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cheyenne_h on 05/09/2017 at 09:59AM

FMA + GTDR = Listening Party!

Dancin' with the Stars - literally. Image donated by a kindly artist-friend.

We are SO EXCITED to tell you about our newest project - the FMA Listening Party! A weekly, one-hour program that will bring selections from the FMA to your ears (and eyes, if you choose to join us for the weekly playlist and chat).

The show will consist completely of music from the FMA (with an occasional chat with a guest or co-host), hosted by FMA Director Cheyenne. We teamed up with Give The Drummer Radio (or GTDR, a WFMU-affiliated webstream) and have a place in their weekly schedule: from 3-4pm (Eastern) on Tuesdays. Huge thanks to Doug and the Stream Team for making it possible, and welcoming us into their family of dedicated, incredible DJs!

We'll also share the playlists weekly, so you can download everything in one easy place, if you enjoyed the show. We hope you'll join us today for our very first Listening Party, right here.

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fma listening party
rosso on 05/08/2017 at 03:02PM

May 8 Outage Postmortem

Our sincerest apologies for the FMA site outage this morning which lasted from roughly 7:00 EDT until 14:00 EDT.  In the interest of increased transparency about the FMA's operations, I've decided to write this brief entry describing what happened today.  We have a very small staff and I wasn't able to begin rectifying the outage until about 11:30 EDT.

What happened?

Certain types of requests made to the FMA's servers are logged directly in our database.  The size of these logs reached a point where the hard disks on our database servers were filled to their capacity.  When that happened, the database servers (a master and several read-only replicas) became completely unresponsive.  Since the site relies entirely on our database cluster, no pages could be rendered and no api requests could be completed--end users saw a giant error message!

What was the solution?

As soon as I was able to begin working on the problem, I put the maintenance page up and began downloading a snapshot of the logs which filled the database servers' hard disks.  This took much longer than anticipated.  Once I was able to retreive the data, I truncated the tables in question (truncated meaning deleting all data in the tables--a database table is similar to a spreadsheet).  After that, I waited for the read-only replicas of our master database to catch up.  It's not enough to restart the site with only the master database running--the site depends on the read-only replicas as well.  I waited almost an hour for the read-only replicas to catch up, but they didn't.  Due to the nature of our hosting provider, it was faster to delete the read-only replicas and create new ones.  That took another several minutes.  Once the replicas were rebuilt, I was able to restart our front-end servers and restore the site to normal operation.

How will we prevent this from happening again?

Logging directly to a database is definitely bad practice, but it was implemented on FMA many years ago by the original development team.  For now I will keep my eyes on database disk usage and will set alerts to let me know I need to do something before the disks fill up again!  Longer term, I will move all logging activity to a separate service, for example just flat log files.  Unfortunately, FMA is no stranger to outages, but whenever they happen, we try to restore service as quickly as we can and take steps to prevent similar outages from happening subsequently.

Is there anything I can do to help?

Yes!  FMA operates with a tiny staff (2 people) and extremely limited resources.  The best way to help is to Donate!  If you are a developer and have any technical suggestions, please write to me directly at [email protected] - We greatly value input from our users and the community.  We're dedicated to making the FMA the biggest and best resource for Creative Commons licensed, and other royalty-free music, anywhere on the Internet.

What is this song?

One of my all-time favorite FMA tracks, and an adequate description of how it feels to finally fix a major outage.

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murmurintemporel on 05/01/2017 at 02:28AM

New Release : L' Anthracite - Lueur Des Fonds

Lueur Des Fonds by L' Anthracite, a Post-Rock trio from Belgium.
Anthracite is the color of everyday life, the embryonic specter of the world, and all those things swallowed by day and night; mineral fluctuating in the depths of our entrails, our rotting body, our tortured minds and our weary souls.

Via Murmure Intemporel » Visit Blog » 0 COMMENTS Share
cheyenne_h on 04/25/2017 at 06:58PM

State Of The Commons: 2017 Annual Report

Screenshot from the Report's website; CC BY, Creative Commons 2017.

The commons is the largest collection of free and open knowledge in the world, and the Free Music Archive is proud to be part of it! To get some idea of how vast this amoeba of media, tools, and knowledge is, you should take a look at a report that was just released: the State of the Commons Report!

The numbers are in, and according to Creative Commons, there are more than 1.2 BILLION works shared with CC licenses floating around the web now. 65% of these works are shared under "Free Culture" licenses, which are CC BY, CC BY-SA, and CC0 (as well as other Public Domain tools). All CC licenses grant anyone who encounters a work certain permissions; "Free Culture" licenses are the most permissive and open, allowing for remixing, use in audiovisual projects, and more. The other licenses, which still allow for various types of use and access that standard copyright does not, make up the remaining 35% of the commons.

All of the licenses (aside from public domain tools) are built with cooperation and citation in mind, so if you use CC material, please follow the licenses and be excellent to each other (by giving attribution, for starters - here's an easy example).

Some notable additions this year are the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, which added 375,000 works to the public domain using CC0; The Global African Storybook Project, which crowdsources translations of children's stories in languages not often considered by publishers to broaden access and encourage literacy; The British Museum, which released 128 models to Sketchfab; and our very own Freeharmonic Orchestra got a shout-out in the highlights section!

Other sources for CC audio listed in the report include Jamendo and Wikimedia Commons, but there is also a wealth of CC-licensed music in the Internet Archive and lots of free, re-usable sounds over at freesound.org.

Do you have other favorite spots to look for audio in the Commons? Comment below! And don't forget to read, excerpt, share, and tweet the report at http://stateof.creativecommons.org with the hashtag #sotc.

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Music Licenses: A Handy Guide!

Quick Guide to FMA Licenses

Go ahead and take a peek at our License Guide, assembled as a quick reference sheet for the variety of music licenses we carry on our site. From the array of Creative Commons options to the FMA-Limited to Public Domain dedications, this guide tells you what you can - and can't! - do with the music you find here. 

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