it for free?


I'm on the way of building an open source spotify-alike app. For now it already has a server and a osx web-based client app. https://github.com/knoopx/headbang.app


You should join the HipHop project, you could contribute a lot


"We believe your HipHop software should be open source and available for everyone to investigate."



I assume they mean "bear a cost", unless this is some UK/US spelling disagreement.


They are collating youtube content... So... everything you said is a bit ridiculous.


Not the parent but I agree completely with him. First of all YouTube content is monotised by video ads which you won't be able to see with this. Secondly their statement that: "... listening to music should always be free and available to everyone, and that only owning it should bare a cost" is nothing but greedy and entitled. Nobody has the right to decide that something someone else has spent time and money creating should be available for free without the creators having a say.

Not to mention the fact that the music industry has made music incredibly cheap and available over the last few years. $10 per month for access to most of the music ever recorded on all your devices is an incredible deal. And it's available to almost everyone in the world via streaming services like Deezer (which is available in over 180 countries).


> First of all YouTube content is monotised by video ads

None of that money goes to the artist... that goes to google... So you are okay with someone else making money of the free labour of artists, but not someone NOT making money of the free labour of artists. Interesting position.

> Nobody has the right to decide that something someone else has spent time and money creating should be available for free without the creators having a say.

The creator does have a say. They can not release the content, they can DMCA the youtube videos, etc etc.

Who decided that you should pay for culture? Who has the right to decide such thing? If society disagrees with that decision is that not another "piece of culture" ?


> None of that money goes to the artist... that goes to google...

Youtube uses an ad-revenue sharing program. So video creators/uploaders do get a share of money from the ad, even if it is marginal.


A tiny fraction sure. But google make a lot more.

So your real issue is with the YouTube API for not supplying ads with content?


I take offense in their statement, not the methodology. As I said in other responses: sold differently, I would be perfectly okay with what they are doing.


So you have no problem with the actions... just the rhetoric?

That's an interesting position I've encountered the opposite before, but not this.

Does the rhetoric really matter?


What kind of question is this?

Ask any politician, public speaker and successful fundraiser whether rhetoric matters.


me too! for music there are good and paid consumer solutions. i like popcorn, because they are (at least i hope) pushing the movie industry into the right direction...


The main selling point of Popcorn Time is that it allows to watch movies more easily than solutions that asks money for that. I don't think music industry has this problem — there are services like Spotify, Rdio and many more that offers painless listening.

That aside, the app looks really polished and I'm glad it has Linux support backed in.


Spotify randomly deleted my offline library on android. Of course when I was traveling and didn't have a data plan. Canceled my premium subscription a month ago or so. This happened multiple times to me.

Yup I'm at the point again where maintaining my own library is more convinient again. It's exactly the DRM shit I won't put up with. Also spotify, rdio etc. Are exactly the same price with the same restrictions per plan (in .ch at least). Price cartel, oligopoly?


I use Spotily for streaming however I don't use it to create a offline library exactly for this DRM shit.

I'd rather outright buy the songs somewhere else and have them backed up on another computer as well with btsync just in case these DRM apps try to pull some crap.


I used to buy songs from an online store ( Flyte by Flipkart.com, which later was shutdown ) and upload it to Ubuntu One ( which too is going to be shutdown ).

The above scenario worked perfectly for me. I could access all my music anytime and from any device but unfortunately looks it didn't work out for the vendors :)


I'm looking into this (again! I used to buy from 7digital but it seems they're no longer in the same business model) after having used Rdio for quite some time, because I just hate not being able to play songs when I most want to because I don't have internet or it's flaky or I'm at another machine.

From a quick research it seemed that Amazon MP3 was DRM-free.. not that I trust them too much or would want to support Amazon, but it seemed the only option with a good catalogue.


AFAIK, iTunes has a larger selection of DRM-free music than Amazon. And if you don't want to use Amazon or iTunes, I was under the impression that essentially all pay by the song / album services are DRM-free, and have been since shortly after iTunes dropped music DRM.


yeah, this still appears to an unsolved problem, even the mighty flipkart were not able to sort out the licenses properly.

I think saavn pro might be an option.

http://www.saavn.com/pro/


Saavn pro is mobile only :(. I like their pricing though, paying Rs 5 as when you want for a day is an excellent way to let people try it out.


I use an old Android phone as music player when out. It is on flight mode so battery lasts forever, the system doesn't have random sync hiccups and Spotify has not lost offline library so far. It only goes out of flight mode when I want to sync a new playlist. Works OK this way. Definitely more convenient than juggling a collection of MP3s: want to go on a ride/run, find a workout playlist, mark it as offline, go into flight mode, ready.


Spotify did the same to me, multiple times. Last time yesterday when my pc randomly lost permissions for offline storage.

But that is not an excuse. The music industry in trying to provide alternative ways, and I extremely appreciate it and think that we need to be supportive. Only by supporting this changes we will ever see any improvements, we need to find a middleground that can satisfy both parties. Spotify offers a great service on a great platform. It can have his hippicus but that can happen with everything. What would happen if the player app you are using to play your offline library breaks and you have no data?


"What would happen if the player app you are using to play your offline library breaks and you have no data?"

A traditional media player breaking almost never touches its "offline library".

WMP, Clementine, Foobar2000, Amarok, MPD, Audacious, so on and so forth. Hell you can use VLC as a music player if you wanted to. What happens to your songs if any of these crashes? What happens to the data if you delete the entire application from your computer? Nothing. The data is still there. The application is separate from the data it plays.

Now if the OS has issues, or the hard drive, or a few other things: Your data might be lost, but that is almost never the fault of the "player app".


Usually the media players I use, they uhm play media. Like in open(...,'r'). And should it break my library then I have backups, because there is no DRM with the only usecase of trying to annoy me.

So no, I don't support them. I use Steam though, I think they got DRM right for the most part. I'd prefer no DRM, really. But with Steam I don't notice any DRM. That's good enough for me. I only use it in online mode though.


gaben has said numerous times that he cares more about cheaters than pirates. Steam implements anti-cheating technology, but afaict many games don't include DRM unless the publisher demands it.


It's absolutely the opposite. We need not to be supportive. The industry has demonstrated time and time again it is more than happy with the status quo, and the only reason it's even gone as far as Spotify and co is that people voted with their feet/cash. Be supportive of their efforts, and they'll take that as a sign to stop right there. Sticks, not carrots.


On the contrary. As long as something like the "Music Industry" exists, there seems to be too much money going into the wrong hands (e.g., people apart from artists & sound engineers).


But this is a throwing the baby out with the bath water scenario. Here no-one, even the deserving, gets any money.

While we'd all like a situation where those who've added most value get the lions share of the reward, this solution takes us from them getting a small percentage to them getting nothing. That seems to me to be worse rather than better.


Don't forget all the services you mentioned have region restrictions and most are pretty much legally bound to those restrictions. Also they are more or less a freemium service.

I guess HipHop isn't.


Only in the few first world countries that these services operate in.


True... Luckily I'm in one of these countries at the moment.

However I'm certain my country of birth is still not covered by these services so in that case this is a good alternative.


>> "Only in the few first world countries that these services operate in."

False. Spotify is available in 45 countries. Deezer is available in over 180!


Given how stringent Germany is with regard to copyright laws and adding huge fees to everything played anywhere I'm amazed Spotify made it here, but it has and I use it every day.


You only need to register "in" one of these countries. Spotify works everywhere with an internet connection after that.


>there are services like Spotify, Rdio and many more that offers painless listening.

Sadly most of these are only available in the US – and there are ~500 million people in the EU without access to most of these services.

Luckily it gets better nowadays, Spotify exists in most countries here, iTunes in contrast to Google Play actually sells everywhere (GPlay only in some countries here) and with Netflix coming to Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and some other countries from 2015 on movie piracy will also go down.


The main selling point of PT is that it allows watching movies for free. It's not easier because you can't easily watch PT on a Television, the main place people watch movies.

This duplicates PT's main selling point.


No adverts?


It always has to be free with you people... You don't want adverts? Pay for the service. Spotify is well worth the money, £10/month is almost giving it away.


Artists make nothing from Spotify, so why is it so much worse to use a service that is completely free?


Spotify has paid artists more than $1B to date, $500 million in 2013 alone.

source: http://www.spotifyartists.com/spotify-explained/


Totals don't speak to individual income, what is the mean, median, and range per artist?


True that, they make pennies, but they do get exposure. But then if your going down the 'Every pirate play is a lost sale' route they should be giving the artists more. Has there been profit data released about spotify? What does there CEO make?


However, unlike Popcorn Time, this one is closed source.


While there is no license in the repo so it is technically not open source, the code is available: https://github.com/hiphopapp/hiphop



I know that there's a kick to be got out of circumventing the draconian rules big music/film industry lobby into law, but what do the writers think about independents that they effectively take down in the same blow? This is a genuine question, not an attack.

I've spent a lot of time studying/writing/playing music and through that have got to personally know many of the most talented and versatile musicians I've ever come across. These people are skilled like Douglas Crockford, John Resig, you name it. But they have to make the assumption that the music they want to do - their own music - will never make any money in a recorded format, forcing them to do wedding gigs during the day instead.

I'm interested to know what people think about this. Do people think that the end (taking power away from big music industry) justifies the loss for those small-time players, or is it something that simply hasn't been considered at all?

Do you have a justification for saying that all music should be free, or is it just that it would be nice if all music was free?


> I'm interested to know what people think about this. Do people think that the end (taking power away from big music industry) justifies the loss for those small-time players, or is it something that simply hasn't been considered at all?

My opinion: The end justifies the loss.

Secure and private file sharing is going to be essential for ensuring liberty in the future. I am absolutely convinced about that. You can't have that and make piracy impossible at the same time. The people who make tools for circumventing digital restrictions today are doing the groundwork for essential technology of the future.


Why is it essential? And why is this liberty? People may disagree with you and tell that musicians must have the liberty to get money from their music through sales. Can we really force them to give it for free? Music production cost a lot of money and involve a lot of persons to work on it. Musicians already have to do a lot of gigs to cover the cost of recording music. Even artists like Jeff Buckley had to work a lot to repay the studio.


It has nothing to do with music. The sharing of music is only a side-effect of free and private sharing of digital information in general.

There are a number of drawbacks with enabling private digital communications: It makes the sharing of copyrighted works possible without the possibility for law enforcement to intervene, it enables the spread of child pornography or other criminal and morally unjustifiable information, etc.

The thing is, that is a price that is worth paying, because the alternative is a complete loss of liberty. If the government can prevent you from sharing music, it can prevent you from sharing anything. This may not be a problem for you personally right now, but it is a huge problem for people living in North Korea or Syria, for example.

Besides this, it is not at all clear that private sharing of digital information is automatically detrimental to musicians. While it is easier to share music for free, it is also easier for the musicians themselves to reach out directly to their fans. Whereas it used to be the case that you needed a record deal signed with a major label to have anyone even hear your music, these days you can become a major star, making a comfortable living off your music without ever signing a contract with a major label.


>> "Besides this, it is not at all clear that private sharing of digital information is automatically detrimental to musicians."

Seems like this would be pretty easy to work out. Look at the amount of money musicians made 30 years ago and compare it with today.

>> "Whereas it used to be the case that you needed a record deal signed with a major label to have anyone even hear your music, these days you can become a major star, making a comfortable living off your music without ever signing a contract with a major label."

This needs to be proven. Show me some of these big stars. If I look through the top 100 albums or singles I doubt I'll find 5 that have done it without the help of a label.


"major star" may have been a bit strong, of course you won't make it onto the top 100 lists since those are completely controlled and owned by the major labels.

Making a comfortable living without a label contract is certainly possible. 2 seconds of googling found this person: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordis_Unga


I totally agree that we do not know if it has effect on musicians. But I do not think we should ignore it and just move. We need to find solutions if it is bad for them before breaking the whole system down.


I don't agree. I think it is more important to ensure free and private communications for people in oppressive regimes today than it is to ensure steady incomes for full-time musicians. Something that has, frankly, never been the case in history, before or after digital sharing.


But enabling private communication is not the same as a public free for all. Some information should use private communication, but not be shared publicly, some examples that comes to mind is credit card numbers or private encryption keys.


How do you determine what information is legitimately private and what is not? If the only information that is ever transmitted under encryption is that which your adversary doesn't want you to transmit -- that is, if the only encrypted traffic is communication which the oppressor regime doesn't want to allow -- then the oppressor regime can easily prevent all encrypted traffic from reaching its destination. The only way to fight that is to encrypt everything. And if everything is secret, how do you prevent piracy? You can't. It is impossible.

Thus, the only way piracy is ever going to be fought is through examples being made. A grandmother who inadvertently downloaded Madonnas latest album by mistake is sentenced to pay millions in damages. A teenager listening to her favorite band is sentenced to ten years in prison.

What is worse? Ruining someone's life because they listened to the music they like, or musicians /possibly/ not getting paid as much as they /possibly/ might have earned, were there no internet?

I know what I think is the right response to that. And I say that as a person who once thought he'd make a living making music. Of course, wanting to do that and actually being able to are completely separate things. Perhaps it's not the piracy which is holding the musician back. Perhaps they are just not good enough.


Musicians have only recently been able to make money from recorded media. I see this as a temporary anomaly allowed by the state of technology in the 20th century (i.e. existence of mass media as a physical product).

Musicians (and other artists) can still make money from e.g. performing live - which I'm assuming was their dominant form of income before the 20th century.

I don't believe that a monetary incentive is necessary for good art. I understand that artists need to eat, but also that not everyone can eat from being an artist.

The internet is very important to me as an open and free resource. I can't see how information can be made non-private and scarce at the same time, so I can't see how we can pay for music and keep the internet as I want it.


It's a little-known fact that before the 20th century there was no artistic production of any kind. ;)

In more seriousness, I'd guess that the traditional dominant sources of income for musicians were (a) patronage and (b) being independently wealthy; I doubt giving performances mattered all that much.


That's a very good point. I had an image in my head of traveling musicians playing lutes but that's a bit unrepresentative! Especially of music that has endured through time (e.g. classical composition).

Instead of patronage / wealth, I suppose that a market mechanism could be used to support music creation in a wider section of society. However, I would actually argue for income redistribution to support that.


>> "I don't believe that a monetary incentive is necessary for good art."

It's not necessary but it's important. I'll explain how:

1) If artists can not earn money from their art the need a full time job to support themselves, provide food and shelter and pay the bills.

2) They will also need some of this money to pay for equipment and in the case of musicians studio time, sound engineers, mastering engineers, designers (for album art) etc.

3) They will need to spend some of their free time (after work) online managing their social media, promoting their music etc.

4) With the very little time they have left they need to write songs, record demos, make time (somehow) for a few days in the studio and then distribute the music.

If things were like this in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's we would not have some of the great albums we have today. Art takes time. If the artist has to do all of the above it leaves very little time for the actual art and we get mediocre art. We might get some good art. It's unlikely we will get great art.


There wasn't great art pre 20th century?


Yes definitely and those people got paid. Lots of the great works of art were commissioned be the wealthy. Other great works of art were created by people starving and living in shit. By allowing artists to sell their work at a low price they get to live comfortably, we get lots of great stuff, and nearly everyone can afford it. They don't have to make a choice between not creating great work and creating great work but living a horrid life. The current system (which has been getting cheaper and cheaper for consumers) is the fairest for everyone imo.


I guess where I disagree is that society should be deciding what is an ideal system for a given profession and attempting to lock-in a standard of living for that profession by maintaining the status quo to the detriment of progress and other industries. I disagree that there should be "blessed" professions that are given this honor.


I'm not involved with this project at all, but I do think you raise some interesting points.

First of all lets acknowledge the fact that if these tracks are on Youtube, they are publicly available for free, and unless they are registering 100k+ views per song, these artists are not making any money off these tracks.

Second, musicians taking wedding gigs and whatnot to supplement their creative careers is not a result of piracy; musicians, filmmakers and photographers have been doing that since always and probably always will.

Third, if these musicians are resorting to private functions like weddings to finance their creative career, its likely that they don't have a wide enough fan base and revenue stream for a product like this to significantly affect them.

In my opinion.


Not many musicians expect to make money from selling records.

It used to be "do free shows to sell records". Now it's completely reversed to "do free records to sell shows".


And that's actually been the industry's best response to it all - move the monetization to the thing you can't copy.

My concern is for authors, game designers and others for whom there is no such substitution possible.


I don't know about the gaming industry, but most authors make the bulk of their income off of speaking gigs, book signings, readings, etc.

Actually, most are unsuccessful and make their entire income off of a second job, but most successful authors make their income from the above.


Are you sure?

I know a friend who is a published, relatively successful author (makes a solid but not spectacular living from it) makes most of his money from the old fashioned business of selling actual books.


> But they have to make the assumption that the music they want to do - their own music - will never make any money in a recorded format, forcing them to do wedding gigs during the day instead.

Or concerts/show. Is that such an alien concept? A musician performing their art live, in front of an audience?


The name is really confusing. A music app called HipHop that isn't focused in hip hop music in particular? That's like naming a bookstore "Comics" and selling all kinds of books.

Rapgenius may be branching out (and I have the same doubts in them keeping the rapgenius name), but at least they actually started with rap.


In your example, I'd argue that hip hop is a more dominating segment of music than comics are of books. Maybe a book store called "Novel" that sold all kinds of books, which sounds less far fetched for some reason.


Dominating in youth, not well respected by older people, getting into the mainstream because people born in the 80s grew up with it... I don't know, comics sounded like a good counterpart.


"Novel" is the medium. It'd be more like calling a bookstore "Chick Lit" and selling all genres.


"In computer networking, a hop is one portion of the path between source and destination. Data packets pass through routers and gateways on the way. Each time packets are passed to the next device, a hop occurs."


Facebook uses hiphop as a name for a php platform, and that's fine. The problem here is that you are using it in a music context.


It use youtube to have the file of the track https://github.com/hiphopapp/hiphop/blob/master/coffee/_play... And lastfm/itunes for the information (artist, title, cover) https://github.com/hiphopapp/hiphop/blob/master/coffee/_Trac...


I think Youtube won't like it when third parties use their content, but hide the video player.


This kind of app appears to be prohibited in the YouTube terms of service https://developers.google.com/youtube/terms :

II. Prohibitions

Your API Client will not, and You will not encourage or create functionality for Your users or other third parties to:

8. separate, isolate, or modify the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available through the YouTube API;

9. promote separately the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available through the YouTube API;

So I can't imagine it lasting long.


The response to that would probably be for HipHop to integrate code used to download YouTube content (like that used by https://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/). API access isn't necessary.

EDIT: Looks like they already use a YouTube downloader, and not the API: https://github.com/hiphopapp/hiphop/blob/master/coffee/_play...


For those of you who get the error of libudev.so.0 library. Following commands will help.

1) sudo apt-get install libudev1 2) ln -s /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libudev.so.1 ./libudev.so.0

--You could put this part in a batch file --- 3) LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$(pwd):$LD_LIBRARY_PATH ./HipHop $


As a part time musician who needs to spend around 10k for a new album I find this frustrating.


With due respect for you as someone trying to make money as a musician, your problem is that no-one knows your music, not that people are 'stealing' it.


Why? Is your income limited by lack of discoverability or lack of people willing to put in money for it?

First you need the audience. Without big marketing budgets free sharing of music is the best you have. Even if people were willing to pay for good music, many would prefer to just browse the free alternatives because there are tons of good musicians willing to race to the bottom.

It's not like you are alone. There are tons and tons of struggling musicians out there, but you compete aganist each other. Not only that, bur you also compete against other forms of entertainment too. How can I, as a consumer, get to listen to your music if not for free on YouTube?


> Why? Is your income limited by lack of discoverability or lack of people willing to put in money for it?

I'm going to go with both. There has always been a host of undiscovered talent out there that never make it "big", ie: can sustain themselves and their families by doing music full time. (See Rodriguez and Searching for Sugar Man on how this goes), this goes back way before the Internet.

> Even if people were willing to pay for good music, many would prefer to just browse the free alternatives because there are tons of good musicians willing to race to the bottom.

This is exactly the problem. Were willing to pay for good music? This is the exact thing the parent is complaining about. Younger folk think it is for some reason not normal to pay someone else for their hard earned talent and work they put in to entertain you. There has always been a "race to the bottom". Some would say The Monkees were the poor man's Beatles, etc.

The parent is complaining that it is or should be somehow acceptable or normal that you get to listen to his product for free, even if it is against his wishes. Just because you can easily copy his entire music catalog in 3 minutes over the Internet doesn't change the fact that he should be able to charge you to listen to an album that took months to create.

> How can I, as a consumer, get to listen to your music if not for free on YouTube?

Contact the artist? Ask to buy their cd / 12" / mp3 / whatever from their online service?


do you find that your ROI for your albums has significantly decreased in recent years due to piracy or products like this?


The guys from Tek Syndicate[1] seem to be ok with piracy of their albums however they do ask you to buy it if you think it's good and worth the money.

I think that approach is the best one to have. Pirate it try it out if you really love it please buy it.

You can find it here[2] i know it's a pain to find a link to the album on the main site I need to send them a message about it.

[1] https://teksyndicate.com/

[2] http://zweihander.bandcamp.com/


> As a part time musician who needs to spend around 10k for a new album I find this frustrating.

If people download your album for free, and they listen to it and like it, they might want to buy concert tickets/merchandise/etc.. Isn't that a good thing, at least?


Would you mind sharing what that money goes into?


As someone looking to do this myself I can tell you. Any good studio these days charges at least $100/hour for time recording. Even if you walk in ready to go, it can take 4 or more hours to record one song. More if there are complicated production tasks like auditioning different guitar amps or vocal mics.

At some studios, their price includes an engineer, but often a good engineer charges extra. Once the song is recorded, a separate mixing engineer will take the raw tracks and make a finished mix. Then a mastering engineer will polish them further for different markets including radio or AAC. And if you need or want a producer, arranger, cowriter, or session player, you have to pay them for their time. All the while you need to eat and pay rent as an artist or band.

$10k is an average budget for a short album, and consider to break even an artist must sell 13,000 songs if independent through iTunes, more if they split revenue with a label. How many artists have less than 13,000 fans? This is why many record deals today include touring revenue as part of the contract, because they know they can't sell enough downloads to recoup the cost.


Those costs will highly depend on the kind of music and your ambition. In my opinion many artists do not actually need professional mastering. If recording an album is a loss anyways, why not make your music free and see if you can find enthusiast hobbyists to do the fine tuning for free as well.


It's certainly easier to DIY these days for some things -- electronic music comes to mind, but there's no replacement for a properly treated studio with all the appropriate equipment on hand. You get what you pay for.

> many artists do not actually need professional mastering

Almost everything sold commercially has been mastered, the only stuff I have heard unmastered is on Soundcloud/Youtube for a reason. Having a skilled third party polish a track is essential.

> why not make your music free

Why is this acceptable for a musician but not for a film director, actor, programmer, or any other career professional? Should all films now be made DIY with volunteer actors and we'll just have hobbyist special effects and post added? What are these hobbyists supposed to do to pay rent and eat?

Music is an expensive business, and digital downloading hasn't changed that. That's why it's frustrating to hear people feel entitled to free music, even if there's not much we can do to change it.


The first thing I thought of as a successful independent music producer - are my tracks on there? And why are they trying to steal away my 0.000000001c that Spotify pays me? (exaggeration for effect)

Also, why the opinion that listening to music should always be free? How is that a worthwhile cause? It's like saying driving cars should be free, but owning one should cost money.

edit: Just saw that it uses Youtube for the source files. Do the plays count against the Youtube video then? If so, great.


Why the opinion that it shouldn't be free? Technology has made it defacto free.


It's actually a well-designed youtube client that doesn's show the video to the users, just the music, am i right?


> We believe that listening to music should always be free and available to everyone, and that only owning it should bare a cost.

Why?


I am still consistently frustrated by lack of video content at reasonable prices, and while I never used it, Popcorn Time seemed like a good thing to me.

But, music is a solved problem for me, via Spotify, and I find then that my gut feeling on this is instead that it's parasitic.


For me, video is solved by Amazon Instant Video. They have everything, and it's usually $2-3 a video.


Except if you're in the world (not the US).


Again, this is a regional problem – in my country we have no Netflix and videos on Amazon Instant Video cost at least 7 or 8$ each (just for renting them for viewing them one time – if you want to view them multiple times, pay 19$)

Which means Amazon Instant Video is, if you want to watch videos multiple times, more expensive than buying the DVD or BluRay.


Oh, you're right. I guess I mostly buy TV show episodes.


Maybe I should look more in to that. I'm using Netflix, which I pay for, and Amazon's ondemand video stuff I get from Prime. I paid for the most recent Sherlock, but I think I'm still a bit cheap for anything that isn't All You Can Eat.


So you're saying that music is priced reasonably but video is not... which is the difference between PT being good and HipHop being bad... what makes you the sole decider of pricing? To me it seems that either both are valid or none are.


That's exactly what I'm saying. I'm not the sole decider, I'm expressing an opinion.


Spotify doesn't have everything and it has ads.


It has ads if you refuse to pay for the service. And if you want to keep the music without DRM, you can try something like Amazon Cloud Player or Google Play or use your own server. There are plenty of solutions for music now.


I happily pay for Spotify, so no ads. I want to pay, I just want to pay a price that's affordable, and consume it in a way that's convenient.

And anything it doesn't have, and I want (Beatles, previously Led Zep), I tend to have already bought, and have available via iTunes Match.


Since this whole post seems to have turned into a debate on supporting artists, etc... I'd like to add the idea of going to as many concerts as possible and supporting local/small music at a mich higher rate thannational/international acts. Even when attending a major concert, a higher percentage of the merch and ticket sales, etc. reaches the actual artist.

I understand this isn't an option for everyone but I think more people should consider it.


Where are the tracks coming from?


youtube


I like exploring rarely heard and legally downloadable music on http://www.jamendo.com


If this is backed out by YouTube then the artists involved do receive the royalties from plays provided they are hooked up to a payment collection agency, which are geographically specific.

I searched for one of the artists (Talk Less Say More) from my label (Records On Ribs - http://recordsonribs.com) and it instantly played.


If it sources the tracks from youtube I don't really understand why it needs to be a native app. http://streamus.com/ is a pretty neat chrome extension that does very similar but there are also plenty of websites that do this.


Some people like native apps. There's room for both here.


Nice! I like to listen to some japanese artists, which are not available on spotify etc. Here they are!


It seems the quality of many of the songs are sub-optimal. Would be nice to have some sort of bit rate indicator in the GUI so that I could skip the 128kbps songs. Other than that it seems to have everything I've looked for


As far as I can see, they prefer 128 kbps Vorbis (but I'm not that good with Coffee script): https://github.com/hiphopapp/hiphop/blob/master/coffee/_play...


They should allow you to choose the "preferred quality" in Settings. Show you say the 192kbps songs first, and if they can't find that song of that quality, then show you the ones in lower quality, in descending order.


quality indeed is my main concern too ... I haven't started using any of the cloud services simply because none (that I know) provides lossless music.


WiMP recently launched a lossless streaming service (http://wimpmusic.com/). It's not available in the US though.


thanks, they seem to be looking for how much people is waiting for the service to be available in other countries ... so I just registered!


Also Qobuz.


> quality indeed is my main concern too ... I haven't started using any of the cloud services simply because none (that I know) provides lossless music.

Have you tried performing an A/B test to see if you can tell the difference between lossless CD audio and 192 kbit AAC (the format used for 720p video on YouTube)?


hi, no I haven't A/B tested those but I'm sure the videos sound very good. The hifi equipment is probably far more important than the quality issues of a 192AAC vs the CD.

Yet, I think you're looking at it from the wrong perspective, let me give you an argument.

Keeping the sound of good quality while lowering the bandwidth is an issue; the 192bit AAC is a great achievement in that regard.

Recording and reproducing music with highest quality is another; the CD itself is not entirely lossless in this context.

So I just think for a music streaming service it would be nice to not diminish the music quality at the source of reproducing chain.


This is an alternative, depends on soundcloud for tracks. Front-end is under development though. https://github.com/effive/Auk


Typo: "bare a cost" should be "bear a cost".


This is nice. Do you think you could add support for the keyboard media keys (back, forward, pause, etc.) and volume controls present on the standard mac keyboard?


Allegedly searches 45 million songs but returns only a few results which aren't even sortable. Doesn't seem that useful.


When I came across this I genuinely thought it was referring to Facebook's Hip Hop Virtual Machine--not music at all.


Looks neat. I want to know if this consumes the same bandwidth required to stream a video ..


Popcorn time really filled a void; how is hiphop different from say, grooveshark or deezer?


Interesting. Is the source available?



What's the catch?


It'll probably be shut down by this weekend.


Still up!


No web app?


Youtube.com


there's no web support for now.




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