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Skempi: Fair & Secure Streaming platform for Local Artists? | Michel Greijmans

Skempi: Streaming platform for Local Artists?

Published: 03-10-2013 | Author: Michel Greijmans

Recently the streaming platform Skempi went BETA. Skempi is music streaming platform for the Dutch Caribbean. They are attempting to build a musical library with music both new and old from Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, the BES-Islands and Suriname.

Once signed up you can freely browse, search and listen to local music. The site also offers the functionality to create and share your own playlists. If you've signed up using your Facebook profile you can also see your friends activity on the site.

For the fact that the site is still in BETA I must admit that I'm quite impressed by the size of their collection. You'll find a huge variety of groups, bands and ganres. To my surprize I was able to find almost complete collections of groups like Area 51, Cache Deluxe, DJ NRG, Dreams, Enmeris, K-Liber4Life, Immorales, NSTYPLY, and many many more.

To my big surprize I found almost all Festival di Tumba songs till up to 2010, but also children's groups like Angelitos:

I highly recommend everyone to take a look at this project. I think it's a beautiful idea, and it's very nicely being executed.

The

Right now everything remains free, and we have no evidence to suggest that this will change in the future. But oviously nothing comes at the price of 0, and in this case visitors of the site are (regularly) forced to listen to advertisements, just like you would on the radio. However bad this might sound I must admit that this is hardly annoying. The only 2 ads I've heard till now ware a Skepi and a UTS jingle, both around 20 seconds each.

UPDATE: I didn't notice until I turned off my Ad Blocker but aparently there are also advertisements on the right side of the page.
NOTE: if you want your ads to be blocked automatically by any decent Ad Blocker, don't put the ads in a folder named "/advertisements/".

No More

The platform clearly states that the higher purpose of the site is to provide a platform to give credit to our music and it's pioneers. All music on the site is "100% approved by their respective owners", and that the site would rule out the need for shareing and downloading of "illegal mp3's".

The Symbolic

To be honest I think the homepage uses bad, if not very bad symbols for their above mentioned goal to combat piracy. The first thing you see when you open their homepage are 3 pirate ships, yes really! If you take a good look you can clearly spot a pirate flag on the ships. Almost directly reflecting The Pirate Bay's logo:

But these same symbols keep repeating on their homepage:

Let's get

The site is beautifully coded in HTML5 and CSS3, and the homepage adapts to smaller screens. Unfortinately that's all that works on mobile devices till now. I'd recommend them to make native apps for Android and iOS, if they are ever planning on expanding into the mobile market.

Even Technical...

The site is running on a Gunicorn webserver, which is a Python WSGI, so the website is built using Python.
The website is running on Amazon's EC2 Compute infrastructure, which basically as solid and scalable as it can get, the actual MP3's are hosted on Amazon's S3 Storage service.

Skempi's

This is where it get's interesting, we're dealing with a site that's providing (streaming) copyrighted MP3's to it's visitors. Since the content is provided under the terms that it can only be used on the site for playback purposes, it's essential that these songs can't (easily) get ripped. Unfortinately this is the case at the moment.
I will go into detail in part 2 of this article:

Skempi Part 2: Downloading the MP3's