Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holy MaJelli

On June 30th, 2011, on my drive home, I had hit scan on the radio, like I've been known to do,  and stopped when the dial hit 94.5 and was playing some alternative song that I liked. I don't remember what it was. But 94.5 wasn't something that typically picked up anything, so to hear something on that frequency warranted a pause and listen.

As I listened, the station identified itself as "the new Jelli - 100% user controlled radio". The next song that came on was another that I liked, so I opted to continue to listen.
After the song, an announcement informed me that all the songs were picked by the listeners. ORLY? That could be interesting, I thought. (Yes, I actually think "ORLY?" on occasion. I'm odd.)

But then, the next song was introduced as having been 'rocketed' by "Jelli user, El Guapo Ugly Face". Ha ha!! This station was getting better all the time! And the "person" introducing the songs was an electronic robot voice. Think Stephen Hawking's voice modulator. Or the software used for EAS Weather alerts. No humans, just a machine stating the usernames of people who were picking songs from the website (

I was intrigued.

When the next song was introduced as having been chosen by "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee", I was absolutely smitten. (I also laughed out loud for a good three or four minutes.)

Long story short (too late!), I joined up on the very next day (I would have done it that night, but didn't go online for whatever reason) and have been participating  on the site ever since.

Jelli radio is ...interesting. There are two stations here in Las Vegas that are now Jelli stations - 94.5, which plays "rock" (alternative and mainstream - whatever those terms even mean anymore), and 96.7, which plays top 40 remix... or something. I've listened to 96.7 a few times, but it's truly scary stuff. Dubstep and dance music that is way too repetitive way too repetitive way too repetitive way too repetitive.

And, yes, both stations playlists are (mostly) controlled by the people who frequent the website (or who use their smartphones to get the apps). It does give the sense of being able to control what songs play over the airwaves, which is a powerful sensation, even if it's slightly skewed. The songs played come from the catalog the station has available, so you're not gonna hear REALLY obscure odd things that aren't on other stations (except for when you do. heh.) And the way that songs are picked is thru a voting system, where all the listeners can provide a +1 or a -1 vote for any track. The higher score a song has, the more likely it is to get on the air. A song can get bumped to the top of the list by using a "powerup" they have called "rockets". But there are also powerups called "bombs", which reduce a song's vote total back to 0. (Bombing a rocketed song is a crappy thing to do, but that's one of the flaws in the jelli system. It promotes this type of behavior. More on that in a bit.)

In addition to voting a song up or down based on the # of votes, when a song is actually ON THE AIR, you can vote thumbs up ("Rocks") or thumbs down ("Sucks") and it will move a little meter up or down. If the meter gets completely filled with "rocks" votes, the person who rocketed that song will receive a bonus rocket in their arsenal - presumably as a reward for picking a song that everyone enjoys.
If, however, the meter gets completely filled with "sucks" votes - it will stop playing, instantly.
It doesn't happen much any more (there are way too many people who won't play along) but back when Jelli first started, I recall hearing one of my rockets ("Low" by Cracker) getting "sucked off the air". Midsong, it simply stopped playing, and the robot dj voice announced that the community had decided that that song sucked.

Despite that, Jelli continued to enchant me. I spent a lot of time voting songs up, and picking things to add to my "favorites", and adding people to "follow", and chatting with fellow 'jellis'. Enough, in fact, that after just a month on the site, I had obtained enough activity to be crowned "User of the Week", and earned an audio sigtone. Heh.

It's getting late, and I don't really have a point to this entry. Just wanted to mention Jelli on my blog. Which I've done. I should probably go to bed, but I did have some other things relating to Jelli I wanted to mention. While 94.5 is on the air, the real fun station(s) are the Internet Only stations. Also known as Jelli Green, Jelli Red, and Jelli Orange. (The colors don't really mean anything, near as I can tell) These three stations are "open genres", meaning they have EVERYTHING in them. It's not unusual to hear Seether, followed by Skrillex, followed by Debbie Deb. The color stations have some 6,800-ish pages of songs in them (each page has 20 songs on it, I think), and more stuff gets added all the time. The way that new songs are added is thru the Request Forums (or, if you're like me and have a pretty good relationship with one of the owners, you can send him PMs or emails directly...)

In fact, I dubbed today the Greatest Day In Jelli's History, because for MONTHS I have been wanting "Fish Heads" by Barnes and Barnes to get added to Jelli's catalog. And finally, today, it happened.

Sadly, the version that got added was not the version that I remember, but it was still a good song. (It appears that the version I know and love is not available ANYWHERE [except on the youtube video I'm putting at the end of this]. It's not on any CDs, and more importantly, it's not on's MP3 store [which is, as is my understanding, where Jelli gets their songs added from]. This is truly a crime against humanity, but, hey, we still have the 1:30 version, which is better than nothing.)

In conclusion, Jelli has a good number of flaws, but overall is super fun, and an interesting way to discover new music. I'd be happy to go on (and on and on) about it if there's any interest. Or, if you want, you should join. It's free, and I'm there all the time. Harper and Saren even made accounts as well. (Although I don't think Saren uses hers much.)

Anyway. Fish Heads:

Eat them up, Yummm!!

1 comment:

Amy said...

This is wacktacular.