Internet Music Catalog - What, Why, and How?

August 14th, 2015


Muusical has undergone some major changes. We would like to explain what we hope to achieve, why we have chosen this direction and how these changes set the stage for us to get there. Our goal is to catalog all of the free music on the internet in order to provide a listening experience that rivals any premium music service. A free and structured streaming music library will be the next revolution in online music. We noticed a clear pattern in existing products in our industry as well as a strategy for Muusical to break from that pattern and offer something new to music listeners. We have created a platform for users to collaboratively catalog music from sites like YouTube and SoundCloud. Muusical's new platform enables users to easily add information like artist, featured artist, album and even track number. All of this new data is stored and indexed inside of Muusical as a free music catalog which you may listen to with the Muusical Player.



Muusical: Internet music catalog. Free streaming music with a structured catalog of music.



What: Our goal to organize the internet's music and make a free player better than the premium music services is certainly grandiose. It will require Muusical to pass through several stages in order to achieve it. The first stage is hardening our platform to be user friendly and robust enough to easily facilitate the cataloging process. We believe we have made a great start but as more users begin to participate we are sure some weaknesses will become apparent. The next stage will be focused on growing the catalog. In order for Muusical to be useful as a streaming music service it needs to have a sizeable catalog. This stage could take a significant amount of time. It depends on how much our mission resonates with people. The final stage will be the growth and spread of Muusical as the new streaming music service for the casual listener. In our final stage of development we will undoubtedly have to tackle some technical problems related to scaling our infrastructure. Of course real life will not be as simple as this three stage rocketship to success but progressing roughly through something resembling this will be necessary to achieve our goal.



Why: We initially launched Muusical as a "Product Hunt for Music." After a period of very little user growth we began to look inward and outward to better understand our industry. We saw a pattern emerge, discovering there are two categories of products for streaming music. The first category contains free services which lack a certain structure to their music. These are sites like YouTube.com and SoundCloud.com. There are also sites such as Whyd.com and SongDrop.com which offer the user the chance to make playlists with songs from multiple websites but ultimately do not provide a more meaningful structure. At that time Muusical fit very neatly into this first category. The second category is defined as premium services that have a familiar structure to their music libraries. Category two contains apps like Spotify and Apple Music. The premium nature of these services lends to them being "walled gardens" which don't allow for the connectivity and sharing of the music we love between people everywhere. It is noteworthy that Spotify does offer a free, ad-supported version but the commercials interrupt the music. We set out to create a free music service with a structured library. There are billions of songs begging to be cataloged out there, we just needed a platform to enable it. One more note about ads: If we are successful there will come a point when Muusical will need to generate revenue. This will mostly likely come through advertisements. Our promise is to never charge a subscription fee and to never interrupt the listening experience of our users with advertisements.



Muusical defines a new category of music streaming service.



How: The biggest changes to our product occurred in our data structures. Initially our data only consisted of songs and playlists. All of our music was added by users but they couldn't do much more than add a title, description and the name of the artist. The new Muusical has albums, artists, featured artists, songs, track listings and playlists and deep relational connections which can be made between all the different objects. We also have redesigned Muusical to be much more collaborative. No one person has to be responsible for the creation or maintenance of any part of the library. This is a big distinction between our platform and YouTube or SoundCloud. When a user adds a video to YouTube it is soley that user's responsibility to add an accurate title and other metadata. In contrast, the addition of an album to Muusical with the album art, metadata and a full track listing of playable songs can be the result of the effort of numerous users. Muusical also supports multiple versions of the same track on the same album. A simple voting system chooses the default song for that track number but in the case where the song is deleted from the source website, the next highest voted track instantly replaces it. This platform is very new, we have leaned towards more openness and less central control throughout the design. As time progresses and we better understand how people use the platform there we will continue to make changes and improvements but we are off to a great start. Now we need to attract people who share our vision and want to help achieve it.



Tame Impala's new album Currents is available today on Muusical.



Muusical's latest update is substantial. The goal of Muusical has now crystallized to be a platform to catalog all of the free music on the internet in order to provide a listening experience that rivals any premium music service. We have identified that current products in our industry tend to either be free with unstructured music libraries or premium "walled gardens" that have music libraries with a familiar and useful structure. Creating a free music service with a familiarly structured music library is something brand new. Muusical's new platform is designed to facilitate a collaborative effort to catalog all the free streaming music available today. Users may add songs, artists, featured artists and albums with fully playable and ordered track listings. If you find this as exciting as we do please sign up today and help build the next revolution in online music!