Kerchoonz’s Blog

mac wheel looks Ker-mazing!

Posted in Uncategorized by kerchoonz on January 7, 2009

Kerchoonz meeting the Sony & Warner’s people

Posted in Uncategorized by kerchoonz on January 7, 2009

Well, we had to have some Sushi first and meet with our press people and practice our chop sticks!

Aww, what a sight.  This is our Kerchoonz guys in action from left to right Ian Morrow (from Kerchoonz),
then Alex Vlassopulos (from Sony), and Phil Knox-Roberts (from Kerchoonz) all having a wee Kerchoonz discussion in London.

Here’s a less blurry pic of the three.

Posted via Pixelpipe.

Best list of 2008

Posted in mp3, music, music websites, start-ups by kerchoonz on December 21, 2008

Best list of 2008!  OK, it’s a  bad title all around for an article.  Sorry about that.  

Who were the best pop stars? indie stars? rock stars?  

Who was the best at making a fool of themselves?   hmm… what is ‘best’ anyway?  And, how is it measured? 

thinking, thinking:

YES! you’re  correct:  “Best” is a boring word.  

So, we thought we would bring you a list of ‘new’, rather than ‘best’ and the best list we found was  from Music ally, web consultancy specialists.  Here’s their list of 200 new start-up music websites of 2008.  

‘New’ start-up web companies from  2008!

(from a list that we found by a consultancy company called Music Ally)

SOCIAL & SHARING

Twones (1) installs an app on your PC (or a plug-in to your Firefox browser), tracks what you listen to, and turns it into a personal music feed.

FileRide (2) scanned your hard drive for files, including music, then suggested people with similar interests to you so you could connect.

Musebin (3) was a nifty site that let people post Twitter-length reviews of albums (i.e. 140 characters long), in an effort to cancel out all those wordy MP3 blogs.

Moshable (4) was a social network for artists to sign up and get fans to add them. Nothing at all like MySpace then…

Postcard.fm (5) let you send audio postcards to friends. Ahem, by uploading an MP3 and a photo, which isn’t strictly legal.

Radio Pop (6) was launched by the BBC, and let people track the radio shows they listened to, and get recommendations from friends.

SoundUnwound (7) was a Wikipedia-style music database launched by Amazon, that let users contribute their own information and data.

Songness (8) let artists upload songs, which would then be rated by up to 200 fans, giving them an idea of whether they were any good. Or not.

Kerchoonz (9) was a music social network/store, where artists were paid for every time their music was streamed or downloaded, while users were paid for recommending the site to friends.*****  (that’s us folks.)  But, there’s more to it that this, Kerchoonz is a free social music network that offers free streaming, playlist building, blogs, video, networking, and loads more… and we’re thrilled to have been mentioned in this list because we were only open for 5 weeks when this was published!!)  

LP33.tv (10) was a music community for industry types as well as fans, which rebranded before launch from its previous name of myAWOL.

TuneWiki (11) was a location-based music network for iPhone, allowing people to bring up a Google Map showing other TuneWiki users in their area, and see what they were listening to.

Total Pop Star (12) was an online talent contest where users uploaded their performance videos then got rated by judges, including – wait for it – Joey Lawrence and Debbie Gibson.

Erockster (13) was a music portal offering online radio, blogs, a social network and user-generated content. It was also the work of radio behemoth Clear Channel.

Blip.fm (14) was like Twitter but purely for music recommendations. Users posted short messages on what tunes they were listening to right now, and the site turned them to streaming links via Seeqpod.

TunesBag (15) was an Austrian music social network with added locker service, offering users 5GB of space to store music, and the ability to share it with friends for free.

DanceJam (16) gave us much fun this year, on account of being the startup with MC Hammer acting as its frontman. The idea was interesting though – it was an online talent contest cum social network.

Waste Central (17) was Radiohead’s own social network, letting fans post videos, photos, music files and blog posts, with a dedicated subnetwork for gigs on the band’s tour. It used the high-profile Ning platform.

TinySong (18) was like TinyURL, but for songs. You searched for songs online by artist or title, and then the site turned them into short links for you to send to friends.

Songpull (19) was a music community where artists could upload their video performances, along with interviews where they explained the song, and get feedback from their peers.

Dilettante (20) was one of a clutch of Web 2.0 sites aimed at classical music lovers. In this case, it was a social network for musicians and fans alike, offering music and concert webcasts to keep them coming back.

Get Closer (21) was a social networking site launched by UK entertainment retailer HMV, allowing people to create their own virtual libraries, and find other people with similar tastes.

GetBack Media (22) was a social network aimed at 35-55 year-olds looking for a nostalgic fix of pop culture – complete with music videos from UMG and WMG.

Thisis50 (23) was rapper 50 Cent’s own-branded social network, using the same Ning platform as Radiohead’s Waste Central. Fans could create profiles, sign up friends, and cough up their email addresses to be marketed to.

LG: Rally For Music (24) was LG’s attempt at a branded music social network, with an A&R spin to get talented singers and musicians to upload videos of themselves performing.

MusicMakesFriends (25) launched a premium subscription service in nine European markets, with deals with three majors, and 1.5 million tracks available to listen to. But it was also a social network.

WeMix (26) was a community of unsigned rappers, singers, songwriters, musicians and producers, with involvement from hip-hop star Ludacris. The idea was to foster digital collaboration among its members, with contests to win a Ludacris guest spot on their songs.

 

VIDEO

Kyte (27) is a video platform letting people stream live videos to the world – and it was used by the likes of 50 Cent and the Jonas Brothers, and scooped the Popkomm-IMEA award in Berlin.

Qik (28) did a similar thing, letting people set up their own online TV channel then stream live video from a mobile handset.

Pitchfork.tv (29) was an online music TV channel launched out of music site Pitchfork, offering music videos, films, archive gigs and documentaries. It was brand extension at its most Web 2.0-tastic.

Songreference (30) was a free plug-in for PC iTunes that synched up YouTube videos with tracks that were playing.

Cherryred.tv (31) was an online television channel launched by UK indie label Cherry Red Records, with videos, gigs and documentaries.

Muzu TV (32) was a customisable online TV service for labels and artists, which kicked off with the likes of Beyonce and the Foo Fighters on board.

MSN Unsigned (33) was a site letting new bands upload their videos, to be seen by UK internet users, and dissected by industry experts.

Boomdizzle (34) saw LL Cool J take on Hammer with another online talent contest for aspiring singers and rappers.

JukeBo (35) was an online jukebox of music videos pulled from sites like YouTube, Last.fm, Yahoo and AOL, and then sorted to make them easier to find.

ffwd (36) claimed to be a web video discovery service, with music one of its main features. It asked questions about your video preferences, then pulled in content from YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe and other sites.

Big Bear Entertainment (37) touted its ‘Video Mods’; technology, which involved producing animated music videos using characters from games like The Sims 2, Mortal Kombat and, er, Sonic The Hedgehog.

TommyTV (38) was an online TV portal launched by fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger, in partnership with Sony BMG. It offered a mix of music videos, live sets, interviews and auditions from emerging artists.

 

STORES & SERVICES

Bopaboo (39) was a used-MP3 store that lets people sell their unwanted digital music, and use the credit gained to buy new stuff.

RED(WIRE) (40) was a digital music magazine, which for $5 a month gave users tracks by established and emerging artists, plus multimedia pieces – all for charity.

Comes With Music (41) was… well, you know what Comes With Music was!

DownloadShopper (42) offered price comparisons between Amazon, iTunes and Wal-Mart in the US, showing users where to get the cheapest downloads.

Ten Tracks (43) was a Scottish service where people paid £1 a month to get 10 DRM-free downloads from local bands.

Advantageous (44) was a plug-in for the Mac version of iTunes, which directed people off to, er, Amazon’s MP3 Store.

Passionato (45) was a classical music digital store selling 320kbps MP3s and lossless FLAC files for audiophiles. MidemNet New Business Showcase winner.

Nectar Music Store (46) was launched by UK-based loyalty card firm Nectar, letting people redeem their points for DRM-free downloads.

Popcuts (47) was a music store that rewarded fans who bought songs early – they’d get a cut of the money paid by people downloading those songs later. Something like that.

The People’s Music Store (48) aimed to let fans run their own digital music stores, aranging products, changing the layout and earning points from people’s purchases to spend on… digital music.

NovaTunes (49) was a download store focusing on quality over quantity, hand-picking a select bunch of artists and streaming their albums for free, while offering ‘download packs’ containing music, artwork, photos and other content.

Rawrip (50) was a digital music store in the UK offering 100% of the sales revenues to labels and artists, with Rawrip making money from ads placed around the store.

Muz.ru (51) was a Russian music download store, but one that was legit – with contracts with UMG, WMG and Sony to prove it.

Telia Musik (52) is an unlimited music service launched by Scandinavian ISP TeliaSonera, initially in Sweden.

Datz Music Lounge (53) was a £99.99-a-year unlimited download service that launched in the UK, although it was a bit hard to use.

GospelDepot (54) was a subscription-based music service focused on Christian music – with users paying $9.99 a month to listen to tracks on their PCs, and $14.99 a month to listen on portable players. Its tagline: “Clean lyrics. Dirty beats.” Nice. Currently offline being revamped with a new business model.

Wawawa (55) was a music subscription service with a fab name, that launched in China with more than a million indie tracks available.

Lost Tunes (56) was a digital music store launched by UMG in the UK, focusing on rare and exclusive tracks. 7Digital ran it for the label.

The B&W Music Club (57) was a subscription-based service launched by speaker firm Bowers & Wilkins, which cost £33.95 a year for one album a month as DRM-free lossless files, with the albums being exclusive live sessions.

Musique Max (58) came out of Orange France, and was an unlimited PC and mobile music service, which cost 12 Euros a month and offered downloads form all four major labels and several indies.

FanDoodle (59) was one of the new startups allowing fans to sell artists’ music on their own sites or blogs, and get a cut of the revenues – 20% in this case.

Zaoza (60) was, perhaps ill-fatedly, a mobile content portal launched by Vivendi with two z’s in its name. Anyone remember Vizzavi? Anyway, it was a subscription service offering music, ringtones, videos and games.

Surrge (61) was a “user-driven music marketing community” (as opposed to communities that aren’t user-driven?), where people signed up to be scouts, recommended songs to each other, and earned 10% of any sales revenues.

TheBizmo (62) launched a personal online music store, letting people earn money by selling their own music or recommending other tracks to friends. It worked as an embeddable widget.

 

STREAMING

MySpace Music (63) offered unlimited streaming music, and allowed users to sort everything into playlists to share on the site.

Spotify (64) was a universally well-received streaming service with all the major labels on board, and a simple yet elegant interface.

Play.it (65) was launched by CBS, and offered personalised radio in a nifty interface. We wondered if it was a direct competitor to Last.fm though (owned by, er, CBS).

FavTape (66) let people log into their Last.fm or Pandora accounts, extracted their favourite song lists, and then turned them into full streaming playlists using Seeqpod.

GlobalPandora (67) was a boon to non-US internet users shut off by Pandora due to its licensing problems. Simply, the site said it cracked Pandora’s protection to let them access the personalised radio service again.

Streamzy (68) wrapped music search in a slick interface, bringing back songs and videos based on artist names, with saveable playlists.

StumbleAudio (69) aimed to be a more indie-focused version of Pandora, offering song streaming, ratings and personalised playlists.

Yes.fm (70) was Spain’s first online streaming music service, offering two million tracks and a mixture of ads and subscriptions to make money.

Radio OneLlama (71) had a great name, and a pretty nifty idea too – aggregating online radio stations with a neat search engine.

Fanbase (72) was a desktop app launched by Atlantic Records, pulling in video from YouTube, music from Imeem and chat from Meebo, all based on the label’s artists.

Awdio (73) was a streaming music site offering DJ sets from 60 nightclubs in 15 countries, capturing one stream from the sound deck, and another to mix in crowd sounds.

MeeMix (74) aimed to take on Pandora and Last.fm by supplying personalised online radio stations to users, but also let artists customise their own MeeMix profile pages.

Soundzero (75) was another Microsoft project, being an interactive radio station delivered through the Windows Live Messenger instant messaging application. In Thailand.

Red Box Blue (76) claimed to be the first company to be streaming live gigs on Facebook, offering 22-minute livecasts in partnership with Kyte.

MusicRambler (77) mashed up Last.fm, Flickr and Google Maps – letting you listen to tracks, and see images and events relating to that artist on a map of the world. Why? Well, it seemed cool at the time.

Cassette From My Ex (78) let people wax lyrical about the romantic mixtapes made for them by long-lost boyfriends or girlfriends, with each post having a tracklisting and streaming songs.

Chilirec (79) was kinda a TiVo for internet radio stations. It let you listen to hundreds of stations on-demand, while also downloading them as MP3 files.

Boosey Radio (80) was launched by music publisher Boosey and Hawkes, offering streaming classical music sorted by mood, composer or period – with podcasts, ringtones and links to buy tracks all tied in.

MyPlaylist (81) was cheap’n’cheerful, mashing up Flickr photos and music from other sites to construct visual playlists based on specific artists – with these playlists then embeddable elsewhere on the web.

Wiki FM (82) was another mash-up service (they were all the rage in 2008), blending Wikipedia and Last.fm, presenting artists’ Wikipedia pages while you listened to them on Last.fm.

Radiopaq (83) was a UK-based internet radio portal offering thousands of streaming radio stations from around the world, as well as podcasts.

 

PLACE-SHIFTING

BlueTunes (84) was an MP3Tunes-style locker service, letting people upload their music libraries and, yes, play it from any computer.

Didiom (85) was a startup offering an intriguing combination of music place-shifting (from PC to mobile phones) and a la carte downloads.

SonicSwap (86) also let people play their iTunes libraries from any connected computer, by uploading the metadata of their library to the site, which then found as many of those songs as possible on YouTube for streaming.

Wixi (87) let users create their own virtual desktops with music, images, videos and other content from their home PCs – and then access it from any other computer. It had a social network built in too.

SimplifyMedia (88) was all about streaming your music to up to 30 friends over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection from your iPhone. It also worked on computers, of course.

SugarSync (89) let people synchronise files (including music) across computers, the web and mobile phones, offering 1GB of free storage space, and supporting a range of mobile platforms.

Catch Media (90) unveiled a service called Play Anywhere, which aims to allow music fans to, well, play their music anywhere, on any device. MidemNet New Business Showcase winner.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS & DISCOVERY

The Perceptron (91) let you type in an artist name, then get a bunch of others you might like based on data from music sites, MP3 blogs, MySpace and Wikipedia.

Highnote (92) was a streaming music service that links emerging artists to popular acts, allowing people to find new bands they might like.

TheNextBigSound (93) involved listening to songs from unsigned bands, and ’signing’ the best to your own virtual label, scoring points if they became popular with other users.

Mufin (94) served up song recommendations based on more than 40 different characteristics, including tempo, rhythm structure and instruments used.

MusicIP MyDJ (95) was a neat sidebar widget for iTunes that let users create smart playlists from their libraries, and then get dynamic recommendations based on those tunes. Its thunder was rather stolen later in the year by Apple’s own Genius though.

Thesixtyone (96) was the missing link between Music 2.0 and Dungeons & Dragons (we said) – you listened to songs, ‘bumping’ the ones you liked, and levelling up as you gained more points for your activity.

Juking Air (97) was a Japanese service using Adobe’s AIR technology, with a desktop client serving up artist maps based on the bands you entered. It looked very nice indeed.

Midomi (98) was a Shazam style music-ID iPhone app that let you sing or hum songs to identify them too.

Nabbit (99) was a tagging service that, when you heard a song on the radio you liked, you could send it a text message and get the info on whodunnit.

Sound Index (100) was marvellous – a chart launched by the BBC to track the top 1,000 artists based on buzz across various online music, video and social networking sites. We wish it was still going.

Guitarati (101) was all about music discovery through colours, while allowing artists to upload and sell their music. Whatever colour it was.

Blog Remix (102) was an innovative project from Yahoo that allowed you to mash up blog posts and MP3s, creating a personalised mix of songs from your favourite MP3 blogs.

RadioTAGR (103) offered a similar idea, except tied in to physical HD radios, so people could press a button when a track they liked was playing, and cue it up for later purchase on iTunes.

TuneFad (104) offered recommendations based on “the musical taste of an album”. When we used it in its early days, that taste seemed to be mostly Coldplay.

WiiiZZZ (105) scanned what music people were talking about on Twitter, and then served it up as a big playlist of band names, with streaming Play buttons.

Instinctiv (106) unveiled an iPhone music app called Shuffle that aimed to provide smarter song-shuffling, based on the listener’s current mood.

Qbox (107) was a hybrid web/desktop search engine that let users find music on MySpace, YouTube and Bebo, manage it in playlists, and share links with friends.

The Filter (108) was a recommendation engine that got lots of press thanks to frontman Peter Gabriel, but impressed people with its “intelligent” recommendations of music and video.

Daily Anthem (109) was a daily aggregated music chart, sucking in data from blogs, Billboard charts and other sources, with a tie-in to Imeem to play the entire Top 50 as a stream. Now defunct.

CloudSpeakers (110) made it a cinch to follow individual bands, pulling in reviews, music, videos, blog posts, reviews and other content, then offering email alerts and RSS feeds so fans could keep track of it all.

Mobbler (111) was a Last.fm scrobbler for mobile phones – specifically those running Nokia’s Series 60 OS. It tracked what people listened to on those handsets, then uploaded the data to Last.fm.

Poll The People (112) got people to submit their top five lists of albums, films and books, then compiled them into big global polls, which could be sliced and diced by gender, age, region and country.

PushButtonMusic (113) was a US firm that compiled a catalogue of nearly 30,000 songs based on “what American consumers listen to”, and then sold digital music players with elements of that catalogue preloaded on them. One for lazy gadget-buyers, in other words.

 

DIGITAL LABELS

Green Label Sound (114) was a digital singles label launched by US soft drinks brand Mountain Dew, offering free downloads from the likes of Cool Kids and Matt & Kim.

Bacardi Bat Project (115) was a label (sort of) launched by Bacardi, commissioning songs from artists to release as free MP3s on music blogs. Metronomy were on board at launch.

Nappy Boy Digital (116) was a digital label set up by rapper T-Pain, seemingly to sign his mates. Vanity labels like this aren’t unknown, of course, but few are digital-only.

3M30 (117) was a digital singles label set up by artist Just Jack (of Starz In Their Eyes fame), which aimed to release a new download every 4-6 weeks.

Normative (118) was a digital record label set up by Web 2.0 entrepreneur Jakob Lodwick, who promised to “promote our albums in new ways that are hundreds of times more efficient; ways that record labels don’t understand, but are obvious to a seasoned web entrepreneur.” Quite.

SOS Records (119) was a digital label offering free downloads of its artists, funded by ads and CD sales. It was also the only music startup (we think) to get Archbishop Desmond Tutu along to its launch. Really. Its website isn’t working now, so we’re not sure what happened to it.

urSESSION (120) was another digital label set up by an artist – in this case, System Of A Down’s Shavo Odadjian. It was part label, part social network, and part streaming music site – with bands uploading their music, and urSESSION signing the most popular.

 

P2P & FILE-SHARING

Qtrax (121) was the ad-funded P2P music download service that botched its launch at Midem – leading journalists to believe it had major label deals when it didn’t – but spent the rest of the year… signing those deals. Gradually.

Pirates Of The Amazon (122) was a cheeky Firefox plug-in that, when users browsed Amazon’s UK MP3 Store, provided them with links to download the songs for free from The Pirate Bay.

LittleShoot (123) was a LimeWire spin-off – a web-based service that let people search for music on YouTube, Flickr and LimeWire itself.

TorrentAds (124) was a UK-based startup looking to sell advertising on BitTorrent sites, promising “some of the highest CPMs in the industry”.

Brand Asset Digital (125) also wanted to sell ads around P2P networks, but in its case, they were search-related advertising – a bit like Google’s AdWords.

YouTorrent (126) was the most powerful BitTorrent search engine yet, pulling in results from The Pirate Bay, Mininova, SuprNova, BTJunkie and at least eight other torrent trackers.

MP3Count (127) was the new AllofMP3 – Ukrainian, on the wrong side of the licensing fence, and very, very cheap.

Wuala (128) was about remote storage, except it used P2P technology, storing your stuff on other people’s PCs. Innovative cloud tech, or legal minefield?

CloudTrade (129) claimed to offer legal music sharing for smartphones, via label deals to make songs available on the service. Initially, it worked on Windows Mobile handsets.

ZipClip (130) was a US startup that let people right-click on web content – including YouTube videos – and send it to their phones, including as ringtones.

TorrentRelay (131) promised client-less BitTorrent downloads, via a site where people could paste Torrent URLs into a box, and download them through their browsers – including iPhone and Wii users.

Songbeat (132) was one of the more controversial startups, being a desktop app that let users search for music on Seeqpod, Project Playlist, Last.fm and other sites, then download them – although they had to pay  €19.99 for the premium software to get unlimited downloads.

LegalTorrents (133) offered, yes, legal torrents. Public domain music, e-books, games and images. Although there is plenty of copyright-free content out there to swap, it didn’t look likely to tempt The Kids away from Illegal Torrents…

GAMES & VIRTUAL WORLDS

Rockfree (134) was a browser-based music game launched by console publisher Acclaim, with nifty multiplayer features and licensed tracks.

Tapulous (135) took the App Store by storm with its musical iPhone games, including Tap Tap Revenge, Tap Tap Dance, and Christmas With Weezer.

Music Mogul (136) was a virtual world launched by producer Rodney Jerkins, with all manner of 3D avatar and UGC video features.

JamLegend (137) was a web-based music rhythm game that allowed artists to upload their own songs for use in the game.

JamsMatch (138) was a cool memory game that tested how well fans remembered classic album covers, with a neat drag’n’drop interface and global high-scores.

Popjax (139) specialised in creating branded trivia games for bands, including rawkers Avenged Sevenfold, mixing text questions with video footage from YouTube. Bands could embed the quizzes on their own sites.

Tag a Tune (140) was an excellent time-killer, being an online music game to encourage accurate tagging of music. You listened to stuff, then had to describe it in tags – working in teams of two.

Wuchess (141) was, brilliantly, a Wu Tang Clan themed online chess community. Its players’ Ruy Lopez defence ain’t nuthin ta f*** wit’…

Virtual-Vancouver (142) was a virtual music festival that reckoned it had solved the capacity problems seen in Second Life – allowing 50,000 fans’ avatars to get their freak on at once.

 

LIVE MUSIC / TICKETING

LiveKick (143) was a ticketing search engine that gets users to register their location and favourite bands, then finds local gigs they might like, with the cheapest ticket prices.

Owngig (144) let fans club together to vote for artists they’d like to see live, then makes their wishes come true – starting with the Blow Monkeys.

Tixdaq (145) aimed to be an “ethical” online ticket price checker, finding users the best deals on gig tickets on primary and secondary sites. The ethical bit came from sharing its commission with artists. Tixdaq also provided useful analysis of the online ticketing market.

HearWhere (146) was a local gigs search engine letting people find out who was playing nearby, while clicking through to artists’ MySpace profiles.

BlueHaze (147) was a gig service letting people search for local concerts, buy tickets, see what gigs their friends were going to, and share photos and setlists. It worked on Facebook and iPhone too.

Tour Tracker (148) was another ‘find local gigs and buy tickets’ site, except this one was launched by AOL and American Express, partnering with Ticketmaster. Goliaths-a-go-go!

Songkick (149) was a UK-based startup that scanned users’ music libraries, and then alerted them when a band they liked was playing in their area – tied in with ticketing. As you can tell, it wasn’t the only company investigating this area.

 

SITES WITH LOTS OF COWBELL

MoreCowbell.dj (150) let you upload any MP3 track, move some sliders around, and then hear it with lots of cowbell on. Genius.

 

STUFF FOR ARTISTS

Topspin Media (151) was a digital music marketing company set up by ex Yahoo Music boss Ian Rogers, which swiftly established a reputation for innovative campaigns with some high-profile artists – even if rivals grumbled they’d been doing this for some time without the same fanfare.

Bandstocks (152) aimed to take on Sellaband and SliceThePie to find unsigned bands and fund their albums. Martin out of the Boo Radleys is using it, y’know.

PureSolo (153) offered 10,000 professional backing tracks for people to sing along to, aimed at karaoke hacks but also semi-pro musicians and singers.

The Featured Artists Coalition (154) was a pressure group set up in the UK to campaign for artists’ rights, particularly in the digital arena.

SoundCloud (155) let artists, labels and producers quickly and easily share digital music files, when collaborating or organising promotion. MidemNet New Business Showcase winner.

Artist Exploder (156) aimed to help bands gain more fans on Facebook through viral growth. Not referring to diseases contracted on the tourbus.

Calabash (157) was another ‘fans fund bands’ startup, although its focus on world music established a niche for itself, not to mention a clever distribution deal with National Geographic.

Bandcamp (158) let musicians and labels sell or give away music through their own unique site, keeping 100% of the revenues in the first six months.

Better Than The Van (159) aimed to hook up touring bands with fans with sleeping room on their floors, to suit artists touring the US on a shoestring budget.

GigMaven (160) aimed to make it easier for bands to find support slots at venues across America, via a social networking style interface.

Bandbox (161) was a widget that let artists sell music on their own websites, keeping 100% of the revenues – Bandbox took a cut of adverts around them.

Nimbit (162) was a widget that artists could embed on their MySpace profiles to sell music direct to fans. It was The New Snocap, in other words.

Band Metrics (163) let labels and managers keep track of their artists’ popularity online, a bit like a music-focused Google Analytics.

MixMatchMusic (164) makes it easier for artists to launch fan-remix contests, where their fans can mess about with their songs via an online widget.

FoxyMelody (165) was a true one-stop digital distribution shop, promising to get bands onto iTunes, Amazon MP3, Napster, eMusic and Rhapsody,  but also Pandora, Last.fm, T-Mobile, Vodafone, 3 and NTT DoCoMo.

SessionSound (166) was another site for unsigned bands, dangling $1,000 prizes for the most popular uploads, and providing them with profiles to sell their music as MP3s.

Musinaut (167) was a French firm that launched a new digital music format called MXP4, which allowed more data to be embedded in a file, including lyrics, interactivity, and different mixes of the song.

TrueAnthem (168) was another firm rocking the ‘widgets for artists to sell stuff D2C’ tip, with Hootie & The Blowfish on board. And hopefully some good artists too, etc etc

NoiseTrade (169) let any band do a Radiohead-style tipjar album sale from their own websites, via a widget.

Rifflet (170) was a site allowing musicians to upload their song odds and ends for others to do something useful with. Clips had to be less than 60 seconds long, and could be riffs, basslines or drumbeats.

MPTrax (171), which is yet to launch fully, aims to connect bands more easily with gig promoters and venues. MidemNet New Business Showcase winner.

iPerform3D (172) was a new take on the online guitar-playing tutorials format, with its thing being the fact that it showed 3D models of guitarists using motion capture technology, allowing users to zoom the camera in and around the virtual teacher.

TuneBoom Pro (173) was a pretty controversial startup, promising as it did to inflate artists’ MySpace play counts in return for hard cash. It claimed a number of major label clients, but is now seemingly defunct.

Start My Song (174) let songwriters upload their demos to be perused by producers, artists and labels. People had to pay $5 to make an enquiry though – apparently to deter spammers.

 

ONLINE MIXTAPES

Muxtape (175) was the site that kickstarted the whole online mixtape trend, letting people upload their MP3s to construct up to 12-song playlists that others could stream. A dust-up with the RIAA forced it offline, to return later in 2008 touting itself as a marketing tool for artists.

OpenTape (176) launched just after Muxtape went down, and let people host their own mixtapes in an effort to stay out of RIAA trouble.

MixTube (177) let users create online audio mixtapes from YouTube videos, simply by pasting the URLs into the interface to build their playlists.

TumblTape (178) gathered together your tracks from a Tumblr blog and made them into a playlist. Not that appealing to people who didn’t know what Tumblr blogs were, of course.

Mixwit (179) was one of the companies looking to fill Muxtape’s shoes, riffing off the technology of music search engine Seeqpod. Its drag’n’drop interface meant you could create a imxtape in five minutes.

Mixx Maker (180) was a really neat Facebook application that involved creating a themed mixtape, and then letting all your friends upload MP3 songs in that theme. Was it legal? Er…

8tracks (181) claimed to be avoiding legal problems by not letting users know what track was playing next – half-hour mixes of music with randomised playing orders.

This Is My Jam (182) was a mixtape site that promised proper DJ-style beat-matching, although the downside was that you could only use 20-second clips of songs.

 

GREAT BIG STICK THINGS THAT YOU SWISH ABOUT

Mustik (183) was spawned from a university project on embodied interaction – it’s basically a big stick that when swung, interacts with music that’s playing. A bit like Guitar Hero on acid. MidemNet New Business Showcase winner.

 

MP3 SEARCH ENGINES

Hushie (184) was an MP3 search engine that let people search for MP3s on various sites. It closed down quite quickly though.

MixTurtle (185) reckoned it was the fastest MP3 search engine around, with a suitably minimalist user interface. And a nice turtle logo.

StreamDrag (186) let you search for music, then ripped the audio from YouTube videos so you could sort it into streaming playlists.

Songerize (187) was another streaming music service using Seeqpod’s back-end to find music online, based on searches for artist names or song titles.

Jogli (188) was a music search engine that claimed a whopping database of 500 million tracks. 500 million!

Tagoo (189) was described as “a Russian Napster”, which should have sent a chill up the spine of music industry execs. It was an MP3 search engine that caught on in its home market quickly.

Mp3gle (190) was another MP3 search engine, complete with a logo suspiciously similar to Google’s. Bloggers were keen, although we just wondered how you pronounced its name out loud.

 

TOOLS

TuneUp (191) sorted out your  iTunes metadata, cleaning up song tags and downloading missing album covers.

The Echotron (192) was a music streaming and recommendation service that provided users with a personalised homepage offering music from around the Web, based on their ratings.

Metalseek (193) was, as the name implied, a search engine JUST for heavy metal. Good for fans of Invocation War, Gallhammer and Ars Moriendi, who are presumably underserved by Google.

Search With Kanye West (194) was a search engine branded with, yup, Kanye West. Users were rewarded with virtual ‘Swag Bucks’ that could then be spent on Kanye stuff.

DoubleTwist (195) was a company run by Norwegian hacker ‘DVD Jon’, with the main intention of busting Apple’s iTunes DRM so consumers could play their purchased music files on any device. It even received funding from proper VC firms.

The Echo Nest (196) was an innovative tech startup offering ‘Musical Brain’ APIs, which could be used by other companies to build innovative music services. This Is My Jam (No. 145) was one of them. MidemNet New Business Showcase winner.

Soundamus (197) was another site built on the back of Last.fm, using your scrobbled data to serve up a list of new and upcoming releases from your favourite bands, which could then be added to your Google or Outlook calendar.

LastGraph (198) neatly took your Last.fm login, scraped your listening data, and turned it into nice colourful graphs showing your music habits.

The Rock Hard Times (199) was like a music-focused Wikipedia, offering album listings, photos, videos, lyric links, fansites and other content, with every page editable by users.

Songbird (200) finally launched late this year – the music-focused web browser is already proving powerful once you get the various add-ons.

 

whoop whoop.  That’s a big list.  Let’s wish all of them well for 2009!  

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