Notes app musings: proposals for resonate community to consider from a label perspective

A thousand times yes to LLK and Sam’s points. The potential parallels with Bandcamp have become clearer for me too lately and I’m amazed by LLK’s assessment of what that could mean for Resonate.

I don’t have anything big to add really, except these conversations are highlights of my days (thanks!), and actually hey, this forum for me makes Resonate stand out from other platforms so maybe there’s something really important there. Almost a daily routine for me to come here and read up, collect links and references to read later, etc. For someone who’s video-shy like me, I feel this is really important in still making me feel part of the community.

Oh, about curation/editorial content and the work involved / quality aimed - how about having community members be able to sign up for a “go” at cooking up something (“Hi, I’d like to write something about x”) - be it a playlist, a feature, a writeup of any kind, and have them paired up / mentored by a staff/pro curator/writer/contributor to help polish the article, and release it as a collab effort?


@CPacaud, thanks for the kind words! I agree that the forum is helping Resonate stand out as well, among other things, like the cooperative setting and the diversity of people and thoughts “at the table.”

I also like your idea about pairing people together to create what I’m assuming are articles and playlists that are designated under the Resonate “brand?” Either way, I really like the idea of having a mentor work with a new person at the start because although Resonate wants to incentivize individual freedom and the ability for people to freely contribute to the community, I think it’s important that there becomes some kind of “standard” that people can work with to make sure Resonate is consistently providing quality to the community, while also getting others involved. I could dive a bit deeper into this, and would also like to solidify the context a bit more beforehand, but that sounds like a great start for when we are ready to really tackle this idea! Thanks!


I read this and immediately think: why go through that trouble when you can just have this as a feature that is an optional part of curating a playlist. Like, if you make a playlist, there is a WYSIWYG editor where the curator can optionally write about the selections they chose, the overarching theme of the playlist, how they discovered these artists, etc. Make it clear it is optional. This lives on platform as something tied to this listener’s profile. It also could be tied back to an artist to show “playlists they appear on” somewhere on the artist’s profile.

IMO, this also starts to kick the tires at other unique ways listeners can approach music discovery within resonate. If they find a playlist because they came across it somewhere on the site, they might add a song or two from it to their own playlists, follow other artists they have discovered, and they also might choose to follow the listener/curator that created it. Using Community Credentials, you could even show how compatible each listener’s taste is to one another based on the songs they each respectively verifiably own. This simultaneously builds a more robust social network for the platform, which further encourages participation from all parties.

As far as making this clear in the UI/UX, maybe upon submission of the playlist and the filled out write-up, there is a checkbox that the curator can choose to tick that says like “by checking this box, i allow resonate to feature my playlist” with a little “?” tooltip after that to provide more info that outlines how that process works. this elevates curators and incentivizes sharing. it elevates and highlights artist work on the platform. and it does both of these things in community-centric ways. this is basically what people are already doing on massively popular sites like rate your music. This marks an important distinction in that it’s highlighting fan’s and curator’s voices, rather than having a top down “gatekeep-y” editorial component (lol, and listen, I knooowww I advocated for that in my initial post above lol, BUT, i think this would be easier to bootstrap and get off the ground and would also allow users to talk in their own voices, rather than having to worry about resonate publishing this stuff adhering to an editorial standard which the common layperson is gonna miss more often than they hit). Plus I think these are mutually exclusive ideas and they could exist side-by-side eventually.

to take this a step further, if a curator’s/listener’s write-up is featured on the platform in some way, then maybe this ties into point 6 in my OP:

Just riffin’ here!


Cool, that’s awesome to hear! As I mentioned in my op, I would LOVE to learn more about what sort of standard is being used here for the metadata and how resonate would prefer assets be labeled and organized for bulk uploading so that I can get going on that. I also might have ideas / feedback to share as someone that would be regularly ingesting bulk content, and as someone who has a catalog of 2,000+ songs. I want to see my label peers on here. And I want to see this grow immensely. We’ve all endured the absolutely terrible T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E uploading experiences at SoundCloud. We’ve all endured individually uploading our entire catalogs on to Bandcamp. We’re willing to do this because these communities are vibrant and flourishing. Resonate does itself no favors in having a difficult process to onboard catalog. I think a bulk uploader that rights holders should have as painless an experience as possible in uploading catalog to resonate. To prevent just anyone from using it, perhaps there is some sort of manual approval for the feature first, so you don’t have someone ingesting tons of media they don’t own the rights to. But yeah, of everything I mentioned to this point in this thread, some sort of onboarding/ingesting portal for bulk upload is the #1 thing that I personally feel should be implemented as you can take one single person’s actions and transform that into thousands of exciting new titles on the platform in one action. That’s HUGE imo!


I completely and enthusiastically agree with this!!!

To this, I offer you:

Please trust me when I say, the number one feature I see people request from Bandcamp is the ability to make playlists. I see it in message boards, I see it on Twitter, I see artists and fans alike lamenting the lack of support for it. I even see people using scrapers and building their own adhoc APIs to build custom solutions to try and subvert this problem on their own, independent of Bandcamp, like bndcmpr and Buy Music Club.


Playlisting adds such an interesting dynamic to the S2O model because it treads a well-worn path to ownership of the songs within. If you have a go-to playlist, the tracks in it are VERY likely to eventually be owned tracks in your library. This doesn’t even exist as a mechanic on Bandcamp, and on other services it pays a consistent paltry sum per stream. As the ecosystem grows and certain playlist properties become more coveted, this could begin to be meaningful money for artists that are curated by playlist owners in this way. Going further, artist accounts could also be granted the ability to make playlists of their own to feature on their own pages giving an artist the ability to showcase peers, inspirations, collaborators, etc. All of this broadens the musical world of everyone who participates and it elevates all parties who participate, enabling truly community-driven modes of discovery.

An idea that occurs to me re: “coopetition” with Bandcamp and identifying the Bandcamp listener-base as a more likely suitable base for Resonate than Spotify et al.,
On Bandcamp, listeners have “collections”. Something I can see for sure as friction to leaving a platform and joining another is now your music library is split. You own music in two separate, walled-off, non-compatible eco-systems. That’s a non-starter for many people because they don’t want to re-pay to own the same media on another platform (this is what has me most excited about web3 and platform agnostic ownership of media in the future, but alas…). I have no idea if this is technically even possible, or if it is something that doesn’t fall into an ethical gray area but I will put it out there as an idea and maybe someone else can riff on it: starting fresh on a new platform is annoying and it is a point of friction in the onboarding process of getting new listeners to migrate. Is there a way to allow listeners to connect their accounts from other services (enter their Bandcamp collection URL, connect to their Spotify or Apple Music accounts to grab library data, etc.) and use that to look for corresponding content on Resonate to mirror it so that as much of their experience on these other platforms can be setup at Resonate for them right from the start? For music in a listener’s Bandcamp Collection, this could mean that it gets added for free on Resonate if a Resonate artist agrees to that. This might be too left field an idea, I know—again, just riffin’ here.

It’s not lost on me that all of these ideas would require an immense amount of work btw!!!


YEAHHHHHHH I see it this way as well.

I agree with this. I do think that the fundamentals need to be really dialed in before anything we’re discussing in this thread can be acted upon. And the new player and new design in general really, realllly get us close to that point. From there it’s thoughtfully building modularly on top of that to create a feature set that borrows from the familiar and successful things of other platforms and [through discussions like this one] thoughtfully employs them in new and exciting ways to create an altogether different experience.

so, that said (nailing the fundementals), re: UI design,
I feel like an important and essential thing to maintain here is ease-of-use and navigation of the player and the site. implementing too much Myspace-era inspired itchio-esque customization could create a confusing environment that people can’t consistently navigate. So I think to start, customization should (in my humble opinion) be kept to just things like customized header / photo / maaaaaybeeeee text and layout colors and that’s probably it to start. Otherwise it could become a point of frustration. There are also accessibility and a11y-related concerns associated with that to consider!

Geez sorry I type way way too much :sweat_smile:


Something else I want to add, but idk if it warrants a new topic outright, is w/r/t artist onboarding and convincing artists and labels to join Resonate.

Something we do with Topshelf when we announce a new album on our website, is offer the ability for fans to sign up to be alerted the moment the album goes up for sale so fans don’t miss out. For example, we have an album for an artist (Weatherday) announced currently, but not available for sale yet (see here). When fans land on this page to learn more about the album, they are passively prompted to sign up if they’d like to be alerted when it goes on sale.

This is then reflected in our product inventory dashboard:

Which shows us that we have 1,653 people who have expressed they want to be notified when the album becomes available. In the last column, you can also see we have an inventory of 1,500 initially allocated here—so this will be in high demand when it becomes available, which is awesome! But my main point is: We have something that is unavailable. We provide a means to signal intent. and through that, we get input that informs a future decision (i.e. I will now order 2,000 records to start instead of 1,500).

I think this process of signaling leading to action can be repeated to great effect potentially on Resonate.

Currently, a very, very, very small fraction of existing artists have their work on Resonate. Which, that’s fine! But the goal is to get more to join. A search for “Weatherday” on Resonate yields a big blank page with the text “No results found”.

This, for a listener, is obviously a bummer, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity!! What if instead of a big blank page, it was utilized as a space to incentivize listeners to express interest in that artist to join resonate. Users can signal they want the artist to join, and maybe there are some calls to action with pre-filled things people can tweet at an artist.

I think API data from third parties like lastfm, Gracenote, or even Spotify APIs can be utilized to dynamically build out pages for artists despite them not having accounts on resonate yet. Consider them as placeholders. There could even be a prompt that says “are you Weatherday? 1,653 listeners want to hear your music on our platform! Sign up to start getting paid fairly to share your music with our community today” or something like that.

I don’t think you do this for like, The Beatles—or larger artists on majors—but you can target artists with a specific amount of listeners / scrobbles / followers / etc.—some criteria that clearly targets the independent artist community primarily.

To go further, to encourage this sort of stalwart behavior from listeners, their might be some sort of reward component if an artist they have signaled to come join the platform does in fact sign up, they are rewarded with credits or something related to that artist’s community on Resonate. In turn, the artist, upon signing up (let’s say Weatherday and their 1,653 listeners who have signaled they want them to join in this scenario), they would immediately have those listeners as followers to engage with and share updates directly to.

This could serve as a vehicle to signal to artists “a community is awaiting you here on Resonate” which I think could be a powerful motivator if the mechanics of this can be worked out. Of course, if an artist has an underwhelming amount of people signaling, maybe hide that number until it reaches some sort of threshold like >50 or something.


There is nothing THAT special about Bandcamp other than it is very easy to use.
Resonate is currently not easy to use as an artist.
Bandcamp is also ‘tried and tested’ as far as most artists I know perceive it. If I mentioned Resonate to friends of mine they would say “how is that better than Bandcamp”?
Initially I must say I saw Resonate as the fairer, more diverse equivalent to Spotify.
Playlists - great…fine… I have made playlists on lots of platforms, Spotify, Traxsource, Juno and Beatport - all without being paid. People always want to spread the word about their favourite music and artists.
I don’t think Resonate should copy anything that monetises participation in the same way most streaming services do. the most toxic of which is developing algorithms that push awareness of ‘trending’ tracks, or fast increasing streaming numbers. This is the ultimate lowest common denominator in music.
Additionally, many people are using their playlist stewardship to earn income. Which essentially leads to paying people to ‘like’ your music, whether officially or in the dark shadows.


Love this. As an artist, I would definitely want to be able to say “Look, I don’t want you to pay twice for my stuff, but Resonate is really cool, come have a look over here.” As a listener, I would love the ease of being able to start my Resonate experience from a rebuild of at least part of my BC collection over here. Like @topshelfrecords said though, immense amount of work for the developpers, no doubt. Maybe there’s ways to get partway there without doing a fully automated process though. I wouldn’t mind having to go through a couple of hoops as a early adopter to a platform. I’m a tinkerer though.

Great idea! At least a call to action - “Go talk to them about it!”. Tying this to some sort of incentivization to me raises some alarms as a system that could be gamed somehow, esp. if tied with awarding credits, but maybe it’s not too bad. Definitely has to be considered though.

Yeah, this is the type of territory that for me must be avoided at all costs, or I’ll go “Well, what was all this for then.” We should try to foster listening / sharing / producing through our shared love of music and make all the interactions around doing that as smooth as possible, not boost and game it through incentivization and “likes”. Growth will be slower, “friction” will be higher, adoption rate will be smaller, no doubt. That’s the price for what I believe and understand people are trying to build here.

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Re: Bandcamp v. Spotify

I wonder if folks have read this remarkable analysis → The Chaos Bazaar - Components

This prior post is also worth digesting (an essential resource for considering best co-operative implementations of genre tagging) → The Map and the Category - Components

FWIW a research contributor cited in The Chaos Bazaar, Cade Diehm / New Design Congress should be stopping by today’s weekly open technology chat (2021-05-07T16:00:00Z) Link:


I think you might have missed it be we had a long talk about it on this topic thanks to @RobertaFidora sharing this paper!


Thank you for the prompt, LL! I’ll cycle back to study and share.

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I think what’s special about it is the intensely supportive community of listeners and fans that engage with the platform and the artists on it. Spotify commands a massive user base, but it is increasingly a passive listening experience in my opinion. Bandcamp caters to active listeners. Further, Resonate is light years away from negotiating deals with the major labels [and idk this to be true, but I would imagine] or even Merlin and indie distributors, for that matter. So that leaves you with a far inferior catalog to offer to listeners comparatively. So in that sense, Bandcamp : Resonate is a more accurate comparison than Spotify : Resonate because both (out of necessity) need to target the independent music community. to get this off the ground, we’re gonna need inquisitive musical minds like yourself and everyone else participating in the early days of this nascent co-op. To sustain it, we’ll need the type of intensely supportive active community that Bandcamp currently enjoys because the cavalry of bulk catalog from major labels isn’t gonna come riding over the hill anytime soon, y’know?

Exxxxaaaccccttlllyyyyy. The alternative to Spotify in most listener’s minds already exists: It’s Bandcamp. That’s the competition. The vacuum has been filled. To be the alternative alternative, you truly need to innovate. In my opinion just because people will perform a particular behavior (like curating playlists in this instance) for free to begin with, that isn’t necessarily a good enough justification to not explore ways to further incentivize them to, y’know? I’m also not saying we need to force bad ideas or square-peg-in-round-hole stuff—just that innovating on what works and what could work is what’s gonna get this off the ground imo. And when we’ve collectively arrived at great implementations of great ideas (that stem from discussions like these!), that’s when you have the ever elusive “Well, I’ll tell ya how it’s better than Bandcamp, bud”.

So as far as UI and the interface of the player, etc.—yeah, I definitely agree with you. It’s Spotify-esque. And I think that’s good—I think it’s safe to say we all view this as a streaming service of some kind after all. But even the end result of owning the music is the same as Bandcamp (you can never own a song via Spotify et al.—you’re always renting). So idk, I think the similarities are there and it’s worth a closer look at the pros and cons of all of these various platforms, analyzing how they all are/are not compatible and building something that’s unique and truly useful after carefully considering it all.

I also, of course, view this forum as a means to see all conversations faithfully to their logical conclusions so I appreciate your contributions to the discourse here, even if we maybe don’t align on some ideas for implementation of certain things. :vulcan_salute:


@topshelfrecords Kevin thanks so much for the great content in this thread and also for others in the builds added below. We might capture these as development ‘epics’ and user stories going forward.

Vouchers: As a label or artist I want to reward a customer with a download or discount on a download for one or more of my tracks on Resonate so that they will become / remain a loyal supporter / customer

In theory, with Resonate, even without anything clever from Community Credentials, this might work something like this:

  1. Label/Artist asks the prospect listener to share their Resonate email signup address. (Or to sign up with Resonate if they are not signed up already, using the same email address.)
  2. Label/Artist uses a new ‘promote tracks’ feature on their Resonate ‘dashboard’ to specify user (email) and tracks (track ID) to be offered to the user and indicatehow much to subsidise. 100%? 50%? 25%?
  3. Stream2Own play levels are then boosted for that track for selected user(s) according to subsidy. Credits required to do this are calculated.
  4. Credits required are deducted (allowing for the 30% platform fee) from Label/Artist credit account (not from the listener’s credits account). This will offset future artist/label earnings from plays for that ‘gifted / subsidised’ track.
  5. Listener visits the track and gets to stream for free… and download.
  6. Label/Artist gets ‘redemption’ feedback… did the user redeem the offer?

That would seem to fit? No need for a voucher code and link… Just tell them there is a stream2own track waiting for them.

If step 1, if asking for a Resonate email address is too intrusive, then a voucher code system would be necessary, but would require the protection against double spend, as for Bandcamp vouchers.

However simple, I think it will need to wait until we have done some significant work on our very simple play accounting… new tracks API and new payment/accounting API and better webstats for redemptions.

Also, the ‘download’ part of this is dependent on some work on the catalogue files. Perhaps it should also be dependent on having signed up as a community member and having a player with a community credentials wallet… so that the HQ download was ‘by agreement’, landed somewhere convenient for offline play and was backed with the digital receipt in the wallet, which could be used elsewhere in the ecosystem.

Reserving the download feature for members might also help to grow membership for us? I don’t know… It’s just that a small, recurring membership fee is quite important in our business model.

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You nailed it yes, the reason why Bandcamp vouchers are so precious is they don’t require to create an account on the platform which I think @topshelfrecords will agree is an absolute prerequisite for a voucher service to be efficient for a musician. The goal here is to provide musician an easy service for them to reach out to managers, producers, other artists, friends etc. Many of whom will not want to bother with yet another account and will just want to access the music. In a sense, providing this service is not about Resonate, it’s all about empowering the artists, and what Resonate gains from it is if more and more artists start doing it, someone who entered their email 10 times already to get a voucher code for an album and see that they already own a small collection of 10 albums on that platform might start gaining interest in creating an account there to be able to access that collection at all time.

It’s how it works on Bandcamp and it’s an extremely powerful and non intrusive tool to get listeners onto the platform. Anything else will just pale in comparison.

Edit: to be clear because upon re reading it might not have been, how it works on Bandcamp :

You enter an email adress, it’s NOT creating an account (it’s just so that you recieve a mail with the link), and your voucher code.

It gets you to a page where you can download the album in any format (mp3 320, mp3 0, aif, aac, wav, flac)

This page also shows what other albums have been redeemed (either bought or through download codes) through this email adress to show you the “collection” you could access if you decided to create a bandcamp account.

I think we should litterally emulate that system 1:1 whenever possible.


So if Bandcamp verify the voucher codes using an email address to match with the one used to create the code and require the user to prove control of that address, the user would have pretty much the same experience as creating a sign-up account anyway?

That page showing the other albums redeemed for that email address sounds pretty much like an ‘account’ to me.

Perhaps it is just the perceived value of the code as a token that makes us think it necessary for the listener. Its value to the artist and the platform is as a tracking mechanism of course… ‘Closing the loop’ in the analytics so the platform knows who picked up on which promotion and when, because they have a redemption event to correlate with. Loyalty schemes are powerful.

Hey just wanna chime in here and mention that I think there are many, many cases for a voucher as we are discussing it. But, as I brought it up in the original post here, it was in the context of a download code that comes inserted with a vinyl record. In this case, no email is required of the person redeeming it afaik. You just go to the URL, enter the code, and are prompted to download it without ever providing an email address. I could be wrong here though!

Thanks for the deeper dive into the logistics of this, @Nick_M! I think what you’ve outlined makes sense as well, as a form of not passing this cost on to the listener.

This might be true, but I’d be wary of it as a listener. I don’t like feeling like my content is walled off from me, or held hostage in exchange for me performing an action. I would maybe arrive at this page, see I had to register for something and then just X out and consider it a loss. I am extremely off-put by stuff like that as a user, personally. This would have to be incredibly unobtrusive. In the context of redeeming a download card from inside a vinyl record, I already went through the hurdle of purchasing the album with money. Redeeming the code and being met with any kind of barrier feels like a violation of this transaction.

I see what you’re saying, especially in the context of everything else you’ve written and what @LLK has brought up, but I do think we should honor the intelligence of listeners to feel they have made this choice, not had it forced on them in order to redeem something.

In the case of a download card in a record, the redeemer’s email is never known. So, while I agree with what you’re saying in most contexts (that info is super useful), I think having this so that the code can be redeemed while a passive case for resonate is made while the listener is briefly on the page, that is the move. Similar to how weTransfer handles it. They let you know you could have an account, you could advertise, you could upload your own files, but you’re there specifically to download the file someone else sent you and then leave. But, enough of a % of people do perform those secondary actions and weTransfer grows little by little organically because of it. A well designed “landing page” that does this for redeeming Resonate download codes (“vouchers”) could do the same for Resonate I think.

Yep, that is in fact how I view it as well! Give people the freedom to choose and they’ll choose you eventually if what you’ve built is truly useful. I also agree with the rest of your post (and most things you post on these forums, to be honest). Thanks for helping to distill what this could be!


Ah that’s probably where I wasn’t clear : the codes are “adress-less” or adress agnostic if you prefer, no email adress has been used to generate them, and if you hold a code can enter any email adress you wish with them, I’d need to check because I’ve never done that but it’s even possible a fake email adress would actually work fine and still take you to the download page since there’s no email verification step that I can remember.

So there’s no “loop to close” because there’s no loop to start, the download code is litterally the value of the album and the email adress is a tool to recieve the download link by mail so that you always have a pointer to that page if you’re not a Bandcamp member.

Bandcamp only displays the “albums” you have if it sees the same email adress has been used several times to redeem things, but other than that it’s got 0 personnal informations about you so I’d hardly qualify this as “similar to creating an account” both from the perspective of the platform and the listener.


Thanks @llk @topshelfrecords, that’s clear… we’d need to do anonymous download codes…

Really nice feature and no tracking it seems, unless the artist/label’s own MailChimp or whatever campaign requires it.

There are some open source voucher code generators out there it seems, so we could avoid platforms like

One for the roadmap then, if short term workarounds won’t cut it.


hey @topshelfrecords just discovered your label, here’s my first attempt at a resonate playlist of topshelf tracks (one of your proposal items) :slight_smile:


@Hakanto could we split these proposals into separate proposals?
They seem more possible now than in May - the playlist one semi-exists today for example.

Or is this something @topshelfrecords should do?