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Top 5 Music Discovery Online Radio

These are my favorite 5 online streaming radio for music discovery at the moment. If you’re looking to discover new music on the horizon but have no idea where to start, here are five choices to kick you off on your musical journey. These stations are chosen for streaming quality, music recommended choices, and most importantly, because they are FREE.

1. OurStage.com

URL: http://www.ourstage.com

OurStage.com was created primarily as a platform to launch unsigned and upcoming artists of all genres. With a tagline like “Where the stars of tomorrow get discovered”, the OurStage music engine generates song and artist recommendations based on your choice of genre. Clicking on each genre tab will lead you to a genre page with recommended artists and songs, as well as that delicious radio button that says “Play”. Music quality is top-notch and uninterrupted, a crucial factor for listeners like me who hate it when DJs disrupt your train of thought in between songs. User-generated content voting for songs and joining of fanclub pages help artists to identify their target market as well as general popularity of their songs.

A pop-up player allows you to listen to perfectly-streamed and uninterrupted music while you surf within the pages of the OurStage website. A brilliant idea.

MusicRewind Rating: 4.5 Thumbs-up

2. The Hype Machine

URL: http://hypem.com

A novel idea, The Hype Machine is a music discovery site that trawls the internet space for music blogged about on the blogosphere. With a strict set of guidelines on how they pick music blogs, Hype Machine recommends new songs, remixes, artists and bands on their homepage, but they go one step further by offering a monthly radio podcast (that you can stream live or download as a free MP3) of a set of their favourite picks and recommendations. The monthly HypeM podcasts includes DJ commentary as well as exclusive interviews with music bloggers and sometimes with the artists themselves.

An embedded music player at the bottom of the website allows you to seamlessly switch between song plays (very little lags), with awesome sound quality.

MusicRewind Rating: 4.0 Thumbs-up

3. TheSixtyOne

URL: http://www.thesixtyone.com

The brainchild of two music lovers, this streaming site is named after Highway 61, an American highway that is said to have deep roots and connections to America’s historical music culture, and has received strong support from organization Creative Commons as well as Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman.

Let me just say one thing upfront: This site is BEAUTIFUL. The homepage, which is aesthetically wonderful with creative use of button positioning, will blow your senses away if you are someone attracted to all-things new. However, if you’re a tried-and-true type of web user, then you might find this site navigation a tad challenging.

Music recommended are of high quality and great taste, and pre-selected playlists act as awesome radio channels for your discovery tastes.

MusicRewind Rating: 3.5 Thumbs-up

4. GrooveShark

URL: http://listen.grooveshark.com/

Grooveshark is free, beautiful, and awesome. You can also create up to an infinite number of playlists (I’m at 35 for the moment), and 99% of the songs you want are probably searchable on Grooveshark.

Bad news: the recommendation engine is not the most advanced at the moment. Songs recommended are trapped within the catalogs of only a few artists, ensuring that if you listen to N.E.R.D. you will be recommended Pharrell’s songs repeatedly.

Nevertheless, Grooveshark is an incredible library you can fall back on for songs you never want to forget. Think of it as a cloud-based source for all your favourite songs.

Second downside: it crashes once in awhile. If you have a big heart, forgive the developers and pray for recovery everytime it happens. GrooveShark is an indispensable friend.

MusicRewind Rating: 3.5 Thumbs-up

5. Slacker Radio

URL: http://www.slacker.com/

Launched in the USA in 2007, Slacker Radio opened its doors to Canadian fans earlier this year to little fanfare. Slacker Radio encourages creation of your own radio stations, supported by their recommendation engine. Slacker Radio tilts more towards the commercial side, and will satisfy your sudden craving for some Pop hits. What I personally love is Slacker’s Comedy radio channel, which is a wonderful way to discover past and new stand-up comedians via 1 minute clips.

Downside: It’s only free for 30 days, but the experience for that month is assured of quality and good music recommendations.

MusicRewind Rating: 3.5 Thumbs-up

15/11/2010 Posted by | Reviews/Recommendations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me” Most-Viewed Youtube Video

Toronto-based social media research company Sysomos has reported that the Music category is the most-viewed on Youtube. This free and interesting report lays out some intriguing social trivia, such as:

  • Music (27.6%) and Entertainment (14.4%) videos receive the most number of embedding
  • These two categories are also the most popular in Europe, South America and Asia
  • A tag cloud analysis showed that “Michael Jackson” and “Health Care” were the issues on most Youtubers minds (“Lady Gaga” and “Black Eyed Peas” rank somewhere below
  • Top music video is – alas – Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me”, a senseless but very popular song worldwide, with 97.3million views

More from their report here.

02/03/2010 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nothing May Stop EMI purchase by Warner

Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. continues to tease the industry with his refusal to commit to whether EMI will be bought by Warner, the third largest label in the world, following Universal Music Group and Sony Music.

“From a regulatory standpoint,” Bronfman is said to have stated, “further consolidation in the recorded music industry is possible.” Even though he was referring to the stamp of approval by the European Union regarding the famous merger of Sony Music and BMG, many speculate that he may actually be referring to the potential merging of Warner and EMI, two financially-troubled labels of which the futures of neither one are clear.

While EMI reported an annual loss of USD$2.4 billion only recently, Warner Music also reported a quarterly net loss of $17 million just 2 weeks ago.

“Our goals remain focused on delivering strong returns on A&R investments while we develop new business models, diversify our revenue mix and fortify our digital leadership position,” Bronfman stated in a press release.

22/02/2010 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sony Fantasy Festival

If you’re already logged on to Last.FM (and are in Europe), then you should definitely check this out!

Sony Music Entertainment has come up with a game-like online application where you can create your own festival line-up, a la Premier League style. It’s quite fun, except for a few drawbacks.

One, it’s only for the Europe region.

Two, your line-up of artists only pertain to the Sony catalogue of artists available.

Nevertheless, a novel idea! Try it out here: http://fantasyfestival.last.fm

22/11/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

EMI Caught-up?

Troubled label giant EMI is now caught in another debt-tussle: British private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners has proposed to Citigroup Inc that the debt of music group EMI be restructured, a request that was rejected by Citigroup.

Terra Firma had offered to pump into EMI the equivalent of USD$1.68 billion, on the condition that Citigroup waives a part of their EMI loan, a proposal Citigroup felt was not to their advantage.

Terra Firma has repeatedly injected money into EMI, in their belief that the label will eventually turn over profits like it used to. Says a Terra Firma spokesperson, “We continue to believe EMI is an excellent company and we remain committed to doing all we can in the best interests of EMI.”

17/11/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

BlueBeat.com Gets Served

I’m sure you’ve heard by now the news of EMI suing BlueBeat.com, a Californian music download website, for offering unauthorised downloads and streaming of Beatles’ content. After being served the copyright infringement lawsuit by EMI, BlueBeat.com has come up with the most genius defense one can ever think of.

Their defense, or rather, the one they are rumored to respond to EMI with in court, is that they have literally deconstructed the original Beatles’ content track-by-track, and then rebuilt it up from scratch, like Lego bricks, if you will. Except, the finished Lego structure is virtually an exact replica of the original content.

While their defense will most probably never hold up against EMI’s lawyers in court, some believe it’s worth a try.

09/11/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye Michael… This Is It

“Don’t be nervous, this is an adventure. I love you guys… Save the world.”

Michael Jackson
Speech given during his last rehearsal for his This Is It London show

mjthisisit28octIt has begun – the wild and desperate scheme to hype up This Is It, a documentary film made by Kenny Ortega, director of what was to be Michael Jackson’s last ever concert. Columbia Pictures and Sony Music has sunk its claws into the documentary and the soundtrack respectively, and will not let go until they have made enough money from exclusive content that was to have been made private. Yes, footages from This Is It documentary was supposed to belong in Jackson’s private library of contents until he died on June 25th 2009.

While I feel anger for the loss of privacy of Michael – my music hero – and his family, I am simultaneously honored to have been able to share in the last rehearsal moments of the King of Pop. The documentary basically underlined Michael’s perfectionist streak, his interesting eccentricity, his professionalism for the stage, and his love for all his dancers, musicians and backstage crew. What surprised me was the way the film was edited, because it was apparent to me that Ortega often talked down to Michael during rehearsals, patronized him like a child, and tried to get into his good books by praising him a little too often than necessary. Perhaps Ortega didn’t mind placing himself in a nasty light. But that’s just me.

This Is It documentary consists of a list of rehearsed songs which include “Thriller”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Billie Jean”, “Man In The Mirror” and other fan favourites. It was like having backstage access into Michael’s rehearsals, and I felt like I was watching from the sidelines as he practiced his routines and his vocals with his team. He seemed pretty oblivious of the hovering cameras as he hemmed and honed his vocals, and it was truly an insight into his complex personality.

His perfectionism for the stage and his music shined through like a glaring light for most part of the film. At one point, he stopped singing suddenly and started wringing his hands in the air, crying out in distress, “No, no, no!” He then turned to his music director and stressed earnestly, “you must let the music simmer.” And he hummed melodies as he tried to explain how he felt.

All the documentary showed me was that Michael was a man who lived and breathed music, and that his every breath and movement was a musical note. This was the same man who once declared at an interview (eons ago) that he saw “colour in music”. Music to him was physical, and not merely auditory. This belief was expressed when he moved his hands to different heights (with different strengths in his stressed movements) when he sang.

Shedding a tear for what might have been, my heart goes out to all the dancers, musicians and backstage crew who joined because they loved Michael and what he stood for. For me, Michael stood for creativity, genius, and good eccentricity. Without him, the world is now a fucking boring place to live in.

29/10/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VEVO strikes deal with AT&T

riocaraeffRio Caraeff, CEO of VEVO, just announced that they have struck a branding and marketing agreement with AT&T, for the latter to support VEVO across their platforms. “The AT&T brand has come to symbolize innovation, convenience, flexibility and global inclusiveness to millions of consumers, and we are delighted that the company has joined us as one of our key launch participants,” Caraeff announces.

Exclusive video content will be made available to fans on the VEVO platform, which runs on Youtube’s video-streaming technology. There will also be a VEVO-branded embedded player. “When you can reach people while they’re pursuing one of their passions and help them learn, do or share something important to them, you can more strongly demonstrate how your brand is valuable and relevant to their lives,” says Chris Schembri, VP of Media services for AT&T.

“Music and entertainment are two of the broadest-reaching and influential ‘passion points’ for consumers, and aligning our brand with a new property like VEVO gives us a chance to reach them in fresh, meaningful ways.”

28/10/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Leaked Online

This Is It

Yeah right, as if MJ’s newest track is actually ‘leaked’, which by definition gives us a sense that it’s all accidental. News here.

It’s only a matter of time before ‘leaks’ become simply a marketing strategy in the digital market. At the same time, it’s heartening to see the labels using this’ as a strategy to generate hype. That only goes to show the amount of importance everyone’s putting on digital content, more and more.

We shall all be waiting to see more ‘leaks’ for future A-list releases.

13/10/2009 Posted by | Music News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment