Sworly – Listen To The Latest Hits For Free

Name: Sworly
URL: http://www.sworly.com

That you can listen to mostly any song you want online is common knowledge. And so is the number of fakes and dupes you’re forced to endure on sites like YouTube before you find what you’re looking for. Oh, and that’s not counting the number of live and rare versions of songs that are found there, and which are labeled as the real thing. And as if that wasn’t enough to drive you to the point where you turn into the smoke monster from “Lost” and go on a rampage, you also have to deal with songs which have been pitched, in order to keep YouTube from taking them down. Which would be great fun if what you wanted was to listen to Chip and Dale singing in unison. Which you’re not.

This new site is here to change that, once and for all. Sworly gives you nothing but real songs that you can listen to on your browser, and at no cost. Sworly scours the Internet for you, and it brings together all these songs you’d might be interested in. The site is really easy to navigate, with the coolest songs being highlighted on the homepage, and a search box for looking music up straightaway. In all cases, the songs you’re playing can be easily shared with all of your pals on Facebook. Continue reading

ListnPlay – A Better Way To Watch Music Videos Online

Name: ListnPlay
URL: http://www.listnplay.com

As far as watching music videos online goes, YouTube is the port of call for many for many of us. But that’s mainly because there’s nothing better around. The amount of filtering one must do just to get to these clips he wants to watch and move past content which has got nothing to do with music is certainly infuriating. And VEVO (the one platform that was touted as the YouTube for the music industry) has been derided from day one, with users scoffing at this “Very Evil Video Organization”, visibly irked by the constant video ads that plague it.

Well, that’s exactly what ListnPlay intends to fix. A free-to-use service, it presents users with a simple search interface for music videos, and it also lets them create playlists that they can share with all of their friends. Those who think Debby Harry is the sexiest frontwoman in the history of music will be able to bring all these videos that have her commanding the stage, and create a playlist to support their point of view. They won’t manage to convince people like me (who wouldn’t change Emmylou Harris for anyone in the world), but they’ll be able to rest their case that little more easily. Continue reading

LYRICSnMUSIC – Lyrics, Band Bios, Tour Dates & Everything Else In Between

URL: http://www.lyricsnmusic.com

The first thing people do when wanting to learn more about any band that’s been brought into their attention is heading straight to Wikipedia to see what can be learned about that artist there. Either that, or they are on their way to YouTube to catch the band in sonic flight. And looking up some lyrics is the next link in the chain, specially if English’s not their first language.

By all reckonings, that’s an almighty amount of toing and froing. It would be great if there were a way to get all that info at once, wouldn’t it? And it would be even better if The Who finally decided to tour South America.

Well, as far as the Shepherd Bush’s contingent coming all the way to this balmy region of the world is concerned I’ve almost lost all hope by now. And I don’t love them any less for that, nor do I listen to their music any less enthusiastically. But I refuse to believe nobody has ever come with a site to let you search the whole Internet in an organic way when looking for music-related information. Somebody must have done something about it. And I’ve scoured the whole digital universe looking for an answer. And hey, look what I’ve found.

LYRICSnMUSIC is a search aggregator that collects together results for sites like YouTube, Wikipedia and the best of the many lyrics repositories that are currently available online. All these are accessible using a tabbed interface that makes for a really cool user experience. You input your query, pick the suitable tab and Bob’s your uncle. Continue reading

Find You Some Vinyl – A Search Engine For Nothing But LPs


Name: Find You Some Vinyl
URL: http://www.findyousomevinyl.com

Find You Some Vinyl is a young search engine that lets people find LPs both old and new by simply furnishing the name of the band and/or artist they are after. The site premiered at the last Music Hack Day in New York City, and it has merited mostly positive reviews if only because there’s nothing else like it around.

Granted, a site like Amazon has a large collection of vinyl on offer. Yet, the creator of this site is trying to bring together the results from smaller retailers such as Insound, Interpunk and Boomkat. That is not saying Find You Some Vinyl ignores Amazon – it doesn’t, it is one of the services that are crawled. It’s just that the emphasis here is on letting people look beyond that, and end up finding these truly rare records that (for the most part) are only found in the possession of reclusive collectors, hid in a chest with three big padlocks and a good couple of booby traps around. Continue reading

Google Instant Meets Bob Dylan & Billy Joel

The launch event for Google Instant

The launch event for Google Instant

Google unveiled its new search technology two weeks ago. Named “Google Instant”, it lets you see results as you type. This means you don’t have to input a query and hit return any longer. The results materialize automatically at the bottom of the page as you are typing away.

And Google hit the nail on the head when they used Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” to show off this new technology. The ad (embedded below) was featured at the launch event for Google Instant. They couldn’t have found a better song had they tried.

Or could they? Nay-sayers (because people always oppose to changes) and pranksters immediately came up with their own musical protests and parodies. This is one of my favorites, set to Billy Joel’s number one hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire”.

Again – it is a fast paced tune, and it is as suitable as Dylan’s song was for the “official” ad. And in any case, “We Didn’t Start The Fire” must be one of the most parodied songs ever. Just look it up on YouTube and see what crops up – “We Didn’t Start The Star Wars”, “We Didn’t Start The Crisis”, “We Still Didn’t Start The Fire”…

Double Lyrics – A Directory Of Lyrics That Are Reviewed And Rated

Double Lyrics

Name: Double Lyrics
URL: http://www.doublelyrics.com

I am sure very few among us can claim to have a favorite lyrics site. I mean, there are a zillion of them out there. Personally, I have always been keen on the AZ Lyrics website because it is lightweight, the lyrics are arranged album by album, and (yes, I know I am fastidious) the punctuation and the use of capitals is fully accounted for. As a non-native speaker of English, I always print the lyrics to all the albums that I buy that don’t include them. A site like AZ Lyrics lets me get them quickly, and create a Word document with them painlessly.

Still, I am always looking for alternatives. And I must say that the Double Lyrics website has got a lot going for it. For starters, whenever you carry out a search you get results that are sorted by relevancy. You don’t get a jumble of links that might be what you needed or something completely unrelated. The most relevant lyrics are ranked by the site’s engine and featured on top, while the ones that will probably have nothing to do with your query are relegated to the bottom of the list.

Also, users can both review and rate lyrics. That is nothing new (many sites let users “comment” on lyrics, and fans take advantage of that opportunity to review them), but its usefulness is not questioned by anybody – you will have a bigger chance of finding what you are after in that way. And once you have found it, a well-written review can always let you figure out what a cryptic song is all about. For example, how many are really aware of all the possible interpretation of Cat Steven’s “Moonshadow “? How many are aware of the cancer interpretation, the Vietnam chopper interpretation…? Only fans are. And if given the chance to review a song and illuminate everybody else, they are likely to do it. Continue reading

Kilian Valkhof (Lystener) – Interview (Part 2)

This is the final part of the interview with Kilian Valkhof (from Lystener). As I always say… share and enjoy! (The first part is here)



When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

I always liked music, and I believe the first single I bought was, shamefully, ‘candle in the wind’ by Elton John. I was 9 or so, then, and was very moved by it all. I redeemed myself with my first CD: Discovery by Daft Punk. Getting really into music only happened later a couple of years after that, when I started discovering bands via the internet that I really liked that you didn’t see on television.

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

Nope. I tried it with a couple of friends, but I’m just not musical enough. I own a guitar and dabble on it every now and then, but it’s nothing to write home about.

Musical likes and dislikes? Favorite artists?

Very diverse. Anything from folk to hip-hop, really, with some exceptions: R&B doesn’t do it for me, and the only time I tolerate dance music is in a club. I listen most to rock music, with my favorite artists consisting of Jack’s mannequin, Say anything, Third Eye Blind, Snow Patrol, Brand New.

To you, what is the role that lyrics actually play in contemporary music? Is that wrong or is that right?

It really depends on the artist. Some artists have lyrics to accompany the music, and some the other way around. I myself am drawn to more lyric-centric musicians, but it differs per person and per band. Continue reading

Kilian Valkhof (Lystener) – Interview (Part 1)

Last week I caught up with Kilian Valkhof from Lystener, a startup offering an innovative way to find and share lyrics that I had reviewed the previous week.

We talked about his project, and also about his relationship with music. A special emphasis was placed on the way he perceives lyrics, of course.

This is Part 1 of the interview. Part 2 (where we talk about music) can be read here.

Kilian Valkhof, The Creator Of Lystener

Kilian Valkhof, The Creator Of Lystener

Full Name: Kilian Valkhof
Age: 22
Web App: Lystener
Position: Founder



Tell us a little about your web app. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?

I’ve always had a problem with the way lyrics work. Some music players can display lyrics and that’s great, but there’s always one that doesn’t work as well as it should.

You can also google lyrics. This means you have to type in the artist and song title (because somehow they’re never copyable from music players) and find a working site that doesn’t have a bunch of ads and spam. Then, if you want to actually do something with the lyrics, like, copy them, most sites block that too! If you want to share lyrics on facebook, for example, you end up typing them yourself.

Lystener fixes both these problems. No typing needed to find the lyrics to the song you’re listening to now, because I just ask last.fm what you’re playing, and it updates automatically. When you select the lyrics you like, you can post the part you selected to facebook or twitter with a single button.

What was the original launch date?

I launched it on monday the 28th of june, after a week of private beta.

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

Twofold actually. People love the application but the lyrics database isn’t really big, so if you’re like me and listen to lots of unknown stuff, you’ll have to do without lyrics every now and then. There are ways to easily add them though, and I’m going to expand on those to make adding lyrics yourself even easier. When you have lyrics though, people are delighted because everything works very smoothly, reading lyrics, selecting lyrics, sending lyrics, it all happens in one flow.

As far as countries go, English speaking countries lead by a large margin. Continue reading

Lystener – A New Way To Share & Discover Lyrics

Name: Lystener
URL: http://www.lystener.com

OK, I am the first to admit that this site is not the greatest thing ever since Swiss Cheese came along, but I quite like it. That is probably because I am a lyricist and I can’t divorce a song’s music from its words, but even casual users could get something good out of it.

If we look at its roots, what the site lets you do is to input your Last.fm username in order for the lyrics to the song that you are listening at that time to be displayed. When that happens, you will be able not only to read them but also to share them with your friends.

That is not as superfluous as some of you might be thinking. For starters, non-native speakers of English (like me) often have trouble catching a word or two, even after years of listening to English music. That is something obvious – it is not the same listening to Liam Gallagher than listening to John Denver. Sometimes we frankly can’t get the words right. That is one use this site will certainly have. Continue reading

Majid ALSarra (Lyreach) – Interview (Part 2)

This is the final part of my interview with Majid from Lyreach.
Read the first part of this interview (“The Startup”) right here.



When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

At a very young age, when watching cartoons  🙂 .. then I started listening to pop music, the first album I ever purchased was “Bat Out of Hell” by “Meat Loaf” when I was 14, and I still love it!

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a clip on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?


Musical likes and dislikes? Favorite artists?

I don’t focus on one artist or genre, I like Madonna, Linkin Park , Leona Lewis, Beyonce, The Saturdays…and a lot more. Quite some time ago I was crazy about Enya, Enigma, and New Age in general, now they’re the bands I listen to the least.

If you had to name the song that moves you the most, what would it be? Can you pinpoint the reason why?

Definitely “I Believe In You” by IL Divo and Celine Dion, it’s the most encouraging song I ever heard, its lyrics are brimming with the deepest, noblest emotions. Continue reading