I'm creating a site to keep track of "Want to Listen" albums and share them with friends - looking for feedback

Hello everyone!

In the past years I was using a fairly tedious process of organizing the music albums (or DJ sets, radio shows) in a few lists:

  • Want to Listen
  • Listened
  • Listened and liked

I wanted to keep track of these lists, what I discovered each month/year and share all this activity and lists with my friends. For that, I was using a combination of tools that weren’t made exactly for this job (Discogs+Spotify+IM apps), resulting in a cumbersome experience.

So a couple of months ago I started this hobby project, with the purpose of streamlining my process (make it as easy as possible) and making it fairly simple to share it with fellow music explorers.

The basic idea is that you add items to your “Want to Listen” list - these are music albums (or even mixes), that you want to listen. After you listened to them, you can mark them as “Listened” or “Listened and liked”. Your activity is then shared with your friends, and you have a public profile where this activity and your lists appear. You can think of it kinda like “Goodreads but for music”.

It’s partly powered by MusicBrainz database (i.e. release groups, cover images and artist names).

There are a few ways to add items to your lists (more to be added in the future):

  • search by artist name or release title
  • add using a Discogs release URL
  • add using a Mixcloud URL
  • add using a Spotify album URL

You can find it at https://digs.fm

It’s still in super early version, so there are a lot of missing features and for sure a lot of rough edges. I’m looking for feedback and suggestions!

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Hello,
This is a really cool idea, with lots of potential!

I gave it a quick try with some other list I have of “music to listen”. The obstacle I found is that not many artists in my “to listen” list have a Musicbrainz entry corresponding to the thing I want to listen to. Do you have any thoughts on how to handle that case? The reality is, if I can’t save an artist in digs.fm without first adding them to Musicbrainz, then I will still have an extra list of “artists to add to musicbrainz and then listen to…” :slight_smile:

I maintain a set of “glue code” modules written in Python that might be useful for the site, depending on what tools you use to develop it - you can check them here and see if anything is useful Calliope documentation — Calliope documentation

edit: another initial thought - any way to import/export the playlists? using JSPF with some extensions for Musicbrainz specific data (as Listenbrainz does) would be cool.

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Thanks for the kind words!

That’s interesting. So, currently the whole thing is built around either releases (i.e. albums, singles, EPs) or shows (i.e. a mixcloud link). Is your use case different than this, in that you want to add artists, not specific releases to your lists?

Do I understand correctly that you’ve used the search functionality to search for specific artist names (e.g. Nirvana) and nothing was returned in the results? If so, can you provide some example queries you’ve tried (feel free to DM me as well)?

Besides that, did you notice that it’s also feasible to add items using a Spotify or Discogs URL? If not, I probably have to improve the discoverability of this feature. (Sorry if the questions are too many, I’m trying to understand your use case).

Regarding lists exporting, it will be done for sure, but not planned for the short-term yet, because there’s a lot of stuff to implement before the site becomes attractive to someone. I wasn’t familiar with JSPF but I’ll look into it. Thanks for your project as well, I’ll take a look!

Thanks for the feedback, it’s very valuable!

1 Like

This is a really cool idea and nicely done. Great work.

My personal wishlist for enhancement would be:

  • Search by MBID / MB release URL
  • Search by link to Bandcamp (I understand that the list of potential music services users might want to search by is huge :slight_smile: )
  • Yes, export playlists in some way. Cool would be to actually export playlists directly into Spotify, or ListenBrainz
3 Likes

Hey, thanks a lot for the feedback!

Awesome suggestions.

Bandcamp in particular came up as a request by a friend also, and I believe it’s a very common thing to have a bandcamp link that you want to schedule, because in bandcamp you find releases that are not publicly available yet, so yeah it makes a lot of sense. That said, it’s the most tricky, because Bandcamp unfortunately doesn’t offer an API :frowning: But I’ll try to tackle it somehow.

Searching by MB release/release-group URL should be easy to implement. I’ll put a note to do this sometime soon. Searching by MBID is something I haven’t thought of, it’s an interesting idea. Would it be still useful to you if you could already find MBID releases by title/artist and search by MB URLs?

Thanks!

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If you query a Bandcamp album URL, such as e.g. "BURNING VILLAGE" | Mountain Witch, it contains all the details in structured format as a LD+JSON schema. E.g. the example link contains the JSON data in schema.json · GitHub . So this should help.

Another (or probably additional) option is to query MusicBrainz for this Bandcamp URL, e.g. https://musicbrainz.org/ws/2/url?resource=https://mountainwitch.bandcamp.com/album/burning-village&inc=release-rels will give the linked releases for the above URL. This might need maybe some normalization of the URL to ensure it matches (e.g. removal of trailing slash and query string, not sure what MB does).

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Wow, I didn’t know that; you just made my day! Support for Bandcamp coming soon (maybe I’ll hack something today). Thanks a ton!

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@outsidecontext Support for Bandcamp album links has been added (example). Thanks again!

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Just a funny side note (because I had to read bandcamp’s legal mumbo jumbo aka “Terms of Use”) to see the content:

Welcome to the non-legally-binding introductory paragraph to our Terms of Use! We recognize that the following document is the literary equivalent of 20 milligrams of Ambien, but it really and truly is required that you read and agree to it before using Bandcamp. We’ve done our best to make it all go down smooth – you won’t find any 8-point type, or long sections of TOTALLY UNREADABLE ALL-CAPS intended to fulfill the legal definition of “conspicuous” (we’re pretty sure Your Honor will accept yellow, bold text instead)…

:joy:

6 Likes

Support for Bandcamp links is probably enough for my use case, in practice 99% of what I want to listen to is covered by either MusicBrainz or Bandcamp :slight_smile:

And yeah - i might save an artist rather than a specific release, if i am not sure yet sure where to start with their discography.

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That’s great feedback, thanks!

The “I don’t know where to start with an artist” is a use case I encountered myself too. So you just gave me an idea for a potential feature that may cover this need. Stay tuned :slight_smile:

Thanks again.

1 Like

A small update that might seem useful to some MusicBrainz folks! Among many other things, I’ve implemented the following:

  • Support for MusicBrainz release and release group URLs. For example, you can now enter https://musicbrainz.org/release/a0a41756-f0dd-4042-bd30-a7fcced4eba9 into the search box and it will work as expected.
  • A Firefox Extension with which you can add a release from MusicBrainz/Discogs/Bandcamp/Mixcloud to your “Want to Listen” list, without leaving the original page at all.

For example, if you install the extension and go to, let’s say, Release group “Wede Harer Guzo” by Hailu Mergia & Dahlak Band - MusicBrainz, then a small vinyl icon will appear next to the address bar:

And if you click that icon, the release will be added straight to your “Want to Listen” list.

A version for Chrome is also on the way, I just stumbled upon some Privacy Policy things I have to do and it will be out (hopefully soon). But if you want to try it out today, you can install from https://github.com/digs-fm/browser-extension/tree/chrome.

Feedback is more than welcome, as always!


Update: The Chrome extension is now available on the Chrome store as well: Digs.fm - Chrome Web Store

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