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Here's to 200,000 public tracks

Here's to 200,000 public tracks

Dear friends of wikiloops,

Thanks for checking out this blog post, which has been over-due for some time.
I just looked at the wikiloops home page once more, and as the reddish autumn morning sun is rising in germany and I'm sipping on my coffee I realize:

wikiloops is about to cross the 200,000 public tracks mark today


That is the count of tracks made available to anyone who has an internet connection.
Quick side note for those of you wondering why the track IDs of the newly added tracks are above 250k by now:
The difference comes from tracks uploaded to band projects on wikiloops, which are not public.

It took pretty exactly 11.5 years to reach this day, and I couldn't help but do a little math to try to get a feeling what 200k home-recorded backing tracks translates to.

Here are a couple of my findings:
  • Assumed each track was 3.5minutes long, you could spend 486 days listening 24/7 to check out all tracks

  • Assumed it took an average of 30 minutes to record each track (I know this varies a lot!), you end up with 11.4 years studio time spent to record those 200k tracks.
    That's basically saying "in any moment of wikiloops existence, someone has been in some studio recording for wikiloops".
    Pretty sweet.

  • Out of 200k tracks, roundabout 40k are "template tracks", and 160k are remixes - that's an average of four musicians joining and adding to each initial track. I'm aware that's an average, and there are these cases where some template track gets overlooked (we actually have 15k not-yet-remixed template tracks, I had to check now that I'm at it), but no matter how you look at it: The chances of finding collaborators on wikiloops are obviously pretty good.

  • Someone recently asked me to describe the type of music that can be found on wikiloops, and my assumptions on the motivation behind their creation, and I ended up stating something along the lines of:

    "To understand wikiloops, you should know that only a small percentage of these tracks have been produced to be presented to a larger audience or non-musicians, most tracks are rather works in progress which are deliberately missing some instruments and vocals to give creative space to others.
    Then again, only a small portion of tracks is really strictly aiming to be ideal play-along backing tracks for practice (in the sense of offering a clean, extra-boring midi-like backing audio), and there are many tracks which simply document some creative exchange between some musicians, without any intention to produce something for a radio audience or suitable for practice use.
    These people are having fun, that's what these tracks are about.
    You are basically listening in on some pretty wild rehearsal situation,
    where someone might be taking his new sound of the day on a ride for the fun of it,
    while some other folks may be out to turn someones composition into a shiny song."

    I feel that is a pretty good description of what we have collected here,
    and I do hope you can sense that I am not putting any value to the different approaches I mentioned above.
    We are not here to produce X amount of tracks and reach any magic numbers,
    not here to offer "backing tracks as a service" or curate "wikiloops next superstar".
    We are not here for money (11.4 years studio time were "donated", think about this for a moment),
    we are building both our personal and a collective diary of home-made recordings from all over the globe.
    Because we can, and because it's fun :)

    I would like to thank all of you involved in wikiloops for your support to this project.

    Remember, me and MrBaer started this with a couple of hundred quite lousy sounding mp3 tracks on some hobby server in 2011 - what we are looking at today is your all's combined contributions, so, sincerely: thank you all

    Well, I'm aware these rather happy wikiloops news will probably not make it into history books or the evening news - there is a war going on, economic turmoil and other unpleasant things dominating the news these days - and I sincerely hope you folks reading this are safe out there.

    Keep the music playing, and let's have a creative end-of-year season on the 'loops :)
    Thanks for contributing to making the world a better place :) +3
    Hop hop hop HOURRA ! +2
    I am in awe of your achievement Richard its truly amazing.<3<3<3 +2
    Against the odds of modern day pandemics and strange things that has literally broken the fabrics of musical connections right in my own town, I find wikiloops a place where the virtual relationships and musicality is about as close to the real world as it could possibly get and that is a great branch of opportunity. I have met a many great musicians on here ... hope to make some more great music with you guys. +2
    I hope one day we all can meet on a member meeting. That's one of my biggest wish. So. Rock on and thank you Richard :D<3 +2
    You Have My Uttermost Respect and Gratitude Richard and Freinds For injecting so much Fun into My Life....:W +2
    woohoo what a milestone :) +1
    And all of this made possible by you Richard. Thank you +1
    <3<3<3 thanks to you, Richard, for your excellent idea and project of Wikiloops World Band :W:W +1
    You are a awesome person Richard<3
    a heartfelt thank you from me.;)
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    Great fun for all, a great way of learning to improvise. best musical web site I have come across, cannot put the guitar down now!
    davidaustin from England

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