Update – Unfortunately Hold On Kenny was pulled and is no longer available. I looked for other copies, but this may have been a one of a kind video. I thought it was awesome and would be disappointed if it was pulled because someone at Viacom couldn’t see the promotional value in a user generated mashup. Since Hold On Kenny was pulled so quickly, I present C’mon C’mon by the Von Bondies. It’s very cool, even if it’s not Guided by Voices.
Archive for category Music
This week’s winner of the site of the week contest was a site that got in early, on the Podcasting craze. Podcast Alley was quick to recognize that people wanted to express themselves via radio and from the start, they built their community around these content creators. Whether it’s been interviewing other podcasters, highlighting some of the best podcasts out there, or creating forums for fans to interact in, they’ve done a great job of creating a positive environment where podcasters can share information and ideas.
One of the things I love about the web 2.0 revolution, has been how multidimensional it’s made media. When the net first started, we saw flashes of what would come, but it was nothing like I expected. There was an occasional audio or video clip, but the quality was substandard and there was no interaction.
Now we have whole social communities that form around content. As the barriers to entry have been lowered, we’ve seen a proliferation of individuals who are eager to contribute in one way or another. I knew that one day, radio and video would make it’s way to the internet, but I didn’t expect a social revolution to drive it. It hasn’t happened overnight, but YouTube is disrupting TV, blogging is taking over the newspapers and podcasts are displacing radio.
People say that content is king, but when you have such a large explosion of information, content quickly becomes commoditized and it’s the businesses that can make sense of it, that become the new king. This gives the aggregators a lot more control, than the professional content creators like to admit.
I don’t normally listen to a lot of podcasts, but I do enjoy the format. Many of them are just as good as talk radio, except instead of mindless banter, I get to hear them talk about things that I’m actually interested in. This weekend, I had an opportunity to listen to Podflix’s review of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series.
Having recently watched the entire series, I was thrilled to be able to listen in on a bunch of guys, who enjoy talking about zombies eating people’s entrails. I know that not everybody is into horror films, but I love them and that is the beauty of podcating. What other’s consider amateur content, is A level material to someone who is interested. The key is matching up the listener’s interest with the content creators. Podcast Alley does a great job at this.
Congratulations to Podcast Alley for winning this week’s site of the week award. If you would like to nominate a site, feel free to send me an email. The nominations for next week’s contest are listed below. You can make your vote in the sidebar.
(Warning Song is NSFW)
The winner of this week’s site of week award was the innovative music site, iJigg. What makes iJigg so unique is that unlike sites like Pandora or Last FM, they let you find music in a more social environment. Artists are encouraged to upload their tracks to the service, where users can vote and comment on the ones that, they think are the best. Just like Digg, the more votes a song gets, the closer to the home page it gets.
The site is still very young, they only had their beta launch last December, but already their traffic is going in the right direction. This really is a very unique way to find music. By interacting with real people, instead of a recommendation service, it opens up possibilities to find things way off the beaten path.
One of the other cool things about iJigg, is that the site isn’t just for North American listeners. They support Portuguese, French, Japanese, Thai, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, German, as well as other languages. Users can either filter songs for certain languages or you can use the global language support, to find music that is good, even if you can’t understand the lyrics.
I was able to find a little bit of mainstream content on the site, but overall, it looked pretty clean. iJigg has a feature where people can report copyright infringement and they take the song down. When I first checked out the service there was a great mash up of Modest Mouse’s Float On and The Beastie Boys, but by the time I had gotten registered, they had already removed it. Not knowing whether or not content will be there later on is kind of a drag, but I can appreciate iJigg’s efforts to keep the site on the up and up, even though they depend on user submissions.
I just wish that the studios would quite freaking out about the mashups and realize the promotional value it can have, when people discover an old song all over again.
Overall, iJigg has created a very impressive set of tools that you can use to find new music. The community is developing nicely and already it’s a fun place to hang out. Even though, I’d like to see more mainstream content in the search results, I’m just as happy to find artists who are still trying to make it and who appreciate the extra attention. There really is a lot of amazing independent music out there and it’s neat to see a site that is helping them connect to eager listeners.
Congratulations to iJigg on winning this week’s award. You can check out their blog here. If you’d like to nominate a site for site of the week, feel free to send me a link and I’ll be happy to check it out. The nominees for next week’s award are listed below. Please vote in the sidebar.
As a music fan, I always enjoy checking out new bands and learning more about the bands I already follow. For years, I’ve pretty much exclusively used All Music Guide for my music information needs, but last year I came across this week’s winner of the site of the week contest and have found it to be even more helpful then AMG.
Like AMG, MusicPortl is a site that tracks information about bands, but unlike AMG, they rely on the fans to help populate their data. By pulling in information from Wikipedia, photos from Flickr and music videos from YouTube, MusicPortl has become a one stop shop for learning about your favorite bands. One of the features I like best is their similar artists browse field that helps me to find new bands that may be of interest. MusicPortl also pulls in feeds from Technorati and LastFM to compliment the information they already have.
MusicPortl also offers a Firefox and IE plugin that allows you to add their site to the search bar in your browser. This is especially helpful if you tend to look up a lot of bands on the fly.
While MusicPortl has come a long way considering it was launched less then a year ago, there are still a few more features I’d like to see added. Right now the site doesn’t scrape the web for lyrics to songs, which would be a great service to offer. It also doesn’t incorporate photos from sites like Zooomr or videos from sites other then YouTube. It would be great to see an even more diversied pool of resources for them to draw upon. As the site continues to develop, I’m sure that we will see more features added, but even without this support, MusicPortl is still a pretty slick site. Congratulations to MusicPortl on winning this week’s site of the week award.
The nominations for next week’s site of the week are listed below. You can vote in the sidebar. If you’d like to nominate you own site for the site of the week, feel free to send me an email at Davis (@) DavisFreeberg Dot Com and it will be considered for nomination.
This highly entertaining NSFW mashup combines Star Wars with gangsta rap in an East vs. West rivalry between the rebellion and the dark side of the force that any true geek would absolutely love. There is also a second mashup floating around out there that is even more NSFW, but still worth checking out, especially if you ever wondered what Star Wars would have been like, had Spike Lee been hired to direct the film.
Sonific launched an update to their website this week, that allows consumers to go beyond just being able to embed music into their blogs, MySpace and Facebook pages and to actually let them email the songs to people they know.
I tested out the email functionality earlier this week and had a lot of fun because I could find songs that either fit the personalities of my friends or songs that were comically related to topics we were discussing. When you email a song to someone, you give them your name, the email where you want it sent and a message to go along with the music. When your friend gets the email all they have to do is hit play and they can read your message while rocking out to the tune you selected.
I think that this is a big development for Sonific because it really makes the site much more appealling to a broader audience. According to a recent study, only 7.5% of all internet users actually run a blog compared to my own unscientific research, that 100% of all internet users have an email account.
Sonific is basically a different way for consumers to get access to music. They let you stream, on demand, any song from their catalog of 40,000 artists. This is much different then most internet radio that will only give you limited control over what you want to hear. The idea is that by not treating their customers like criminals, people might actually discover new bands and want to share them with their friends or buy an album to download.
While the site doesn’t have many of the top artists that have signed with the major studios, it does have a great collection of lesser known artists that are still fun to explore. There are also a few better known artists, who would rather share then try and squeeze their fans for a couple of extra nickels. Because the content can be a little obscure, by incorporating the email functionality right next to where you listen to the songs, it makes it all that much more convenient for people to share new bands with their friends, as soon as they find cool music.
I suspect that Forbes 9th richest fictional person would have a field day with the technology if he could ever figure out how to automate it, but if Prince Abakaliki of Nigeria ever finds the site, I’ve already found the perfect song for him to use in his emails, where he so generously allows others to help him disperse of his father’s fortune.