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Author Topic: Site idea: btcTunes  (Read 2023 times)
enoxice
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December 16, 2010, 09:32:35 AM
 #1

So this is my first post. I've been following bitcoin loosely for a little while now, but my interest was recently rekindled.

So I've got what I think is a pretty neat idea. I'm going to preface this by saying I'm not sure there's enough content out there for it to be feasible, but I am certainly going to see what I can do.

So I was thinking about making a "btcTunes" site where you can, you guessed it, use bitcoins to purchase mp3s (or oggs or flacs or whatever I end up supporting). Essentially there are two parts to the site.

Artists can create "artist" accounts that allow them to upload images, fill out a bio, categorize themselves, etc. Then they can upload music and charge however much BTC they want for it (including free, I guess). The artist's page will then list their albums and songs, and allow the user to listen to a 30 second sample of the song, maybe created automatically upon upload.

Regular users register and they can browse the artists and songs by genre, keywords, etc. They can buy songs/albums using bitcoins. Artists will get the lion's share and the site will take a small fee (TBD). When they buy songs, they are emailed a one-time use link to download their songs. Later, if they lose the files, they can maybe request a new download link for a small fee (paid entirely to the site) up to 5 times or so. Possibly they are allowed to purchase "credits" in advance so they don't have to pull out their wallets and wait for their transaction to confirm each and every time. Of course, the credits can be traded back to BTC if they decide they want it back.

Their preferences will be saved in the database so when an artist they've bought from before uploads something new, they are notified. Their preferences can also be used to come up with recommendations.

I've made a couple of mock-ups: Artist Page, Album Page

Mostly I'm just posting this so I can understand what I'm talking about myself. I would also love any ideas, suggestions, feedback anyone has.

Anyway, thoughts?

Please don't donate money to me at 12qF5Mdrx8N3cKbcJzBCJmifim3FKtHtuX there are much more important things you can be spending your viable currency on.
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Timo Y
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December 16, 2010, 10:01:36 AM
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What I would like to see more in music sites is a bounty + exclusive release system.

For example, everytime the artist releases a new song, the 30-second sample is posted on the website. The artist can define a bounty and a timeframe. Fans can then pay as many Bitcoins as they choose into the bounty account (perhaps above a minimum, also set by the artist).

As soon as the bounty is reached, the mp3 file is made available only to those fans who have contributed, perhaps a month before it is released for sale to the general public. If the bounty is not reached in the specified timeframe the Bitcoins are returned to the fans.

edit: coming to think of it, this is more a ransom than a bounty, but I think ransoms work better for music than bounties because music is such a subjective emotional good that it's hard to for the listener define in advance what she wants.

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BioMike
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December 16, 2010, 10:05:46 AM
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Nice idea. However with the temporary download link. Why not link bought songs to the user and generate a dynamic 1 time/short time download link when the user wants to re-download it. last thing I would is to have to repay for re-downloading something I already bought.
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December 16, 2010, 10:09:31 AM
 #4

Oh about the credits, that is a quite normal way to do. Just allow transferring forth and back. I've seen people doing it more often (and I'm doing it myself as well).
enoxice
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December 16, 2010, 10:11:44 AM
 #5

forever: That's a cool idea, and I think I've seen similar things implemented elsewhere, but it's not really something I'm interested in.

BioMike: The fee for re-downloading is to prevent against people using the service as a file store and wasting my bandwidth or doing things like giving their password to all their friends and letting them download it for free. It will just be a small fee to discourage people from abusing or cheating the service, not the full price of the file again. Maybe the "one-time use" link will be good for 3 downloads or something before the fee kicks in.

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Please don't donate money to me at 12qF5Mdrx8N3cKbcJzBCJmifim3FKtHtuX there are much more important things you can be spending your viable currency on.
caveden
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December 16, 2010, 10:21:03 AM
 #6

How would you prevent people from sharing the file once they download it? Or you don't care?

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BioMike
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December 16, 2010, 10:21:48 AM
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BioMike: The fee for re-downloading is to prevent against people using the service as a file store and wasting my bandwidth or doing things like giving their password to all their friends and letting them download it for free. It will just be a small fee to discourage people from abusing or cheating the service, not the full price of the file again. Maybe the "one-time use" link will be good for 3 downloads or something before the fee kicks in.

You just have to validate the uploaded files as correct audio files, maybe a limit to the file size (only allow artists to upload, not normal users). Sharing an account will not happen that often I guess, because the friends might transfer the remaining funds on the account to themselves, change passwords (locking out other friends/account owner) or buy other songs that the account owner doesn't like. And how do you want to prevent that downloaded songs are shared outside of btcTunes?
And put in you terms that misuse of the account will cause termination, resulting loss of all remaining credits linked to the account.
enoxice
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December 16, 2010, 10:25:39 AM
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As far as files being exchanged outside of the site, I really don't care about that. I think these days everyone is used to DRM-free services. Amazon and iTunes are both DRM-free so I think artists are used to it and customers are expecting it.

And BioMike, you make a good point - I will re-evaluate my stance on re-downloading. I guess I won't make that call until I have harder numbers concerning bandwidth and costs and whatnot.

Please don't donate money to me at 12qF5Mdrx8N3cKbcJzBCJmifim3FKtHtuX there are much more important things you can be spending your viable currency on.
BioMike
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December 16, 2010, 11:50:18 AM
 #9

If the sites becomes big, you might want to use one of the hosting/vps services that accept bitcoins. Then your bandwidth concerns might become less.
FreeMoney
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December 16, 2010, 12:07:57 PM
 #10

What I would like to see more in music sites is a bounty + exclusive release system.

For example, everytime the artist releases a new song, the 30-second sample is posted on the website. The artist can define a bounty and a timeframe. Fans can then pay as many Bitcoins as they choose into the bounty account (perhaps above a minimum, also set by the artist).

As soon as the bounty is reached, the mp3 file is made available only to those fans who have contributed, perhaps a month before it is released for sale to the general public. If the bounty is not reached in the specified timeframe the Bitcoins are returned to the fans.

edit: coming to think of it, this is more a ransom than a bounty, but I think ransoms work better for music than bounties because music is such a subjective emotional good that it's hard to for the listener define in advance what she wants.

I love ransoms.

I'm sure it'll be implemented in many ways in the months/years to come. I think my favorite way would be to say "Hey guys, new song/album here's a sample. I'm going to release it to everyone with no restrictions as soon as I get XXXXBTC in donations. If you don't make it, no problem thanks for the support anyway I'm absolutely going to share it on February 29th no matter what."

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Bimmerhead
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December 16, 2010, 02:40:56 PM
 #11

The hardest part of making this work is getting the content providers to join.

So you could save time building it by using Joomla + the Maian Media extension.

Or you could just use this free script.

Or you could use Joomla + Virtuemart since Mike G. has already built a bitcoin plugin for that.


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enoxice
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December 16, 2010, 06:02:47 PM
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BioMike: I was thinking exactly that. I don't currently have a VPS and I was thinking I'd sign up for KalyHost so that small 'site fee' or any donations can be applied directly to server costs.

Bimmerhead: Thanks for the links. I'm definitely at least going to look at those and use them for inspiration, but I think I'm going to write it on my own. Partially so I can control exactly how it works more easily, but mostly because every time I try to work with Joomla it just ends in frustration. Roll Eyes

Please don't donate money to me at 12qF5Mdrx8N3cKbcJzBCJmifim3FKtHtuX there are much more important things you can be spending your viable currency on.
kiba
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December 16, 2010, 06:05:21 PM
 #13

enoxice: maybe you could talk to the owner of pastecoin.com or bitcoinservice.co.uk about working together and building on their platform.

They got the whole download and bitcoin spending figured it out.

enoxice
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December 16, 2010, 06:42:58 PM
 #14

Pastecoin is actually what gave me the idea. I'll do a bit more planning and see if it would be worth pursuing some kind of integration. The only issue I could see is that there would need to be some kind of automation - that is a workflow more like:
- Artist uploads audio file, sets price, correctly categorizes the song (by album/genre/etc). Then users can purchase credits to the site and purchase songs.

And less like:
- Artist uploads audio file to pastecoin and sets price, artist takes URL to pastecoin file and uses it to create a new song on btctunes. Artist creates and uploads a sample of the song to btctunes, Users are then able to follow links to pastecoin to purchase the songs from their service.

I suppose a nice middle ground would be something like:
- Artist uploads audio file to btctunes, categorizes, sets price, etc. The file is then uploaded by bttunes to pastecoin, using an address provided by the artist for payment. Then using pastecoin as the purchasing, payment and distribution system. In this scenario, btctunes would act more as a middleman or browser for pastecoin files.

This would be good because it would make it easier to get a site up and running that just integrates with pastecoin instead of having to figure that out myself. And having btctunes up as a PoC of pastecoin integration could allow similar services to be more rapidly developed, leading to a hopefully more thriving economy of digital goods.

I'd just need to work on simplifying the process, hopefully making the pastecoin integration transparent (of course, giving them credit). It would definitely be nice to outsource the storage, distribution, and payment platforms.

I guess the other option is to just use them as consultants when building the site since they, obviously, have more experience in the area than I do.

Anyway, that's a good idea and could be great for the bitcoin economy if pastecoin integration takes off. I'll just have to think on it and figure out exactly if/how I want to use it.

Thanks for the idea.

Please don't donate money to me at 12qF5Mdrx8N3cKbcJzBCJmifim3FKtHtuX there are much more important things you can be spending your viable currency on.
kiba
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December 16, 2010, 07:28:10 PM
 #15

There's already a public API for pastecoin.

Unfortuntely, it's rather undeveloped.

enoxice
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December 16, 2010, 07:59:45 PM
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Yeah, I saw the API.

The way it is currently set up, it would be pretty trivial to set up btctunes as a directory of music on pastecoint. As in: artist signs up to btctunes, uploads a song, automatically create a 30 second sample, upload full song to pastecoin automatically by recreating the upload form, hope I can automatically parse the file id from the response, map the file id to the song and the sample in the database, and use that to build the page. Then users (who wouldn't need an account in this scenario) would just be able to listen to samples and click the links to be taken to pastecoin to buy the song.

The only thing that could really make that easier is if they provided an upload API that would return an array with the file info in the same way the listfiles page does.

Once I finish planning, I'll see if I can work with pastecoin or bitcoinservice (as the ownership of pastecoin appears to be kind of up in the air at the moment) to get a better API.

Please don't donate money to me at 12qF5Mdrx8N3cKbcJzBCJmifim3FKtHtuX there are much more important things you can be spending your viable currency on.
kiba
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December 17, 2010, 03:39:50 AM
 #17

Where would you get musicians to actually use it?

nelisky
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December 17, 2010, 03:47:20 AM
 #18

Where would you get musicians to actually use it?

I have already tried to contact two geeky artists about bitcoins, Jonathan Coulton (http://www.jonathancoulton.com/) and Brad Sucks (http://www.bradsucks.net/). Coulton never replied, and Brad was intrigued, look about the bitcoin pages and dismissed it as too complicated. I offered to help but to no avail.

Maybe if a few more people try to contact them these could bootstrap the process? I would certainly buy music from both Smiley
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December 17, 2010, 03:48:44 AM
 #19

Where would you get musicians to actually use it?

I know one musician who would. I wont reveal his identity though.

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December 17, 2010, 03:51:50 AM
 #20

Provide a front end to buy amazon mp3 music for bitcoins and you would have instant content.

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