Stream music within a website?
December 8, 2005 10:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm interested in posting a stream of music on my site, say a one-hour loop, much like David Byrne does at ... question, are there legal issues (given that i won't repeat an artist within the loop)? Also, what's the best way to implement, especially if I want to play the music in the Web browser while people are using the site... i.e. is there a PHP solution, or are the examples of sites that do this in the Web browser? Just interested in any and all resources around this.
posted by cgt to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
If you're not paying any licence fees, it is illegal to stream the music of an artist unless a) you have permission, b) they've made their art available under a licence [eg: Creative Commons] that your site meets the criteria of. I don't think Byrne's thing is legal, in general; if memory serves he was just served with a Cease and Desist for something he played.

But with the above out of the way, unless you are high-profile or are posting just-asking-for-it recently-leaked stuff, it's very unlikely anyone will come after you.
posted by Marquis at 10:48 AM on December 8, 2005

A lot of people surf with their own choice of music playing in the background. You might do well to provide a button on the site to toggle your music on and off.
posted by RMALCOLM at 10:59 AM on December 8, 2005

The player is really cute and minimal.
posted by smackfu at 11:02 AM on December 8, 2005

There are licensing issues with streaming your music, but you can use something like, which tracks what you listen to and offers a "personal radio" that streams your songs to friends.
posted by mathowie at 11:21 AM on December 8, 2005

I use the and have few complaints. There's also a helpful support forum should you have questions about the install.
posted by tristero at 11:23 AM on December 8, 2005

The people telling you there is a licensing issue are correct. There is, however a realtively inexpensive alternative to do this. The simplest, cleanest method is to establish a LoudCity account. Unless you're going on with full-bore internet radio, you can stream through WinAmp and track through your LoudCity account. They will handle paying all the royalty fees for you for a flat rate each month, and that gives you a lot of flexibility, too. The rates are quite reasonable, and they have a number of calculators on their site to help you estimate your fees.

You didn't specify whether or not this will be a commercial venture, but I suspect it won't be. Which means your profile will be pretty low, and if you're revenue-neutral or no revenue at all, then you'll generally stay under the radar. However, it's the right thing to do.

Be sure to come up to speed on the regs for the DMCA, too, just so you don't violate that, too. Don't have the link handy.
posted by TeamBilly at 1:37 PM on December 8, 2005

wait, what happened to that licensing agreement a few years back where you were allowed to stream music as long as you were not a for-profit entity, and you didnt play more than 3 tracks from the same artist in one hour?

there was a huge blowup which was threatening stations like, but they resolved it. a side effect was this compulsory streaming license for non-commercial stations.
posted by joeblough at 3:18 PM on December 8, 2005

This is a great Flash mp3 player for your site. You don't need Flash to use it - all settings, playlists etc are done through an XML file. CC licensed.
posted by blag at 4:47 PM on December 8, 2005

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