dead61Over the last year or so i’ve given my fair share of free promotion to a site that used to be one of my favorite music websites. that is until they broke it.

well they did more than just break it. they also managed to alienate their most fervent supporters.

t61 was (note past tense) an excellent place to discover new music. and as a musician it was a great place to be able to interact with and talk to people who like my music.

but t61 pretty much killed all of that when they launched their radically changed site last week. they removed just about everything that made it a unique place for listeners and artists to converge. all of the community features, posting comments, the great way you could discover new music. everything gone. in favor of a new design with big pretty pictures. i figured, hey, they’ll probably add some of this stuff back once the work out the kinks. but instead, they’ve taken on this ridiculously arrogant attitude, blocked all communication and ignored thousands of facebook and twitter complaints and suggestions. and pissed off their most passionate users, listeners and artists alike.

sure, you can do whatever you want with your website, even if that includes pissing off every one of your users. but i wouldn’t expect to be around long. it’s a bummer since all of my friends and fans there have left the site. And it makes me look like a schmuck for all of those times I’ve recommended their site.

The day it all went down I wrote and recorded a little protest song called “61 Ways”. I know it sounds ridiculous to write a protest song about a website. But I just couldn’t believe how egotistical and oblivious they were being. It’s sort of like a break up song. And a song about not having to put up with anyone’s arrogance. Fuck that shit.

[mp3j track=”61 Ways@/audio/unreleased/stateshirt_61ways.mp3″ flip=”y”]



Are you a company that wants to alienate all of your customers? Read on:
movement sixtyone
I used to like thesixtyone
dear thesixtyone
an open letter to thesixtyone
thesixtyone: life and death
the redesign of T61 and listening to your users

And if you’re looking for a new site to discover music, try out Uvumi.

So what do you make of all this?

13 Responses

  1. I went there when they relaunched and… couldn’t find my profile. And then I noticed my photo was all pixellated. And then I still couldn’t find my profile aaaaand…. yeah I dunno.

    I wasn’t very attached to the site but it seemed interesting at least. Their redesign makes no sense to me as a user but I don’t know what their master plan is.

  2. Shame what happened to the site. I was a user for over a year, and stayed with through changes I wasn’t happy with, until now. Too much change for me. Will you be adding the source files for 61 Ways, so others can remix?

  3. Spot on summary of how they destroyed the 61. Most of us are moving to over 800 so far in fact!!! cheers.

  4. I didn’t really pay any attention to T61 until a few months ago but after the redesign I see no real purpose for the site. It is so unintuitive that I wouldn’t even know where to begin as a user.

    As Brad says I don’t know what their grand plan actually is but it doesn’t make any sense to me for a site with a loyal customer base to disregard them completely?

    It’s their loss in the long run. The web is growing every single day and alternatives to everything are always popping up.

  5. I was a listener on t61 for over a year, and it became my favorite place to listen to music online. The communication between listeners and artists was awesome. I don’t know of another web site (besides Uvumi, now), where artists and listeners are in direct contact like that.

    It’s a shame that the creators of t61 changed the site so drastically without caring about the community. If you have such a loyal user base, I don’t know why you’d ignore it so completely.

    Great post, I love 61 Ways, and I’m already listening to your music on Uvumi. 🙂

  6. I don’t know the legalese at uvumi, nor at t61, but based on the mentioning of the words “transcoding” and streaming, I’m pretty sure this doesn’t differ from t61. Sharing sites need an artists permission to stream their music to site visitors and sometimes they need to alter the encoding (that’s what transcoding seems to be about) to be able to properly stream the music.

  7. Transcoding is not explicitly mentioned, it was my take on what “modify” can refer to. (It might have been more clear if I had put it like this: “giving the site the right to modify (e.g. transcode, convert to different sound quality), reproduce (e.g. by streaming) and promote (e.g. by linking) the uploaded music files.”)

  8. Slim, what the heck did you read? I don’t think it was the same thing I read, ‘cuz I was shocked at how “fair” this contract seemed. I mean, there’s language all over the place like:

    “Your grant of such rights is revocable at any time and such revocation shall not in any way require the consent of Uvumi LLC.”

    When do you EVER get that stated so explicitly in an IP contract? As a software developer in the corporate IT world, I’ve been asked to sign stuff that’s much more unfriendly than that (and in some cases, refused and told them where to put their contract…Accenture anyone?), but this one isn’t sounding any alarms with me.

  9. Sorry, I just felt attacked. All I was trying to do is make people take notice. I have no idea why I care. Because every good dead never goes unpunished.

    As for the contract. I did not read it. My music lawyer did. When I read it, it seems the same as every contract. But from what I have been told, you change one word and the whole contract can change in meaning.

    If you have investors and performing contracts. You have to watch everything you agree to.

    Plus, everyoone of us indie artist can have a music lawyer who will open a account on anysite for you. Like I do. This is the only place I have been told “No Dice” on. Oh and Facebook. But you can join direct from corporate with them. Which I really think a lot of artist should do. But I think they changed there terms to be more friendly these days. Not sure.

    Just be careful guys. You all are very talented artist and I want to see you all mainstream one day.


  10. @Slim

    It would be helpful if your music lawyer could point out what has to be changed in that contract so that you may accept it. The people running Uvumi are very cooperative and open minded. Just put a note into their feedback box. I’m sure the issue will have a remedy soon.

  11. When I saw the new 61 I thought my computer was broken but then I could not find a way to communicate with their admin so finally I found the next best thing – the button to remove my tunes. ftlpope. London. UK

  12. It’s possible they were bought out or sold to another company. Dunno. Seems strange that it would suddenly take a new direction suddenly. Still sad, I suppose – I listened to it now and again.

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