If you used our Smule downloader service over the last weeks, you might have noticed some problems here and there. But I am happy to say that since November 12, 2020, we now have a completely new downloader service, which works better than ever. But first some back-story …
I started Sing.Salon in 2016 as a community website for Smule users. Until then, Smule singers would connect through Facebook and Line groups, but I do not think that one endless chat is a good way to help other users and engage in fruitful discussions. So I started a dedicated website just for Smule users. The site was always run as a personal side-project. The goal was to provide helpful information around Smule and a forum for discussions so that Smule users could share their experience and help each other.
A download service was later added and it quickly became one of the most-used sections of the website. In fact, with hundreds of thousands of users it became almost too popular! Two problems arose:
- The website became hard to manage. If there were problems or changes on Smule’s end, the download service could fail and thousands of Sing.Salon members a day were unhappy and were flooding the website with complaints. For a personal side-project, that became too much work to handle.
- You might not know it, but Smule doesn’t officially support services like ours. In fact, if an external service creates thousands of requests a day to Smule’s servers, Smule can identify these connections and shut them down permanently. And that is exactly what happened.
Because of both of these problems, the download service as it was running the last years couldn’t be continued anymore. It came down to two choices: I considered shutting down the download service and with that, maybe even the entire website. Of course that would solve the problems around handling the support of the website and its tens of thousands of users.
Another option was to actually put more work into the site and raise it to the level of a professional service. And that’s the step I took now.
Our current download service is completely new. It was created again from scratch and many aspects were improved in the new version. It is now much more reliable and convenient. Instead of just processing the downloads on-the-fly and then discarding the data, your download requests are now stored for seven days on our server. This gives us the chance to monitor if the service is working correctly and we can investigate potential problems.
The download requests to Smule are now distributed around the globe using a professional web crawling service. This makes the service faster, more reliable and future-proof. But this comes at a price. Sing.Salon now needs to pay considerable monthly fees to use this external service and that’s why the free use of our service — while still possible — is not unlimited anymore. You get a certain amount of download credits you can use within every week. If you want to download more songs, you need to become a Sing.Salon supporter. Then you can download up to several thousand songs within the one-year subscription period. And you are also supporting this website, so that we can keep it going and improve and extend it further in the future.
By the way: using our download service also means your songs can get featured on our site. Popular downloads of the last seven days are featured on our site and shown to thousands of Sing.Salon members. (Private songs are excluded from this.)