Sunday, January 17, 2010

thesixtyone FAQ

I've taken it upon myself to write up a quick FAQ for Internet radio site thesixtyone.com, since I see a lot of people with the same questions. Check out the site FAQ first, but this has a few tips. And if you're a new artist, check out Color Theory's great guide here.

I'll update this post whenever I see any changes or new questions people have. (This post itself is an updated FAQ from my old Heartstorm blog).

I’m a new listener. Walk me through the website.

Thesixtyone.com is a music site with an emphasis on gaming. (That will make more sense as you get used to the site.) To get started, click around the site and listen to the songs. If you like a song and want to see it get more attention, click the gray heart next to it.

Whoa, hearts? What are those?

Hearts are like points; you’re given a certain amount every day depending on your level, and you can spend them on songs. The more hearts a song gets, the better it does. If a lot of people are "hearting" a song, it will show up on the most active page. If it does well after a minimum of 7 days, it will "post," and move to the recently posted page. If it does really well, it will go onto the hot right now page, also known as the "homepage" (because that's where it originally was). You can sort any of these pages by music genre, or just look at all the songs together.

The homepage, at a glance.

Can I heart a song more than once?

Yep. Used to be it correlated to your level (i.e., level 2 = can heart a song 2 times), but you need to be at least level 5 or so to start doing it now.

What is a "RB" or a "listen"?

A "radio bump" and a "listen" are the same thing--clicking someone’s "listen to radio" button on their profile to hear a random song they’ve saved. Your profile keeps a count of how many times people listen to your radio, and people often bump each other’s radios as a courtesy (and one quest requires it). The name "bump" hearkens back to when there were no hearts, just "bumps" made from points.

What’s this "rack" thing? Sounds painful.

The rack contains songs that haven’t yet posted. You can get extra reputation and hearts for listening to those songs. Usually you can find something really nifty in it; other times it’s ... well, painful.

What’s reputation?

The amount of points you have. You gain reputation by hearting songs that other people later heart, by listening to the rack, and by doing quests and such.

What are quests?

Click the red circle next to your user name, and you will see a list of daily quests. Do those, and you'll get points and hearts.

So what are achievements, then?

Just like in certain video games, achievements can be unlocked by accomplishing something in the site--whether that's listening to a certain number of songs, reviving a song, whatever. You get points (reputation) for doing them.

This band has 112 listeners. How do I become a listener, too?

Just favorite one of their songs, and you'll automatically be added to the tally. It doesn't really change anything for you, but it factors into how popular the band is on the site.

How do I first heart (discover) a song?

Be the first person to heart it, silly. It’s not easy, but the recently submitted page is your friend.

The site swore at me! How do I get it to stop?

If you max-heart a song, the site will yell "Holy s---" at you, by default. Go to your settings and preferences, and check "filter not safe for work content," and it won't do it any more.

(And while you're messing with your settings, go to preferences, and unclick "block messengers from strangers." If you leave that checked, no one can comment on your user page, unless they're in your group or you've subscribed to them! So keep it open.)

Should I join a group?

Yes. It's a great resource, and a good way to chat with people who like the same types of music that you do. (I recommend Max Bumps, though I may be biased.) Groups have their own particularities, including their own page of songs that members are hearting, saving, or featuring a lot.

How do I feature a song on my profile?

Save a song and click “feature” under it. You can feature up to three, and can unfeature them at any time.

How do I revive a song?

The song needs to have already posted, at least 60 days ago. Reviving a song is a huge deal--it sends the song straight to the "recently posted" page.

Revives recently underwent a change. Now, to revive a song, you will need to submit a “bid” from your reputation--that is, an amount of points that you’re willing to spend. The bid must be at least 1,000 points, and you can’t see what other people have wagered. If your bid is highest at the end of three hours, you win and your song is picked. So be prepared to bid high.

Someone gave me this tip: to see what some winning bids were, find a recently revived song, and click on the band name. You can see that user's winning bid by looking at the "hearts" tab (or clicking on it if there are patrons listed) on the profile page.

Generally speaking, it's not really well-liked when someone revives a song that has, say, 12,000 hearts. The point of reviving is to get people to see a song they may have missed the first time around, not the tired old song everyone's heard before. Also, a blockbuster song will stay on the homepage for a long time and keep good new stuff off it.

What is "veg"?

Just a screensaver type thing. Click it (hover over the song you're playing, and a little panel will show up) and see for yourself. Ooh, ahh.

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