Create a song page with external audio file embedded or URL pointing to external page
What is the problem you are facing?
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.
What are the possible drawbacks or issues with the requested changes?
These songs linked/embedded cannot be eligible for playlists, most likely. This is fine. The use case here is to enable people to share and discover more music in the wider sense. Once a user has discovered a song they like, they can figure out how to obtain it and/or keep listening it.
There is a risk of spam or other forms of abuse coming from this direction. File uploads also have risks (uploading copyrighted content, garbage, files with messed tags...) but typing a URL is even easier. Ways to reduce this risk could include
- having this feature disabled by default (admins would enable it manually)
- allow admins to limit URLs to certain services (Soundcloud, Bandcamp...)
- grant this feature to users manually or after they meet some trust criteria
This request goes in the lines of #498 (closed) Community features. Just like we are seeing specialized Mastodon instances, Funkwhale has the potential of building communities specializing in certain types of music or audio files. Imagine clubs of fans or music collectors. In these cases, compiling - sharing - discovering - rating - commenting music might become a reason for an instance to exist almost as important as actually listening that music.
A real use case: we are a group of freedom lovers thinking that one way of fighting fascism is to promote groups and songs with different values. I guess I'm not the only one that has been influenced by music when growing up and forming your own ideas. Anyway, we could set up a wiki or something along these lines, but I see a lot of potential in Funkwhale, allowing to collect and share together, adding the concept of Federation to the mix and the future possibility of interacting with other ActivityPub services. If the user experience is good (and I bet Funkwhale has the potential) I think we could attract many people who don't consider themselves free software or Fediverse enthusiasts. And we want to promote music with open licenses, but if we are restricted to these licenses... most of the songs that made us love freedom and hate fascism will be probably out of the plate.