The Internet is a great medium for a number of different activities. You can get your news, conduct business, or stay in contact with friends and family. Two of the most popular uses in today’s society are music and social networking. There are a number of great websites that perform one or both of these tasks. The following websites are the ones that I believe, offer the most unique features, have the biggest audience, or mix both aspects together most effectively:
Myspace is more than just a place to upload photos, blog, or communicate. It has offered many musicians another way to reach their fans. Musicians can offer fans the opportunity to stream or downloads their music. Musicians and fans also get the chance to interact through comments, messages and bulletins. Many bands got their start on Myspace, the best example of that may be Panic at the Disco. Myspace is great because of the access fans get to their favorite bands. Getting a message from a band to let you know about an upcoming show or downloading a free single from an artist is reason enough to put up with the other hassles that come with Myspace. Myspace is a great place for up and coming bands because it is extremely easy to creature your own profile and post your music and get it out to the masses!
PureVolume is similar to Myspace music pages but is different in the fact that the entire website is set up for artist to promote their bands. It music before anything else and it a great place to find new acts with minimal distractions. It charts the most popular artists and songs so users can know what’s been popular that day and maybe hear about the next big act. PureVolume also is not as cluttered with ads like most of the other websites on this list so it makes it much more aesthetically pleasing. PureVolume is an extremely easy website to navigate and use.
Many sites have been trying to make Internet radio the next big thing. However, the website that does it the best is Pandora. The best thing about Pandora is that it takes what you already like and finds similar acts. Users give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down rating, which is taken into account in future song selections. Pandora also offers users the ability to purchase the song they are listening to through Amazon.com or iTunes. Recently MSN radio has dropped support for Pandora and users have had to decide whether to continue using the service for free with advertisements or pay a fee and enjoy ad free usage. Either way it is still worth the price to enjoy music you already love and possibly find a new love.
Facebook has taken over Myspace’s reign as social networking site of choice. However one thing that the new giant in networking was missing was a music component. Facebook signed up with iLike. iLike has made equaled Myspace in features and practicality. Like Myspace iLike displays artist info, allows user to stream or download songs, and gives fans the opportunity to connect with their favorite musicians, however iLike has one feature Myspace is missing, iLike is partnered with ticket master and allows users to directly buy tickets from iLike. iLike, even though it is extremely similar to Myspace music, is better because it offers all the same features as Myspace music but has a great feature in that it is linked to ticket master and has a larger audience because it is on Facebook.
Last.fm is a great music social networking site because it truly brings music and socializing together. It helps you find friends based on musical tastes and helps you find new music through your friends. Its hard to tell whether its more of a website for socializing or a musical haven. A great indicator of compatibility between friends is music, so why not make it one of the first factors when meeting new people. Last.fm is the best because it makes music the first part of your social networking experience and can link people with similar tastes as well as help you find new acts.
Honorable Motion: Ruckus
College kids love music and Ruckus is the only music social networking site that is focused just on one market, the college market. Ruckus is available free of charge to anyone with a valid college e-mail address. A fee of $8.99 is required for alumni and faculty to use the service. Ruckus’ musical catalog is available for any college student to download for free. There are some drawbacks to Ruckus: it is only offered in windows format so Mac and Linux users are left in the dark, also the songs downloaded cannot be burned onto discs or copied into another file or program (sorry iPod and other MP3 users), the Ruckus catalog is considerably smaller than other rivals such as iTunes and file names are inconsistently named, some are in all caps others use underscores for spaces. If you are in college and who mainly listens to music on their computer, Ruckus is the way to go. Ruckus fails to make the cut because it does not focus on networking which would be a great idea since so many college kids use it and because it is only available for windows users.