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