Reblogging Music

I’ve tried most every web music service there is and right now, almost all of my web-based listening is hapening on the hype machine and tumblr.

The Hype Machine and Tumblr are two different takes on the same idea. Build a music service around the music people blog about.

At the Hype Machine, they crawl blogs that are known music blogs and pull the songs onto their service and showcase them. I am constantly finding new music via the Hype Machine.

Tumblr is not a music service per se. It’s a blogging service and our firm has an investment in it so I have a vested interest in its success. Tumblr does three important things with it’s service that makes it unique in the market;

1) it encourages short posts (not twitter short, but shorter than what you’d find on wordpress or typepad)
2) the blogger categorizes the post by media type (audio, video, photos, quotes, links, text, etc)
3) it encourages reblogging which is autoposting another’s post to your blog

I think the act of reblogging media (audio, video, photos, quotes, links) is a very powerful form of curation and you can find all sorts of amazing curated blogs on tumblr.

All that said, Tumblr is a few features short of being a killer music blogging service. For start, if you go to Tuneage or The Music, two of my favorite music reblogs on Tumblr, you can’t "play" the blog. What I want is the ability to simply launch a player and listen to the blog in reverse chronological order with skip and reblog built into the player.

One of the great things about Tumblr music, and something I’ve mentioned in the past, is you can only post one mp3 per day to Tumblr. The one a day thing is really a big time quality filter and is one of the main reasons I like to listen on Tumblr so much.

Another thing I’d like is the ability to create curation pages on Tumblr, one for music, one for photos, one for videos, one for links, one for quotes. I don’t want to reblog every thing I find on Tumblr to my main page but I would like to reblog to these themed pages. It would be like my "loved page on hype machine".

I hope that David and Marco add these features soon. It will make listening on Tumblr even better than it is already.

#My Music#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. chriswho

    While it doesn’t have any of the blogging features, Pandora is where I do all my online listening. The blogs can give you a little context on why someone else thinks I should like it. I’ve found a ton of new music from pandora.

  2. whitneymcn

    TheMusic is getting close to this now. If you check any of the “theme” pages (like… you’ll see a player at the top of the page that Daryn put together. It pulls all of the audio tracks that have been tagged with the theme and converts them into an XPSF playlist that a bunch of different players can read.In the grand tradition of @lotd, Daryn also published the script that does the conversion:

  3. (notnixon)

    I’m finding at least three great tunes a week on The Hype machine, but the system can be a bit clunky when it comes to contacts. I had not though of using Tumblr before. Great tip.

  4. ErikSchwartz

    Why does tumblr not do a standard rss feed for mp3’sI can’t subscribe to tumblr mp3s with iTunes (or Foneshow for that matter).

  5. Nick Molnar

    Is the Tumblr Radar hand-picked or algorithmic? It seems to do a very good job of finding the most interesting content on the site. If it is algorithmic, it would be great to have a music only radar that would work as a mini-hype-machine.

    1. fredwilson

      I love that idea

  6. Frank

    Hi,where can one get this java script you have in the upper right corner of your blog? I love this feature, but havn’t been able to find it on tumblr.Thank you so much.Best,Frank

    1. fredwilson

      Daryn built it

      1. Frank

        Thanks. But that’s Pearl code that doesn’t work with my WordPress blog. Think there are some bloggers out there that would like to share some music with their readers. Maybe a plugin can contribute to make the service more popular.

        1. kortina

          Frank, I’ve been working on a pure javascript version of this on and off in evenings. I’ll try to finish it up and post a link when it’s ready.

          1. Frank

            Cool, will check back to this article during the next days. Would be great if you could post the link here. Thanks a lot.

        2. daryn

          Hi Frank! The player on AVC isn’t perl code, that is for something else. Fred’s widget is just a flash embed, loaded with some javascript. I’ll create a page with some instructions on embedding, but in the meantime, feel free to email me and i can help you out. daryn at

  7. Joe Lazarus

    For me, the Tumblr playlist option isn’t a ‘nice to have’ feature, it’s a ‘must have’. Without it, I find myself rarely using Tumblr for music discovery. Playing one song at a time requires too much effort and interrupts my regular work flow on the computer. In order to listen to a song on my Tumblr Dashboard, I usually have to flip into iTunes or some other music I have playing in the background (HypeM, etc) and pause that in order to play the Tumblr track. It’s usually not worth the effort for just one song, so I usually scan over the track information unless it’s something I’m dying to hear. I hardly ever press ‘play’ anymore in Tumblr and it’s entirely because the interface doesn’t support playlists.If I were David and Marco, I would generalize the playlist concept and apply it to all Tumblr media types (audio, video, photos, etc). There should be a ‘playlist’ option for all those formats. The audio playlist would work like the Hype Machine. Photo playlists would be full-screen slideshows like the ones on Flickr. Video playlists would work like

    1. daryn

      There is also the hidden sound box player that works pretty nicely. Just type ‘listen’ when you’re on your tumblr dashboard and a link to it will appear at the top of the page.

      1. fredwilson

        I use soundbox all the timeBut you have to hit next and play each timeWhat we really need is a playlist style player

      2. Joe Lazarus

        Yeah, but I don’t use that for the same reason… no playlist. I like to listen to music in the background as I do other work on my computer. Maybe I’m lazy, but I can’t be bothered to switch back and forth between screens every few minutes to play the next song.

        1. daryn

          good point; i missed that it didn’t auto-play the next track.I’d be happy to build a player/playlist (m3u or podcast feed), but there are a couple barriers right now. 1. the tumblr api doesn’t let you access people’s following list, so you’d have to maintain the subscription list separately, and 2. tumblr asks that you don’t download the mp3s from their servers. The latter really is just semantics, but I’d prefer to keep the tumblr folk happy with me :)Plus, it’d definitely be ideal if this was all accessible from your dashboard…

  8. Scott Lockhart is another alternative although it is currently in private beta. Regator is a blog aggregator designed to make quality blog content accessible to the masses. The site can help you find some great music (and video) from the best blogs on the internet. There is a player within the site that allows you to search for individual keywords, browse categories, create playlists, preview tracks AND keep navigating the site without a pop-up window. Full Disclosure: I am one of the co-founders.Cheers!

  9. tmarman

    Songbird does this on some sites – it finds media on a given page and presents it like a playlist at the bottom of the page (load or in Songbird). It doesn’t seem to do this on Tumblr (or at least on the two links you gave) yet but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to support natively or through a simple extension.

    1. daryn

      tumblr discourages direct access to the mp3 files hosted on their servers. If they officially sanctioned accessing the files, it would be pretty trivial to add support to songbird, or even better (IMO) just as a podcast or m3u playlist to import into your favorite player.

  10. andreaitis

    totally agree with you about reblogging. right now i still do so much of it the old fashioned way — find something, email it to my core group, and then we have a few rounds of commenting, analyzing, mocking, etc. especially the mocking. ;-j but there’s too much information and not enough time — now more than ever — and reblogging helps weed out and raise up what is really of interest to me. i just need to find the magic digital weedwhacker that prunes away the extraneous stuff. gotta work on that…and i wish hype machine would add recommendations.

    1. Dan Kantor

      Had a look at the Tumblr API. I didn’t see any method to reblog. Anyone know if that’s supported?

      1. whitneymcn

        Nope – at present there’s no way to reblog via the API.

  11. danvers

    You might be interested in Sound Index from the BBC –… – which was built by Novarising, a small London based company.

  12. AllenLouison

    fred — i started experimenting with tumblr as a music blog but ended up shying away from using its media features because of the uploading and playback+download issue. uploading one per day wasn’t great and i really wanted to give in-page playing AND the ability to download the posted and lucas gonze has been putting a lot time into their webpage media player which is what i ended up going with for my tumblr blog: though i have to find a separate place to host the mp3, all i had to do is place 2 lines of javascript into the tumblog template and you get a great in-page player with playlisting can get the full yahoo media player documentation here:…music blog aurgasm ( has a killer implementation of the player plus in-page retrieval of addt’l posts– when you get to the bottom of the blog homepage, it loads the next series of posts/mp3’s so that you can have continuous playback of music instead of forcing the player to re-load with a page refresh.

    1. fredwilson

      I use the yahoo media player on my avc blog but I don’t like the whole music experience there nearly as much as on tumblrI guess that was the point of my post but I didn’t make it very well

  13. fakedjs

    I still think individual niche sites are better sources of music discovery than these aggregators.

    1. fredwilson

      I am sure that’s true but its hard to read 100 music blogs a day

      1. fakedjs

        The best in recommending old an new music.– Thanks for listening

  14. Dan Kantor

    I took a stab at creating a Tumblr mp3 player. You can check it out here –…I’m looking for feedback, so please leave comments on that post.