The music streaming service revolution has been one of the biggest, and most exciting, developments to the music and technology world in my lifetime. We went from driving to a store to buy music, often without ever hearing it beforehand, to having countless hours of music in our pockets with virtually no limits to what we could discover and listen to with the mere press of a button.
As someone that runs a music website, and now a weekly newsletter, that often includes recommendations about new music, I’ve long struggled with just how to share those recommendations with the most people. On this website, I often link to the YouTube video in the post itself for instant listening and then will link to Apple Music and Spotify when appropriate (or if the song isn’t on YouTube yet) since those are the two biggest streaming platforms. I like those short URLS that a lot of labels and PR people are using these days that aggregate all of the streaming platforms into one place for easy sharing; however, what I really wanted was something that I had a little more control over. What if I use a service like this and then it goes under, and all my links die? All of a sudden hours of meticulously linking music recommendations on this website or my newsletter could end up having dead links. So, after coming across the excellent Song.Link service and their API, I decided I would be best served in creating something for myself. That way I could easily create a place to share a song or album, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the URL going away in a few years or it not being updated as streaming services come and go.
The end result is a page that includes links to all the big streaming services, as well as a YouTube video for quick streaming if it exists, and links to purchase the music as well. For example:
- Blink-182 – “Happy Days”
- Mannequin Pussy – “Patience”
- MxPx – “Doing Time”
- Paramore – After Laughter
- Sigrid – Sucker Punch
It’s not unlike the other sharing services out there, but it’s built to load extremely fast, not be filled with extra junk, and be a simple landing page for songs and albums so someone can get to the part of hearing the music as quickly as possible. I built it for myself because I want something like this to use here on the website, and in my newsletter, that I can control and tweak as needed. I’ll start incorporating it into my posts and features more and more over the next few weeks as I test out the bugs and issues that may arise. It technically is open for anyone else to use it if they would like as well. The URL scheme is pretty standard: chorus.fm/share/song/blink-182/happy+days and there is a very basic search.
At the request of a supporter, I also created a simple iOS Shortcut that can act as a way to get the share link for a song, or album, that you are currently playing via Apple Music. When it runs it’ll look at what you’re currently listening to and ask if you’d like to share the song or album, and then create the link for you and either put it on your clipboard or open up the share page. It works well as an extension:
I also created two Alfred Workflows for myself and tossed those on Github.
On the technical side, basically, the way this works is that the song or album has to be in Apple Music’s database, and if it is we use that information to pull everything from the other services using Song.Link’s backend. The first time we do this for any release, it may take a second to pull the information, but after that everything is stored in static files and should be extremely fast to load. Since I only made this for myself, I haven’t played around with a bunch of edge cases or anything like that quite yet, so it may be rough around the edges.1 But, I think it’s pretty neat, and I’m excited to be able to use it each week when writing about music. Oh, yeah, since I did all this basically for the newsletter … um, please sign up for it.
If you do see any issue with any of the pages, feel free to reach out to me and let me know.↩