Who am I?

KoenKoen Administrator
edited June 5 in General

You are probably more than an entry in a database; so why not introduce yourself? To give you an idea who's behind Astiga, I'll start 😉

My name is Koen van Hove; I am a software developer from the Netherlands, and back in 2017 I founded Astiga. In 2016 I signed up for TransIP's Stack, which back then offered 1TB free cloud storage, accessible via the web interface and WebDAV. One of the first thing I did was upload my music to there. After I uploaded everything, I looked into a way to play it back again on my own laptop and also on public computers. I found a surprising lack of ways to do so - there was no web app that would let me play back my music from WebDAV in a simple interface. So, I took matters into my own hands, and I created it myself. The first version was a project you had to host yourself, and whilst it worked, it still required you to host your own server. I thought that this was very inconvenient, and started thinking about a different approach. In 2017 I rewrote it from the ground up, made it a hosted service, added support for other cloud storage providers, and Astiga was born. For those wondering why I named it Astiga, and what it means: nothing. I looked for a word that would be pronounceable in most languages, but would not have an existing meaning.

Quickly after launching Astiga, I realised that I was not the only one looking for a music streaming platform for your own music. Since then, Astiga has grown, both in users, functionality, infrastructure and partners. This has provided some interesting challenges, many of which you did not see, because if you did, then something probably went wrong.

However, my own company (of which Astiga is part), and work as developer, is not the main thing I do. I am also a student and researcher at the University of Twente, avid sim racer, cyclist and night owl. I also have other projects I work on beside Astiga, though chances are that the list has changed quite a bit since I wrote this.

So that's who I am, and now I am interested: who are you?

Post edited by Koen on

Comments

  • RonaldRonald Member

    hi Koen,

    Thanks for creating Astiga. Funny to see that you created an app for specifically the use case i had: play back my music from Stack on my phone. I used to use Google Music for that purpose but that's going to be faded out.

    I'm still trying to find my way around in Astiga, I think it takes a while to figure out the logic, for example the "plain" storage on Stack (Library) vs the "smart" database on Astiga (home).

    Also fun to see you're a student at Utwente, where I spent almost six of the best years of my life :-).

    Ronald

  • KoenKoen Administrator

    Well, if there is one thing I have learned from running Astiga so far, it would be that people all have different ways of managing their music library. A bit like unity in diversity. Everyone uses Astiga in a different way. For example, some listen to full albums only, some just put their entire library in shuffle, some have playlists for every time of the day, some have a hand-curated folder structure, some want their music to be available offline, etc etc. My goal is to cater to everyone, and not to prescribe how you have to listen to your music. This may have the unfortunate side-effect that it may be a bit overwhelming.

    Generally speaking, Library is ordered in the way you ordered your files and folders, and everything under Album/Artist lists is ordered using your tags. (Though you can also turn on "Tag browsing" for your account, which lets your Library also use tags, to complicate matters further 😅) Though most likely you will only use your specific subset of features. Which subset that is, that's for you to decide 😉

  • CralexCralex Member
    edited June 12

    I go by Cralex everywhere I go on the Internet. I am a resident of the US and an avid collector of video game soundtracks, which I stored happily on Google Play Music for many years. (Streaming services have some, but I’d much rather manage my own collection.) Over time, GPM started to fall apart. The iPhone app was in need of constant refreshing in order to shop showing duplicate albums, uploading to it was troublesome, and the limited playlist size was irritating. I started looking for an alternative.

    I’d already made myself comfortable with iBroadcast when I heard about Astiga on Reddit. I brought with me a pair of 50GB Box accounts from way back when they were being offered as a promotion. I have them connected via WebDAV, although I also have a SMEStorage account that I can use if Box ever retires WebDAV support completely. Between Box and pCloud, my library of roughly 14800 songs has plenty of room to grow. :)

    I appreciate how Astiga renders albums from multiple clouds as one complete library. Connected services like this are great for bringing value to cloud storage providers above just being a place to dump things.

    My top feature request? A way to play my Astiga music from Amazon Alexa (either using a dedicated Astiga skill or a competent Subsonic skill).

    Oh yeah, I’m also one of Astiga’s Twitter followers. I’m always interested in hearing news about the service (new features, downtime, etc.) and I always make sure to react when there’s a new post. Thanks for making Astiga!

  • CoyleyCoyley Member

    Koen, thanks for creating and updating Astiga. Hello to everyone here.

    I have submitted a fairly lengthy post with my feature requests and observations, so I won't repeat that here too much.

    I am a long-time collector of music, taking it with me in my travels. I maintain a master database of 80K+ tracks in one genre that I have set-up in Astiga now, all the other general music I generally listen to only at home. I am here as I migrate away from Google Play Music which is closing and migrating to You Tube Music at the end of the year. You Tube Music is not for me (and does not support Genres at all). I use MediaMonkey (beta 5) to manage the core files locally. Astiga will become my main way of playing the music now, both out of the property and within it.

    I like the freedom I have with Astiga and Pcloud, which is working very well so far.

    I'll be an active contributor to the community. I have developed online music services before and appreciate the work that goes into Astiga.

    Thanks again and best wishes everybody

    Mark

  • "So that's who I am, and now I am interested: who are you?"

    Oh yay, we're doing introductions now. I never noticed. Generally, Cambionn is an (online) alias I use, but I'm really just a random Dutch person. I study software engineering, and am mainly interested in AI, especially human-like AI. Otherwise I play videogames, like to mess with OS systems, study Japanese en Chinees language, and hopefully one day I can get myself a job on creating software for HRI or work with human-like AI in other ways. I'm also a big fan of music and like to listen to it in good quality. Sadly, streaming services that offer that don't have everything I listen too and tend to not allow you to upload uncompressed lossless files of your own, which is how I got to find Astiga.

    I might be someone who likes to post everything I would love to see as a feature request, and try to report bugs as I find them. However, I don't expect everything to be added or fixed right away. It's more intended like a heads-up, so please don't feel pressured or bothered if I send a lot 😅.

    Also, is it me or is it not possible yet to change your profile image on the forum?

  • KoenKoen Administrator

    @Cambionn At the moment profile images are not enabled, so for the time being you cannot change it either.

  • Hi Gents,

    I am making a transfer from GPM to Astiga. ATM I am trying to set it up with my Synology NAS. So maybe i need so help doing this ;)

  • First off, big thanks for putting this together Koen. I have had the same problem/thoughts of you in the past, but clearly you have the ability to actually do something about it, whereas all I could do was twiddle my thumbs and home someone like you came along with the same needs and wants :-)

    I have a big digital music collection that has come primarily from my CD collection, MP3 purchases, etc. Until last year it was all stored on my laptop and backup on a hard drive (when I remembered), but since Dropbox added the ability to store on Dropbox and not having to have it sync'd to my laptop, I've moved it all into the cloud.

    Problem is Qobuz, who I've been a subscriber of for quite a few years (I prefer it to Spotify, etc) bumped their prices by a whopping 50%. I just can't afford the new subscription rates so figured I'd just have to start listening to my own music collection.

    And that is where you came along Koen. In reality, you have created the option to have my own little Qobuz, that is made up of nothing but my own music collection. How cool is that.

    I haven't tried it on my Android yet, but will do later today. If that works then I am going to be in seventh heaven, as I will have my musical needs fully covered without having to worry about filling up my Mac/phone memory up all the time, which is what used to happen in the past.

    So, massive thanks and kudos to you Koen!

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