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Le logo de Funkwhale.png
The Funkwhale web application
Original authorsAgate Berriot
DevelopersThe Funkwhale Project
Initial release26th June, 2017
Written inArabic, Basque, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, Galician, German, Italian, Norwegian Bokmål, Occitan, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish (Spain), Swedish
LicenseGNU Affero General Public License

Funkwhale is an online, self-hosted, federated music streaming application developed by Agate Berriot. Created initially as a free software alternative to Grooveshark, Funkwhale has since grown into a network of independent servers connected using the ActivityPub protocol.[1] The application is part of the wider fediverse, allowing users to interact with other servers running the software as well as other software which utilize the ActivityPub protocol. It is considered to be an alternative to services such as SoundCloud[2] and other self-hosted media servers such as Plex, Ampache, and Jellyfin.[3][4]

There is no central Funkwhale server, instead each server (referred to as a pod) is set up with its own moderation policies and optional code of conduct.

Functionality and features[edit]

Funkwhale primarily functions as a music streaming platform, publication platform, and podcatcher. Users can upload music into various libraries depending on what visibility they wish the music to have (public, private, or public to users on their pod). Content can then be streamed using the web interface or a compatible mobile application.[5]

Users can follow libraries owned by other users on their pod or those owned by external users through unique library sharing links. This content will then be accessible and visible on the user's pod to stream. Since version 0.18, moderators have tools to control users' access to other content and to the visibility of content available on their pod.[6]

Administrators can limit access for users, allowing or disallowing anonymous playing of music and locking down federation permissions on a per-pod basis. Pods and users can also be placed under moderation rules to restrict their interaction with a user's pod.

Podcasting support was first introduced in version 0.21[7] with the introduction of "Channels". Funkwhale channels allow users to publish podcasts or music in ActivityPub-enabled channels which can be followed by users on other pods or through other ActivityPub applications. Podcast channels can be followed in external podcatchers by making use of RSS feeds generated by the software.[8]

The project has a focus on promoting content licensed under the creative commons, and includes built-in tools to help users identify their content as freely licensed to promote the discovery of artists releasing their music under free licenses.[9] With the introduction of the channels feature, artists have the ability to more directly share content to subscribed listeners in a manner similar to proprietary services such as SoundCloud.


Funkwhale is a free software project, meaning that anybody has the freedom to contribute to the project or host it on their own server infrastructure. The application is powered by Python and Django with a front-end written in Vue.js.[10] The service uses the ActivityPub protocol for federation[11] and maintains its own API for use with applications and command line tools.[12]

Funkwhale supports a subset of the subsonic API for compatibility with existing streaming applications.

Administrators have multiple options for installing the application:


Funkwhale has a network consisting of 57 known pods, comprising over 4,000 active monthly users according to statistics gathered by the project.[13]

The software is offered by hosting providers such as Cloud68 and Weingärtner IT Services as part of paid packages for those who do not have the expertise or resources to host the software themselves.

In November 2020, open-access publisher Punctum Books announced they would be making use of the software to publish their audiobooks in partnership with host Cloud68.[14]


Funkwhale was initially created by Agate Berriot in 2015 as a self-hosted alternative to Grooveshark after finding that there was not a suitable free software alternative currently available.[15] Federation was not initially supported, but the groundwork was implemented in version 0.8 of the software.[6][16]

Originally managed solely by Berriot acting as a Benevolent Dictator For Life for the project, a legal association was founded in June 2019 to manage of the project[17]. This association (The Funkwhale Collective) handles the day-to-day operations of project with a board, a steering committee, and a moderation committee responsible for the community and contributors as well as shaping the direction of the software. Membership to the association is obtained through a yearly fee and grants the member the right to vote on proposals and get involved with general governance.[18] The foundation was later given a grant by NLNet to further development of the software's publication and search features.[19]

In November 2020, Berriot announced that she would be stepping back from the project to focus on other priorities.[20] After some discussion, maintenance was picked up by another user, who successfully released version 1.1.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
  2. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
  3. "8 Plex Alternatives for Your Music Collection" (in en-US). 2018-10-04. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/plex-alternatives-music-collection/.
  4. "Funkwhale: App Reviews, Features, Pricing & Download" (in en). https://alternativeto.net/software/funkwhale/about/.
  5. "Funkwhale - Your free and decentralized audio platform" (in en-US). https://funkwhale.audio/apps/.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Berriot, Agate (April 2, 2018). "Changelog - funkwhale". https://docs.funkwhale.audio/changelog.html.
  7. "Blog post week 2020-17: Funkwhale 0.21 is out!". https://blog.funkwhale.audio/~/Announcements/blog-post-week-2020-17-funkwhale-0.21-is-out.
  8. Tilley, Sean (2020-02-19). "Funkwhale is building support for Artists and Podcasts" (in en-US). https://wedistribute.org/2020/02/funkwhale-is-building-support-for-artists-and-podcasts/.
  9. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
  10. "Funkwhale, un serveur de musique libre, moderne et convivial, qui recherche des contributeurs - LinuxFr.org". https://linuxfr.org/users/obsidien/journaux/funkwhale-un-serveur-de-musique-libre-moderne-et-convivial-qui-recherche-des-contributeurs.
  11. "What on Earth is the fediverse and why does it matter?" (in en). 2018-09-18. https://newatlas.com/what-is-the-fediverse/56385/.
  12. Berriot, Agate. "Funkwhale API". https://docs.funkwhale.audio/swagger/.
  13. "Grafana". https://network.funkwhale.audio/dashboards/d/overview/funkwhale-network-overview?orgId=1&refresh=2h.
  14. Rudmann, Dan (2020-11-30). "Punctum Goes Open Source Audio with Funkwhale" (in en). punctum books. https://punctumbooks.pubpub.org/pub/punctum-goes-open-source-audio-with-funkwhale/release/1.
  15. Pépin, Guénaël (July 26, 2018). "Funkwhale, les défis d'une version libre et fédérée de Grooveshark". https://www.nextinpact.com/news/106896-funkwhale-defis-dune-version-libre-et-federee-grooveshark.htm.
  16. Tilley, Sean (2018-04-03). "Funkwhale, an Open Source GrooveShark Alternative, Begins ActivityPub Implementation" (in en). https://medium.com/we-distribute/funkwhale-an-open-source-grooveshark-alternative-begins-activitypub-implementation-cbc10a412b20.
  17. "Consulter les annonces du JO Association". https://www.journal-officiel.gouv.fr/association/index.php?ACTION=Rechercher&HI_PAGE=1&HI_COMPTEUR=0&original_method=get&WHAT=funkwhale&JTH_ID=&JAN_BD_CP=&JRE_ID=&JAN_LIEU_DECL=&JTY_ID=&JTY_WALDEC=&JTY_SIREN=&JPA_D_D=&JPA_D_F=&rechercher.x=0&rechercher.y=0.
  18. "Blog post week 2019-33 - new donation and membership platform". https://blog.funkwhale.audio/~/Announcements/blog-post-week-2019-33-new-donation-and-membership-platform.
  19. "NLnet; Funkwhale". https://nlnet.nl/project/Funkwhale/.
  20. "Funkwhale is looking for new maintainers". https://blog.funkwhale.audio/~/Announcements/funkwhale-is-looking-for-new-maintainers.
  21. "First release candidate for Funkwhale 1.1". https://blog.funkwhale.audio/~/Announcements/first-release-candidate-for-funkwhale-1.1.

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