It’s been over a year since my last TuneSage update, but work has been progressing. Work on the backend was slow and challenging; I spent some time going down quite a few dead-ends. But it’s actually generating melodies now, so I should be able to release some output samples sometime soon, fingers crossed.
I signed up for this year’s Y Combinator’s Startup School once again. I did it once back in 2019, but other than making a landing page (TuneSage.com), my progress was sparse. I just needed a lot more time than I imagined to make progress with the backend.
Startup School’s Course Guide says: “If you haven’t launched yet, make it a goal to launch during the program and get your first users!”
OK, I guess I’ll make it a goal then! Granted, I have repeatedly failed at making enough progress to launch whenever I have set it as a goal, but one must keep trying I suppose.
My question is: how many features do I need to launch with? For better or worse, my current plan is to just launch the product as a basic melody generator to start with.
So what do I need to do to launch?
- Prepare the backend
- Train the AI on more melodies (using public domain melodies)
- Generate melodies in a variety of styles (these will be basic to start with)
- Add at least some simple chordal accompinement features to frontend
- e.g. root notes, arpeggio patterns, alberti bass, etc.
- Overhaul frontend design (lots of tedious web design) and finalize
- Figure out what soundfonts TuneSage will use
- Figure out deployment and version control (honestly this can probably wait until after launch, but not too long after)
- Create user account system
- Create new account
- Confirm email (if necessary)
- Log in / out / reset password
- Edit optional personal info
- Usage stats
- Terms and conditions
- Register company
- Find some payment system to use
- Allow for a trial period (and decide exactly what that consists of)
- Install some analytics system (so I can keep track of user engagement or whatever)
- Stress testing? (In my experiments with “trovedex”, the database kept going down; I really don’t want that to be a problem. Anyway, I can always do invite-only if the system is too stressed, but that would be a good problem to have)
- Launch! Update front page with information
Is that it? Am I forgetting anything?
Of course, there are many more features I’d still like to add; AI can be used for a lot more than just generating melodies. But it’s a starting point, and melodies are the one area I think other AI music systems struggle with the most at the moment.
So how long will all that take? Can I finish it in a few weeks? Startup School lasts for 7 weeks, so if I can do it in 3 or 4 weeks, that would be awesome. Considering how long things have taken me in the past, however, it will probably take me… 12 years. But for now let’s daydream:
- Week 1: Finish backend and overhaul frontend
- Week 2: Soundfont and user account system, start releasing samples
- Week 3: Register company, install payment and analyctics systems
- Week 4: Set up trial, stress testing, front page update, and launch!
That’s probably wishful thinking, but it’s better than nothing.