A quick interview about Librefm
I'm just writing up an article about the Libre.fm project which I hope can help to promote the idea and spread the word. I wondered if you could give me a quick outline of why you set it up and/or what you aim to achieve with it. Nothing epic just a couple of lines I could include would be really great. I know you must be pretty busy so don't worry if not, I thought I'd be ask on the off chance :)
Last.fm is really the combination of two things. Audioscrobbler, which takes your data from things like Rhythmbox and Amarok, and Last.fm, which provides streaming radio and downloads of music.
At this stage, Libre.fm hopes to provide a replacement for people to store their listening habits, by implementing the Audioscrobbler API (which certainly seems to be completely public) and modified clients for various platforms.
A longer term goal ties back into some of the other things I'm very interested in, such as Free Culture and promoting and recording music with Free Culture artists. On Libre.fm, those will be the artists that people will be able to download, but we'll have community members working to convince other bands to release tracks under a free culture license, such as the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, so they too can be included on the site. Free promotion can't be bad for any band -- maybe we'll add in a music store and sell free music downloads for bands too. The music would be in Ogg Vorbis, too.
Maybe Ogg Vorbis won't be what people are expecting, as these services tend to lean towards things like MP3, but I see this as a great way to encourage people to play Ogg Vorbis music, and maybe in the future we'll expand things to support Theora for music videos too.
On the other side of this, a lot of people have expressed interest in doing lots of cool things with Libre.fm -- from semantic web people at the W3C, to others who want to see support for Laconi.ca and XMPP.
Of course, all of this is really down to the community of people who want to see this succeed. I certainly hope lots of people will get hacking on it -- I am still trying to figure out if we should use Subversion or something like Git for the code. I am leaning towards git at this stage, partly because I just want to learn it, and also because it seems a more natural way to build this kind of thing. But who knows.. maybe I'll get scared and run back to using SVN. (this actually happened. i am SVNs bitch)
The response from people has already been incredible... within about half an hour of announcing my desire to get this going, I had donations of money to buy the domain, quickly stuck up a website, and went to the movies. By the time I got back, my Inbox was literally flooded with dents and emails from people with suggestions, ideas and support.
I'd encourage everyone to chip in and help out -- I am willing to try anything we can to make this work out. Bradley, Mike and Evan from autonomo.us have already been giving me suggestions and pointers for things like wikis and bug trackers. I've put up a roadmap on the ideas wiki, which people can take a look at, dig into and change.
As ever, I welcome feedback via all possible channels -- IRC, in #libre.fm on Freenode, via identi.ca/mattl or the ideas wiki or email.