@gravelld That's great to hear!
I also did notice that the original developer posted a while back about suggestions for generating more revenue. I guess something else that might fit well with that is being able to purchase music. Not sure if there's any existing music stores that would offer a API access + commission so you could purchase music via asti.ga and have it drop straight into the library. Just a thought!
Great to see you're engaging with the community on this stuff. Wish you the best of luck!
@MikeRippon Thanks! Quite honestly, as a solo/indie founder (albeit with extremely valuable freelancers) working at home all the time, I really value the opportunity to talk about stuff, even if it's via online forums. I even started working out of coffee shops just to vary my view a little 😁
Hello. I'm here after receiving the email about the subscription and sale. I've been a paying user since January 2020, and I will continue to be so. I just got the mail Koen cancelled my subscription and wanted to set it up again before I forget, but the button doesn't change from "unsubscribe". Meantime I also can't cancel it in PayPal because the payment is already inactive. Do I just need to wait a bit more before this becomes possible or is this something you need to look into?
As someone who's been studying software engineering for the past 6 years and is busy finishing university while having had projects with multiple companies, I totally understand the need for payment. In a perfect world, people don't want to pay, don't want ads, and want to keep their data private. Sadly that perfect world doesn't pay the people who build the software, while development and server cost don't disappear. I like to be paid for the code I design and write, and I don't doubt other programmers and parts of the development team want to as well. Honestly, the 4 euro per month, which can go to 2 euro a month with yearly payments, is fair to me. We're not all Amazon who can sell below cost in order to increase our customer-base. As long as that cost isn't increasing suddenly, you can count on me.
Aside from the official Beta Windows and Snap package app, I have an AUR package online for a nativefier based Linux desktop app (it plays the browser version as an Electron-based desktop app, similar to the official ones. But other than those, it includes a taskbar icon and background playing options and starts in the overview page as a home library page as I find that page is more interesting when you want to play music, which is what you're most likely to do when opening the app). I once asked Koen if he was interested in adding it to the app page as a non-official/third-party app but never got a reply. Of course, you are free to do so as well. Most people using AUR aren't fan of Snaps after all, and while Linux is a small market it'll cost you no effort if it's listed as a third-party app since I'm maintaining it and who knows. Maybe some Arch/Manjaro users see the AUR support and come check it out. You can find it here: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/astiga-nativefier/
For me, I collect CDs. I love this as a hobby, and enjoy listening to music on some better hardware sometimes, in which case the quality difference matters. I rip them uncompressed and want to listen to that on the go. All the ease of services like Spotify, but higher quality sound, no worrying about if the streaming service rules and their licences (I've seen music disappear on some friends set-ups due to licence disputes, and some music I listen to isn't even on there), and no scrolling between stuff I don't like or recommendations based on what artist paid the most to get featured. The link to Last.FM gives more stats than other services (I really love that link, and I pay for Last.FM as well so the link matters to me), and gives recommendations that are more useful than most filled streaming platforms. Also love the data-free streaming with T-Mobile. But I think that's mainly on T-Mobile's side and only requires the application from Astiga's side? It made me switch to T-Mobile however since streaming uncompressed files takes a lot of data, so it's definitely a pro. As for my cloud storage. I use Onedrive and told the specific folder not to sync to my devices as that would be way too much data (otherwise, Onedrive syncs both on my Windows and Linux devices). Uploading new files I do through browser on the OneDrive site. Once I'm running out of space, I plan to switch my regular plan to a family plan which allows 6 times the space but spread over 6 accounts (emails, which are free to create), and make extra email accounts just for storage and add those as extra storages to Astiga.
I listen on all kinds of places, at home casting from phone to my google home system so I can hear it in every room if I walk away, on the road with my phone and headphones, at work (and sometimes home) through PC (Windows 11 and Manjaro Linux machines). Sometimes I just listen to the music carefully, sometimes it's just for background music.
I also love handling my own meta-data. I use EZ CD Audio Converter by Poikosoft for this, as well as for ripping, as I find it works better than most free options. Mainly for consistency to relax my autistic OCD tendencies, but also to prevent scrobbling messes caused by "featured" in track listings and such, artist listed under multiple aliases, and for making sure the art is my favourite (and in some cases custom made, which I can't upload on databases since it is not an official artwork) and square (as many older album from pre-streaming services have non-square boxart).
Honestly, as an IT nerd. I love handling most digital things myself in general. The autism and OCD also wasn't a joke, so editing organising everything and having it organised perfectly I find even enjoyable. Altering them to suit my preferences, even if it's more work than the average user is willing to do. Guess with that I'm the stereotype IT nerd. I'm also a fan of audio, as a secondary hobby interest.
Personally, I always used Discogs for keeping track of my CD collection (where I add every item that has no entry yet to enlarge the database as well. I like this kind of work, I don't see it as a negative thing), and Astiga for browsing stuff I want to play (which is very ordered since I handle all my meta-data manually) and playing them, and Last.FM for tracking, statistics, and recommendations. My local files are just a backup of my cloud-based ones. I wonder, what could Bliss add to this?
As for Astiga, most of my wishes I've noted before. And note that overall I'm a happy user. I've been here all this time for a reason, and since I started using Astiga, I never used any other product for listening to music besides the few times friends send me YT links. But I'd mention those wishes here as well so you don't need to search, roughly in order of importance:
・Allowing multiple genres, artists, etc tags in metadata fields, perhaps by having them separated by a specific character (for example "Jpop|Hip-Hop" being recognized as both Jpop and Hip-Hop and making the song appear in both categories, or a song with artist "Jolin Tsai|Namie Amuro" appearing both under the artist Jolin Tsai as under the artist Namie Amuro). I talked a bit about this with Koen and it seems a rather complex one to handle, and then we didn't even talk yet about how it affect Last.FM scrobbling (I would prefer it only takes the first entry, if it scrobbled the whole tag Last.FM is going to be a mess). But to be able to have multiple tags for singular tag fields would be great. Some songs are by multiple people, same for albums. And many albums, and even many songs, would fall under multiple genres nowadays as people experiment with mixing genres. I wouldn't even mind redoing all my metadata for this functionality!
・Abilty to order albums on release year/date in artist view. Right now everything is in alphabetical characters, but I prefer to order my CDs on artist name (alphabetically) then releases on the release date. On the app, this is easily handled by using the browser tab then having each folder called "year - album name". A date would be even nicer (I've seen some use yyyy.mm.dd format in the year field for this) than a year only, but just the option on year would already be a great improvement to me.
Also, rather secondary to that. But maybe order names starting with "The" on the first word after it instead of having them all together. Another one that would be cool but maybe a bit too much to ask would be ordering real names on the last name. But I don't know how you're going to separate that Bruce Springsteen goes into the S from Springsteen (real name) while Koda Kumi goes into KO and not KU as "Koda Kumi" is a stage name and not a first-last name combo.
・This one should work. But we all know code that should work doesn't always do so, and somehow the synchronizing from PC to phone doesn't seem to work for me. When I quit listening on phone and switch to PC my playlist is copied. But when I go from PC to phone it refuses to open the pop-up that allows this. It worked in the past, but not anymore. Considering I often listen on phone while traveling to work, then listen on work on PC, then listen on phone traveling back it would be great if this one actually can start working again.
・List the number of tracks and albums on artist and genre pages.
・Add a way to write a description on artist pages, more secondary on album and genre pages. I remember in an old version when I just started using Astiga it automatically pulled this info from Last.FM, which was cool. I'm not sure why that's removed.
・Make the cast button work in desktop apps. It works in browser, but in desktop apps the function disappears. This counts on official apps as well as my version. I'm guessing the button checks for default casting functionality through the browser and makes use of that, and that the wrapped versions don't allow this casting functionality the same way.
・Syncronise likes with Last.FM loves. Maybe also synchronize the recently listen to and such, like countings of how often things are played/scrobbled. Especially the frequently listen to seems different in both systems somehow, while I scrobble everything. I'm guessing a different algorithm. but a close integration than just scrobbling would be cool and a rather unique feature.
・There are some slight bugs with albums/tracks with different album artists than track artists. Only album artists get their page shown in the artist tab for example, and some stuff gets mixed up between the respective /artist and the /band pages.
・Ordering for non-alphabetical writing systems. I have quite some Asian music. Right now I romanized everything because otherwise, kanji, hanzi, hangul, kana, etc would all be thrown into the symbols category and the point behind ordering is lost. I get kanji/hanzi might be difficult as reading depends on language and context (but it would be great), but kana and hangul should be relatively easy to order in their romanized alphabetical places.
・An official Android TV app would be lovely. With some effort, I could set up Kodi with Last.FM scrobbling, but the interface isn't very friendly so I end up using my phone to cast instead.
Damn, I've been writing for over an hour now. My comment is even too long, so I'm gonna put a few things in a second comment below. But you seem honestly interested in what people have to say, so have my two cents. Hope you have some use for it.
@Cambionn Crikey, I might have to leave some of this to reply to after the weekend :-D
Regarding the subscription, if you click the link in the email that should allow you to set up the new subscription. That should be: https://play.asti.ga/payment-select/subscription/monthly (you need to be logged in to visit the page, obviously).
The Premium page you refer to is only linked to our database and not Paypal. Because I've left your premium plan running, but cancelled the Paypal subscription, it still "thinks" you're subscribed, even though you aren't. We could've set something up to listen for cancellations, but even so that page would still think you're subscribed so I'm just leaving that for now.
You're right, I completely read over that. It's set up again, thanks! And thanks for the explanation, I always love hearing how stuff works and why it goes wrong/unexpected :-D.
Take your time! I wrote a lot ("^-^)
@Cambionn Thanks for re-subscribing!
I echo a lot of what has already been said. I liked the idea of storing my music "in the cloud", organized and tagged the (specific) way that I like it. pCloud allows me to store it directly in the cloud without the need to sync (which would take way too long with my 0.8 mbps upload rate provided by my ISP, not to mention I have a growing FLAC collection nearing 1 TB in size).
But, I did have a question though; I am one of the few people that (I assume) got a chance to order the Lifetime plan. I assume (and hope that) this won't be taken away or changed in a way that renders it any differently (like coming out with a 'new' premium plan with new features that the old 'premium' lifetime plan doesn't support). Basically phasing out the old legacy premium and requiring me to pay for the new 'premium' plan if I want the new premium features?
@bobthegoat2001 Existing Lifetime deals will be honoured. That's only fair to the customer. While existing Lifetime users are around, their existing plan will be honoured and will continue to exist. You won't be "forced" anywhere.
Obviously though - if new functionality is delivered that is a significant upgrade on what any existing Lifetime was paying for I equally don't think it's fair for the supplier side to have to deliver that functionality when it goes beyond what was promised to the Lifetime user. But that would be additive, not a replacement. I'm sure you understand that... just stating where I stand.
Great, sounds fair enough!
My usage of Astiga is probably a bit different compared to others as I use astiga through the API. I, like many other, am a GPM refugee, but what I liked the most about GPM was the UI and how visual it was, and Astiga just didn't do it for me straight out of the box. This is why I decided to make my own frontend for Astiga, through which I listen to music. As for why I did not go for self hosting subsonic or other services is because I still wanted to store my music on the cloud and manage it directly myself and with the minimal research I did, I didn't find an easy way to integrate cloud with subsonic. Also astigas pricing was so fair, even for paid users, that I decided it was not worth my time.
On the go I started using my trusty iPod for now, it at least has a 3.5mm jack unlike most phones! Might look into making an app later though if I get annoyed by the fact that my iPod is only 16gb 🤔.
So my hope is that the API keeps getting supported, and maybe improved, I made a post about one thing in the dev section.
Hi Dan and Koen,
First, thank you Koen for the dedicated support and development of Astiga, it truly has been a great platform post-GPM shutdown.
I really have nothing to add outside of what others have said for pricing and use-case: the USD $30/year is absolutely fair for the product, and the core features (cloud-stored for self-management, on-the-go usage in-app and caching, playlist generation) is what I'm looking for. TBH, I just want GPM back, and Astiga is the closest feature-wise.
As for building the platform, I'm a marketer that would love to help build up the platform (marketing automation, content creation, etc.), as, like many users, there are not really many good "alternatives" on the market, and I think the issue of rights on streaming platforms will get worse once labels take a play from TV. 5 different music streaming services to listen to your favorite artists? no thanks. So anything I can do to ensure Astiga survives, I'm happy to help.
Firstly, glad it seems as though Astiga is in good hands because there's not really a comparable service.
My setup is to have music on my desktop harddrive which then automatically syncs to Google Drive, and I manually sync to Astiga. My girlfriend and I both have Astiga accounts which are linked to the Google Drive.
My main annoyance with Astiga is the search function and library organisation. The search function seems to be case sensitive and only works sporadically. Album art and tags can also be lost in translation sometimes.
The best stuff is how the excellent web app compliments the mobile app, and how well they sync.
@ScoutPanda Have you built your own app that uses the API then? Is it publicly available?
I have it available in my github. I also have it up and running in firebase, but I'd rather not share the link publicly (doesn't seem to be a DM option here) so that nobody decides to DDoS it, even though it requires you to login with your own api info. https://github.com/ScoutPanda/ripask-audio/
@ScoutPanda Cool, thanks. I wonder if the lack of visuals is something that scares a lot of people away.
@DucksCourage Thanks for that - if there are particular issues in syncing ("Album art and tags can also be lost in translation sometimes") remember to add them to the Bugs list...
@gravelld Thinking about it a bit more, I can always change the url if someone decides to abuse it so here's the url to the application https://my-music-20393.web.app
Username is email address, password is api token and url is astiga's url. The login page is not very pretty, did not spend much time on it haha.
@Cambionn I found some time to answer 😁
Aside from the official Beta Windows and Snap package app, I have an AUR package online for a nativefier based Linux desktop app
Having integrations like this can make a difference because each integration is a marketing channel into the product. So I applaud your effort, and thank you for it.
That said, Arch obviously is a more of a niche platform than others and so it might make this a bit lower in the priority list. Are AURs used outside of Arch much?
Personally, I always used Discogs for keeping track of my CD collection (where I add every item that has no entry yet to enlarge the database as well. I like this kind of work, I don't see it as a negative thing), and Astiga for browsing stuff I want to play (which is very ordered since I handle all my meta-data manually)
I wonder if there's some potential for a Discogs integration, somehow...
My local files are just a backup of my cloud-based ones. I wonder, what could Bliss add to this?
bliss basically implements your post-rip organizational workflow in EZ CD Audio Converter. I'm not sure on the full list of features there, but you'd have bliss running as your sidekick - some people have their ripper just perform the rip with bare metadata, and then bliss does everything else, e.g. more metadata, correcting the crap crowd sourced metadata (😉), changing file paths, making artwork larger, consolidating genres, etc.
Also, rather secondary to that. But maybe order names starting with "The" on the first word
This came up the other day: https://community.asti.ga/discussion/381/android-app-implement-alphabetical-order-for-the-artists#latest . Also, one thing I've not checked yet is how we handle ARTISTSORT and ALBUMARTISTSORT.
Thanks for all these ideas. Are they documented in their own threads in the Feature Requests section?
Are AURs used outside of Arch much?
Manjaro is Arch-based based and allows the use of AUR. In fact, I'm on Manjaro as well and not on Arch (I mainly made the package for personal use and figured others might enjoy it as well, even if few). Considering Manjaro is aimed at easy to install and use usage, much like Ubuntu, but with the pro's of being Arch-based (while also being more stable than Arch, Manjaro does use it's own repositories but allows Arch packages to be installed). If you kept an eye on distrowatch and general distro releases, Manjaro can't have missed your eyes. I would say, it has beaten Ubuntu as the starter Linux. There are a few other arch-based distros that allow you to use it but they're not nearly as big.
Now Manjaro can also use Snaps nowadays, although you're not forced to. But many users, just like me, don't want to anyway. I won't write the page full of why people don't like Snaps as probably those who care know and I don't want to derail. But the announcement it becomes possible alone was quite some drama on the forums already.
I've seen some ripping and metadata software take info from Discogs, so perhaps the in-build meta-data tool can use it. But I'm not sure how much there is to be gained that's not already gained from other sources. Discogs' biggest pro is separate info on each press and its marketplace, but most of the interesting info for a media player can be extracted from meta-data.
Part of them are, but not all. I can get to adding the rest later.
I was thinking more from the collection point of view. (OneMusicAPI, which is bliss's metadata source, uses Discogs). A lot of people store their collection in Discogs. To this end, it could be used a little like Last.fm, although without reccos.
Sorry for posting a lot, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on this and other things that made me decide to build my own front end instead of using Astiga web player. Do keep in mind that many of my opinions are heavily biased by how GPM looked and worked.
Personally I think the web player looks fine in general and what I meant with visuality is that I like to see the album covers in many places and as much at the same time as possible. For me, it's way easier and faster to mentally process images on the page, like if I'm looking through albums, but I'm not looking for a specific one, it's easier to go through them if there are album covers. So for example in the albums page, I like that I can see all the album artwork, but I'd prefer having all of the albums in the same page, instead of having them in tabs. Of course, if there are thousands of albums, it's going to eat more resources so some sort of infinite scrolling would probably be mandatory. In the same manner, I'd like to see some artwork, in the artist and genres page. This is not a dealbreaker and I can live with it, even in its current form.
That was all I have to say about visuality. Next there are some things that I don't agree on how things work. I have ordered these by severity.
I'm a premium user, and my reason for using Astiga is that I've ripped my music to FLAC, and wanted to be able to access my library from anywhere (more reliably than my own server). I automatically sync my music on my "at home" NAS with Wasabi, an S3 storage provider. Astiga makes it possible for me to listen to my collection from anywhere in the world, and my Wasabi storage costs are very low.
I'm fine with a reasonable annual fee as long as improvements to the service continue to be made.
Let me add on to this, if the annual price is much higher I may have to reconsider my use of Astiga. Also, have you considered accepting cryptocurrency as payment?
@thedude Thanks. Crypto - no. What are the advantages from your point of view? I'm a bit worried about the stability of value.
I've been a user of bliss for some years now, and coincidentally just signed up for asti.ga. Good to see it is in safe hands. Linking the app to cloud storage was probably the area most needing improvement. Copying and pasting authorization keys seems a little too exposed and removed the feeling of an integrated/slick application.
The player whilst functionally adequate needs a refresh. On Android at least it looks like an app from several years ago, reminds me of some of the early subsonic players from a UI perspective. Too fussy and technical in feel and without a lot of UI richness. The split between settings in-app, then flipping to a web browser for other items would be a lot nicer if handled in an integrated way within the app itself.
Where do you see plex and specifically plexamp in terms of your competition?
@phillipmcmahon Hi Phillip, thanks for this. I think a better experience in all of the apps is one of the consistent themes in the feedback.
I myself use Jellyfin for video and film playback (mainly to have control over what my children watch) - I used to use Plex but abandoned it a few years ago when it seemed our use case (video over Chromecast) wasn't being well supported. It wasn't that great for Jellyfin either until recently.
Thanks for the response.
Plex has definitely solved Chromecast and has for some time. Room I've tried but it wasn't for me and their cost model seems to be based on the fact you can purchase decent hifi equipment so we'll ramp up the license cost for the software.
Looking forward to what the future holds!
@ScoutPanda I finally got the chance to look at your app. Looks nice! It looks a more cut-down, minimalistic UI on first glance, but also I can see what you are referring to regarding making album artwork more prominent.
@gravelld Thank you for the compliment. It definitely is more minimalistic when compared to, for example, Astiga. One of the reasons why, is that since it's a music player I made for myself I can skip all the functionality that I personally never use, and also skip some issues that I know of, but don't affect me, like when the album art is not correctly sized it probably does not look very nice haha. One of the perks of developing something for yourself, I suppose.