Jump to content

My 500th Songbook Upload (a Smule retrospective)

Recommended Posts


It's been a couple years since I visited these forums for the first time, in the midst of the pandemic. I hope y'all doing alright.

I'm about to hit my 500th songbook upload, having been a member of Smule since 2014. Back in the day the only way to get a song that wasn't available in the catalog was through Freestyle OCs, which you'd sing over a track that was playing in a different device. Looking back it was so rustic you can't help but feeling nostalgia to it, haha! As the time went by, the app allowed its members to upload their own songs on this new Songbook, and the app boomed in popularity.

I started to upload in late 2015, when the songs you could do were really scarce and non-VIP users would get the stick with 3rd party ads and having to use coins to join OCs. A practice they got rid of, thankfully, unlike their first app Magic Piano, the one that got my attention towards Smule. I remember my first song, still one of my favorites: "Hey Laura" by Gregory Porter, and also meeting my very first friend in the app: this lovely lady that goes by the @ of willias01 (quick shoutout!). Thanks to our shared love for Mr. Porter's music, and Jazz in general, we started sharing more songs that built confidence in myself to spend more time in the app. It's been 8 years since that day.

As the years went by my taste in music kept expanding: from RnB, to 70's Soul, more Jazz, Japanese Pop, you call it! With each year that went by I kept bringing songs with me, songs that I wanted to sing. Music that I'd put time and effort to make the most clean instrumental available to everyone through Smule's Songbook. Some of my early uploads have +5k recordings and +90% rate of approval... while some others just won't show up in your lists.

And then add that time where the industry actually got his eye on this app, and lots of uploads would vanish, and with them the voices and memories of so many people: Adele, Justin Timberlake, to mention some, would straight up delete your recordings without prior knowledge, with no way to access to them (not even through 3rd party sites like the Internet Archive). I'm still salty about it.

I've met so many wonderful people on this add from so many places in this world: Germany, Portugal, Indonesia, US, UK, Netherlands! These friends I still carry with me in wonderful memories and records will stay with me forever. Their voices had made my days brighter and, when we had to stay home, kept me company through one of the most stressful times of my life (having worked as a frontline medic during the virus' height). They also opened their arms to receive me in their countries after I decided to adventure in my first international trip back in 2022, recording songs live, side by side, after so many years apart. Truly a life changing experience.

In the last 5 years I've seen nothing but indifference from this app towards people like me who dedicates its time to enjoy singing. From price hiking, to remove features only to make them VIP only (and still botching the experience by bringing them "half-backed"), testing out wonderful things like unlimited joins only to take a step back. These decisions Smule has made are understandable, as they're a company who needs to make money... but outsourcing the job of including most of the songs in their catalog to the user, only to be met with lack of innovation is something I can't stand anymore. It's a YouTube kind-of situation. I think of Smule now more as a tech company than a service provider.

There is so much work to be done to the app. Android deserves so much love, and we should be able to preserve our own voice with a downloader tool besides the ones we have available to us. Bots should be kicked from the platform once and for all. Singing should be more social than ever, yet we're being secluded in paying tiers with fancy worthless badges and "gifts" that produce unreliable results towards our reach and engagement with each other.

As I'm looking back, I've enjoyed Smule so much these years. And I'm looking forward to keep doing it: as long as I have a voice, I'd like to share it with y'all.

Hey! You made it this far. Quick question: what do you think my 500th upload will be? Take a guess! And have a wonderful day.

WhatsApp Image 2023-11-28 at 02.44.10_4e10b328.jpg

WhatsApp Image 2023-11-28 at 02.44.10_f86db38e.jpg

  • like 4
  • love it! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Abundiz93 said:

Quick question: what do you think my 500th upload will be? Take a guess! And have a wonderful day.

It's gotta be "We Wish You the Merriest." Congrats on your 500th upload! There's nothing I enjoy more than singing on a song with a duet split that makes sense. Uploaders are the true MVPs of Smule.

  • like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


@Abundiz93 What a beautiful read! Joyful, then sad, but still remembering the joyful times. You’ve perfectly summed up the Smule experience for a lot of us long-time users. Thank you for the massive amount of work you’ve done as un uploader, and congratulations on approaching this milestone.

The only song that comes to mind is this: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers. I don’t know why, though 😂 I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more. I’d take a serious guess, but I don’t know jazz. I’ll guess, something jazzy? 😁

  • like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
On 11/28/2023 at 8:33 AM, DuetWithAlli said:

 I’d take a serious guess, but I don’t know jazz. I’ll guess, something jazzy? 😁

You were right! My 500th songbook upload was "It's a Good Day" by Seth Macfarlane and Elizabeth Gillies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now