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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:25 pm 
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Dear Forest,

we have an idea for getting the sound of local artists to the cafe-goer's ears, hearts, and souls.

we would like to bring a jukebox to the forest cafe, so people can choose the music thats being played, so that they can know what they're listening to, and be more directly involved with those artists than just as anonymous listeners.

The idea would be to get CDs from local, independent artists and groups, and also from musicians that have visited and played at the forest, a curated selection of music that would enhance the atmosphere of the cafe. A jukebox is a very cool thing to have in any dining establishment, and in this case, it is a real community cohesive.

Initially, around 15 albums would be selected for the jukebox. There would be a suggestion box at the side for new music, which would be checked once a fortnight. there would also be a little laminated booklet that contained a description of the musicians in the jukebox, which would encourage jukebox users to expand their listening.

Considering it would be a jukebox that charged a small amount per track, there is a chance that such a jukebox could cover its cost of purchase within two to three months. After that point, profits from the jukebox could go towards two things: a) more CDs from a greater variety of artists. b) once-a-month special gigs in the forest where really good artists could be paid to play - hence live music would be supported by recorded music!

We, who would be willing to make this happen, are Lizzie, Emma, and Josh

Do you like our idea?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:42 pm 
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I'm against the idea of people having to pay to listen to the music.

We have a jukebox computer and a system to let people choose the music (via the network) is currently under development.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:31 am 
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While it might be cool to have a proper olde-worlde jukebox in the cafe, I agree that having to pay for the music would suck. Also it seems this would be very limiting to the amount of music we could share. And CDs are likely to skip & jump and make all sorts of offensive noises. Old-fashioned, and not in a good way!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:01 pm 
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Hey all,

I'm sorry to see the people who have replied aren't enthusiastic about the idea. Paying a small amount for a track (ten or twenty pence) wouldn't discourage people. Jukeboxes are fun, interactive things. And there would be a notice saying that all the proceeds from the jukebox would go towards live gigs... we could get artists in like shooglenifty, bombskare, or some funk outfit, and get an audience in that might not usually come to the forest...

All the CDs from the jukebox could also be bought next door in snip n sip, where a little music shop is being set up...

and CDs in jukeboxes don't have a particularly unusual tendency to skip and jump. There is a cool robotic arm that picks up the CDs though.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:47 pm 
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I think you have the wrong idea about gigs at the Forest.

Making money from a jukebox would not result in us "booking" acts like Shooglenifty.

The Forest does not pay bands to perform. It is a free and open performance area that anyone can book for whatever event they want to put on.

Personally, I think this idea goes against a lot of ideals of the Forest and what the Forest stands for. Sorry.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:25 pm 
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this is a hard one.

Paying people to play is something we have never done, and does go against the "Always Free" ethos.
Yes, it is limiting and there is a strong argument that a band needs a bit of help to be able to do thair thing and spend there time/energy here. We do offer help in covering costs, and we are looking into ways to support artists all the time.

A jukebox would "democratize" the listening process, and enable people to interact more with the music ... if there was a way to have a free jukebox, with robot arm, and a wide choice of music, then I would be all for it.

Raising revenue to buy other independent CDs from around the world would also be cool.

I think the Jukebox Computer is a good thing, and it is nice that it is working well at the moment .. the dream to have it set up in a way that allows cafe users to choose songs would be amazing! ...
But, Kitchen Managers need to be able to control the vibe in the space. This is key to their sanity.

we must be strict on "copyleft" .. I come in sometimes and hear all kinds of nasty pop music. it is sad. is there a "Jukebox Coordinator" who makes sure the system is getting new tunes on it and that there are no commercial stuffs on there?

We need to encourage local artists to play their music in the cafe. we need to reach out and keep the music we play here fresh as fresh.

thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:42 pm 
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The situation at the moment is that most artists who play at the forest are happy to donate a cd to our already existing duke box. This is made up of local talent and visiting artists, what you are suggesting is we limit this immense catalogue to 15 bands you will choose and charge people to listen to this. I am against this idea totally. If we could set up our jukebox better so people could know what they are listening to that would be great, do we not have a last fm page. Maybe you should think about coming to a meeting, may i suggest cafe and events or artist facilities. maybe you already do?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:28 pm 
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jukeboxes can be nifty, but yeah, The Forest has a very big free/open ethos when it comes to participation, and the current laptop setup is as much equipment as we require to have auditory entertainment in the cafe.

n.b.

the current laptop jukebox's Last.fm account

a Last.fm group for Forest patrons

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:00 pm 
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15 bands was just an idea for the starting point. A good jukebox can hold up to 200 CDs. I think it is much better having a specialised music interface for people to interact with than people just quietly accessing it from the secrecy of their PCs. A screen on the wall set-up could do this. Not quite as much fun as a jukebox though.

The paying artists to play from the jukebox idea was a last minute addition, but we were very excited about that idea. The initial concept was to do some kind of a feedback system to artists, where they could get royalties from the plays... however, this is too complicated. Instead of paying local artists to play, you could use the money from the jukebox to cover the travelling expenses of a birmingham/brighton/cornish musician, once a month... then they would play for free (and with dinner too I'd hope)

One of the things that has put me off being in the forest on many a recent occasion is, I've walked through the door, and there has been very loud, very shitty, house/techno/grunge/pop.... Forest is a cafe. People come to sit and eat and talk. They don't want their conversations blurted out. Also, continous non-stop music isn't always neccesary - sometimes music is more appreciated when it comes between spells of silence/cafe ambience...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:47 pm 
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JukesofEdinburgh wrote:
Also, continous non-stop music isn't always neccesary - sometimes music is more appreciated when it comes between spells of silence/cafe ambience...

I agree about this. However, people definitely prefer music to no music simply because it makes it a lot easier to have private conversation. But that's a side issue....

200 CDs is nothing, I'm afraid. Our current jukebox has around 30gig (and growing) of local/independent music.

I do like the idea of an interactive jukebox. We've got to face the fact, however, that paying for music in the forest is just a big no no. Our setup is all about the freeness of music. Asking people to pay even 5 or 10 pence per track would totally undermine that.

You aren't, by any chance, trying to sell us a jukebox are you?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:27 am 
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neil wrote:
You aren't, by any chance, trying to sell us a jukebox are you?


You might be on to something there, beev.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:16 pm 
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No, I'm not trying to sell you a jukebox. I don't have a jukebox to sell. All I was doing was trying to devise a system whereby a) the music in the forest was diverse and of good quality, b) where people can interact with and learn what is being played, and c) give the artists something back. For all your 'don't pay for anything!' ethos, making a good recording isn't cheap. Having paid gigs that come directly from the popularity of the recordings is a nice twist for musicians.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:05 pm 
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i think in parts this is an great idea.

at the moment "customers" have no interaction with the music playing, and do not know what it is.

it would be cool, if they knew what was playing, and could even choose it.

the difficulties discussed seem to concern money and practicalities, if these things could be worked out maybe it could be done for a limited time period (say one month). as a temporary installlation.

the benifiets are that it would raise awareness of small artists, and could be fun!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Chris, the stuff you mention in your first paragraph will be a reality soon. We've been slowly developing a jukebox control system and I hope it will be live soon.

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 5:28 pm 
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* bumpy *

jukebox control system live yet?

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 6:17 pm 
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It's pretty much ready to go and works fine on my laptop but when I tried to get it to work on the mac, it fell over. Fucking macs.

I am still working on it but have little free time due to homelessness crazy etc. If we can get rid of iTunes and get a decent media player on there that will respond to DBUS etc (help me out here techies, I don't know what other media software you can get for crApple machines) then it should be pretty easy.

Fucking macs.

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 6:23 pm 
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I looked at a lot of alternative media players before setting up iTunes on that one. Unfortunately they're all crap by comparison. I tested out the most promising one but it was clunky and buggy and a pain.

If you're having specific issues, why not let me know? There might be a simple solution.

Alternatively, feel free to replace the whole thing with another Linux system. It doesn't really matter whether the thing is Mac or Linux, as long as it works, is easy to use, and doesn't get nicked!


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 12:52 am 
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how bout songbird agian?

http://addons.songbirdnest.com/addon/181

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:50 am 
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how much is a jukebox anyway? It would be pretty and i'm sure you could hack it to play mp3s or whatever? And i agree, having people interact with the music in the space would be very nice.
D x

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 9:35 am 
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it would be awesome to do something crazy jukebox style! the current system, is quiet low key/dissapointing and doesnt promote the musixianz atall..

4shiz

Chris

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 9:46 am 
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it would be nice if everytime you put a song on it automatically dimmed the lights in the cafe and then did an appropriate light display (eg for slowdancing music just a mirrorball making infinite stars, for party music strobes and lazers etc).
Just an idea.
d x

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 10:00 am 
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the artist and song title, could then be written on the wall with a lazer, for every play!

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:20 am 
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I've been thinking it might be good to get an old jukebox or radiogram and fit it with a touch screen monitor hooked up to a computer. Would cost money, though - including around £200 for the monitor. I'd use an old Mac Mini, but I'm sure most people would prefer to set up a Linux box again.

And then there is the issue of space... where would it go?


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:20 am 
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You need to use Icecast. A basic streaming server is easy to set up. It becomes cool when you have a web interface where people can modify the playlist, see what is currently playing and coming next, use text-to-speech for a robot shock jock, and have interaction with the world outside the cafe.


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 11:40 am 
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an aside; this is possibly something that the black shuttle could maybe be integrated with. i'm needing to meet with a friend who has some MiniATX stylee RAM to donate. i'd love to have this kind of online request system setup with the upcoming and previous tracks displayed on the wall. i've certainly seen mp3 stream stations have this kind of system, not sure how bespoke their software was though or what prepackaged solutions are available currently.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:02 pm 
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dan wrote:
it would be nice if everytime you put a song on it automatically dimmed the lights in the cafe and then did an appropriate light display (eg for slowdancing music just a mirrorball making infinite stars, for party music strobes and lazers etc).
Just an idea.
d x


ahhhhhh yes god yes please awesome! I miss you. x

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