I saw it coming, changes to Mixcloud

Mixing live in the EMFCamp null sector

Today there was a email from Mixcloud.com

Nico here, CEO and co-founder of Mixcloud. Today we’re announcing upcoming changes to Mixcloud:
From December 1st we’re introducing a maximum allowance of 10 published shows for creators on the basic tier.

Why is this happening?

We believe DJs and producers should be rewarded for the skill and creativity that goes into their work. That’s why for over 10 years we’ve subsidized hosting costs and built tools that enable creators to grow and earn money.

We also believe artists should be paid when their music is played. That’s why every show uploaded to Mixcloud is scanned by our content ID system. This enables us to identify the tunes being played and pay royalties to the artists who made them.

Unlike other platforms, we’ve spent years securing comprehensive licensing deals with the major and independent labels to ensure this money is paid to the right artists. We have shouldered these costs in order to create a fair music ecosystem.

Until now we’ve kept our basic tier uncapped. However, as we’ve grown our royalty and hosting costs have risen and we are not profitable. To continue running and improving Mixcloud we need to become more sustainable as a business, and Pro memberships help us cover our costs.

How will you be affected?

On 1st December all of your shows will remain published and available to listeners. But, if you want to make space for a new show, you will need to manually move shows into drafts until you are within the allowance or upgrade to Pro for unlimited published shows.

Fair point but I’m not totally convinced, as it wasn’t that long ago when rewind and track listing became not possible. It was clear to me that I needed to do something ahead of this all, hence why I setup my own webmix garden. I agree it would be great to pay the creators of the music, and using webmotization considered a way to do this.

Maybe this is where I part ways with Mixcloud? Its a shame but like all the people leaving Twitter due to Elon Musk. its just not suitable for me anymore.

I would still like to try that distributed payment pointer system and also explore the notion of distributed charts using DHTs, removing the need for huge amounts of centralised storage.

Pattersons pandemic run mix

Here is the first mix of the new year and its a Simon Patterson special. If you liked the previous Patterson’s panic attack. Its likely not going to play in certain regions as its all the same artist and mixcloud thinks I’m uploading a whole album.

Its a very heavy trance mix which whips along at a speedy 138 bpm and never lets up for 50 solid minutes.

Try going for a run with this mix playing, avoid those people and wear a mask.

Here is the playlist for Patterson’s pandemic run mix, enjoy!

  1. F16 – Simon Patterson
  2. Latika – Simon Patterson
  3. Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
  4. Smack – Simon Patterson
  5. Whites of her eyes – Simon Patterson
  6. Panic attack – Simon Patterson
  7. Opulence – Simon Patterson
  8. Dissolve – Simon Patterson feat Sarah Howells
  9. Strip search – Simon Patterson
  10. Taxi – Simon Patterson
  11. Us – Simon Patterson

https://www.mixcloud.com/cubicgarden/pattersons-pandemic-run/

Replacing Mixcloud with Funkwhale

Funkwhale mixes

For a long while I have been threatening to leave Mixcloud in favour of hosting my own mixes. I looked around and thought funkwhale looks great as its a federated network for music. With some help from JonT, I started to scrape the metadata I stupidly forgot to keep for myself.

I installed Funkwhale on the Yunoserver but spent too much time trying to work out how to mount my NAS on the Yunoserver. I gave Navidrome but  decided it wasn’t right as there was no way to listen without logging in, so went back to Funkwhale and got things up and running.

Seems Funkwhale might not be the best solution for the mixes, plus the developer is looking for new maintainers recently. Its really setup for single tracks not mixes. I could upload mixes but my plan to use cue files, won’t work. The only place to put playlists is in the comments. I also need to do more digging as I can’t change the year of the mixes. More importantly, the public sharing is a bit broken for me. You should be able to listen to the radio but its not working for me

Funkwhale profile

As I get my head around it all but you can subscribe via RSS and if you’re using Mastodon or other fediverse applications, you can subscribe to this account: @digitalitalicmixes@mixes.cubicgarden.info.

Enjoy, I’m one step closer to self hosting my mixes.

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Dec 2020)

Jessica gordon nembhard

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed, watching people shaming others for not working extra hard during the pandemic, employers spying on their employees and our continuing reliance on centralised servers.

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You are seeing aspects of this happening with Google implementing Signal’s open source E2EE protocol and Google loosening control of the Chromium project


BBC R&D’s New forms of value research explained by MaxAlexLianne and myself

Ian thinks: Yes this is a bit meta but its great to deep dive into the cutting edge research of BBC R&D’s lab. Remember its all for the benefit of the citizens of the UK and far wider. Worth also listening to the Human Values podcast series if you want to know more about what Lianne talks about.

The Solid project hits a mile stone in development

Ian thinks: Following BBC R&D’s new forms of value, one of the key research aims is using personal data stores. Solid is one such personal data store and its hit a mile stone with a number of different partners.

Hacking society for the sake society

Ian thinks: Bruce Schneier’s talk from Tech Open Air is well worth 20mins of your time. Its a combinations of what goes into these notes. Security, privacy, hacking, dis-information, policy and the internet.

The key for securing our shared water future

Ian thinks: In this sobering Tedx talk, Seth makes clear we are running low on shared water. Seth talks about a rethink of our policy, technology and cooperation around this space.

What black ideas from the past we could take into the future

Ian thinks: Jessica and Douglas talk about how black communities already developed circular economic mechanisms and how effective they have been.

Technology always transforms ethics

Ian thinks: Juan’s thoughts are important to take in, he touches on so many points from ethics to politics. All framed within alongside technology disruption. I did find it strange he never used Brexit in his last reply about example of breaking up a nation.

An unscientific look at algorithms and my phone is still listening to me

Ian thinks: Wired magazine creates a quick and dirty test looking at Youtube’s recommendation algorithm. Plus that classic notion that your phone is listening to you.
Both are crude but if the social dilemma has taught me anything these actually help convince people

The challenges of IP in the coming world of ubiquitous game engine use

Ian thinks: Found via Simon Lumb, a real in-depth look at the challenges around IP in a world of game engines. There is also a podcast if like me you prefer audio

A musical trip into Nerdcore *explicit language

Ian thinks: Hip-hop artists talk about their reality and Nerdcore is no different. Its impressive and fascinating to hear how integrated internet & hacking culture has become in these artists life.


The archive is available here

The Secluded rave in my head mix

The Secluded rave in my head

My latest mix is a strange one. While sitting on my sofa trying to stay cool in front of multiple fans during some of the hottest days in Manchester. I busted out the pacemaker device and started to mix. I wasn’t really feeling very happy about the heat, hence this is quite a heavy mix which shifts, although only running at 130-ish bpm. I was thinking about redoing it with a different ending but maybe thats for another day.

The cover art is a combination of Artem Bryzgalov and Reynier Carl‘s work put together using my fav photo editing tool PhotoGIMP.

Enjoy the mix, which is another entry in the locked down, mixing out album of mixes.

  1. Anasthasia (Valentine boys rap mix) – T99
  2. Opium (Stan Kolev remix) – Jerome Isma Ae Alastor
  3. Orbion (Max Graham vs Protoculture remix) – Armin Van Buuren
  4. Freedom (Extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  5. Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
  6. Floyd (Extended mix) – Jerome Isma Ae Alastor
  7. Reflection (Extended mix) – Ferry Corsten
  8. Metro (US mix) – Oliver Lieb
  9. Time to Burn (12 inch long version) – Storm
  10. The wave 2.0 (Extended mix) – Cosmic Gate
  11. Night in Motion – Cubic 22
  12. Opium – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor

 

Stellar’s freedom mix

Looking into the universe
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Not really had the time to do many mixes in the last few months. I did this one while wondering around the Manchester when the Covid19 lock down was lifted. Its not very long (less than a hour) but its a interesting quick blast through a few newer tunes.

I haven’t yet setup my funkwhale or airsonic instance, so its mixcloud for now. Although I am making cue files along side my nfo files.

Enjoy!

  1. Stella – Jam & Spoon
  2. Natural (extended mix) – KhoMha
  3. The Dark night – KhoMha
  4. Floyd (extended mix)  – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  5. Opium (quivver remix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  6. Open up – Leftfield
  7. Follow me (Roger shah Extended deeper translation remix) – Jam Spoon
  8. Running up the hill (Jerome Isma-Ae bootleg) – Placebo
  9. Freedom (extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  10. Tears (protoculture remix) – Dakota

Update

Stellar’s Freedom made it to 78th in the global tech trance chart. Not bad as lots of DJs are now using Mixcloud in lockdown.

78th in the global techtrance chart

Update Monday 10th Aug

Another update to say Stellar’s Freedom is now at 47th in the global tech trance chart. I think its one of the highest rated mixes I have done. Going to need to do another one soon.

stellars freedom 47th in the global techtrance charts

The mayday lockdown night dance

Rave

Taking some hints from my previous live mix, I decided to make some changes and do another mix. This time not live, so its at the perfect volume now. Enjoy the mix which is up to 135bpm with lots of hands in the air trance for your listening pleasure… enjoy!

  1. Gouryella (From the heavens mix) – Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella
  2. Arise – Victor Ruiz & D Nox
  3. Follow me (Jerome Isma-Ae Extended remix) – Jam Spoon
  4. Call the galaxy taxi (Martin Roth Nu Style remix) – Plastic Angel
  5. Stellar – Driftwood
  6. Floyd (extended mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  7. Borealis – Dj Eco
  8. Breathe (Blake Jarrell remix) – Anna Nalick
  9. Freedom (extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  10. Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
  11. Soundbar (extended mix) – Giuseppe Ottaviani
  12. Numb the pain – Will Atkinson
  13. Everythings been written – 8 Wonders
  14. Tears (protoculture remix) – Dakota
  15. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Above & Beyond
  16. The Legacy 2.0 (Alphazone remix) – Funabashi pres. Saltwater
  17. Valhalla (tonerush remix) – OneBeat

A better way to listen to mixes online?

Funkwhale audio logo

For a while I have been thinking about leaving Mixcloud. Its nothing personal, I think its a great service for djs but its clear their business model is starting to interfere with the listening experience.

I had a thought about what Mixcloud do for me and decided these are the key things.

  1. Hosting the full mix with limited rights problems (unless you do something like play a track from the same author twice)
  2. The community of people and djs in one place
  3. Ability to see the actual tracks within the mix

With this in mind, I thought I’d see what else was out there as I’m lucky enough to be sitting on a large enough internet connection to host my own mixes and become a node on a larger decentralised network. If it was build like the fediverse, that could solve the community side too? After looking around for alternatives I found a new upstart called funkwhale. You may have seen I mention it recently in a previous blog.

Maybe 1 and 2 could be solved but what about 3?

The last part of the puzzle seemed to be the track problem, as you want seamless playback but get an idea of what you are listening to. Mixcloud does this via metadata, which you can create via a slider over the audio waveform. Some DJ systems create this for you like the Pacemaker for example but that metadata is lost in translation I found. If only there was a standard way to define areas of a mix without slicing the audio mix up?

For example, here is a ambient mix I liked recently.

Its by Tonepoet and even they have gone through the effort of adding this metadata to their personal site complete with timings. I do a similar thing but without the timings (which I really should have added since I had them all and entered them into Mixcloud manually.

I looked a number of things including a bunch of playlist formats including pls, m3u and xspf. Even looked at smil and asx to see if they would help, but their problem was player support. The issue seemed to be they all treated their smallest objects as physical files rather than subsets of files. I did buy into xspf thought it was close with this extension.

The extension element allows non-XSPF XML to be included in XSPF documents. The purpose is to allow nested XML, which the meta and link elements do not. xspf:playlist elements MAY contain zero or more extension elements.

<playlist version="1" xmlns="http://xspf.org/ns/0/" xmlns:cl="http://example.com">
  <extension application="http://example.com">
    <cl:clip start="25000" end="34500"/>
  </extension>
  <trackList />
</playlist>

Close but not quite right and player support for extensions was going to be low. This is when I rethought the problem with something like .nfo files and found .cue files. Here is an example…

REM GENRE Electronica
REM DATE 1998
PERFORMER "Faithless"
TITLE "Live in Berlin"
FILE "Faithless - Live in Berlin.mp3" MP3
  TRACK 01 AUDIO
    TITLE "Reverence"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
  TRACK 02 AUDIO
    TITLE "She's My Baby"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 06:42:00
  TRACK 03 AUDIO
    TITLE "Take the Long Way Home"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 10:54:00
  TRACK 04 AUDIO
    TITLE "Insomnia"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 17:04:00
  TRACK 05 AUDIO
    TITLE "Bring the Family Back"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 25:44:00
  TRACK 06 AUDIO
    TITLE "Salva Mea"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 30:50:00
  TRACK 07 AUDIO
    TITLE "Dirty Old Man"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 38:24:00
  TRACK 08 AUDIO
    TITLE "God Is a DJ"
    PERFORMER "Faithless"
    INDEX 01 42:35:00

Perfect, so I took one of mixes, Quiver in the underground and turned the .nfo file into a .cue file.

REM GENRE Tech Trance
REM DATE 2019
PERFORMER "Digital Italic"
TITLE "Quiver in the underground mix"
FILE "Quiver in the underground mix.mp3" MP3
TRACK 01 AUDIO
TITLE "Activator, I know you can (That kid chris mix)"
PERFORMER "Whatever girl"
INDEX 01 00:00:00
TRACK 02 AUDIO
TITLE "Air traffic (Erik De Koning remix)"
PERFORMER "Three drives"
INDEX 01 02:07:00
TRACK 03 AUDIO
TITLE "Chinook"
PERFORMER "Markus Schulz pres. Dakota"
INDEX 01 07:25:00
TRACK 04 AUDIO
TITLE "Opium (Quivver remix)"
PERFORMER "Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor"
INDEX 01 10:32:00
TRACK 05 AUDIO
TITLE "Surveillance"
PERFORMER "Jordon Suckley & Kutski"
INDEX 01 15:24:00
TRACK 06 AUDIO
TITLE "Nitric (Division one remix)"
PERFORMER "Hybrid system"
INDEX 01 19:02:00
TRACK 07 AUDIO
TITLE "Circa-Forever (Galen Behr & Organ Nilsen remix)"
PERFORMER "Rapid eye"
INDEX 01 23:55:00
TRACK 08 AUDIO
TITLE "Opulence"
PERFORMER "Simon Patterson"
INDEX 01 30:05:00
TRACK 09 AUDIO
TITLE "J'ai envie de toi (Protoculture remix)"
PERFORMER "Armin Van Buuren presents Gaia"
INDEX 01 35:10:00
TRACK 10 AUDIO
TITLE "Z.I.T.A (M.I.K.E's progressiva mix)"
PERFORMER "Hiver & Hammer with Funabashi"
INDEX 01 39:30:00
TRACK 11 AUDIO
TITLE "Kubrick (Extended mix)"
PERFORMER "Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor"
INDEX 01 42:01:00

Tried it out on a number of media player and they all worked except Plex.

There is a very good chance if I was to run my own funkwhale node/server I could set it to index .cue files and playback the mix in a seamless way like Mixcloud? Theres only one way to find out really… Get Funkwhale installed!

On a side note I am slightly kicking myself now because I entered all that metadata into mixcloud but never stored it myself. I’m going to need to go through 90 of my own mixes and convert my .nfo files into .cue files.

I have the SQLite Database for my pacemaker device with the actual real timings but I need to identify which mix is which one (another thing I should have done, as changed the names of the mix depending on many things). I also hoped mixcloud’s developers guide would come to the rescue but it looks like maybe a GDPR request is my only option if I want the metadata for my mixes?

Chemical Brothers: My first concert?

IMG_20191122_222710

Thinking back, I don’t think I have ever been to a concert for popular music with a single group; I was explaining to my partner the other day while walking to the Manchester Arena.

IMG_20191122_220529

I have been to many raves, club nights, festivals but not really a concert unless it was classical music or something like a opera. I might be wrong because I saw Portishead in Ashton Court, Bristol a long time ago but I think it was alongside other arenas.

Chemical brothers may have been my first music concert, and it was very cool. Although others disagree.

IMG_20191122_211154

I was interesting to see how the music and visuals were custom set for the chemical brothers. I imagine this is what something like Armin only is like. But to be fair Gareth Emery’s Lazerface looks amazing for this exact reason.

The importance of human values research

The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band - Brian Eno
The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band

I saw this quote and thought it was perfect fuel/fodder for why the human values research is so massively important.

Only 10,000 copies can be seen as poor sales (attention metric) but the impact on music culture (human values) was huge.

The Helsinki drop out mix

Somewhat as a forerunner to the peace of mind in Brussels mix. The Helsinki drop out mix is also a bit slower but a lot more punchy with harder tunes.

Recorded while sat in the city centre of Helsinki, watching people go by. Enjoy!

  1. Tenshi (Magdelayna’s Resurrection mix) – Gouryella
  2. Empty Cities, Dead Ghost (Chronosapien remix) – Fictitious Riceboy
  3. Big Sky (Agnelli & Nelson remix) – John O’Callaghan feat Audrey Gallagher
  4. Circles – Robert Nickson
  5. Everythings been written – 8 Wonders
  6. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Above & Beyond
  7. Kubrick (Extended mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae Alastor
  8. Out of the Blue (5am mix) – System F
  9. The Wave 2.0 (Extended mix) – Cosmic Gate
  10. Crayons (Leama and Moor remix) – Starkid
  11. Torrent – Dave 202
  12. The Game (Extended mix) – Fatum

The Peace of mind in Brussels mix

Recorded in Brussels while taking the Eurostar, while thinking about mental awareness week at work. Nicely relaxing with a slight edge.

Enjoy…

  1. Empty Cities, Dead Ghost (Chronosapien remix) – Fictitious Riceboy
  2. Big Sky (Agnelli & Nelson remix) – John O’Callaghan feat Audrey Gallagher
  3. Bulgarian (Signum remix) – Travel
  4. Drifting away (Lange sunset dub) – Lange feat. Syke
  5. Casino Fire – Matias Faint
  6. Tears (Protoculture remix)- Markus Schulz pres. Dakota
  7. Crayons (Leama and Moor remix) – Starkid
  8. Sister Sister – Sister Bliss
  9. Floyd – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  10. Key of life (Marlo remix) – Ohmna feat. Nurlaila
  11. Made of love (Extended mix) – Ferry Corsten feat. Betsie Larkin
  12. Peace of mind (Myon & Shane 54 summer of love mix) – Above & Beyond feat. Zoe
  13. Peace – Yves Deruyter
  14. Indigo – 4×4

The three cities of Belgium mix

The Atomium in Brussels

After a long weekend in Belgium, of course I got some time with the pacemaker device. I themed the mix after the 3 cities we visited. All recorded with the Pacemaker device during a delayed flight back.

Enjoy!

  1. Brussels
    1. Anomaly (CJ Art’s Underwater tales remix) – Gordey Tsukanov
    2. Daemoni Miserere – Dr. Clarke
    3. Rheinkraft (extended mix) – Oliver Klein
    4. Innocente (Mr Sam remix) – Delerium
    5. Z.I.T.A (Markus Schossow remix) – Hiver & Hammer with Funabashi
  2. Antwerp
    1. Eclipse – Neo
    2. Delores – Indecent Noise
    3. Anahera (Extended mix) – Ferry Corseten pres Gouryella
    4. The Dark Knight – KhoMha
    5. Be with me – Coast 2 coast feat Amanda Jami
    6. Deadline (Armin’s rising star mix) – Dutch Force
  3. Ghent
    1. Grotesque (Alex MORPH and RAM mix) – RAM
    2. End transmission – ReDrive & Patrick Blanes
    3. Shelter (Photographer remix) – Dash Berlin feat. Roxanne Emery
    4. Adagio for Strings (Matt Silver and Tony Burt mix) – William Orbit

 

Updated….

95th in the global tech trance chart