Replacing a tracks audio (discussion)

I’d like a proposal to be made on this at some point but I feel like there’s some things that should be discussed first.

Feature:

Having the ability to upload a new source file for any given track without losing its stats.

The reason for this is making adjustments to the track after it has already been released, especially for work-in-progress tracks that are becoming a more regular thing for artists to make available (the availability for having access to these tracks could pay well into the monetization features that’s coming in the future), and for hobby producers to get feedback and advance their skills. Many people uses sites like clyp.it or simelar sites for this reason. Audius accommodating features for work-in-progress work could help attracting these artists to the site.

Possible Issues and solutions:

  1. The feature would increase load on the nodes by increasing how many files are uploaded, instead of people going using different services for uploading work-in-progress. This could be solved by making the feature unlocked by having $Audio tier 1, decreasing how many people has access to the feature. It’s also speculative how much load it would actually bring as people would also cease to keep removing and uploading new tracks on the sites, by instead using this feature. There could also be set a cooldown timer for replacing a trackfile like a 24h period.

  2. Uploading entirely different tracks as replacement to cheat the system. Let’s say you upload someone else’s work as your own without anyone realizing it and it goes high on the top 100, but then the uploaded replaces the track with his own original work to get publicity from the track being in the top 100.

Pretending to be someone else on the site is already somewhat remedied through twitter verification, so people can spot out fake accounts this way. And this issue is a bigger overall issue, that shouldn’t be tied to this feature, but should maybe be taken to different discussions.

Previous versions of a track could still be available on the site, but hidden in the track drop-down menu like source files currently are. This would ensure that there’s always an overview of the history of track-versions so people don’t upload entirely different works, or at least so people will have access to previous versions. Although that could take up a lot of storage space, which could be a reason why this feature should be unlocked by having an $Audio tier.

Although I do not personally think this last feature would be necessary, but I think would be worth considering since I’ve heard people would worry that artists would ruin songs that people like be continually iterating on the work, although this could certainly also be the other way around.

I think the feature would overall be great for the site and introduce a feature that’s actually exclusive to pro membership over on Soundcloud. And having features that are paywalled on other sites will certainly attract new users.

What are your thoughts? Should it be unlocked by $Audio tier? Should there be a cooldown timer for replacing tracks to prevent data traffic abuse? Should previous versions be available in the dropdown menu? Why, why not?

9 Likes

I support this idea. The issues and solutions you highlighted are things I didn’t even consider when thinking about it, love the detail there. If there is strain on the network by having multiple copies of the same track, I’d be happy to compromise completely removing the previous iteration of the track (given that that is possible. I do not know) to accommodate for the new one.

What I would like to look more into with your SoundCloud example is how do people use it currently? Have there been instances where people have uploaded their track, got a lot of support and shares and reposts and then changed it to a completely different track? That sounds like it could be used for malicious reasons (maybe not platform damaging, but socially malicious) other than using someone else’s track to essentially spoof streams on yours. Maybe they got on a popular playlist and replaced it with some propaganda or offensive content - or putting on a lofi beats playlist and someone has replaced a chill track with heavy metal.

Another workaround could be to have an upload option specifically for WIPs which you can update with any new changes - to title, artwork and audio, until you feel it is complete and then ‘lock’ it into a final track. Would take away the temptation of people continually iterating it. Another thing to consider with iterations is when fans like a certain iteration, a track could be changed significantly to the point where the fan no longer enjoys it, or if they listen to it regularly they start getting annoyed at the constant updates. Counter to that maybe could be ‘X’ amount of updates, or sizeable gaps between when a user can reiterate a piece of work. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I think Audius will have more community driven curation in the future to prevent that kind of malicious behavior. Although I have never experienced or heard about it before, and that leads me to believe that it isn’t that prevalent, but it’s good to consider regardless. And I do think that the community will spot bad actors and call out on it, especially if they are profiting from it. The thing with having access to previous versions is so that the community can also check up on manipulation and call out on it or remove the tracks from playlists, or maybe report it to community curation when those features are introduced.

I think it sounds like a good idea to lock in tracks, so playlist makers can be assured that the track will stay as it is. It is just a little funny cause I don’t think most popular artists would do that. For. example Kanye West has severly edited his albums months after they have come out. For underground electronic music it’s actually quite common that a version on Spotify is a little different from a version on Youtube. Spotify actually allows releases to get overwritten.

2 Likes

I have already tried to look for this feature and am glad to see this up here. Full support!

1 Like

I generally support the ability to iterate tracks, because I have occasioned to do just that on Bandcamp and Soundcloud alike. What I would propose as a deterrent to abusing the system is to simply notify everyone who has liked or reposted the track when it occurs and require a note for each iteration to go along with the notification. This way, the artist risks losing likes or reposts or even follows each time it occurs and must give some pause for thought because of that or, at the very least, convincingly justify the action. At any rate, a good system for ensuring that each iteration be reviewed and confirmed by the artist with adequate warning about the risks, etc. could suffice to provide a smooth experience with iteration.

Good call here. For any types of ‘feature requests’ let’s please use the #feature-requests channel in the Audius Community Discord.

I like the idea but I think they users should be able to opt-out of receiving these notifications if it’s not something that interests them. On the other hand, it might interest some people who will be excited about iterations happening, for example if it solves some issue that was bothering them with the sound.

I think it should be okay to make feature request’s here now that it has a “suggestions” category?

1 Like

Sure, but remember that part of the purpose of the notifications would be to discourage abuse of the feature (lending notifications, follows, likes, etc. more weight, and rendering community engagement as its own special form of moderation). Nevertheless, notifications could be bundled by type to ease this a bit, and certainly it would be ideal to be able to configure notifications generally by type.

I was following the guidance offered by @Galazy on the Discord:

Hey! As I understand it, the focus of the Audius team currently lies on finishing and optimising the features that are already in the pipeline. This includes security, AUDIO rewards, monetisation etc. Moving forward, a large part of feature requests will lie in the new governance forum: https://gov.audius.org/ where proposals can be brought forward and voted on/ commented on. We will most likely see this being used more and more as time goes on. I think that’s the best answer I can give in the current state of things, feel free to hit me up and follow up if anything feels unclear.