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  • Last update: Aug 6, 2018 - 15:14
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ReportMarshall StokesMarshall Stokes

  • Age: 37
  • Location: Carson City, Nevada, United States of America
  • Label: uvumi is my label.

I started playing guitar in the mid '90s, learning what I could from my friends who were fortunate enough to take weekly lessons, and augmenting that with tabs to my favorite Zeppelin and Tom Petty songs. As I struggled through my teens, playing music was my primary source of artistic release, and I loved every minute of it. I even found that I enjoyed the brutal frustration that many musicians suffer through in the beginning, despite the fact that I nearly gave it up altogether many times during the first two years.

My other passions have always been computers, networks, interwebs, and the blinking lights and colored cables associated with those things. I am a geek.

I first combined these interests in the late '90s, formulating a plan to create a website that would enable amateur musicians to put their recorded music online and share it with the world. It was essentially a self-promotion tool. Unfortunately, I did not yet possess the technical knowledge and experience to bring such an idea to fruition at that time. The project was shelved before it even got halfway through the planning phase.

Years passed, and I found myself running a small web dev and consulting company with my wife and one employee. In late 2007 we teamed up with a couple of long-time friends and decided to take the biggest risk of our lives. We revisited my college-era idea of a website for musicians, and started drawing up a plan. We envisioned a website that prioritized freedom and openness for musicians and artists, and we designed a custom web platform that eliminated the most glaring shortcoming of all major music-related websites: The lack of a seamless music player. Why should you have to stay on one page to hear the music you want to hear? Why do so many sites insist on controlling your experience and limiting what you can do online? Why not provide freedom to music fans, especially considering that the technology is well within reach.

We created Uvumi.com with these concepts in mind. Everyone on the team is an artist of some sort, and we all strongly believe that the future of the music industry involves freedom of expression, freedom of art consumption, and massive self-promotion.

Uvumi is a Swahili word that means rumor, buzz, murmur, or hum. We thought that fit nicely with the DIY theme we are embracing.



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Comments (415)Comments (415)

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  • zy's picture
    Left by zy, on Jun 8, 2010 - 18:30
    Great Site! I found it through Lifehacker.com. I hope this one stays alive not just for the artist but for the listener as well.
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  • mattgorecki's picture
    Group RSS feed
    Left by mattgorecki, on Jun 8, 2010 - 15:49
    Do you have an RSS feed available for the group message board? If not, I think that would be a fantastic addition.
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    • Left by Marshall Stokes, on Jun 8, 2010 - 15:59
      Hey, that's a really great idea! We are currently working on other types of updates/notifications for groups, like feed entries in your Dash and opt-in email notifications, but RSS would be an excellent addition to that! Thanks for the suggestion! I am hoping to have those features ready some time next week. As usual, watch for announcements on the Team Uvumi Blog.
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      • mattgorecki's picture
        Left by mattgorecki, on Jun 8, 2010 - 19:59
        Excellent. The other notifications will be useful to me, as well.
  • dave's picture
    Phone Apps
    Left by dave, on Jun 8, 2010 - 8:49
    Have you guys considered making mobile apps for android/iphone users
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    • Left by Marshall Stokes, on Jun 8, 2010 - 8:54
      Yes it's definitely on our list for future improvements. We're a really small team and we have a few other features to build before we get to mobile apps, but it's something we're excited about doing in the future! I am very interested in finding out if the new Android 2.2 with Flash will allow playback from Uvumi.com in the web browser, but I don't know anyone with an upgraded Nexus One who has tested it yet. I'm guessing it will be clunky at best, based on my experience using Uvumi in the browser on my Droid. Anyway, yes, mobile app will happen in the future, but realistically it probably won't be until 2011 :(
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      • dave's picture
        Left by dave, on Jun 8, 2010 - 9:21
        Android 2.2 does allow playback in the browser i just tested it both with wifi on and off. it is clunky at times and slows down the browser but when i put the phone down and do nothing else it comes in clear.
    • Left by Marshall Stokes, on Jun 8, 2010 - 9:30
      Hey, nice! Thanks for letting me know :) I am anxiously awaiting the 2.2 OTA update for my Droid...
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  • Left by BrandonMicheal, on May 18, 2010 - 9:51
    Thank you for giving undiscovered talents and passions a fighting chance in this cut throat world we live in.
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  • Yo
    Left by The Out of Towner, on May 2, 2010 - 23:39
    Hey man, Just stopping by to say whats up? I like this site a lot, I like that your idea was a way to help other people like you and I was wondering if there was a way I could help out the cause! Hope you hit me back!
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  • Jarrod Gollihare's picture
    aw shucks...
    Left by Jarrod Gollihare, on Apr 28, 2010 - 8:00
    Hi...Jarrod from Admiral Twin here. Just wanted to pop over and say thanks for taking a listen to our song "No. 1 Fan." You even *favorited* it. You're making us blush. Have a great day.
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    Left by Felecia Ford, on Apr 20, 2010 - 23:15
    On behalf of Hundred Year Flood, just wanted to say thanks for featuring our music video on your front page!!! That's so cool!!! awesome, ff
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  • Left by Rafael, on Apr 17, 2010 - 20:46
    Hey Marshall I'm not sure if I have told you about the music player of Bandcamp. I believe the player is based merely on javascript, it doesn't look hard at all - but I didn't really had the time to check if what I'm telling is right. Are you developing any improvements for the uvumi player right now? Keep in touch!
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    • Interesting...
      Left by Marshall Stokes, on Apr 19, 2010 - 8:21
      So I looked into the bandcamp player, and you're right there is no flash whatsoever! We decided to go with a flash back-end for steaming music on Uvumi.com to protect the actual song files from being downloaded for those artists who didn't want to offer their songs up for free download. I spent about 5 minutes looking through the source code to a Bandcamp page (I found an artist who did not allow free downloads), and I was able to download entire songs from that artist within about 15 seconds of locating a section of code in the page source. With about 10-20 minutes of free time, one could easily write a script that would scrape every song from bandcamp (even those that are not available for free download) and rename the files with artist and track info. So, while getting rid of flash would be great, we aren't planning to make that change at this time because we think it's important that artists who don't want their songs to be freely downloadable can rest assured that Uvumi will protect those song files from scrapers :)
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    • Left by Rafael, on Apr 24, 2010 - 13:06
      Sure, that's the bad point about it, but the player performance allows you to auto-repeat songs reducing a lot the traffic to the site and also giving more features on the player like skipping to different spots of the song without delays.
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    • Left by Rafael, on Apr 24, 2010 - 13:12
      They usually have an option to go back a song and that song remains cached, what is also cool, so it goes back quite instantly. Most normal users won't ever noticed what you have said, but they'll notice when a player runs smooth.
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      • Left by Marshall Stokes, on Apr 24, 2010 - 14:38
        Yes, all good points. I have been talking with Olivier about improving the Uvumi player so it behaves better and does more caching. That is definitely something we want to improve in the future, and we'll work on it as soon as we can :)
  • Serin's picture
    Left by Serin, on Apr 14, 2010 - 6:38
    Thanks for the response via Firefox not letting me edit my playlist! I think you're right as it works fine in IE. This version of Firefox has also been giving me a LOT of problems with not loading the player or only loading parts of it.

    In case it helps, the version is: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100401 Firefox/3.6.3

    Thanks for everything, and good luck. :)
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  • Left by Rafael, on Apr 11, 2010 - 20:37
    Thanks for stopping by! I really hope you guys get it. It's a project worth all the help it could get. I would love to help too, but for school issues I just don't have time.

    Well, good luck and keep us informed! :)
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