Ted Williams, A Homeless Man In Cleveland Gets An Incredible Second Chance

Until last week, Ted Williams was a homeless man that panhandled on the corner of a highway in Cleveland.

But when Williams was interviewed by videographer Doral Chenoweth III and he had a chance to show his vocals skills, his life took an incredible turn. The video racked more than 5 million views on YouTube, Williams was officially rechristened “Golden-voiced”, and the job offers began pouring in.

Literally. The man who championed Williams’ cause (a Reddit user that is known as Shiggiddie) received no less than 80 offers for Ted in his personal messages over the course of just two days.

That was amazing, the kind of thing one sees in the movies. And things were to get even more cinematographic. Continue reading

MTV Releases The Music Meter

Presented By MTV, The Music Meter Is A Tool For The Discovery Of New Artists

Presented By MTV, The Music Meter Is A Resource For The Discovery Of New Artists

The days in which the popularity of music was measured by how many albums were shifted are not just extinct, they are actually fossilized. Nowadays, the popularity of any piece is judged based on a plethora of factors. The number of views on YouTube is one of these, and so is how frequently the song is streamed on sites like Spotify and Last.fm.

MTV has just released a new site in which all these variables are taken into account, and used to create a chart in which the online buzz around musicians is fully reflected. This chart goes by the name of The Music Meter, and it is updated daily. And learning more about the artists who get featured there is really easy, since tweets and bios are accessed at a click. So, getting acquainted with any performer that you discover through the chart is simplified to no end. Continue reading

MegaBox – A Familiar Service Now Goes The Musical Way


Name: MegaBox
URL: http://www.megabox.com

Who hasn’t shared a file through MegaUpload at least once in his lifetime? The service is up there with RapidShare as one of the premier destinations for sending and receiving data. It is also a good platform for the streaming of clips, as any person who has ever tried MegaVideo can tell you. And now, it s also becoming a destination for those who want to listen to music on the WWW. MegaBox sees to that. It is a service that makes both for streaming music when you are online, and for buying it on the spot (a la iTunes).

What’s more, users of MegaBox are allowed to upload their entire music collections to the cloud, and listening to all their selections from wherever they are. So long for visiting YouTube in order to listen to that song which has somehow become nestled in your head overnight.

MegaBox has been released at the same time as MegaLive. That is a service for broadcasting what you are doing in real time using your webcam. By all reckonings, the Mega family is swelling ranks more than quickly… Will we see some illegitimate offspring along the way?

TuneCrank – Letting Independent & Unsigned Artists Spread Their Music

Name: TuneCrank
URL: http://www.tunecrank.com

The meet-and-greet tradition upon which the music industry operates is a necessary evil… or is it? Websites like TuneCrank are here to bring that hegemony down.

In general terms, this site lets just anybody upload his tunes and have them streamed to whomever is willing to give them a good listen. The process is wholly free, and what TuneCrank aims to do is give just everybody a chance to be discovered, in a framework in which there are no favoritisms of any kind. On TuneCrank, all that matters is the quality of what you are uploading, not whose back you are scratching. Continue reading

Durocast – Listen To Worldwide Radio On Your Computer


Name: DuroCast
URL: http://www.durocast.com

“What if, like the radios commonly found in cars and stereos, there was an online central hub providing easy access to thousands of real radio stations, both local and national?”

That is the inspiration behind DuroCast, a startup company that hails from Portland. Its founders are Bryce Clemmer, Matt Polzin and Elliot Swan.

DuroCast empowers people to listen to radio stations from anywhere in the United States, Canada and some parts of South America (yes!). The idea is that users will be able not just to listen to their favorite radio stations, but actually discover new ones as they go along. Eventually, they will build up their own personalized radio dashboards, centralizing all the good music that they have found. And the best bit is that these radio dashboards are instantly shareable. Continue reading

Wanabez – Where New Talent Is Discovered


Name: Wanabez
URL: http://www.wanabez.com

The meteoric success of artists like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga has opened everybody’s eyes to the role the Internet can play in a musical career, and Wanabez is here to let singers and instrumentalists have a fairer chance of being discovered.

Wanabez is a brand-new video portal for aspiring musicians, a place that is comparable to a version of YouTube in which only videos of people looking for the big break are uploaded.

Just like YouTube, Wanabez can be used for free. And the videos that are uploaded can be commented and rated by just anybody – site visitors, other performers, industry folks who stumble upon them…

Besides, since videos can be sorted both by rating and by the number of comments they have received finding the most promising acts is a much easier task. Any person looking for emerging talent can visualize only those that have received the highest qualifications, and avoid having to sit through one band after the other of fifteen year olds doing their own versions of “Whole Lotta Lovin'” with the divine conviction that they are incendiary, when they are just a good couple of light years from getting anywhere near the mark. Continue reading

Is Ping The Facebook For Music Many Thought It Would Be?

PingAs I am sure you know, Apple has just given the iTunes store a social layer by releasing Ping, a network that is solely meant for music-related interactions. According to Steve Jobs, Ping has been created to solve the problem of discovering exactly what to listen to on iTunes.

Note that Ping is not really an independent website; it is actually part of iTunes 10. It is not a site that you sign up for, and it is not a mobile application either.

Ping lets you see what your friends have downloaded, what music they like, and which gigs they are attending. And if you follow other musicians (some celebrities are already there), you get to learn about new releases straight from them. You are also informed about any shows they are going to play.

Privacy (a big issue ever since Facebook tried to impose some big changes on users sometime last year) shouldn’t be a cause of concern – you can keep everything as public or private as you want. It is possible to create a closed circle with your ten best friends and exchange music among yourselves if that is what you want.

However, the shortcomings of Ping have already been pointed out. And in a unanimous way at that.

For starters, you will lament the absolute lack of intelligence Ping has got when it comes to recommending music to you. It just looks at the artists of the hour and recommends them to you, with little rhyme or reason. Since Ping is not an independent site but it is actually part of iTunes, you would think it would use iTunes’ “Genius” feature. Well, it doesn’t. And that was a big letdown to many. Continue reading

David Trejo (Mixest) – Interview


I am sure you all remember Mixest, a website I reviewed last month that let you discover new indie bands in a very easy and smooth way. I really liked the site, so I am very glad (not to mention thankful) for having had the chance to interview David Trejo, one of its creators.

Here you have the conversation in full.

Tell us a little about your startup. Why focus on indie bands only? What do you see in them that you don’t see elsewhere?

Mixest isn’t really a startup. We’re a bunch of friends who banded together to create what we hope is a great listening experience. We enjoy Indie music and wanted a way to discover the latest music with ease. Indie musicians are particularly interested in reaching listeners and spreading pleasure with their music, and we’d like to help them do that.

What are Mixest’s most distinctive features in your opinion? In which ways is it an improvement over other sites that let you find and listen to indie music?

Mixest is about the music and the joy of the listener and nothing else. We streamline the music discovery process—no need to waste time setting up an account. Just go to our mixest.com and listen to music. You don’t even have to hit ‘play.’ It just works.

What was the original launch date?

We first announced our service on July 2nd.

What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?

We’ve had an extremely positive response so far. The feedback we’ve received so far has helped us improve and yet stay true to our values. We have listeners from all over the globe, and but we’ve gained the largest followings in North America. Continue reading

Venossi – Making The Discovery Of New Music Something Natural & Logical

VenossiName: Venossi
URL: http://www.venossi.com

Venossi is a new site that has taken one of the best features offered by Facebook, and a feature that Facebook actually took from Twitter, so it is alright – a thief who robs a thief gets a hundred years of reprieve. I am speaking about the fabled news feed, something that has become an integral part of the way that we interact trough Facebook. Before the news feed was available, learning who had befriended who, or what your friends were talking about necessitated you checking their individual profiles. But now, we are all able to learn about that the moment we log in.

Well, take that concept and apply it to the music that others are listening. That is what Venossi is all about. It will enable you to see what songs your friends are playing, and also to read music-related conversations that they have been involved in as part of a feed that is constantly updated. Continue reading

YouTube Now Features A Recommendation Engine For Music Videos

As many of you probably noticed, YouTube’s music page has been overhauled, and a key feature has been added: a recommendation engine for music videos based both on your settings, preferences and these clips that your friends are sharing.

In practice, this turns YouTube into a tool for discovery that makes me think a lot of the days in which MTV actually played music.

Such a move was long due in the face of competing services such as The Hype Machine and Pandora, and it was somehow announced just a couple of weeks ago with the release of LeanBack (a service for discovering videos based on what your friends are watching). Continue reading