Offer track downloads

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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Sorry to chip in, and as I say I’m new to all this :slight_smile: But as a regular Bandcamp user (listener/buyer, not artist) I would add that despite downloading all the music I buy, I still use Bandcamp to listen to it most of the time… probably 80-90% of the time. But downloading does allow me to listen at times when I don’t have internet. So, I do think if people download from Resonate they will still use the site to listen (and continue to explore) if they like the way the site functions…


My 2 penneth/[euro]cents :

I absolutely care about people downloading tracks. The whole “rent everything” is a social scourge that feeds a system that only benefits the rich. Bandcamp is cashing out, and resonate can be the place to send people to, but not whilst it doesn’t have downloads.

I have a whole-home audio system that isn’t spotify, isn’t sonos, has no need to login to anything, keeps my personal data in my control and doesn’t leak data or even metadata about me. You might think of this as extreme but I am privacy conscious and who knows when people start getting arrested in countries where it’s illegal to be gay for streaming Tom Robinson’s Glad to be Gay on Spotify?

I’m also an artist. I want to provide my songs to people who want to own them and play them offline. Right now, that place would be bandcamp. Going forward it certainly won’t be because I care about how companies treat their staff, and epic is known for treating their developers poorly.

I am opinionated and I would actually suggest that artists can make the choice but it should be clearly shown what their choice is. An overlay on their work that has a [Downloadable] or [Not Downloadable] badge for instance. That way the listener can truly make their choice, and it’s not on to choose, it’s a decision by both listener and artist. It might make the messaging about “stream to own” a little more complex, but you can state on the download page “Sorry, this artist has chosen to disallow downloading” then.

IMO “Own” is not “stream for free, when you have internet, when the servers are up, and as long as we don’t go bust”. That is just deception in my book. And deception from a coop that claims fairness is baked in is not a good look. This is why I think that it’s important to say who made the choice to disallow downloading, and this should really be visible before you spend money (credits) on listening.

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On the flac vs anything else thing, I would actually say that providing flac only as a download is perfectly valid, yes, some players don’t have the option to play it, but if people care about downloads they should be able to convert the media, the download could even link to a page where there are tools to convert the file anyway. FLAC being lossless is equivalent to wav/aiff anyway and takes up less storage on backblaze.

I agree that it must be more obvious that downloading doesn’t exist.

I do want to point out a subtle difference here, there’s a difference between not allowing downloading and downloading not being implemented.

Generally across the forum, I haven’t seen one current or ex-board member be anti-downloading. This is a very small company with currently very little revenue, and it seems like other things, like having a more functional player, better payment flow, et cetera have taken priority.

It’s not a venture-backed company that can just tell its team of developers to put it in the next sprint.

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