JamGlue, one of the YCombinator companies, publicly launched today. JamGlue is an online community, similar to SpliceMusic, where you can listen to or mix music from a library of tracks and other mixes. JamGlue was originally in private beta with 2,500 members and a basic library of 1,500 tracks.
JamGlue, as their slogan suggests, is about providing “Remixing for the Masses” via their Flash-based mixing board. The board is a lot slicker than its Splicemusic counterpart. Key differences are that it expands to fill your browser window, allows you to add innumerable tracks to a mix which can be nested in groups, zooms in and out on tracks, and reacts to changes to the mix while still playing. JamGlue managed to do it all on their initial $18,000 budget and a bit of their own finances. Splicemusic, however, supports beatmatching and recording your own sounds within their sequencer.
Both sites allow you to remix other users’ mixes. JamGlue does this by generating an XML file representation of the mix that contains all of the edits to the original sound clips and tracks. When you’re finished, both JamGlue and SpliceMusic master the final mix and let you download your masterpiece as an mp3. JamGlue’s track nesting, however, makes it easier to manage additions to existing remixes or remixes made up of multiple remixes. Take a listen to some of my favorites from the site.
A community built around derivative works begs the big question: copyright? Close to Lawrence Lessig’s rip-mix-and-burn philosophy, both JamGlue and Splice use the Creative Commons license. JamGlue has it broken down into five different licenses that always allow remixing, but also control commercial use and modification of the original license. They also seek protection by respecting take-down requests under the DMCA “safe harbor” provision and user flagging.
For the launch, JamGlue is also holding a music mixing contest with the forward-thinking Nettwerk music label. The song “Peace and Hate” by the band Submarines will be put on the chopping block under the Creative Commons license for the community to mix and mash. The makers of the six most popular mixes will get prizes.
For more Creative Commons beats, check out ccMixter.org.