No one in the beets inner circle is an expert in the peculiarities of healthily running a healthy open-source project. I’m not. I wonder if other projects could provide advice here. I also wonder if sponsorships or partnerships could be pursued. Here’s what Musicbrainz has.
Here’s some brainstorming on sources of funds / support. There’s another question as to what support would be, or what funding would buy. I have the sense right now that Beets could use direction and time, moreso than money. But maybe there’s a way to use money for these goals. I wonder if a Google-like company could advise on how to get beets out of this rut.
- Any music streaming service. Spotify, Apple, etc. are the big ones, but there are hipper streamers like Qobuz, Deezer, and Tidal is on the borderline. Some companies brand themselves as audiophile solutions. Tidal also has “fan-centered” royalties which indicates some level of PR push for users. Quobuz has an impressive metadata backend (not sure if it’s just Wikipedia/Musicbrainz) and human-curated lists like “essential rock”. Quobuz could make a sales pitch that they can enrich the same library you have locally, with their extra metadata. Obvious use case for streamers: companies improve/create support for mapping local files with beets to the streaming service.
- Bandcamp. I think Bandcamp would be a logical and potentially really good partnership. They care a lot about community relations. Similar use cases to the streamers. Can also have something like “sign me up for every artist’s mailing list in my library”; “who are my top artists who have albums I haven’t heard which are on Bandcamp”; “download my library and integrate it with beets” (multiple tools for the download already, but I think we could make a case that tighter integration would improve sales). Bandcamp is probably my favorite big company in the music business, because it’s DRM-free and checks all the right boxes. (Now owned by Epic Games)
- Plex. Plexamp is an “audiophile” local music player. Plex is all about playing and organizing local files.
- Xiph - enhance the layers between local music <-> beets <-> music server <-> music playback?
- Google Summer of Code / Advent of Code. Possibly other sponsorships from Google.
- do other big companies do anything like this?
I have a sensitive sellout meter. None of this should be done unless it benefits the project. Beets must never cull features to please sponsors (like try to push people away from local files and onto paid streamers). There are tons of open source projects that get outside funding and are better for it.