Developers at The Sixtyone are very active coders. They can and will change the site and the way the game is played without further notice4. By doing so, they might make this guide completely useless. I'll try to keep the guide updated, but until I do you use it at your own risk. Also remember that their might be better strategies, so try to develop your own eventually. As it is a fact that one only finds a good beginners tutorial after one figured out the whole shebang by oneself, this guide might as well be useless to you. In that case I sincerely apologize for not having delivered this guide on time.
We're not talking about the user interface, you soon will find out that the web application is reasonably transparent and designed to suit the game. We're also not talking about the terminology in use. Although I realize we're still in need of a good glossary, for story telling sake we save that for another time (I actually kind of despite the tedious task of compiling glossaries). What we're talking about is the music collection, categorized in two hands full of genres. When you want to be good at predicting the success of new songs, you need to know the taste of the T61 audience.
So the first thing to do would be to listen to the songs that made it. There are three pages where you can find them: Radio ? Hot Right Now, Radio ? Top Songs and Browse ? Hits. The first two show you the current hits, the songs that get the most attention right now. Both pages pretty much show the same songs, but the compilation of Hot Right Now is song based while Top Songs' compilation is based on artist fame1.
AttentionThe information about the Browse ⇒ Hits page in the paragraph below is not accurate anymore!.
Browse ? Hits is T61's all time Top 670 (I have no idea why there are 670 songs in the list, instead of 610, 500 or 1000). The first thing you'll notice is that all songs on page one of this section are all revived, which means that the listeners mentioned on the items paid a lot of RP's to bring a former hit to everyone's attention2. As a result these songs have gained a surplus of bumps3.
Give the music on any of these pages a good listen. Don't forget to filter each page by clicking genres at the right side of the page. Just the genres that are of your own interest will do. Needless to say that we don't want you to only bump songs that match the real hits. Although it's fun to predict the future success of a song, it's also (even more) fun to actually enjoy music!
Can we get some profit by bumping songs on any of these pages? That depends on three things: your current level, how long ago a song has been posted (we come to that in the next paragraph) and if a song has been revived. Unless you've bumped a revived song before it was revived, you won't make any profit from them. You still can bump these songs to support the artist, but there's not much change for RP's. If a song was posted only some moments ago, there's a good change that you can have your share in the success, especially when you're at a low level. After all, the lower your level, the more giving the system still is. But again, you can also bump a song because you love it and only want it to become a hit.
As you surely understand by now, the first place to be when you want to attend the great prediction game, is there where the posted songs first show up. Songs get their first real change on becoming a hit: at the Radio ? Recently Posted pages. Items on these pages are listed in order of posting time. The latest posts are listed first. Let's take a look at the extraction of page one as it was on March 13, 2009 at 10:15...
|False Hope - Until Dawn Found by ThomasAD3||267|
|Color Theory - Hypothetically (Rupesh... Found by icrow||882|
|65daysofstatic - Drove Through Ghosts t... Revived by SarahxJane||701|
|James Wallace - This Song Found by squeakyfingers||243|
|Esquimaux - Traveling Salesman Found by Bleargh||432|
|We're On Fire (Chris F... remixed by Northern Room Revived by sarabara||842|
|John Brown's Body - Conquering Heart Dub (... Found by sleestack||317|
|In My Life covered by Jefferson Montoya Found by YeesterMeister||91|
|Cattlebeast - The Future (LIVE) Found by sam||112|
|Temple Scene - Holding Back The Tide Revived by mirandaj||1134|
|MGMT (Remix: MMMa... - The Youth (MMMatthias ... Found by aznbigbuttboy||214|
|Geographer - Rushing In, Rushing Out Found by dontcallmejohn||777|
|Headlights - Market Girl Found by clancy490||831|
|Skyline (Lasswell Remix) remixed by Shannon Hurley Found by egospring||352|
|Sia - Breathe Me Revived by jod02||3166|
You can tell by the number of bumps that these are not new songs. Some of them have been around for quite a while. The In My Life cover by Jefferson Montoya for instance has been uploaded at least a year ago. Questions as, why did it take so long for the song to post and why did it post at about 90 bumps are almost impossible to answer. That is all part of T61's secret formula, but it has something to do with the number of unique bumpers, the artist's level and the genre the song is in.
As you might have noticed, four of the fifteen songs have been revived. You can give them a listen and bump them if you like, but there's not much to predict with them. On the other hand, there's always a change that a revived song gets its bumps doubled, in which case you can even earn some RP's with these.
Before songs get posted they reside at the Browse ? Most Active and Browse ? Recently Uploaded pages. We cover these pages in part three of the guide. You need these pages if you want to become a Top Rookie, as the rule of thumb for good strategy is: the sooner you bump, the more RP's you receive (if the song is loved by many others that is).
How to tell age
If you need an indication of the age of a song, the first thing to do is to find out if the song did receive any comments. If it did, just see for yourself how long ago the comment was submitted. It's not to say that comments always appear right after a song was uploaded, but it gives you some indication. Another thing you can do is use your mouse to hover over the song title. If you do that, the status bar of your browser shows the song id, which doesn't tell you the exact age, but again gives a good clue. Song id's are assigned to songs when they are uploaded by the artist. It's an incremental value that can't be assigned twice. Even if an artist decides to delete a song, the id doesn't become available again.
Since the beginning of 2009 T61's song id's are 40000 and above. The day we're extracted some data from the Recently Posted page, id's are close to 45000.
Knowing this it's easy to find out that This Song by James Wallace is the most recent uploaded song in this list and that The Future by Cattlebeast is even older than the Jefferson Montoya song. When it comes to predicting, you get your best shot at songs which didn't take long to post. Use your ears to make a final judgment on what to bump and check your stats to find out how it turned out. Btw. compare the first page of Recently Posted with the Hot right Now first page. Any song appearing on both are the hits to be.
How to tell genre
For songs on the first page of Recently Posted it's easy: just click any of the genres on the right and you know. For other songs you probably need to use the search function at T61. Search result pages are the only pages where the genre is noted below the song.
Just For You
By now it's obvious that in this episode of the strategy guide, we're focusing on the Radio pages. The next page to explore will be Radio ⇒ Just For You. It consists of three tabs: Friends, New Uploads and Subscribe. The songs listed under the Friends tab are songs bumped by listeners to whom you may have subscribed. Under the New Uploads tab you'll find new uploads from artists of which you have songs favorited before.
If you haven't subscribed to anybody yet, it's time to do so. Obviously these listeners don't have to be your friends for real. You are not obligated to interact with them and neither are they. But by subscribing to them, you can easily take advantage of them. The Subscribe tab is there to encourage you to follow other listeners. The avatars on the page are randomly picked, but you can fine tune the selection by choosing from the list of music genres.
Ideally you want to follow listeners who are both active early bumpers (people who bump songs soon after they've been uploaded) and share your taste in music. You find these through the Subscription tab or by visiting the Leader Boards. When you visit other listeners' pages, don't just hit the Subscribe button, but check them out properly. Listen to their featured songs, explore their tags and above all, have a look at their stats to check if they're still active (some people do abandon their profile).
Of course in reality you will socialize with other listeners. Maybe you have some real friends who are T61 members as well. Either way you might end up with subscriptions to people with whom you have a lot in common except your musical taste. From my experience this won't make the Friends tab useless, unless you exclusively subscribe to listeners who don't like the music you like. I have over 120 subscriptions and I always find 60% to 80% of the songs under this tab good to freakin' awesome.
When you've collected the right set of subscriptions, you'll soon receive good recommendations from other listeners. Listeners who are active on the Browse ? Recently Uploaded pages serve you with songs that have been uploaded during the last 24 hours. It gives you a great opportunity to bump brand new songs, to get some early bumps yourself, without the need to browse the Browse pages yourself.
You can easily recognize new uploads by the absence of a bump score on the song item. Only after 24 hours of a song's lifetime, the bump score will be revealed. So any song without a bump score is a new song. The list of songs under the Friends tab will be refreshed about once an hour, so items in this list might have been uploaded less than an hour ago! Listen to these recommendations and bump them if you like them or when you expect them to become hits.
Out of breath Hearts?
The last Radio page to discuss (The Creative Commons page has no other use than to display the hottest songs shared under a Creative Commons license) is Radio ? The Rack, which isn't really a page, but rather a radio player that features new and not so new unposted songs. A benefit from listening to The Rack is that while you discover even more new music, you get rewarded with new hearts. So If you just spent the last of your daily dose of hearts on another great song, it's best that you listen to The Rack for a while. You do that until you're ready again to predict the success of songs or help songs to become successful.
Every day at 7am (Pacific summer time) or 8am (Pacific winter time) GMT you're account gets reset with a fresh batch of hearts. This reset will only be executed after you've visited any of the Radio pages, so don't forget to spend any hearts available before you visit any of those pages around 7am or 8am GMT.
Building up the batch
In the next episode, when we take a look at the Browse ? Most Active and Browse ? Recently Uploaded pages, we also will talk about Multi Bumps and Max Bumps. To most people spending a lot of hearts on a song is a luxury they can't afford - not with the dose of hearts they receive. But there is a way to save up some hearts.
Just listen to The rack for a while until you have more hearts in your purse than you get from the system every day. As long as you make sure you stay above this quota, you won't loose any of these hearts, not even if you visit some of the Radio pages after 7am or 8am GMT. In this way it's possible to save up enough hearts to max bump several songs a day!
Ben (Evonity) Scheffer, 2009
I want to express my gratitude to my T61 friends at Plurk. Without the conversations and discussions I had with them, I wouldn't be able to write a proper strategy guide. I especially thank them for what I call the Building Up The Batch secret, which I gratefully apply myself now.
- If you think you can teach me a few things on this matter, please be my guest. As long as you won't ask me about the order of the songs. I know nothing about T61's secret formula (return)
- As soon as you reach level 10, you're eligible to take part in revive bids. They are at Browse ? Revive Bids. You can place a bid on any song posted over two months ago. Every three hours the song with the highest bid will be revived. The song shows up in your stats and the reviver shows up on the profile of the artist. Revived songs get listed at 1am, 4am, 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm GMT during Pacific summer time (T61's server is located somewhere in Seattle) and at 2am, 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm and 11pm during Pacific winter time(return)
- Until a couple of weeks ago T61 was all about bumping. The developers recently changed that to hearting. Probably because I'm old and always having a hard time adjusting to changes, I prefer the use of the word 'bump'(return)
- What did I tell you? The day I publish this guide, the developers decide they want something different with the Browse ⇒ Hits page. They also are adjusting the algorithm. Before I edit this guide, i need to get a better understanding of recent changes.(return)
--- my place, April 11th 2009 --- This will be my last story about The Sixtyone for the time being. After a year of both happiness and frustration at T61, I realized that I don't like it anymore to be an active member of a constantly changing site. For over twelve months I witnessed the developers moving walls, opening new hallways and closing others. I assume that this is a basic part of the site and I respect that, but it's influencing my user experience in a negative way. So I feel it's time to move on.
I want to thank maxbumps.net and its founder Michele Yamazaki (batface89) for the opportunity to archive all my t61 related stories. I want to thank you for reading them and I want to thank my friends at t61 for supporting me in writing them.
I'll keep an eye on my stories, just in case someone decides to comment on them.