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Response to the community

Last week, we launched a new version of Jamendo.com.  More than just a facelift, the entire technical architecture of Jamendo was overhauled in order to increase flexibility of the site; the purpose was to make it easy to add new features and allow the site to evolve more quickly.

As you know, among the additions are the new player, ten new radio channels and improved search.

Our goal is always for our users to discover and listen to music more easily and for our artists to have a great, effective way to share their art.  

While we have received some positive feedback, we’ve also heard your criticisms loud and clear, specifically reporting bugs, calling for the return of some old features or criticizing the new track-oriented approach.

There were some technical problems that we needed to solve and we are working on getting it all smoothed out as soon as possible. Jamendo’s technical team is composed of only three people who handled the huge task of rewriting the site and migrating the new architecture while still maintaining the Jamendo PRO site. The team has been working very hard on solving these problems and many have already been fixed – artist blogs are now working normally and the forums are up and running again.

We deliberately chose a track-oriented approach in an effort to make search results more accurate, make it easier for users to find music that suits their tastes and to give our artists a better chance at exposure.  We also wanted to provide a new experience to accommodate the changing ways people are sharing and consuming music. Lastly, we had realized that a huge percentage of albums uploaded to Jamendo were only single tracks as it was.

However, after assessing your feedback, we understand the desire of many artists who remain attached to the album approach and will improve our interface very quickly by enabling:

- album reviews in addition to the current track review option
- display of both album and track reviews on the album pages
- rearrangement of the artist page so new albums are more visible, higher up on the page
- the display of favorite albums in the MyMusic section in addition to the current playlist of favorite tracks
- displaying the number of listens for each album on the album page
- a better presentation of the most recently released albums/tracks.

Another major problem reported was the inability of artists to send messages to their fans.  This was another function that was temporarily lost during the migration, but a system that allows artists to contact their fans via email has been planned, and users will continue to have the opportunity to become fans of artists they like.

Our search page will also evolve very quickly so it not only displays just tracks, but also search results for relevant artists, albums and playlists.

The social features (friends, messaging between members) will not be integrated into the new Jamendo. Between Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, we believe it’s essential to better integrate these services into our site in order to allow artists to expand their audience.  We are aware that currently the number of Facebook “likes” displayed are inaccurate and we are in the process of resolving that issue.

Please note that there is no need to use Facebook in order to use Jamendo – this is just optional. Some users were experiencing connection problems that were due to a combination of a bug on our side and a very specific configuration of their browser. This has been fixed.

The Creative Commons license for each track is visible on the bottom of each track page, but as many users had difficulties locating them, we will move them so they are more clearly presented. Of course, Jamendo is and always was a platform where all content is under Creative Commons.

Other problems will be resolved as soon as possible; it’s important to us that the site is as user friendly as possible for users and artists. We remain convinced that if we want Jamendo to grow and enable its artists to reach a large audience, we must take into account new user habits and give the community of members the maximum number of tools to listen to and enjoy music quickly and easily.

This first release of the new version of Jamendo was certainly not perfect, but a “big bang” was necessary for us to start fresh. The aggressive reaction of some surprised us because our entire team tries to do their best with limited resources. Jamendo is a very small company that has been fighting for years to promote free music, find new ways to disseminate it and find new sources of income for artists. We are also frequently harassed by collecting societies that are insistent on collecting royalties for this CC music without respect for our artists’ wishes for their music to be free.

Today, Jamendo requires more than 10 terabytes of storage, 40 servers and a bandwidth with peaks of 500 Mbits for managing Jamendo.com, Jamendo PRO, streaming radio channels and more than 350,000 songs.

Our approach is unique and is a threat to the way the traditional music industry has always run. Jamendo allows artists to distribute their music to an unlimited number of users for free and allows users unlimited streaming and downloads. Jamendo is the largest site that offers these services completely free of charge and without any advertising, all while providing artists an opportunity to generate income!

This is all done with the support and encouragement of our users and artists; we need to continue this adventure together!

- the Jamendo Team

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36 Responses to “Response to the community”

  1. Tom Says:

    Hi,

    Is the Jamendo API still available? Do you plan to improve it? Put more information about it? I plan some mashup app but now I don’t know what about API? :(

    All the best

  2. nino Says:

    what I miss is the list of my favorite artists

    good job

  3. annamundi Says:

    I think that since years the community of Jamendo tried to explain what were the main troubles and what they were aspecting from the new site…. the fact that you show some surprises about the reactions is simply a proof that you never took seriously those request…
    tha lack of communication before the appearing and just after the new Jamendo is another fact that makes you untrustable…
    i’m sorry but i don’t believe a word of what you are saying.

  4. orangeupurple Says:

    I am very happy and relieved to see this response. Thank you, and I will try to have a little more patience . . especially since I have seen that you have only 3 tech people to work on this site.

    There are many of us and few of you and I am sorry we overwhelmed you. But, so many of us think of Jamendo as part of my home . . . I do anyway. . .

    I am so grateful for this communication. Give the community a chance to recover and SEE that you are making good on your word . . and feelings will calm down.

  5. Chris Says:

    This sounds like a great compromise. However, I’d like to reiterate something I already said.

    Jamendo PRO tries to get people to pay money for using works that already give them permission to do that without paying money. From the CC BY license:

    “Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, *royalty-free*, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:”

    I realize that you consider Jamendo PRO to be “royalty-free”, however it amounts to having to pay for a license when the CC license already grants the rights that the person wants to have. If I come across a CC BY work, I have permission automatically to use it for any use, including commercial, without paying any license fee. Period. It’s granted in the license. So stop trying to get people to buy licenses for using works under CC licenses!

  6. Deafboy Says:

    Design of the page is great. +1 for including recent history to player. Good job, but… if you are doing an upgrade, the “UP” in the word is the importatnt part. Removing of features should be called DOWNgrade ;)

    Remember that people who actually cares about licences and copyright are not regular consumers. Every negative aspect will be noticed, and shouted repeatedly until fixed.

    1) I prefere my favourite albums to be displayed in profile. I’ve been using this feature a lot
    2) Friends – This is actually a killer feature that brought me into last.fm years ago. Sharing musical taste with freinds could be main reason why to use this kind of service! Facebook is not suppoused to replace that – it’s technicaly impossible.
    3) Personal messages – I know a lot of spam was distributed via PMs, but the ability to receive news from favourite artist at one place is again – a killer feature. Not every artist has a page on social media site nor I care about their fanpages. I don’t want to receive notification about new message from artist to my email inbox. People theese days are overloaded by the flow of informations. I have 3 mailboxes (personal and business + notifications from server monitoring) synchronized with my phone, 1 personal IM account (and +1 business account soon) not speaking about regular SMS and calls. I don’t want to receive messages from Jamendo artist 24×7. I simply don’t have time for that. Also using separate mailbox for this is not a solution. I want to see the messages from artists here on my profile page while listening to their music.
    4) Need of flash player is highly annoying… at least for me. If one is using flashblock, it needs to be manually disabled before starting the player. (But this was the same with old player)

  7. jakab ubul Says:

    Thank you for this response.

  8. Brian Bridges Says:

    Thank you so much for bringing back some of your best features. i appreciate your commitment to improving Jamendo, which is a terrific resource for K12 education.

  9. AniWho Says:

    Site looks a bit janky at the moment, but I’m not sure if that’s a maintenance thing or a mobile thing.

  10. Leonardo Henrique Chaves Says:

    Speaking by myself, I apologize if I was aggressive, but never ever I had intended to offend anyone. I know there are few resources, both personnel and financial, that I knew from before these changes.
    But I admit I said a lot of crap, yes, but it was because I liked the house as it was and I did not like such a change, as it did not appeal to most people.
    Imagine that you are accustomed to living in a village, you know where it is the bakery, pharmacy, etc … Then comes the engineers and change things around and all functions. The bakery, for example, now will only sell a certain type of cake, no more that you ate and enjoyed. It was Obvious that there would be complaints. Or you thought you would get flowers for all this?
    We’ll continue to walk together. So far, there is no better platform than Jamendo. But you could have done some research before, sending by email or anything like that. What angered me were some changes made ​​so hasty. The concept of the album should be optional, there are people who like to write songs that relate to each other, some like to release singles, this should have been deliberated and discussed among us. So I think it was good of you to have revised some things, let’s walk together.
    Next time, therefore, spend a little more time trying to find out what artists thinkinstead of discuss the feedback after all this storm. Ok?

  11. Matt Says:

    The MyMusic page is 100% useless to me in its current form.

    My favourite artists is the most important part of that page and it has literally been sidelined with no added value and is not all there. I am missing at least 2 more pages of favourite artists that I now can’t track in one place.

    Please move favourite artists to above My Favourites (I do not use My Favourites as I do not think that way and never will). Favourite artists needs to list latest releases from each artist as per the old site. That was the feature that I visit your website for above all others. If this isn’t possible, at least provide an rss feed of latest releases by favourite artists for users like me who don’t want to deal with the new website and would rather just be notified of new albums. An rss feed for new albums by genre would be good also.

  12. Vincent Says:

    This all sounds very good, and I must say I liked the new site. But even if I didn’t, please don’t take offense of people being rude on the internet – while they might (or might not) make valid points, phrasing could always be better, but that’s just what people are like on the internet, unfortunately.

  13. The Chilling Spirit Says:

    Tom: http://developer.jamendo.com

    Jamendo: There is a total of ~350000 tracks and ~55000 albums. The average number of tracks per album on Jamendo is 6.3, the median is 5. This means that half of the albums have more than 5 tracks. Single track albums are ~12000 or 23%. That is significant indeed but when the majority are still “real” albums or “EPs”, you are still a site with mostly albums.

    The distribution is kind of a give away that people like to use the site for albums, look at the 10 track albums:

    Number of releases | Number of tracks
    2501 9
    2900 8
    2987 7
    3119 10
    3610 6
    4192 5
    4280 3
    4564 2
    4602 4
    12326 1

  14. oneyoudontknow Says:

    Translation errors:
    dein (not capitalized) playlist (why playlist and not album; and why not capitalized?) wird gerade heruntergeladen.

  15. oneyoudontknow Says:

    Furthermore, where is the tag system? When I click on ‘genre’ I am redirected to the search engine site. That is pretty pointless. The earlier SW-version had the ability to browse quickly through the new releases per genre, this is impossible right now.

  16. Liquidframe Says:

    Please give back out community: the very special thing of jamendo simply deleted….incredible! It seems to be a suicide. Jamendo NOW looks like Myspace. Hope you’ll return back. Good luck, you’ll need.
    Paolo
    Liquid Frame
    Creative Workshop
    Jamendo

  17. Jeff Says:

    Jamendo has been my favorite site for several years now. I’m glad to hear that you are still working on it, but for now, it is completely un-usable to me. I will be checking back, day by day. Hope things smooth out.

  18. orangeupurple Says:

    Today I am grieving . .
    How do I reach my friends . . .
    They were my friends because
    I listened to their music
    and wrote reviews for them . .
    and many of them seemed happy
    and thanked me . ..
    and some of us even met
    in Paris . . .
    and some I met
    in spirit . . .
    and I finally realized, today . . .
    that I will never again be able to greet some of these friends
    by mail
    by review
    anywhere . . .

    I got a mail from Art Owens . . . one of my favorite musicians . . . I was always happy to hear his music . . . He was saying goodbye and asked for emails (perhaps not realizing that we have no way to contact him) . . . Some of us are on FaceBook . . .but how do we reach the other people who were so familiar to us . . . although we never saw their faces, they were still important to us . . . like family . . . now gone and scattered to the winds . . . It really hit me today . . .

    Jamendo . . . what about the people? Who cares about the human soul? My heart is broken and I sit here and weep . . . I feel that the Jamendo Admins forgot about the human need . . . for contact . . .

    Perhaps they never knew how . . . this little web site was notorious for never communicating with the people . . .

  19. Spajderix Says:

    Hi.
    Having only 3 tech people to maintain such a big website is almost impossible. Maintaining that many servers by itself seems enough work, and you also rework the website and try to introduce new features. No wonder you have no time for the community. So much kudos for all the hard work you do. Here’s a bit crazy idea. Since you operate on music which is free to listen and share, you could also release the code on GPL, or other free license. Host it on public repository, like GitHub or Launchpad and let the community help you code. It works for many open source distributions and I bet there are more than enough skilled coders, who would be more than happy to help you maintain the site.

  20. orangeupurple Says:

    I ask that you return the ability of fans to contact the musicians. At least be able to return a message . . .

    Why did you make the fans invisible? I may as well not even HAVE a log in . . .

  21. Christoph Says:

    Thx for the fix. Now everything works again. Keep up the good work.

  22. nodevel Says:

    Thank you for the update. Please, bring back the Top Albums of the week/month/…/year with large album covers. I often decide what music to listen to by the cover. Now it is so small, it is irritating.

  23. bizun_ Says:

    ok, might like in the future it, but it is definitely BETA version now.
    I agree with the above posters, that Jamendo is more album-oriented, ans should stay like this, or at least the album functionality should not be cut-away without an alternative.
    And I miss the fan lists and favourite artist/favourite album lists.

    I’m also surprised, we (users) were not notified.
    But keep going — I’m sure, that the idea is good, only execution a bit flawed.

  24. Byte Says:

    I am so outraged. Why ‘fix’ what isn’t broken? Why not let the user decide. Some like browsing tracks, some like browsing albums.

    Right now, I’ve lost all overview. In my collection, I also go by albums. I recognize the picture on the front of the CDs. It’s a concept I am comfortable with as user, and artists are comfortable with it grouping tracks together.

    It used to be so easy. Go to tags, pick one (e.g. “electronic”), start exploring. Read people’s reviews.

    Jamendo used to stand out from the mediocre crap sites by its album-based approach: like books in a bookstore. Now you guys are displaying the individual chapters. The overview is gone.

  25. Max Vaehling Says:

    Gotta agree with the critics on the album thing. I’ve always been an albums fan, so much so that I got annoyed every time I tried to share an album on FB and only managed to share the track I played at the time or when I found an album at the old Jamendo to be just one or two tracks.

    (About that – Maybe you could set an option for artists to upload collections as singles or EPs?)

    Substituting the album player in MyMusic seems easy enough – all it takes is to save the album to a playlist. But I do miss browsing by album. Single track views tend to get a bit tedious. Reading through ten listings of an artist I’ve already dismissed makes me less open to the next listing you see…

  26. Max Vaehling Says:

    Just noticed you brought the albums back to “my music”.

    Yay you!

  27. Ian Says:

    I was puzzled by the new interface and this post helps me understand.

    I really appreciate what Jamendo provides. The old interface was familiar and my initial reaction to the new one is that it makes finding what I want harder, not easier. But, maybe I’ll get used to it and appreciate it more with time.

    Something seems to be wrong with search. I searched for blues, and results indicated that there are only 15 albums and 99 tracks. Then I refreshed my browser and it found only 8 albums and 99 tracks. Then I did another search, after browsing through the genres a bit, but still selecting only blues, and now there are only 4 albums. I’m reasonably certain there are more than 15 blues albums on Jamendo (I have downloaded more than that already, using the old interface) and suspect there are more than 99 tracks, so how do I find them?

    I did like the old pages of albums, sorted by various criteria and showing tags below the covers. The set of tags let me quickly get an idea of the type of music before deciding what to play. I don’t see anything with the same convenience in the new interface.

    Regardless of these issues, it’s still a great service.

  28. Centy Says:

    So the old look isn’t coming back then? That is a shame because the site is impossible to use for me like I used it before and I cannot seem to find new music now. Well it was a good 3 years of getting new music I guess that will have to do then.

  29. cf Says:

    Maybe it’s just me but ever since the site was revamped, I can only get the first page of music to come up. The site doesn’t seem to work at all.
    Please go back to the previous format. At least it worked.

  30. SilverIV Says:

    I am new to Jamendo & enjoying it very much, especially as I very much support the concept of CC & Open Source media. Not so much because it’s free but because it sends such a strong message to the huge corporations & their political ‘friends’ that the arts nor artists should never be denied the right to be freely seen & heard in any way the artist chooses to be, especially struggling new artists.
    As a noobie I don’t miss what the site was like before I joined, so I have no comments to make on the new format although I am sad to read that some are upset enough to leave.
    This blog did clear up something I was very angry with Jamendo & an artist here about: “We are also frequently harassed by collecting societies that are insistent on collecting royalties for this CC music without respect for our artists’ wishes for their music to be free.” Now I know why my non-commercial video that carefully respected all the CC license requirements (including putting full credits in both the video & description) got a notice of “copyright violation” by unnamed ‘collecting societies’ from YouTube. What are these “collecting societies”?
    Anyway, I now know that I can continue to enjoy great music by wonderful artists & use & promote them as much as I can amongst my friends & in my hobby of making amateur nature videos while ignoring such bogus copyright claims. Whew! Is good to have that sorted out. :)
    Thank you so much all you wonderful artists & you three overworked Jamendo techies too.

  31. Andrian Says:

    thanks for the existence of Jamendo : on your support I’ve discover artists unknow of me earlier (like Greg Baumont, and Silence …)

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