alonetone (open source spot to post tracks)

:wave:t3: I’ve been a lurker for a bit now. I always want to participate, but I’m a bit shy so I’m going to try harder to pipe up. I’m a synth and modular enthusiast as well as dsp adventurer (currently building an additive synth).

I also run alonetone, which is a little non-commercial music platform to upload and share tracks. It’s been quietly doing its thing for over a decade. We spent a lot of effort in 2019-2020 refurbishing it and making it invite-only (we were getting hammered by spam, spammers were even uploading mp3s of bots reading text-to-speech ads!).

Anyway, I thought the alonetone ethos (small, non-commercial, open source, yada) might appeal to fellow liners, hopefully it’s ok to share. Here’s an invite if so: You're invited! | alonetone


Wow, super cool. What’s the sustainability story like? Obviously it’s working, since you’ve been around for a decade, but I really like to help platforms I use survive, either by paying a monthly contribution or helping with coding, hosting, etc. Are there avenues for this?


@NoraCodes thanks! Mmmm, it’s a labor of love for sure! I started working on it before soundcloud was around (launched a bit after they did). The original intention to have a place for friends to share tracks as well as “prove” that one person could easily host tracks for thousands of folks for free (didn’t need some big elaborate startup, etc).

I do the backend stuff and pay a frontend dev and occasionally a designer out of pocket. I did start a patreon earlier this year… We spent hundreds of hours and lots of monetary investment to refurbish things and it began to feel “right” to ask the community to participate in costs, starting with the recurring server costs (which I think are just barely covered now). I can’t imagine the patreon ever paying for the true dev costs, though!


Thank you for sharing this and for extending invites! I created an account and look forward to checking out the site.


So awesome. I’ve recently got into the habit of sharing mp3 links from google drive to people who comment on these super quick videos I share on my ig story so they can get the nice stereo version of some experiment or doodle. This seems like a great platform to give these kinds of things a home. I’ve just uploaded a handful of those and the process is some of the best ux of a tool like this I’ve used. Everything works exactly as you expect it to, it’s quick and easy. Thank you for sharing!

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This looks awesome, and I’ve signed up! This looks like the perfect alternative to SoundCloud for me, and somehow the username “ben” wasn’t taken.

Does the repository have a list of tasks to be grabbed? I may be interested in contributing.


Sounds like somebody created new musical style…

Btw, what is your view regarding copyrights of uploaded material. You mentioned in FAQ for artists that “alonetone is for people who want to give our music away, share it freely.” Does that mean that you have no problem with someone taking the uploaded tracks, make a compilation and sell it for money to third parties, use it in advertisement, etc…?


Ha! That’s how you know we’re small fry. Funnily, the first 2 users to sign up after me in 2008 were Bens!

There’s a contributing guide with some info in it. We have a solid amount of open issues (with varying degree of detail!) and a sleepy discord if you want to be pointed at a task or have something clarified!

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Y’know, sampling robocalls and using them in tracks could be both interesting and weirdly infuriating for the listener. “Why does this song make me feel enraged and also worried that the insurance for my vehicle is about to expire…”

Oh, sweet! I was poking around the repo trying to figure out how the home page is even rendered, because I’ve never actually used Ruby (except for some deployment scripts that run via Ruby, but those generally use a very small subset of Ruby that’s then executed by a program somebody else already wrote).

I loved it at first, very surreal… But then I had to clean it up every day…

This was to clarify that we aren’t a store, so you can’t sell music on alonetone, only give it away. You also can’t disable downloads of mp3s, everything you upload is available instantly to everyone.

That’s a different topic from you as the artist, granting a license for others to use the work or make derivatives. You could manually specify a creative commons license in the description if you wanted to do that, but otherwise there’s nothing different on alonetone than on soundcloud, bandcamp, etc. (I’d like to integrate licensing into alonetone someday as a feature though.)

I’ll make this clearer, thanks for asking about it!


Ah, yeah, it’s built on Rails, so its very convention heavy. The router (routes.rb) routes home page requests to to the “latest” action of the AssetsController which then renders the view in app/views/assets/latest…

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this is also true of bandcamp, anyone with technical skills can download any track there, even if it’s private and/or paid. for artists on a small scale - I feel pretty confident that this doesn’t happen.

(& indeed, copyright is the method of protecting your work if it’s a concern)

Super cool project, thank you for sharing.
I’ll try and contribute soon with some fresh sounds. :metal:

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and there’s no limit for the number of tracks or their combined length that you can upload?

@Fedor So far, we haven’t had the need to limit to number of tracks / combined length. We only require that it’s “music” (no podcasts, sermons, audio books, radio shows).

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Hi! This is looking interesting! I’ve been considering some alternative to Soundcloud for some time. Do you also plan to add an embed code functionality at one point?
There doesn’t seem to be one right now.


We don’t have one right at the moment. We used to have one back in the flash days.

I built an open source es6+ mp3 player that now powers alonetone playback under the hood, partly so that we could reuse it for a js embedded player. But we’d need some design and html wranglin’ to get embeds going properly.


Happy to help on the coding side if you need it! Loving using alonetone so far.

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Well, if you need help on the visual side I could probably help


Wow sure — happy for any help, visual or js. I (re)opened an issue, there’s also a link to the (probably messy) alonetone figma file: