More music..free...and on-demand
(1) Last.fm - was relaunched last week, and I registered (free) over the weekend. They seem to be having a pretty huge collection of songs and these are mostly full tracks, unlike Lala. The best thing I like about Last.fm is that its player works just fine in Firefox, unlike most of the online radio stations which work only in IE. Their playlist capabilities is not very intuitive - I still haven't been able to figure out how to play songs from my playlist in order, rather than shuffle - and how to create multiple playlists. It looks like if I remove songs from my one and only (so far) playlist, I need to find those songs again if I like to listen to them sometime next week. It doesn't store more than one playlist. That is pretty primitive I think. But their collection is good, I could find almost everything I wanted this weekend, but certain famous bands like Black Sabbath and Floyd, I was surprised to notice, had more previews than full tracks, and that's what I hated about Lala, but nevertheless Last.fm is much better. I believe I could also embedd the playlist into my Blogger, but I haven't tried that yet.
Unique listeners jumped 85% from the previous week on the day of the launch. And they stuck around: The next day, unique visitors were again up 80% over the previous week.
(2) QTrax: This is another name that hit the press this week. QTrax is the long-delayed, much awaited, first legal P2P music sharing service that is expected to launch this week. But there already is a lot of controversy around the launch. QTrax has announced that all four major music labels, including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, EMI, and Sony-BMG are on-board and that it can offer for free close to 5 million songs that Apple iTunes SELLS today on their music store. However, WMG has declined involvement with QTrax, so that could result in a potential lawsuit soon after the launch (midnight today!!). I'll be curious to see how many downloads happen tonight.
(3) Seeqpod: This is a web crawler that allows you to search for playable songs. This is a great search engine, but has several limitations.
(a) As you may think, it depends largely on file names that the web page owners have used for the file that they've uploaded. I tried searching for Black Sabbath and I got tons of files,most of which were called Black_Sabbath.mp3. So until I started listening to the songs there was no way that I could know what song it is. Some were the actual Black Sabbath song, some weren't.
(b) It listed like 20 copies of the same song, doesn't attempt at uniqui'ng them out.
(c) Doesn't list duration - so I can't know if it is a preview or the full track. That's where Last.fm was much better, but I understand the two sites have a different purpose.
Seeqpod is a very useful service, but it has a long way to go, it still is in Beta.I wasn't too happy with the search experience.But already, is is not left out of the controversies. WMG label has just filed a lawsuit against Seeqpod. This is very similar to the Viacom-Youtube case.
The bottomline of this post, is that there's a lot of activity, various kinds, going on in offering free music to the world. Some may succeed, some may crash due to the controversies. At the end, music will certainly be a winner, and so will open sharing.
Labels: Geeks are sexy