Help Funkwhale users discovering and listening commercial music legally


I posted a feature request in Gitlab a few days ago, and maybe I should advertise it here:

Due to copyright restrictions, there are tons of audio files that cannot be uploaded. However, quite often these audios can be listened legally in some URL, and sometimes it can be even embedded in a website. Just like Mastodon etc benefit from the possibility to link to articles, songs, videos… Funkwhale could become a lot more social if music with All Rights Reserved could be at least found, and maybe played through an embedded player.

There are more details in the feature request. What do you think?


Ooops, I thought I answered you, but apparently I did not.

If I understand your feature request, what your suggesting is basically link Funkwhale tracks to their corresponding media on other platforms (such as YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, etc.), so that people can via a third party player when the media is not available on Funkwhale itself?

My personnal take on this is that linking to external resources is usually a good thing, and in many case we have an easy way to get this information through the Musicbrainz database. The Nine Inch Nails page, for instance, has links to the artist official website, Youtube channel, etc.

I don’t see any argument agains linking to third-party resources. Embedding a YouTube player (or any other platform) directly in Funkwhale raises some privacy concerns, but maybe we can figure a way to mitigate those.


The main goal is to add the possibility to create a song page without uploading a song file, as a way to colloect and promote good songs that are not free.

I have no strong opinion about the implementation, but in general I also think that it is better to rely on (and contribute to) metadata of existing free projects like MusicBrainz, Wikidata, etc. As opposed to create our own texts and metadata.

Embedding players wherever technically and legally possible would be the ultimate bonus feature. Privacy concerns could be left to administrators and users through opt-ins and disclaimers about what accepting this feature implies in terms of privacy.


How does this feature look in the roadmap?

Has the Funkwhale project thought about the possibility of paid features, as other projects do (e.g. the very Discourse forum we are using)?


This will also be easier when we have user interactions implemented. If you follow your friend Alice, and alice share a track (regardless of its licence/copyright), your instance would know about it!

I’m sorry I did not get back to you. I did not schedule this on the roadmap because both 0.18 and 0.19 were pretty loaded already. We could possibly split the feature in two:

  1. Handle external links for tracks/albums (by editing metadata manually or by leveraging databases like MusicBrainz when we can), and feature those links in the UI
  2. Work on the external players embedding

Working on 1. brings value, and is needed for 2. anyway. It may also overlap with Designing Artist profiles which would be a good thing! (less work ;)).

I cannot commit on a date for the implementation, but this post should give you more context about what’s going on :slight_smile:

(I completely get what you mean, but I believed Discourse offer was unified and completely free? refers to the hosted version, not the sotfware itself unless I’m wrong).

I’m not sure if paid features refer to the open-core model (like Gitlab, where one flavour of the software is free, and another one, with more feature, is paid) or to sponspored features.

To be frank, I’m very reluctant to split Funkwhale in two flavours (one paid, and one free), for two reasons.

The first one is a technical reason: maintaining a paid flavour of the software would add a lot of overhead, in many place. Roadmap, documentation, support, development, UI… All of these places (and other I’m forgetting) would need to handle the distinction between paid and free flavour, leading to duplication. It’s a lot of work.

The second one, which is the most important IMHO, is an ethical and political one: I want the work being done here to benefit to everyone. Having paying customers for the software would mean that some of the work would remained closed. This also raises concerns in terms of governance, because we would have to constantly arbiter between the needs of paying customers and non-paying users. Finally, it would mean your experience of the platform would depend on your financial resources. It makes me uncomfortable.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want the project to have the financial resources to grow and prosper though! On the contrary, I want that very much, as long as it’s not at the cost of the well-being of the community.

What is your opinion on sponsored features (someone pay for the implementation of a feature that can benefit to everyone)? Another popular option is to offer some paying hosting of the softare, so people pay for the service and not the software.


Sorry for the confusion I brought with the question about sponsored features. I agree with you.

This is what I meant with “sponsored features”. :slight_smile: Someone pays for a feature that then is implemented either as part of the free software core or as an optional plugin (free or not). When mentioning Discourse I was referring to


You don’t have to apologize, it’s a good thing to talk about these matters anyway :slight_smile:

We don’t have any plugin system (yet?), but implementing sponsored features in the core (assuming it’s relevant and aligned with the project direction) makes sense. Maybe we could use some kind of bounty system to make it easier?