Thursday, May 07, 2009

How to Share Music With Blip.fm

Music really is life for me. It's what keeps me smiling through stressful work days and the ups and downs of regular life. It's what pulls me through a tough work-out. It's what gives me inspiration. If you're already one of my followers on Twitter, then you'll know that I enjoy sharing music with others. I feel Blip.fm makes sharing super easy to do & it fits well with the social aspect of Twitter too.

I haven't always blipped on Twitter. One day, I set up an account at blip.fm & didn't realize that the song I blipped would be broadcast through my Twitter account. Oops! I then started to blip on a regular basis. Some days now, I'll blip 20-30 songs through the day. I also host all-request Twappy hour Fridays at 5 pm Eastern/2 pm Pacific. In the first few days of blipping, I lost several hundred followers. Many long-term followers said they didn't "get it." That's okay - social networks like Twitter are there for us to use in a way that best serves our needs. It's not odd that people share music via MySpace and other social networks, why should it be any different with Twitter? Blipping has allowed me to connect with some great people that I'd likely not have met through normal Twitter usage.

I've had a few hundred followers that have joined Blip.fm because of my using it. I am now getting daily questions from people asking how it works, so I thought I'd take some time to explain some of the basics & give some tips based on personal experience. 

Create An Account

http://blip.fm - If you've managed to create a Twitter account, you'll likely find it as easy to do so on Blip.  Here are a few suggestions/tips:

  1. Use the same user name that you use on Twitter. This will help you to avoid confusing people like me :)
  2. When I joined, it made suggestions of recommended DJ's to listen to (Blip's equivalent of "following"). I ended up removing them within a few days since I found their tastes to be very different from my own. I prefer adding DJ's as I come across them.
  3. To link to your Twitter account, you can go to "services".  Although all songs you blip will be broadcast on blip.fm, you do have the ability to turn broadcasting to your Twitter stream on and off.
  4. You can add a profile pic/avatar like you can on Twitter. The size requirements are a bit larger than what they are on Twitter. A friend added a border to my Twitter avatar so that I could use the same one on Blip.
  5. Go through all of the tabs under "settings" so that you can decide whether to receive email notices, add your location, add your URL, etc.
  6. If you opt to receive email notices (like I do), I suggest setting up an email filter in your email program so that the emails will go to a folder. I have my blip emails go to a Gmail account with the following filter:  from:(noreply@blip.fm) Skip Inbox, Apply label "* Blip".
Basic Terminology

Blip: to share a song - similar to tweeting :)

Props: If you like a song someone else has blipped, you can give them props by clicking on the thumbs up icon (on the far right hand side under each blip) If someone blips you a song, it is polite - although not necessary - to give them props as a way of saying thanks. If you've opted for email notifications, you'll get an email when someone gives you props on a song. When you are logged in, you can also look at your Props list - this will show you who has given you props on which songs. This is useful for knowing what music your listeners like (if that matters to you).

Reblip: the equivalent of Retweeting. Unlike Twitter, credit isn't needed. If you reblip someone's song, they get credit for it. If you've opted for email notifications, you'll get an email when someone reblips your blips.

Playlist: You can create a playlist by clicking on the playlist icon in a blip box. (Unfortunately you can't search for a song and then add to playlist without blipping it first) A playlist is something more for personal use, although, like with any blips, you can reblip them.

Replies: When someone blips you a song (this is done by simply including your @username name), it will show up in your replies list. If you have opted for emails, you will also receive email notification of it. There is a replies link once you are logged in so you can see all of your replies.

Listeners: These are the people on Blip who are listening to your blips.

Favorite DJs: These are the people on Blip who you are listening to.

Note: If you blip someone and they use the same username on Twitter, they will see the song in their mentions at Twitter. Conversely if someone blips a song to you as a reply, it will show on Twitter in your mentions.

How to Blip

There are 3 basic ways you can can find music to blip:

1. You can search for songs using the search box. The format to use is to enter in the artist name followed by the song title. It does not need to be precise.

2. You can reblip others.

3. You can reblip your own songs.

Once you have chosen a song to blip, you will see a text box come up. You can enter what you want in that box. The format I generally follow is to include the artist - song title - and often usernames of others.

Important: Blip allows you to enter in more characters in the text box than what Twitter allows. It's important to make sure if you are also tweeting your blips to leave 39 or more characters otherwise the end will get cut off when it makes it's way to Twitter.

Basic How To

  1. Your blip home page is located at http://blip.fm/username - for example mine is http://blip.fm/sharonhayes
  2. You can see in your stream either all blips (all DJ's) or just your favorites.
  3. To add someone as a favorite DJ, just click on the "listen to" button where their avatar is.
  4. There is a bookmark & share icon in each blip box to use across many different social networks.
  5. You can delete your own blips & remove blips from your playlist by clicked on the X (delete blip). I suggest doing this when you are aware that a song is no longer available.
Advanced Tips

  1. Song availability & quality varies. Please make sure to test a bit of a song (using preview or play button) before blipping. You'll also find that many songs end prematurely. Some songs are also incorrectly labelled. There are a lot of covers that are labelled as if they are the original song.
  2. There's a neat software tool called Blipster that makes blipping loads easier. It allows you to queue up a number of blips at one time. You can see length of songs and the file type so you'll have less chance of errors. 
  3. You can embed blips into web pages.
  4. Blips can also be broadcast to FriendFeed & other services. You can set this up by going to Settings -->> Services. 
Whew, I think I've covered all of the bases. Please feel free to leave comments below.






11 comments:

Eric Vonk said...

There's another great option. If you blip a song and do not want it posted on twitter, add a '! ' (exclamation point and space) at the beginning of your comments.

Xavierism said...

Sharon!

Great post. I'll have to try this site out. I'm partial to Last.fm

I've been using that site for years and it's become like a good friend.

Okay...heading to bed. Thanks for sharing.

*CHEERS*

Rich Habits said...

Good stuff. Just subscribed to ATOM feed even though I have no idea what that means. I would love to create a link to your blog on my site. Do I need your permission? Can I get emails on updates? tom@cerefice.com www.richhabits.net

SadyLady said...

Well aren't you the sweetest thing! Thanks so much for taking the time to put together the Blip.fm 101 musing. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm very grateful, albeit still quite wobbly 'bout this. I suspect I'll be returning to your help list several times. I'm a (project)playlist gal so this is a different venue. Thank you Sharon.

daisy st. patience said...

Hi Sharon,

I'm relatively new to blip and I'm wondering what is the difference between replying and reblipping?

SharonTucci said...

Daisy, When you reply, the blip goes to a person. When you reblip, you are just using the song someone else blipped. Either way they get notice if they have emails turned on. With reblipping, the person will get a credit.

*Kim* said...

Hi there. I'm confused on one thing. blip doesn't actually put a media box on my twitter for people to listen to, right? all it does is makes the note that I'm listening to a song? If I want to actually listen, I have to thru the blip website not the twitter?

SharonTucci said...

Kim, Blip will post to your Twitter account as a regular tweet that you are listening to a song on Blip and provide a link at blip. You still need to go to Blip to listen to the song.

fliski said...

If I want to thank all my proppers and reblippers do I have to type in each individual name or is there a way to copy and paste them all at once?

SharonTucci said...

Fliski, there's no easy way to do this. I just use a notepad file and copy to there.