Funkwhale: past, present... and future?

Written by funkwhale / blog September 3, 2018

Funkwhale started as a personal project three years ago, in reponse to Grooveshark being shut down. As of today, new instances are poping up every week, the project is getting traction and attracting external contributions. What should you expect for the future of the project?


In the beginning, in 2015, there was only me, Eliot, working on my free-time on this "thing", in reaction to Grooveshark disappearance. At that time, Funkwhale had no logo, no documentation, no website, the UI was clunky, buggy, and the only deployment was mine.

It kinda worked, and it was satistfying to be independant from big streaming platforms, but the amount of effort was really not worth it, especially since the interface was not so good.

However, in 2017 (or was it 2016?), I discovered a great new technology, called VueJS, which I used to rebuild the project front-end, from scratch. Suddenly, everything became both easier and more satisfying from a user and a developper perspective, and I felt confident enough to show the project to some close friends and family.

Using their feedback, I could improve the project and progressively add new features. The first time I mentioned it publicly, it was probably here, in July 2017. But the real kickoff of the project was with this toot (in french), where I invited people on my own instance for a closed beta, at the end of february 2018.

This attracted a few dozens of strangers, eager to try (and break) the app. Here again, their feedback helped me a lot, and the project owes a lot to their contributions. Overall, I'd say the feedback was really positive, and for me it was one of those moment in life when you are fueled with energy and ideas!

From march to this very day, things accelarated. A lot:

I'm not saying that to be pretentious or get credit. Actually, a lot of those achievements and milestones involved other people than me, and even if I'm still the main developper and code contributor, the project in its current state goes far beyond of what I could do by myself.

So thank you, to all the people who helped, brought fun, ideas, feedback, design, translations, who talked about the project and improved it. Funkwhale feels more real now than it was a year ago, and it's because of you!


So, here we are, the summer is over, and we have to talk about what will happen next. Because all the good things that happened also had a price and, unfortunately, things cannot continue like that forever.

As a project maintainer and main contributor, I still have a lot of things to do:

As you have probably guessed, this takes a lot of time, and all of this has to happen on my free time, since I'm working full-time. At this point, you probably don't want to know how much week-ends and evenings I've spent working on Funkwhale ;)

I'm not implying I'm burned-out: this is not the case. However, on the long term, persisting in this way is a recipe for disaster. You may have noticed the development of Funkwhale has slowed down during summer, well, that's partly because of that: I had to stake a step back and enjoy some real free time.

Now, what can I do about that on the long term?


Today, I can announce it, since the negociations with my employer are over: I'm leaving my job at PeopleDoc to work on Funkwhale. Starting on December 1st, I'll be able to work full-time on the project and give it the attention it deserves.

I'd like to thank my employer and my colleagues, as they are very supporting and agreed to let me go!

I'm really excited to get started with this new chapter in the life of the project and I'm confident this will help me figure out a lot of solutions to current challenges we're facing:

Thank you for reading, let's do awesome tings together!

PS: you may have noticed this is a new blog. We're not going to stop publishing on Mastodon, but a blog is better suited for long posts and anouncements, and will also bring more visibility for the project.

You may follow this blog using RSS / Atom, but also on the fediverse as well, with, thanks to the amazing work made by Baptiste and other Plume contributors!

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@funkwhale Great article. Funkwhale seems very promising in the long run as its lead developer is mature enough to keep his ego behind, take criticism into consideration, admit he cannot handle everything himself, and allows himself to step back when needed.

Thanks for everything Eliot, your work and attitude are incredible



phew! I thought that the article was heading in the direction of saying that you were leaving Funkwhale development... 😢 Very happy with the twist at the end! It was solely because of discussions with you that my opinion of the idea of funkwhale went from "There's no point" to "This is awesome and I want to support it!"

Eliot Berriot

@Blort @funkwhale my vision of the project and its goals evolved a lot this year, thanks to discussion with you and many other folks!


@funkwhale That's a story ! I'm a fully satistfied user of @funkwhale thanks to you ! :)

˗ˏˋ Liaizon Wakest ˎˊ˗

@funkwhale so happy to read all this! Excited to see where the future of Funkwhale leads and how it interacts more with the fediverse. Music and Federation can go hand and hand and have a beautiful life together.

A kind (of) writer

@funkwhale Great news, super exciting and much deserved for you!