Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions, complete with answers, about GNU FM.

What is GNU FM?

GNU FM is a piece of software you can install on your own web server, to run a music community site, similar to Libre.fm or Last.fm.

You can use it for your family, your business, your band, or just for yourself.

How is GNU FM different from Libre.fm?

Libre.fm is the flagship website running the GNU FM software. Libre.fm has a different design to GNU FM, but the software is identical. Libre.fm usually represents the very latest in GNU FM development.

How is GNU FM different from Last.fm?

GNU FM does not have all the features of Last.fm, but unlike Last.fm you can run your own server.

Last.fm has negotiated contracts with major music labels. GNU FM, a lowly community project, has no such clout or contracts.

What is your relationship with Last.fm?

Last.fm developers have been good to us. Thanks to the Last.fm developers, you can now export your listening history, and import it into your own GNU FM site.

What is the license for GNU FM?

GNU FM is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3. If you choose, you can also use the terms of later versions of the GNU Affero General Public License, if/when they become available.

Who owns GNU FM?

GNU FM is a community project, and the developers have assigned their work to the Free Software Foundation. The FSF holds the copyright on the project, and will ensure it always remains free software.

Free software is a matter of freedom, not price. Some people call this Open Source, but Open Source misses the point of Free Software.

Please consider joining the Free Software Foundation as an associate member or making a donation.

What is Foo Communications?

Foo Communications (sometimes called FooCorp or FCL) is a company set up by Matt Lee, Rob Myers and Liam Smith. It is primarily a record label, specializing in freely licensed music. Foo Communications runs the Libre.fm service and handles all advertising.

Do I have to use Creative Commons or other freely licensed music on my site?

No. Libre.fm is a project about free music (libre means freedom) and so the music on Libre.fm must give you the essential freedoms defined for creative works.

What is Libre Droid?

Libre Droid is an Android application for Libre.fm. This is also free software and you can grab a copy of the code, make an Android app for your own site, and publish it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3.0 or later versions.

What is needed to run GNU FM?

  • GNU/Linux or other Unix-like operating system
  • A web server — could be Apache, nginx, lighttpd, etc
  • PHP 5 or later
  • A database — could by MySQL or PostgreSQL
  • URL rewriting, such as mod_rewrite.

I can’t get it working on Windows or Mac OS X

While GNU FM should work with Apache on these platforms, we can’t guarantee it’ll work.

Windows and Mac OS X are not common web hosting platforms and are not free software, so we don’t focus on these targets.

Why PHP?

PHP is very common in shared hosting environments. Along with MySQL and Apache, PHP is a good base for developing web applications.

Like any language, PHP has its critics. Discussions about PHP versus other languages are not useful to the project.