There’s nothing more fun than drones, as proven by this synchronized performance by several Parrot AR Drones which danced in sync with music (unless you’re a terrorist dodging hellfires from a Predator- but that’s another story). This all went down at CES this week, and it was just one of the many incredible things on the floor we’ll be covering. Enjoy. Give this article a like/tweet/+1 if you love technology.
Today I take on the challenge of reviewing a site long-irrelevant and begging for a comeback. Myspace used to be on top of social media, and then they got downright creepy, lost to facebook, and hit rock bottom. Now myspace tries to reinvent themselves under the notion of a creative a music based social network, and I’d like to share my experience using their private beta with you. Stick around for the giveaway below!
John Lennon once said “Give Myspace a chance” or something like that, so after not logging in for six years I gave them a completely open mind. To understand the new Myspace we need to look at past music social networks. The most notable example is Apple’s highly hyped Ping which fell flat and closed within a year.
The reason Ping gained no traction was because of 1. the design, and 2. the business model. Ping ran only in Apple’s itunes which at the time hadn’t seen a major update in years. The old look of ping was tired and hard to navigate. Of course, old designs haven’t stopped every social network from growing (I’m talking to you Reditt). Where Ping really fell short was the model. It was all about the music you were buying, not what music you were in to. websites like Soundcloud and services like Spotify show that people want to share what they’re listening to in Realtime, and they don’t want to pay for it.
With this knowledge in mind, the new owners of myspace completely tore up their original site, cluttered with sketchy people, ads, and embedded services and brought in a completely new design based on social discovery mixed with personality display tools. I’m not sure at this time what their monetization plan is, but currently the new myspace boasts an incredible collection of new and classic music available for free, and without an ad in sight. Every artist I looked for, I found, and the built-in playlist option makes it extremely simple to put my favorites together. I currently have a playlist with literally (no joke) hundreds of Billy Joel songs from several full albums, dozens of Greenday songs, and at least one song (for the ladies) by Carly Rose Sonenclair of that darned TV show they all watch.
The design is modern and minimalistic. When I first got to the site I was quite confused because there isn’t even a search box. Whenever you start typing, your search appears, and it’s real time and categorized as well. It’s a bit confusing at first, but I really like that design twist. For Pandora lovers, in addition to playlists, you can also listen to pandora-style “radio stations” of your favorite artists. The best part is that they’re ad-free (for now).
The player is simply located on the bottom of every page (similar to the look of Google Music), and you can control your music fully from any page. Album art is prominently displayed when you scroll over the player which is nice when you’re reminiscing about an album, and music discovery by artist, title, or album is only a keystroke away thanks to the unique search, which is one of my favorite features.
Although the new myspace is more music-focussed than its’ predecessor, they haven’t entirely ditched the social scene. Myspace currently offers very simple profiles with pictures, and customizes what tools you get based on what you say you are (i.e blogger, musician, Filmmaker, Photographer). I’m not sure how the profiles really fit in yet, but I have a feeling we may see more functionality on that end later. They also offer updates similar to tweets, or facebook posts. Instead of sharing links, and photos as you would on facebook, you can share songs as well on myspace, and it’s very well designed for ease of use. You can also connect with friends, creators, and artists, and it offers the obligatory messaging app.
So, is it worth signing up? YESSS! With the depth and breadth of the entirely free and ad free collection, and the potential I see for this to become the next hipster haven, yes all the way. I doubt I’ll use the social features that much until the private beta ends and more of my friends join, but I’ll definitely frequent the fantastic music areas of the site. I never thought I’d say it but… I like myspace.
Want an invite to the new myspace? Enter this week for an exclusive free giveaway. Beat the line!
Of the thousands of music apps and services out there, perhaps none is more unique than Songza, a fantastic free app available for both Android and iOS. Think of Songza as a cross between Spotify, Siri, and Pandora. It builds in a killer free music library, a unique music-discovery engine, and a very solid player, which makes it my streaming music app of choice.
The experience starts when you open the app. You’re presented with a series of choices based on time of day and time of year that help you determine what you listen to. The choices at 6PM on December 23rd for example read “It’s Sunday Evening. Play Music For: The Holidays. Relaxing at Home. Working Out. Cooking. Pre-Gaming With friends. Putting on Your Party dress.” Based on what you select, the app makes a playlist for you, and the options are constantly changing.
If you don’t like those options you can find music by search, category, artist, or popularity. Some artists I checked for and found on Songza include Adele, The Beatles, Katy Perry, Billy Joel, Justin Bieber, and Green Day. It’s all free, and the only form of ad is an ad below the album cover for now. Songza also has a great playlist section. Of course, my favorite is “Songs from Apple Commercials” but I think there are thousands of user-created playlists.
Songza is a incredible free app, and as I said, it’s for Android and iOS so 80% of smartphone users can use it. Check it out, and you will not regret it.