Money, uh, Music makes the world go 'round

March 27, 2007

It’s time for some more reviews. Focus: music related services (the more acute among you may have gathered that from my rather ingenious headline).

mediamaster logoMedia Master

Let’s jump right in and look at the first one: MediaMaster. While the name may be on the boring side, the service itself is rather interesting. What is it? It’s an online music player! So last year? Well, here’s the twist: you can upload your own music collection, and as far as I have seen, you can upload as much as you want! And then, whenever you are using a computer with a nice enough broadband connection, you can let them stream the music back to you. They also offer a widget, so you can proudly display your music on your blog.

Uploading is easy, especially since they use Java to do so, making the whole venture cross-platform, which is of course music in the ears of a Linux advocate like me (yes, pun intended).

The player looks and is basic, but that’s alright when all you want to do is have some player play your music, don’t you think?

For the more visually inclined among you, a screenshot (click for the full-sized one):

mediamaster

mystrands logoMyStrands

Service number two is MyStrands, which is similar to Last.FM, as it uploads information about the music you listen to, and then weaves connections between your collection and other users’ collections. Desired outcome: good recommendations of new music and a bunch of like-minded friends.

Yesterday they issued a plugin for Amarok, my favourite music player in KDE, which does exactly what needs to be done to use the service: send information about my listening habits to my profile. That’s a great move, because hey, they now have me as a user.

Right now I can’t say too much about their ability to actually provide good recommendations or that wonderful new friend who listens to the exact same things I do. They do have a nice design, even though it seems a bit more cluttered and ad-filled than Last.FM’s. Maybe they should consider expanding the design to make use of the screen real estate most people have nowadays. Having a service provide that many features on a fixed-size design is really not too practical.

Finally, a screenshot:
my strands