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An Overdue ccMixter Update

permalink   Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 9:59 AM
Hello fellow Mixters!

I apologize for seeming so quiet these past few months! Your admin team has been very busy working on behalf of ccMixter on important projects and updates that are “out of sight”. Because your admin team is all volunteer, nearly all of our time has been needed for these behind-the-scenes projects as of late. So while we may seem absent, this is definitely not the case.

Here’s what we’re up to:

- Re-structuring and designing
We’ve seen our most significant growth at lately, and in turn, more and more folks beyond our community are using our music in their projects. By redesigning dig, with more emphasis on Attribution and how our CC and ccPlus licenses work, we hope to decrease improper use of our music as well as create a better listener experience. Victor is not only working on the design and user-interface, but he and Alex are re-architecting the entire back-end structure using the language Ember. All code changes will be openly shared on GitHub if you’re interested.

- Verifying all ccPlus tracks:
Because our ccPlus tagging process was manual for a while, and also part of projects like the Big Summer Music Fest and Music for Healing, some tracks were tagged that shouldn’t have been and vice versa. Victor and I have worked diligently to make certain all ccPlus tracks contain only ccPlus opted-in artists, for the entire remix tree. This has been a time and technology intensive project, but we believe all tracks now available under ccPlus license are fully opted-in. This is important for ccMixter on many fronts, and especially the bullet point below.

- YouTube Issues:
Many of you have shared your frustrations with the issues surrounding ccMixter music used on YouTube. Lack of Attribution, improper monetization of CC BY NC tracks, others improperly claiming your content through Content ID, and YouTube issuing Takedown notices for properly used and Attributed ccMixter content are some of the main issues we’ve been trying to manage. We’ve had several discussions with Google and also other companies like the FMA and Jamendo that face the same issues. Since April, we’ve embarked upon a real and hopeful solution to these issues with Google. It continues to become more complicated than it appeared at the start and we are still deep in our discussion and work with Google. We hope we will have something more solidified to report to you soon and will keep you posted.

- Fundraiser:
For ccMixter to be able to sustain it’s growth in our community and especially beyond, we need to raise funds. Last year we raised over 15k on IndieGoGo which enabled us to pay for our servers, design a new home page, and begin the redesign. We’ve determined a yearly fundraiser will be the best way to at least cover our server costs each year, with the goal of raising even more, so we might be able to hire a few people and update other critical aspects of our site. We hope we can plan on your support ( even today if you can!), and more importantly, help us garner the support of those who use our music.

- Secret Mixter:
Last year we had an amazing reunion Music Connects Us Secret Mixter as part of our fundraiser and we are planning something similar for this year. Once you are part of the Secret Mixter family, you are always part of us, and we hope even those who don’t visit ccMixter as often will still come back and participate in this Secret Mixter — certain to be a connecting event of music and sharing.

- Holiday Project
Each year we’ve created amazing sets of holiday music and much of that has ended up on albums. We plan to have another creation event this year to curate a holiday album to sell next year. Did you know that nearly 50% of music sales are from winter holiday themed records?

- Nature Speaks
Hector Thillet has proposed a wonderful remix event called Nature Speaks in conjunction with the same nonprofit. We are developing the project and finding the best time on our calendar for this event and will keep you posted.

- Spam
ccMixter sign-ups have sky-rocketed since our new home page design went live this year. We’ve welcomed many new artists to our community. We’ve also had to deal with an onslaught of spam behind the scenes. Kara and Susan have been monitoring this in great detail with the help of many of you (Speck, Panu, short hopper, etc.). Thank you for helping us handle our growth!

- ccPlus Program/Royalties:
One of the things we’ve learned at YouTube and iTunes is that in order for ArtisTech Media to issue TakeDown Notices and properly claim your music in order to add Attribution, remove improper monetization and/or to claim monetization that is rightfully yours, we need to be able to properly represent you. Our ccPlus program enables us to do just that. Artists have been signing up ( email us if you’re interested) and we’ve begun selling ccPlus licenses for those who want to use your work beyond the boundaries of CC licenses. Alex is working on automating the payout process so you can start receiving your royalties. This has proven more complicated than we anticipated but we are working hard to make sure you receive the value that is rightfully yours. We are reporting everything with transparency here:

- YouTube Channel:
One of the ways we’ve been encouraged by Google to help differentiate our music as our own is by creating an official YouTube Channel. Kara has created an array of videos, from tutorials to highlighting different tracks, and we thank her for her incredible work here! Check out our YouTube channel here:

These items are only a small list of the work we’ve been doing on behalf of ccMixter.

Thank you all for contributing your time and talent to ccMixter. We can always use more help! If you are interested in pitching in with any of the following, please let us know:
- reviewing uploads
- welcoming new users
- flagging spam forum posts, reviews or uploads
- Editorial Picks
- responding to forum posts

Sharing and creating together is what makes ccMixter vibrant! And that is possible because of each of you.

Thank you.
permalink   Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 11:37 AM
Hi Emily, thank you and the rest of the team for enabling the ccmixter experience! This all sounds really exciting, am looking forward to the events in particular. Thanks again, best regards, Simon (urmymuse)
permalink   Snowflake Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 11:56 AM
Simon, thanks so much for your response and all you give to ccMixter.

I honestly cannot wait to get back to creative events and more remixing, listening and recording. Creating music is what I love most!
Stefan Kartenberg
permalink   Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 12:17 PM
wow - you did (do) a great job here - thanks to all the admins and those who are in involved - i´m looking forward to the planned events
permalink   Snowflake Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 2:34 PM
thanks Stefan! i’m so grateful you continue to consistently create and upload music here (i’m jealous haha). :)
Beluga Ten
permalink   Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 1:41 PM
That’s quite a news update! I’m so glad to see that things are getting even better, and I recognise how much effort and teamwork must be needed. So a big “thank you” from me too!
permalink   Snowflake Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 2:34 PM
thank you so much Beluga! i’m a big fan of your music. :)
Kara Square
permalink   Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 4:52 PM
Reading this update is exciting! I’m looking forward to all of the events and the progress with dig, YouTube, and ccPlus. Thank you for everything you do, Emily. Thank you to all of the admins. And thank you to everyone in our community. Your music and the musical connections here continue to inspire me.
permalink   Snowflake Thu, Sep 3, 2015 @ 12:48 PM
Thank you for giving so much to ccMixter Kara!
permalink   Thu, Sep 3, 2015 @ 10:32 PM
Thanks Emily for sharing all this information — some of which is very important, and all of which is very encouraging (even the spammy sign ups!)

Martijn de Boer (NiGiD)
permalink   Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 7:06 AM
Great job
permalink   Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 11:01 AM
We owe you a big thank you, to you, to the team of CC Mixter but also to all members of this site.
permalink   Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 11:47 AM
I’m glad to hear that the site is being actively worked on. One thing I’d like to see more of is revamping the UI on ccMixter itself, though. The login form has gotten to be very confusing and cumbersome (at least when logging in via username/password - I don’t have/want a Facebook account so I don’t know what that is like), and selecting a source when uploading a remix is a really painful process, especially if there are multiple items of the same name.

Plus, it would be great if there were an RSS feed that provides news items (like this one) or announcements of remix events or the like. The RSS API is great for subscribing to specific forms of content, but there still doesn’t appear to be anything for subscribing to news items (without subscribing to every single forum post, anyway).

I always want to use ccMixter more but these particular issues are a big part of why I don’t spend a lot of time here. I can’t speak for anyone else, of course, but this site just feels very “web 1.0” and it’s hard to get into the community when it feels like you need to have been through every single tiny evolution to understand what’s going on. (And I’m not exactly a new user! I’ve just been incredibly inactive/casual.)
permalink   Admiral Bob Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 5:30 PM
There are always improvements to do = but one thing this site definitely is NOT is web 1.0. Take a look at the source code…. its a big mesh of Ajax, JSON, MVC patterns, and a quasi REST API.

It might be able to look better - but it was one of the first sites on the net to get such a modern architecture. Something for members to be proud of.

As to the login, you can always bookmark something inside the site, like your own page. Login from there is easy.
permalink   fluffy Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 6:53 PM
I didn’t say that it WAS Web 1.0, just that it felt like it. Having to do multiple steps to upload multiple files, having really weird stateful transitions that take place while publishing a set of samples, weirdly static controls in places where they really should be dynamic, that sort of thing.

I’d be happy to discuss my particular UI gripes elsewhere, if you prefer, but really the point I’m getting at is that regardless of what technologies are under the hood, the user experience is in serious need of a refresh. I’ve been using this site on and off since 2008 and I still have no idea how to do basic things without having to chug my way through it each time.
permalink   Snowflake Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 8:45 PM
After we finish the redesign of dig, the redesign of ccM is next. That’s one of the main reasons we’re going to do a fundraiser. We know the site has a clunky UI and needs many improvements. Thanks for your feedback.
permalink   urmymuse Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 10:22 PM
Its the people that make the site :) ccmixter is such a friendly creative place, I beam with happiness every time I log in. Clunky or no. What ever technology changes, or other changes, are made going forward we must not change the ethos of the site, otherwise it won’t be ccmixter any more.
permalink   Snowflake Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 10:27 PM
Thank you for saying this Simon. You are so right! It is the community, the collaboration and the creation that make ccMixter so unique. That’s because of everyone here.
permalink   Bluemillenium Sat, Sep 5, 2015 @ 5:49 AM
Je suis d’accord avec vous.

I agree with you.
permalink   fluffy Sat, Sep 5, 2015 @ 7:26 AM
I agree that the community is great - and that’s why I’d like the user interface to also be great, so that it’s easier to participate in this great community.
permalink   Snowflake Sat, Sep 5, 2015 @ 8:49 AM
We’re working toward that. Thank you for your generous contribution!
permalink   Admiral Bob Mon, Sep 7, 2015 @ 2:42 PM
permalink   victor Sat, Sep 5, 2015 @ 9:27 AM
You could take this site and use it as the ultimate list of what NOT to do in a web design course, It felt cumbersome and barely usable (and ugly) when the current iteration went live 8 years ago. (FWIW what you’re looking at here was never supposed to go live as it is but that’s another story.)

I had to leave the site 6 years ago because of a perfect shitstorm that hit my personal life. As the 10 year anniversary came up last fall I came back around to find, despite all this site isn’t, that the community and music was exactly as strong and vital as it was the day I had to leave. (Embarrassed as I ever was for the way the site looks and works, I was shocked and just a little proud that with barely any software maintenance, that the code was still running (lol))

After a few talks with Emily I was, in a word, inspired. At the risk of sounding painfully earnest, I actually believe the world is a slightly better place with ccMixter in it than without it.

At the start of the year we put a plan place for how to make the site and organization behind the site worthy of the community that has weathered the site lol. We are a few months behind my personal timeline (the ccplus internal cleanup took literally months longer than I had planned on) but the dig.ccmixter reboot should go beta in a few weeks and then live shortly after that.

The last part of the plan is the redesign of the main ccM site. Finally. No one is looking forward to that more than I am. This is going to be a crazy big job starting with tearing off the back end into a REST API that is completely divorced from the front. (The Query API is read only, the REST API will be read/write.) That will allow us to use the new dig architecture based on Ember/Fastboot to bolt on a completely redone/reworked user interface for ccMixter.

I haven’t had too much time to think about that phase but we’ll be experimenting with features like a personal feed (you know, Web 1.5) that would include important site news as well as when you’ve been remixed and uploads by people you follow, etc.

At some point we’ll open a wishlist thread.

Hope this helps,

[Edited for grammar]
permalink   fluffy Sat, Sep 5, 2015 @ 9:29 AM
This helps greatly, and is much appreciated. Thank you. :)
permalink   Siobhan Dakay Sat, Sep 12, 2015 @ 3:04 PM
Oh no….don’t make changes….I struggled to login already when ther ews the new home page.

permalink   victor Sat, Sep 12, 2015 @ 5:55 PM
not sure what you’re struggling with (?)

and changes are definitely coming - wholesale - but not for a while.
permalink   Siobhan Dakay Sat, Sep 12, 2015 @ 11:35 PM
I was just kidding….

To log in with a ccM account one have to scroll down the new start page and click on “get started”. A Sign in button (beside FB and sign up) would be hmm….good.

Admiral Bob
permalink   Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 5:32 PM
Thanks for the update Emily. Chomping at the bit for cranking out more Christmas music. I always love doing that. :)
permalink   Snowflake Sat, Sep 5, 2015 @ 8:49 AM
Your Christmas music is some of my very favorite!!!
permalink   Mon, Sep 7, 2015 @ 4:39 AM
Wow! Well done guys and thank you for giving us this opportunity to collaborate with some amazing people! Your hard work is greatly appreciated! All the best X
permalink   Mon, Sep 7, 2015 @ 8:34 PM
Thanks for all y’alls efforts to make this site the best, the most open, and creative place to share the music!

Call me crazy, but I’ve been hearing our influence on the radio. Almost every pop song is glitched out, sampled and cross genre these days. Is that just me or are you hearing that too?

We got something here. Looking forward to the next 10 years and all the music yet to come.
permalink   Wed, Sep 9, 2015 @ 6:49 AM
I uploaded my first mix here 8 years ago and 255 mixes later I can say that after being a part of several music /remix sites (many which have bit the dust despite either charging for their use or strewn with ads, cumbersome upload procedures and interfering admins ) that CC Mixter is without doubt the number one remix site on the net that is focussed on making music.

I think only twice in that time have I ever had any upload issues and considering the large range of upload options and licenses I can appreciate that it must not be easy to build a simple point and click operation, but for me it works but appreciate some people may not have had such a smooth journey.

Considering this site is run by the sheer hard work of volunteers, has no direct revenue stream and yet must cost a small fortune to operate and keep, I think it’s remarkable that it has endured and can say thank you to everyone involved for giving me a solid place to co create and share a body of work onto the internet so easily .

Whilst I know nothing about the nuts and bolts of connecting code, the site still runs like clockwork for me and the news, additional features and future updates sound great.
permalink   Mr_Yesterday Wed, Sep 9, 2015 @ 9:17 AM
Well said.
permalink   urmymuse Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @ 12:29 PM
Yes well said indeed. I don’t think its clunky. I think its beautiful :)
permalink   victor Sat, Sep 12, 2015 @ 6:06 PM
appreciate the sentiment ;)

part of the issue, especially with folks who have been using the site for over 5 years (like yourself) is that we have all built up quite a well of muscle memory using the site as it is.

we do have to bring the site into this millennium and I do promise 2 things: 1) the entire process will be done in the same open way we’ve always done thing involving the entire community and 2) [deadpan]I forgot the second thing.[/deadpan]

permalink   Wed, Sep 9, 2015 @ 10:16 AM
As some on the Admin team know I don’t always show my face but I keep watch over this site as it is near and dear to my heart. It has maintained a community feel despite the huge numbers of signups. I see newcomers who do stick their necks out welcomed with open arms and open minds.

I would like to see possibilities opened up for those here who are looking for some exposure or financial compensation for their work. There’s plenty of talent here that deserves that opportunity and clearly the site needs the money too. If any team can balance the pure joy of creative community and the twin delight of making a living from what you love doing, it’s this one. Bless you all in your ongoing work.
permalink   Snowflake Sat, Sep 12, 2015 @ 8:37 AM
You should join ccPlus essesq! That will help us track where your works are used, and allow remixers who’ve remixed your work, as well as you, to receive compensation for your work if it is used commercially. :)