Fan Soundtrack Project

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Community
Name: The Fan Soundtrack Project
Date(s): 2004 - present
Moderator: Tin, hemlocke, verstehen
Founder: Tin
Type: music challenge community
Fandom: multifandom
URL: fst (on Livejournal)
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Contents

The Fan Soundtrack Project is a themed music challenge community on Livejournal. It revolves around the posting of monthly themes for which participants create and post fan soundtracks. Although the challenge originated from within the anime and manga fannish communities, people from across all fandoms have since joined the project, as can be seen from community memory list. The community boasts over 6,300 members as of November 16th 2011.

Origins

In early 2004, Tin proposed a themed music challenge in her personal journal where fans would

draw up a track listing/create based on themes/challenges issued and post the listing along with mp3 files to the comm. In other words... Fan Soundtracks. ^^;[1]

Although the challenge started as an activity for the members of Tin's friendlist, the livejournal community Fan Soundtrack Project was later created to share the results of this challenge with everyone. The first round had almost thirty submissions and mostly focused on anime and manga. On the first day of the challenge, represented source texts included Cardcaptor Sakura, Honor Harrington, Yami no Matsuei, and Fruits Basket.

For the second round, the challenge was to create book-themed soundtracks.[2] The community would go on to maintain the rotation of monthly challenges, using themes like "video games," "character," or "pairing." There were also "request" months where members of the community could leave prompts for FSTs they wanted to see and other members could claim them. It was also fairly common for two members to collaborate together on compiling an FST.

Controversies & Criticisms

Despite being a seemingly straightforward challenge, the Fan Soundtrack Project has dealt with its share of criticisms over the years.

Hosting

Because the community began before the proliferation of free hosting services like Megaupload or Sendspace, the community initially organized informal matching between FST-makers who needed web space and other members who were willing to host their FSTs. Many participants found this process tedious and began to rely on the use of YouSendIt. As the community increased in size, however, the download links for files hosted on this service would become dead in a matter of days as YouSendIt was a service intended to share files among a small group of friends, not with over a thousand people on an internet community.

The complications encouraged the revival of the FST-maker and host matching process. Less informal in its second iteration, a community mod organized the matches on a monthly basis until the increase of other free hosting services made it no longer necessary.

The community also had problems with bandwidth stealing in which download links for music files were hotlinked on other sites and messageboards. This led to the community becoming members only and setting a guideline discouraging people from distributing the direct links. Unfortunately, this did little to curb the problem.[3]

FST community vs. Fanmix community

Several people complained that the themed challenge nature of the Fan Soundtrack Project was elitist and restrictive since fan soundtracks not related to the monthly theme were disallowed in the community. As a result, some members created the Fanmix community on Livejournal.

dot_fst_snark

dot_fst_snark is an offshoot community created by members of the main community who wanted a place where they could mock poorly made FSTs.[4]

References

  1. Tin from the FST Project community profile page Accessed October 30, 2008)
  2. Admin #2 (Accessed November 16, 2011)
  3. an untitled post from a member (Accessed November 16, 2011)
  4. first post from the dot_fst_snark community (Accessed November 16, 2011)
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