More Lessons from The Wub Machine

Four months ago, I released the Wub Machine, an online Dubstep remixing web app. It hit Reddit for a couple days, got popular on 4chan, and has since remixed nearly 24,000 songs. About a month ago, at the wonderful Music Hack Day Montréal, I wrote and released an Electro-House remixer to complement the Dubstep one. It sounds kinda awesome - here’s Stevie Wonder, remixed:

Since then, I’ve polished up a completely new framework for the Wub Machine - nearly everything about the site has been rewritten since its first release. The first version was held together with duct tape, PHP and prayers, which resulted in some catastrophic failures when the site was initially launched. I’ve sinced rebuilt it in 100% Python, load tested, and added features.

Instead of talking about the code (which I do over on GitHub), I have a better story - being featured on the immensely popular VSauce channel on YouTube. I got a seven-second mention (and the thumbnail of the video!) and on Tuesday night, when the video first went up, all hell broke loose. My little Prgmr server couldn’t keep up with the 15,000 visits in 3 hours, and the load has kept up steadily ever since.more

A day later, I’ve flirted with Amazon EC2 and other hosting solutions, migrated databases back and forth, jumped up and down and watched live Google Analytics for far too long. I moved the site to a new host (not Linode, although they’re awesome) and finally, it can handle the load.

So, what lessons have I learned from this surge in Wub Machine usage?

So, what’s next for the Wub Machine? I’m not sure. I still consider the algorithm a bit of a hack, although it sounds distinctive and kinda cool now. I’m planning a YouTube remixer, but that’s technically challenging. There are some small technical problems I can try to fix as well, and I can continue to improve the code base and open source the changes. And of course, I need to keep it running. Otherwise… statistics!

Wub Machine Statistics (as of November 10, 2011):


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