Advertisement Create a free account
This post has been closed. You can still view previous posts, but you can't post any new replies.

In Regards to SoundCloud

1474910222

Edited 1474910278
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Late last night Roll20’s access to the SoundCloud API was shut off. Roll20’s growth has caused SoundCloud more than once over the past four years to question as to whether or not our integration of their service was within the intent of their API; previously we have been grandfathered in for additional use when SoundCloud changed their API Terms of Use in June 2015. We maintain that the Roll20 community added to the SoundCloud community– be it the vast amount of tracks that were tagged for “Roll20,” the specific music created for use in our interface, or simply our own pride in spurring the discovery of and credit for sound artists via the Roll20 Jukebox dashboard. If you want to let SoundCloud know you’re disappointed by this decision, please  respectfully do so . Particularly if you are a music artist that has uploaded to SoundCloud with the intent of sharing it via Roll20, we appreciate you contacting them to express your displeasure. We have no expectation of our SoundCloud API access being restored, and as such will be exploring additional audio services to bring to Roll20 users. As things stand… Live now for just over a year is the content Tabletop Audio . They continue to add new, long-form tracks that make or a great background to your adventures. We have recently signed a deal with BattleBards to bring their music to Roll20, so look forward to that soon. While it remains a popular suggestion, we are uncertain about utilizing YouTube-as-sound on Roll20, as YouTube’s API specifically prescribes against audio-only uses. Given Roll20’s strong record of avoiding DMCA Takedown notices, we remain hesitant to allow direct audio uploads, as the potential for misuse is too great. The Roll20 Jukebox’s access to the SoundCloud API has been a fantastic boon to the free users of both services. While we are not yet sure what our future audio plans are, we feel like this is a part of the community and experience that has for the time being fallen beneath our standards. Know that we’ll be working on solutions in the weeks to come.
1474912099
Scott C.
Pro
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Well, that's disappointing. So much good music was planned for the upcoming sessions of my campaign. Not sure what I'm gonna do now.
1474912140
Is there a possibility of soliciting new content in the form of audio files for the marketplace? I'd guess that with the sheer volume of creative people out there some of them have to be musically inclined. 
1474912909
Stephen L.
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Terrible news... Is this going to crash scripts that use the jukebox API?
1474913465
Scott C.
Pro
Sheet Author
API Scripter
What workarounds do people know of? Is there a way to broadcast music over a voice chat system?
1474913795
Riley D.
Roll20 Team
Stephen L. said: Terrible news... Is this going to crash scripts that use the jukebox API? If the track it was trying to play was a SoundCloud track then just nothing will happen. If it was a Tabletop Audio track it will work fine still.
1474914330

Edited 1474914359
Ziechael
Forum Champion
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Riley D. said: Stephen L. said: Terrible news... Is this going to crash scripts that use the jukebox API? If the track it was trying to play was a SoundCloud track then just nothing will happen. If it was a Tabletop Audio track it will work fine still. Confirmed, if I run something that would normally play a fun and exciting sound it just runs with disappointing silence instead :( But at least the API doesn't crash... silver linings...
How about some built in sound effects, or marketplace SE that we can add to our adventures?
1474914780

Edited 1474915773
I'm really desapointed with this. I've put a lot of effort in my games... Every attacks had a Sound FX and I used a lot of music... Tabletop Audio is great, but it doesn't have many sounds and it's just ambiance sounds. This is BIG turn off. I have four games this week. I'm strongly considering in canel it all until this is somehow fixed... Try some dropbox/google driver integration.
1474915726
Great! So they flipped the switch without warning? Those hundreds of hours finding tracks and crafting epic battle music or other atmospheric music playlists is gone down the tubes. Ah well, that's what you get for free. Battlebards is good but don't they get their music from Soundcloud? There are others - Incompetech is one that comes to mind. Any chance of working a deal with them?
1474915885
I understand the issues with direct audio uploads, but would having users use a file hosting service like Dropbox be viable instead? Users could upload their own audio to their personal Dropbox folders, and add their links to their campaign jukebox playlist without Roll20 having to host the audio itself. Theoretically it could sidestep the liability that comes with hosting the audio files directly.
1474916646
Kirsty
Pro
Sheet Author
I'm so disappointed that SoundCloud has chosen to disallow Roll20 to use their services. I love the atmosphere that music and ambient sounds bring to my campaigns.
1474917537
Natha
Roll20 Production Team
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Would it be possible to add a soundclound feature as a paying option (so that Soundcloud would get a share)?
AOL's chatrooms (yes, I'm old) used to have a feature whereby the user would put .wav files in a specific folder on THEIR OWN hard drive, which could be triggered by a simple command within the chatroom. Using this system, a person could simply type {S wavefile into the chat, and anyone with that specific file in their folder would hear it. We used to have endless fun sending soundclips to one another, and having 'conversations' by playing them at one another. As these files were never on AOL's servers, there was no need to worry about copyright or anything. And, as you'd only hear the sounds if you had the file, there was no worry about hearing something you didn't want to hear. I'm fairly certain that something like this could be easily implemented in Roll20... AOL did it, after all. You're better than AOL, aren't you? q;} -Phnord, the GM who would like to use audio in his games.
1474918406
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Doug E. said: Great! So they flipped the switch without warning? Those hundreds of hours finding tracks and crafting epic battle music or other atmospheric music playlists is gone down the tubes. Ah well, that's what you get for free. Battlebards is good but don't they get their music from Soundcloud? There are others - Incompetech is one that comes to mind. Any chance of working a deal with them? As a former Kansan subject to a great many tornadoes, I'd say SoundCloud put us in a "Watch" but not a "Warning." As stated, we've had this conversation with them several times, and the result has always been grandfathering. This time we were not grandfathered. BattleBards has individual tracks that we'll be hosting, so no issue there. We are reaching out to other services about licensing deals and are optimistic-- it won't replace the end-user work that was lost today, but hopefully we can create a strong library for the future. Amos D. said: I understand the issues with direct audio uploads, but would having users use a file hosting service like Dropbox be viable instead? Users could upload their own audio to their personal Dropbox folders, and add their links to their campaign jukebox playlist without Roll20 having to host the audio itself. Theoretically it could sidestep the liability that comes with hosting the audio files directly. We're looking into the legality of this. It's still broadcasting (even to a small group) music, even if we aren't hosting.  Natha said: Would it be possible to add a soundclound feature as a paying option (so that Soundcloud would get a share)? There's no apparent method of doing this. The paying models SoundCloud appears to be pursuing aren't about embeds and music broadcast, so similar to if we integrated with Spotify, the end result isn't what we're seeking. What was unique about SoundCloud was the ability to take tracks artists had allowed for off-site streaming and then sync it for a group to stream together without each player needing a paid license. If SoundCloud comes up with a model similar to this for their API in the future, we'd love to be a part of it, but we've seen no plans on their part to do that.
1474918489
Bryn
Pro
Marketplace Creator
That is horrible. I will be sending them a complaint. I have dozens of self made music tracks on there. And now I won't be able to access them via the game. Which was the whole point. So angry!
1474920858
Please make a deal with soundcloud and make music a service that we need to pay for. Please, Battlebards has such limited music for the GM's.
1474921137
Jay
Plus
This is indeed a sad thing. I have been using the sound setup as a DM for everything from rain to amazing epic tracks for battles. Hopefully we can find a suitable alternative! I have politely tweeted my discontent at the whole thing. What a shame. :( 
1474923119
The "insert monster name" attempts to bite Immersion, rolls a 20! :(
I'm rather disappointed with SoundCloud's decision on the matter, it seems rather strange to cut ties with Roll20 especially given Roll20 was the way I found out about SoundCloud in the first place. My understanding is that they revoked access as the traffic was too high from Roll20 > SoundCloud. Was there any other reasons explicitly stated once they were contacted earlier? Maybe even Google Play could be used as a substitute for people who wish to upload and use their own music in the future?
1474924275
Phoxounet
Pro
Sheet Author
Translator
Terrible new... 
1474924994
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Meta K. said: I'm rather disappointed with SoundCloud's decision on the matter, it seems rather strange to cut ties with Roll20 especially given Roll20 was the way I found out about SoundCloud in the first place. My understanding is that they revoked access as the traffic was too high from Roll20 > SoundCloud. Was there any other reasons explicitly stated once they were contacted earlier? Maybe even Google Play could be used as a substitute for people who wish to upload and use their own music in the future? It's more like Roll20 was among several SoundCloud API users that didn't fit into what their  new business models are. We've previously talked with them about our use case and been allowed to continue integration.  They've changed their API rules multiple times as they pursue monetization (here's  me discussing a fear of this literally a year ago ) and we've found ways to keep up... this time, that wasn't the case.
1474925647

Edited 1474925699
This is horrible! I've come to rely heavily on Custom Audio to establish the proper atmosphere in my games, it adds tons of depth. Now all of that is gone!
1474925682
Robert R.
Plus
Marketplace Creator
I do have a possible solution for Roll20 that would allow users to upload their own music while absolutely, 100% protecting Roll20 from any kind of DCMA blowback. Namely, you can allow Roll20 to work with a Cloud Storage service, like Google Drive, which already supports remote streaming. This way, people can upload their own music, but are merely streaming it from their own, personal, non-Roll20 accounts. Google Drive basic is free so everyone can use it, and for even a couple dollars you could have a huge library there, so I think it covers most people's needs. In the current climate another streaming service will not solve the situation, nor will a handful of Roll20's own sounds. DCMA stuff is getting too rampant, and if you've been following what's happening at YouTube, you'd definitely see that the climate is changing with these kinds of services, rapidly; they want to bring everything into the "mainstream," and not care about anything else. The shame of this all is I had planned to upgrade both my Roll20 and Soundcloud account this week, as I'm finally back to GM'ing something and would love the additional features for Roll20, and because I've been super happy with Soundcloud as a service, but this really dampens things badly; so much of the atmosphere came from suitable music. I don't think some of these companies (Soundcloud, not Roll20, you guys are blameless in this) understand you have to give a little to get a lot.
1474925754
Robert R. said: Namely, you can allow Roll20 to work with a Cloud Storage service, like Google Drive, which already supports remote streaming. This way, people can upload their own music, but are merely streaming it from their own, personal, non-Roll20 accounts.  Yes please! This would be amazing.
1474925992
Robert R.
Plus
Marketplace Creator
By the way, it's hard to express things in a tweet with any real definition beyond angry mob yelling.  Is there a better place to write Roll20? 140 characters is difficult to express (though I did attempt to do so) the full sentiment that Roll20 got me into Soundcloud in the first place, and I've done nothing but suggest people get the app for their phone (usually to the response of "What?  There's a streaming app for it?!) and check them out, and have talked at length about how much creative 3rd party music they have compared to anything like Spotify:  Good luck finding thousands of good Synthwave songs on another service. That said, them giving a little to our service has got them a lot; in just my own private little instance, I've expanded their install base by about a dozen people, and those dozen may easily go on to repeat that.  All because of Roll20.  Killing this is killing a great source of free advertising.
How am I supposed to give my players the chills when they die without any of the super sad soundtracks? And how am I gona set the mood in my table? Making the soundtrack with my own mouth?? Nooooooooooooooooooo, so sad...
1474926408
Nolan T. J. said: We're looking into the legality of this. It's still broadcasting (even to a small group) music, even if we aren't hosting. The way I see it as an end-user, it's essentially the same as Soundcloud. You don't technically host the audio, but rather use a third party to host the audio and play it. However I am not a lawyer, nor a developer, so I can understand if there's a bit more nuance to the issue than there seems to be. Nonetheless, I greatly appreciate you responding so quickly and your openness on the issue. It's refreshing to see a dev team communicate so openly and promptly about issues with their user base.
1474926789
U____U sad
1474927044

Edited 1474927382
Robert R.
Plus
Marketplace Creator
I tend to agree with Amos D.  As long as you aren't hosting the music - or even providing links to it - the situation is nearly identical to Soundcloud.  I STRONGLY suggest Google over Dropbox, since Google Drive is far, far friendlier with the APIs and less likely to either complain, or importantly, lag.  To be frank on Dropbox, I suspect that songs will cut out in the middle all of the time. I could make a URL right now that would let you stream any number of songs off my Google Drive you'd like; there's several plugins that make it super easy.  All Roll20 has to do is allow someone to direct what song triggers.  No data, and no links, need ever pass through Roll20 on the surface level.  Anyone running copyrighted material would be directly responsible for it. ED:  I really, strongly suggest looking at Google Drive over dropbox though.  The API is better and could be up and running quick, Google is less likely to take issues, Google is FAR less likely to lag out or hitch, and they are less likely in the long term of taking issue with the service.  Also everyone has a Google account, and basic Drive is free with a decent amount of space for many users.  Either is better than nothing, but Drive would be a much better solution IMO. ED2:  Seeing the team communicate with the community so tightly on this has been a huge positive.  I do plan to upgrade my account even if this isn't fixed.  -- On a related note:  My group is currently looking for a 3rd party cloud DJ program, if anyone finds one it might be worth posting here as a temporary stopgap.
1474927608
Does anyone have a temporary alternative while the people at Roll20 get something figured out? I've tried Synatop but I'm having trouble getting it working right.
1474927634
Robert R. said: On a related note:  My group is currently looking for a 3rd party cloud DJ program, if anyone finds one it might be worth posting here as a temporary stopgap. I've been trying it, but I didn't find nothing good so far. I'm tempted in writing one.
You should try to strike a deal with syrinscape so that users can log into their Syrinscape account and use the audio online as long as they have purchased it. I would totally go for that!
1474928848
I found a fairly decent workaround, by using Discord for voice chat you are able to add a bot to discord that will play the audio of youtube videos through it's "mic" in your channel. This can be used by those that still want sounds in their games, and Roll20 has absolutely no liability as the sounds are being hosted and streamed elsewhere.
1474929692
Robert R.
Plus
Marketplace Creator
I've been trying it, but I didn't find nothing good so far. I'm tempted in writing one. So far I've found a lot of streaming DJ options and even a supposedly halfway decent TeamSpeak music player I will be investigating tonight and tomorrow (I'll post any good finds). One other thing - Roll20 I implore you not to eliminate the Soundcloud tab / playlists on Roll20 for a few weeks.   I have my music list backed up on Soundcloud itself, but many others don't.  If you nuke it, they'll loose not only the ability to get those songs, but even know what songs it was they had, so we can find them whatever method everyone uses going forward. So even if Soundcloud cannot be restored, at least give people a little bit of time to get their track lists.
1474930915
I'd just like to post that, regardless of how, this is something that I desperately hope the development team comes up with a solution for. I have run quite a few campaigns through the service and continue to do so, and the option of having not one but multiple audio tracks playing simultaneously was the biggest draw for me to actually switch to Roll20 (previously I had been using MapTool). Atmosphere is incredibly important when running a game, and nothing helps foster that like background environment effects like rain or wind, or the right music to set the scene (whether it be a low-tempo, dungeon crawling ambiance track or a fast-paced, exciting action track). Roll20 has a great many other useful features but it was the easy access to configurable playlists, ironically which were provided for free, which prompted me to show my support by upgrading to Pro, and continuing to maintain it. I have to agree with several of the previous posts in thinking the option of streaming directly through a cloud based service like Google Drive might be an excellent alternative if developed properly, as services like TableTop audio do not provide enough diversity or resources you might need for "themed" campaigns such as those run in Star Wars or the Fallout universe.
1474931209

Edited 1474931253
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
One other thing - Roll20 I implore you not to eliminate the Soundcloud tab / playlists on Roll20 for a few weeks.   I have my music list backed up on Soundcloud itself, but many others don't.  If you nuke it, they'll loose not only the ability to get those songs, but even know what songs it was they had, so we can find them whatever method everyone uses going forward. So even if Soundcloud cannot be restored, at least give people a little bit of time to get their track lists. We've specifically changed the Jukebox SoundCloud area to link you to the tracks you've curated for the time being, and there will be absolutely  be warning before we take that out. And to everyone putting forward suggestions, please know that we will absolutely be doing something . As for precisely what or when, we're not sure-- but we also love the Jukebox feature's ability to bring a game's atmosphere together.
I was supposed to be starting a new D&D 5E campaign for some friends this upcoming Saturday and this whole thing has rather put a blockade on that because literal hours of music and sound effect compiling has just been wasted. Forgive me because I'm a little dense when it comes to Legalese but I've looked through the API terms of use and I'm not sure I see where the violation is...?
1474933509
Robert R.
Plus
Marketplace Creator
Thanks for that reply Nolan.  It was good news to both myself, and a few other GMs in my group (on both giving some notice on the playlists and working towards a solution). I absolutely realize they blindsided you guys with this.  The lack of any kind of real notice was ludicrous and Soundcloud should be ashamed of that.
1474933520
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Duckie said: I was supposed to be starting a new D&D 5E campaign for some friends this upcoming Saturday and this whole thing has rather put a blockade on that because literal hours of music and sound effect compiling has just been wasted. Forgive me because I'm a little dense when it comes to Legalese but I've looked through the API terms of use and I'm not sure I see where the violation is...? From SoundCloud: “Regardless of any permissions set by any Uploader with respect to any User Content, you must not use the SoundCloud® API, or any User Content accessible via the SoundCloud® API, for any of the following purposes: to incorporate, synchronize or use User Content with or into any advertisement, game, video, film or other audiovisual work, or any other application, unless you’ve obtained all relevant licenses, including synchronization licenses, from all relevant rightsholders. Notwithstanding the above, SoundCloud shall have the sole right to determine whether or not an app is acceptable, and we reserve the right to revoke API access for any app that we determine is not providing added benefit to SoundCloud® users and/or is not in the best interests of SoundCloud or our users." In the end, it's their service, and they can do as they see fit.
1474936089
Brian
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Encartrus said: Is there a possibility of soliciting new content in the form of audio files for the marketplace? I'd guess that with the sheer volume of creative people out there some of them have to be musically inclined.  I think that's a great  idea. Roll20 can use essentially the same process for vetting Marketplace creators of sound as they currently do for art and modules, and it opens up the Roll20 Marketplace for another category of content creator.
1474936151

Edited 1474936784
We are working on a temporary Alternatives thread on Reddit, and we've already found a couple good options for alternatives!   https://www.reddit.com/r/Roll20/comments/54n5qk/al... I love the internet sometimes.
1474936549

Edited 1474936604
I support the idea for using google drive streaming. Or anything else that allows us to stream our own audio files until a permanent solution is found. I am afraid to say that I might consider quitting Roll20 if the solution involves paying more money.
Too bad :(  Havelok said: We are working on a temporary Alternatives thread on Reddit, and we've already found a couple good options for alternatives!   https://www.reddit.com/r/Roll20/comments/54n5qk/al... I love the internet sometimes. Thank you sir.
1474937759
greg
Pro
I have no words to describe how awful this is.   I have been on roll20 for years have hours of music and more importantly sound effects that are just priceless to online gaming thanks to soundcloud. Now I got sound holes all over the campaign and no answers.  I also just don't understand how uploading something I have paid for and letting 4 other friends listen to that sound is illegal, ex here... Name a CD track you have legally purchased.  Another example I have is sound effects...  Waterfall for example recorded for the Smithsonian Institute I would and can legally play that in my home for my friends around a table for gaming.  It's public record and available on the national archive. Why not on roll20 for the same gentlemen I'm not putting it online for public use?  Don't get it. 
1474940724
Brother Sharp said: I support the idea for using google drive streaming. Or anything else that allows us to stream our own audio files until a permanent solution is found. I am afraid to say that I might consider quitting Roll20 if the solution involves paying more money. Duckie said: I was supposed to be starting a new D&D 5E campaign for some friends this upcoming Saturday and this whole thing has rather put a blockade on that because literal hours of music and sound effect compiling has just been wasted. Forgive me because I'm a little dense when it comes to Legalese but I've looked through the API terms of use and I'm not sure I see where the violation is...? Look into Discord and using a bot known as TypicalBot. It allows you to play youtube videos. Simple solution and besides the learning pains of getting a youtube video playlist ready it didnt slow down my session tonight at all. Players even enjoyed it a little bit more as I was able to find even more sounds than I had before (can only use the same scream audio so many times before it gets boring)
1474943583

Edited 1474982772
Scott C.
Pro
Sheet Author
API Scripter
For those who may not go to reddit, I put forward  Voicemeeter  as a possible alternative for windows users. There's a very useful tutorial on  Youtube  for it as well. EDIT: you will want to also get the VB audio virtual cable which is available from the same website so that you can set that as your default communications playback device.
1474945928
whatever the solution will be, can you please make sure to be able to play multiple tracks at once?  Some of my tracks were snarls and monster sounds, which I play along with the preset music, that ability with sound cloud was one of the better features.
1474949351
Simon O.
Translator
This really makes me sad and angry. I have dozens of tracks in there. There is not much you can do if you are reliant on 3rd party services. But I wonder if you spoke with them multiple times, and even had fears of this a year ago, what have you been doing up until now to search for alternatives? Best case scenario for me would be that I can stream music that my players hear (like dropbox, google drive integration or simply from my own HDD)
1474949773
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Scott C. said: For those who may not go to reddit, I put forward  Voicemeeter  as a possible alternative for windows users. There's a very useful tutorial on  Youtube  for it as well. nIce.  Thanks Scott
The hell.  I finally decided to start using music in my games.  I spent several hours over the past two weeks gathering and organising tracks in the Jukebox.