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Check-in #1

Hello, doers of darkness, we are more than one week into the assignments period and with three submissions so far! For those of us who are still working on our assignment, how are you feeling about it? Are any of you considering the fandoms that you didn't get matched on? Do you need help finding canon materials? For those of us who are finished, congratulations! Are you contemplating Kaleidoscope Treats? Feel free to flail and comment anonymously in the comments!

To note, if you're interested in participating in Kaleidoscope, but did not sign-up, we welcome submissions for Kaleidoscope Treats from now until October 26 or later! There are no fanwork requirements and anyone can participate, though you will need an AO3 account. If you don't have one, please leave your email address at Archive Of Our Own Invite List For Kaleidoscope and we'll send you an invite.

If you signed up for Kaleidoscope as a participant, you should have received an email with information about file hosting options. This year, we are providing hosting on darkagenda.org for all Kaleidoscope participants. Please contact us at darkadmn@gmail.com if you have not received an email, and we will resend you the information. If you are not signed up for the challenge but plan on submitting a Kaleidoscope Treat that requires file hosting, you are also welcome to contact us at darkadmn@gmail.com, and we will send you the relevant information. (We are not making the information publicly available to prevent spam.)

If you are planning on creating a mix for your Kaleidoscope assignment or as a Kaleidoscope Treat, please note that we have received information from the AO3 Support team that currently AO3 does not allow mixes consisting of download links or embedded streaming, unless they fall into one of the following exceptions:

  • a link to a playlist hosted on a site with an Internet radio license, such as Spotify or 8tracks
  • a playlist consisting of authorized sources, such as official Youtube videos or Youtube videos covered by Content ID


While playlists can be created in Spotify, they are restricted to the music already available in the Spotify music library. Spotify users can share HTML links to Spotify playlists, but accessing the actual playlist requires a Spotify account. While the most basic account level is free, it is only available to people living in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Furthermore, there are further geographic restrictions on which tracks are accessible to listeners. For these reasons, we do not recommend Spotify as an option for fanmixes.


MP3 and AAC music files can be uploaded to 8tracks to create a playlist. This playlist can be streamed either directly on 8tracks or embedded for streaming on another page, without requiring listeners to also have an 8tracks account. AO3 Support has said that AO3 should whitelist the embedding of 8tracks playlists in time for the Kaleidoscope assignment deadline. 8tracks accounts are free, and as far as we are aware, there are no geographic restrictions on either signing up for an account or listening to music hosted on 8tracks. However, in order to keep their Internet radio license, there are significant restrictions on playlist content:

  1. mixes must include a minimum of eight (8) songs
  2. no more than two (2) songs from the same artist or same album may be included in a mix
  3. no more than three (3) artists represented in the mix may be listed in the associated description whether on the 8tracks platform or on third-party websites
  4. song names may not be included in the mix description, whether on the 8tracks platform or on third-party websites
  5. listeners can only listen to the songs in the original order of the playlist the first time; subsequent listens will shuffle the playlist

We will be updating our post on How to Post Various Fanworks for Kaleidoscope on Archive Of Our Own with a tutorial on how to post mixes on 8tracks.


Please note that AO3 content policy requires the embedding of official Youtube videos or Youtube videos covered by Content ID. We would also like to remind participants that there may be geographic restrictions on official Youtube videos that may make some songs in your playlist inaccessible to your recipient.

We realize that all of the available options have considerable geographic restrictions that prevent accessibility for many of our community members and apologize for the inconveniences. We are currently brainstorming how to provide alternative ways of accessing mixes created for Kaleidoscope without breaking AO3 content policy and will make a follow-up post when we have arrived at a solution.

In addition, here is a list of useful resources for Kaleidoscope participants, pinch-hitters, and anyone considering Kaleidoscope Treats:

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