Offer track downloads

I’m coming to this (and some other topics) late (after being directed by Hakanto) but a question and a few thoughts:

Q - Was there ever an actual update/reason/timeline for downloads? Hakanto asked for a refresher and laid out a dummy update but I can’t see an actual response to that.

I agree with most of the points above, especially that under s2o I would expect my ownership to equate to a download and so without downloads s2o isn’t actually a fit description.

I guess there’s a question of what ownership actually means. Continual free listening after 9 plays doesn’t quite cut it as ownership in my mind unless I can take that music elsewhere.

I wonder if I actually need to download though. Currently, I buy music on e.g. Bandcamp. I get free streaming via the app and can ‘download’ in the sense of cacheing locally. I also download and copy over to a Plex media server. I do this a) as a backup (if Bandcamp disappears, artist takes down music, etc.) and b) Plex can feed a couple of Ikea/Sonos speakers around the house. Whilst this last stage is partially redundant as Bandcamp can stream directly through Sonos, I have a larger music library than Bandcamp purchases alone (I’ve ripped CDs and Tapes over the years for when I stuck everything in storage and lived abroad plus some historic piracy that I don’t have the inclination to purge) and so keeping that library up-to-date feels right for me. I describe this process though, as the actual download serves limited purpose and my largest concern is more that of an archivist.

Perhaps, ‘download’ could refer to somekind of offline cacheing (similar to the local playback described in a couple of places above) and ‘export’ could be for getting owned music out of Resonate, for whatever purposes I desired. I’d expect, if Resonate closed shop, there’d be a window to export my entire owned library. The only remaining issue would be music taken off of the platform which perhaps could be mitigated by said music becoming unavailable for streaming but still exportable for a short time (say a month or two so owners are notified and can download if they want).

Finally, I’m not technically proficient enough but with stuff like IPFS would it be technically feasible for ‘ownership’ to equate to different levels of interacting with such a distributed filesystem (I mean I don’t even know if that’s comparable to Resonate’s backend). By that I mean a stream, via Resonate, connects to a server to access the audio file, whereas ownership allows one to access said audio file through a greater number clients, not just Resonate but a download mechanism, and a local media server could pull and cache directly. Say Plex had the functionality (which it doesn’t, I’m speaking hypothetically), could I add my Resonate credentials to it and it access my library? Would the cost of serving a file (I mean the actual infrastructure costs incurred by Resonate in operating their platform) be any more expensive to allow an external stream via another client, than to stream it for free after 9 paid streams? What are the technical barriers to opening up owned tracks to external players which are also afforded the ability to cache locally?

Just adding my 2 cents, though I think there’s consensus on the fact that ‘owning’ implies you can download the track, and that this is an absolutely critical feature if ‘stream to own’ is to succeed as a concept.

DJs need to be able to download the tracks that they purchase, and not being able to is a complete dealbreaker.

I’m lucky enough to be able to spend hundreds of dollars on music every single month, which fuels my hobby of being a radio (and occasionally friends’ parties) DJ. Bandcamp makes this extremely easy for me. I was initially drawn to Resonate not just because of the pioneering model, but because there was clearly effort put into on-boarding quality, forward-thinking independent labels. I would 100% use Resonate if the labels were there and I could download the tracks.

I believe DJs should be considered the core early-stage ‘power user’ for this platform, and if their needs are catered-to, they will take Resonate so much further. Consumer streaming will only ever work at scale - the average listener isn’t interested in spending more than $10-20 per month on music in total (and they would likely end up spending less than that on Resonate). Compare that with hundreds of dollars per month from a single radio DJ…

The question around downloading HQ files seems moot to me; parity with Bandcamp should be the goal.




In the same boat as macmac here, downloading songs for DJing later is a big one for me.

Consumer streaming will only ever work at scale - the average listener isn’t interested in spending more than $10-20 per month on music in total (and they would likely end up spending less than that on Resonate). Compare that with hundreds of dollars per month from a single radio DJ…

This is an interesting idea, I’d be curious if anyone else has any thoughts on this.


I love the way you’re thinking @macmac!

Would/should downloading songs for DJing have different costs/requirements though compared to private listening? Not sure how this normally works, but it may be something else to add to the equation that we need to consider.

I agree though that consumer streaming would only ever work at scale, but in addition to accommodating DJs, I would also see Resonate increasing consumer revenue in the future by allowing artists to sell tickets, merchandise, etc. on Resonate with the co-op being able to take a percentage of those sales as well.

@datafruits, could you clarify more of what additional thoughts you were looking for above?

Thoughts on what consumers could potentially spend on average, or thoughts on partnering with radio DJs as “power-listeners/users”?

Hopefully I threw some ideas out there that fit what you’re looking for, but this type of DJ market for Resonate isn’t necessarily something I’ve considered before, so I am interested to dive a bit deeper here! Thanks everyone!


@Sam_Martyn a few different things with long answers so I’ll try to address them one at a time :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t frame it as ‘partnering’ with DJs. Thinking of the platform as a product; in order for it to succeed we need user adoption, and I believe DJs would be the most valuable and engaged user by far. For DJs to join, the product needs to be in a state where it is the most attractive option out of all the other possible options for DJs buying music online. Then they will join in droves. Fortunately, feature-wise, DJs should actually be easier to cater to than the average spotify/apple music listener who is used to all the fancy algorithmic nice-to-haves. DJs tolerate some truly terrible UX when it comes to buying music online, because at the end of the day they go where the music is.

Buying music online as a DJ
I can only speak from my own experience - and you can bet that every DJ has their own particular way of acquiring new tunes - but a first-hand account should be useful anyway.

My primary (and favourite) source for new music is Bandcamp. If I can’t find something I want, I’ll begrudgingly find the online store that has it and buy it there. Over the years I’ve progressively ‘followed’ more and more artists/labels on Bandcamp. My inbox eventually became inundated with email notifications of their new releases, so I created a dedicated inbox for these to automatically be redirected to. I now have a pretty convenient place to look every time I want to discover new music. Before my fortnightly radio show I open 20 browser tabs at a time, and spend hours skipping through sometimes around 200 releases, adding the things I like to my cart as I go. At the end, I’ll proceed to the cart and complete the purchase (this can be fraught, with card processing issues sometimes really getting in the way). Then I’ll go through the list of purchases and download the files. I like the idea that if I did this on Resonate, then every single artist I listened to would receive some money, even if it’s only a few cents for the ones I didn’t purchase.

In many digital music stores, it is already common to charge more for higher quality downloads. Bandcamp doesn’t do this, which is a very attractive feature, but I assume this is somehow baked into the percentage fee they take. I pretty much only download 320kbps mp3s anyway, as they are more than sufficient radio quality for a fraction of the storage requirements. It’s nice knowing that if I was going to play on a really nice system, I could go back and download the lossless files though. This is an annoyance with other music stores, where I wouldn’t be able to do this. Certain stores I would have to ‘buy’ the track again but in a higher quality format.

I’m not fully across Resonate’s cost structure, so I can only speculate for now. If the aim is to become as decentralised as possible, then we will need to come up with novel ways to incentivise at least the following 2 activities in a private, secure and robust manner:

  • Encoding
  • Storage / Availability

I know there’s a crypto-undertone in the Resonate platform and community, but I’m unsure on the extent of it, and would be interested in what models have already been explored. I’ve been into crypto for long enough to be cynical about it, but this appears to be a very good use case, and the technology is finally reaching a level of scalability to make it viable thanks to Layer 2 solutions.

Assuming credits were tokens on a blockchain, then transaction fees should be a fraction of what it costs for Bandcamp (forget about fiat onramps for now - mass adoption is fast approaching). I don’t think it needs to be cheaper than Bandcamp though - the current average costs for buying digital music are fair. Instead, this additional margin could be used to incentivise decentralised storage/availability through some kind of revenue-sharing mechanism. Perhaps anyone who wants to seed a track can mint a seeder-NFT and receive a share of the revenue for not only every stream but also every download. The less seeders, the more profitable, as you get a larger share of the allotted seeder revenue. This provides another avenue for artists and labels to generate revenue from the music they create too. Meanwhile, maybe a buyer gets a supporter-NFT that also has a revenue-share mechanism, incentivising early supporters who would receive a larger share of the allotted supporter revenue, before it gets diluted across many supporters. Many would probably just spend the credits they receive on buying more music anyway. This NFT would also act as a receipt for the music, proving ownership, so that you would only need to pay a small amount for higher quality files or additional downloads in the future. All of this would need to be fleshed out further.

Encoding would need to be paid-for up-front, and I imagine you could do something exactly like the very successful RNDR network, but for audio encoding.

By framing Resonate as a Public Good, as an open stream-to-own protocol, I think the development could have a very high chance of being funded through Gitcoin.

Other features
For an early-stage product I think staying focussed is really important. Bandcamp already takes care of all the extras such as merchandise etc. Until Resonate is already highly successful in the music streaming/purchasing market, we can’t afford to get distracted by nice-to-haves, because it introduces additional complexity and spreads already-minimal resources even thinner. We’ll know it’s highly successful when the community’s main concern is how to handle user growth instead of adding features.

Resonate already has a better streaming experience than Bandcamp, because in the same browser tab I can listen to something while browsing other releases. If I could have a play queue to add releases to as I browse, it would be miles ahead of Bandcamp, and I don’t think that’s a particularly complex feature to build. Then I would just need to be able to download the tracks. The only other thing we would need is to continue on-boarding labels and incentivise them to make sure their catalogues are kept up-to-date. I’m very concerned that great labels who were originally on-boarded are no longer engaged and uploading their latest releases anymore. Labels and artists are the most important stakeholders of this platform, and if it isn’t already providing them enough value to stay engaged beyond the excitement of the innovative model, then there’s no way it’ll be able to succeed.

Whew, long post… thanks for reading if you made it this far :slight_smile:


Some really interesting and useful thoughts here (and appreciate @macmac contributing) and a perspective I hadn’t considered.

I think about performance royalties when I think about radio play. I’m speaking from an artist/label perspective, in the UK, where I’m self-releasing but still registering ISRC codes etc. and with collection agency.

The DJ has purchased my music (either through 9 streams or just bought it outright). From a royalties perspective, this covers the mechanical royalties.

As to performance royalties (for airing the music), are we talking a radio show, or more of a podcast etc? Is it broadcast or is it a show put up on e.g., Mixcloud? This would also apply to DJing in live music settings depending upon whether these were licensed venues or not (in the UK, if PRS fees are paid by the venue). I’m making no value judgements between these different forms, it’s just there are differences in if/how royalties might be generated.

There’s then also ‘reporting’ to consider. Are the DJ’s playlists being submitted to collection agencies to enable royalties payouts to go to the right place? Much of this relies upon metadata etc.

In supporting DJs, I’d personally like Resonate to include supporting the mechanisms by which DJs are part of the ecosystems that support artists:

  • Facilitates sales of my music (via s2o or direct purchase).
  • Support embedding ISRC codes etc. into appropriate file formats for download to help facilitate royalties systems when used by e.g., DJs.
  • Assist with generating ISRC codes too (not sure what’s involved but I’ve seen that this is already being considered) to further support DIY/Independant/etc. artists with accessing e.g. royalties beyond basic streaming payments.

This leads me to two further questions, though perhaps these should be new topics lest they derail the conversation about downloads.

  1. We’re collecting ISRC codes, where available, for music uploads but I’m unclear as to what is actually being done with those ISRC codes as they’re not input with uploaded tracks? (I see a discussion around metadata services but not, e.g., collection agencies etc.)
  2. What is Resonate’s relationship with royalties collection agencies? It might be too early for actual agreements but are these on the horizon? Does anyone have experience with the complexity of these systems? Are there conversations happening with collections agencies etc?

Would love a play queue too!


@thehouseorgan @macmac could you make a stand-alone post describing the play queue feature?

@macmac, apologies for the delay here, but thank you for your time and effort that you put into your previous post. Definitely a lot to digest, but it is great information to have in the forum that we can always conceptualize both now and down the road.

I agree with your thoughts about being able to onboard and keep more labels and artists engaged on Resonate, and it is definitely something that Resonate has been working on with their Uploader Tool, among other improvements to make Resonate a more scaleable operation.

I am not too familiar with some of the block-chain ideas you mention, but a lot of what you are describing sounds like it could blend well with Resonate’s Commumity Credentials project, so definitely some great ideas there that may be worth touching on in the future for the community credentials project. (I forgot where to find more info on this, but @Hakanto or @Nick_M can touch on this project too if you’re interested in learning more about community credentials and potential use cases.)

I agree with your stance on not getting “distracted” by going out of our way to try to offer other things before a strong initial platform to stream music, but I think allowing artists to generate more income on the platform helps Resonate support artists more, so definitely something to have on the radar down the road, from my perspective.

Overrall, I appreciate your unique background and insight, as well as your practical approach to features of Resonate that would make it excel as a streaming platform over other options like Bandcamp, so keep bringing ideas to the table, thanks!

Tardy but done now - Play Queue

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is it possible to turn this download feature back on?

multiple ppl have asked about this (it’s also something i persynally am advocating for).

it’d be cool to have a sense of thoughts around this as see if it could be included in roadmap/epic.

but yeah. completely appreciate the work that’s gone into this thus far. juss offering a suggestion/recommendation.

definitely feel free to share your thoughts on this. hope y’all are having a good day :pray:t5::sparkles:

@auggod @jessegraf @peter @boopboop @Hakanto @LLK


@auggod and I discussed this yesterday. I’ve updated the “user story” for this feature based on our convo. Those who were involved in turning off the feature @peter @Nick_M @auggod, please edit the post to add more detail about its history.

Those who have more info about what the prerequisites are to future work, please add info.

See here: Downloading tracks 2.0

At one point we had “Version 1.0” and it was turned off. Now we want “Version 2.0”. Many of the ideas in this post, I imagine being part of future versions – 2.1, 2.2, 3.0 for example. I see the initial goal being to get the feature live again, even if it isn’t HQ and we don’t have parity with bandcamp. Start with downloading.

Anyone interested in seeing this feature become real, please read Downloading tracks 2.0 and share your feedback. This may not be something we can do soon, but if we create a clear – and achievable (!) – recipe – we can start planning for Version 2.0 and future improvements.


100%, it’s about legitimacy.

(I should add it’s slightly better now that S2O doesn’t appear as proheminently on our pricing page, but it’s still there and it still appears a lot on our social media campains an it makes sense as a defining feature and since it’s quite a striking name, so we’re still binded to honoring that promise in my view)


just seconding thirding fourthing the sentiment here. Downloading seems an essential part of s2o to me. I get that HQ would be expected longterm but I’m more than happy with mp3 for my bandcamp purchases and would just as happy with mp3 here.


I was thinking we could make FLAC our one file type for downloads, but apparently it doesn’t work on many devices. And if folks were downloading onto their phone, FLAC could take up a lot of space.

I’m definitely interested in hearing from other folks on this – as I’m a novice to audio formats.

It seems that 320kbps mp3 is a pretty universal format and while the quality could be better, it’s pretty nice by my ear.

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Are we restricted to offering only 1 file format for downloads?

When I can, I download music in both FLAC for my not-calling-myself-an-audiofile HQ listening rig, and 320kbps mp3 for my phone. To me, the option to choose download format(s) is one of Bandcamp’s “killer features”.

When I buy digital music from stores that only allow 1 format, I buy either FLAC or WAV, then transcode it myself to 320kbps mp3.

…But my preferences probably don’t reflect those of Resonate’s core clientele. I am also An Old™ who prefers to listen to entire albums rather than a stream of singles.


There’s also some questions over on the Submitting music - #14 by Hakanto thread regarding restricting uploaded files to WAV or AIFF going forward (dropping FLAC).

And on the user story Downloading tracks 2.0

It’d be good to understand, a little, the technical processes behind the scenes here and why it would be necessary to convert FLAC to AIFF or WAV, why not uploading FLAC would be of benefit, and how it relates to downloads.

I’ve looked through some of the technical documentation in the past (Resonate Tech - Why, What, How and Where v1 - Google Präsentationen) but can’t see how storage and transcoding works.

So we store files on Backblaze for the track streamer. Possibly in AAC? Do we also store the original uploads (FLAC, WAV, AIFF)? Would an MP3 download be transcoded on the fly, from original upload formats? Or would we be proposing also storing MP3s for downloads?

I totally get that just adding one download format is version 2.0, and offering additional download formats is in a future version. I’m just unclear on the relationship between reducing upload formats and offering a download format.


We’ll keep accepting FLAC until there is more consensus around this. :+1:t4: I don’t understand the details myself, so I’m grateful to keep chatting about this and learning.


That’s cool with me but personally I don’t want work on downloads to stall if it’s a factor.

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