MuseSpring – Educating A New Generation Of Industry Men

Name: MuseSpring

Poor record companies. They get such a lot of stick for having taken so long to adapt to the challenges posed by digital music that they all end up looking like grotesque villains.

Granted, most industry men moved slower than dead people at the onset of the digital era. They failed to do things when they should have done them. They lost money for themselves and for their clients (IE, these artists that we believe in so passionately). But what’s in the past is in the past. There’s no point in keeping on chastising the industry for all its previous errors. It would be much, much better to try and carry on using all the knowledge that was gained as a true point from which to move into the future. And that’s exactly what this young company is here for.

MuseSpring provides people with all the knowledge they could need to succeed in the music industry as we know it right now. The company offers a myriad of different online courses on its site, along with access to business services and corporate support. That should be enough to let any struggling company renew its strength. And those who are planning on launching a company of their very own are even given the chance to secure some funding through

At the end of the day, it all boils down to a simple (and inescapable) fact – the music industry has changed, and the common practices of yesteryear now stands as nothing short of archaic. For companies, it’s time to start moving ahead or be left in the dust. Services like MuseSpring have got what it takes to point the way, and show those who understand the importance of moving with the times take one firm step after the other.

MusicKO: The Best Music Startups Of 2010 (Part 2)

Read the list below if you want to know which were the best music startups of 2010.

What? Want even more startups? OK, check the other half of the list.

And come back tomorrow for the best album reviews of 2010 (hooray!).

Radar Music Videos – Find The Right Director For Your Music Video
Earwurm – For These Songs You Just Can’t Get Out Of Your Head – Another Way To Share & Discover Music Online
iMusicTweet – Sharing Your Songs Through Twitter & Facebook Simultaneously
Music Matters – Combating Piracy In A Fair Way
MusicVault – Rating Albums Old & New Using Twitter
Tubeoke – Where YouTube Becomes A Karaoke
DemoHero – A Community Site Devoted To Demo Recordings
Songbright – Choose Your Best Songs, Upload Them And Make Some Money If You Chose Right
Jamendo – Where Music Is Shared For Free
Digiclef – Guitar & Bass Tabs On Your iPhone

MusicKO: The Best Music Startups Of 2010 (Part 1)

This is a list of these music startups that I have commented in 2010 that I still remember as if it were the day I wrote about them.

This is the first part of a list I will complete tomorrow [update: done!]. After that, I am compiling a list with the best album reviews of 2010, and another with all the unsigned/independent Uruguayan Artists I featured on MusicKO all through the year.

TuneCrank – Letting Independent & Unsigned Artists Spread Their Music
Guitaryst – Play Your Guitar With The Help Of Automatic Tabs
Bud To Bud – The Online Sharing Of Music Is About To Reach A New Height
Bender Converter – Convert All The Videos You Want For Free
Flashbck – Reliving Gigs & Festivals – The Of Music Blogs
Music180 – Connecting Indie Artists With Renowned Music Pros
Venossi – Making The Discovery Of New Music Something Natural & Logical – Making Mixtapes Fashionable Once Again
Tastebuds – Find A Perfect Match Based On Your Favorite Music
BuyWidget – The Perfect Way To Monetize A Music Blog – Making Mixtapes Fashionable Once Again



Mixtapes ruled. They gave us one of the first true glimpses of freedom when it came to making others experience music in the same way that we did. The way we had arranged the songs was to be the de facto way to experience these artists for anybody who came into possession of the mixtape later on. Any person who wanted to know you better just had to get the tape you had assembled and play it.

Mixtapes also had other ramifications. For example, I can’t think of the song “Runaway Train” without thinking of the last seconds of an ad that played right before the version someone had taped for me started. Even when I am listening to “Black Gold”, in the short silence that separates “Tied To The Tracks” from “Runaway Train” the final seconds of that ad play in my mind. It will probably be like that for evermore.

Maybe you are too young to know all this. If that is so, I have the perfect site for you. It is named, and it will let you create a mixtape for others to enjoy. You can add up to twelve tracks for each mixtape that you create, and you can then label it. If the mixtape that you have assembled is meant to sound like Dr. Hook then you simply state so. Others will be able to find it in a much easier way then, as all the featured mixtapes are readily searchable. 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

Majid ALSarra (Lyreach) – Interview (Part 1)

I had a chat with Majid ALSarra from Lyreach (the innovative search engine for lyrics that I featured last month on MusicKO) where he revealed the inspiration behind the project and his plans for the future. You can find it below. And don’t forget to check out Part 2 (“Music & You”).

Majid ALSarra

Majid ALSarra

Full Name: Majid ALSarra
Age: 29
Startup: Lyreach
Position: Founder



Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived?

Everything started two years ago, I used to be a software developer my whole life and I really loved it, but in mid-2008 I decided to be a boring man ,working in a boring field called business continuity in a startup bank started by the government.

I tried stupidly to live with such a situation, to have what I thought was a stable life, then I exploded.

I began programming everything like crazy; I was searching for a killer idea, I had been searching for such a thing even before the bank job. I have always been enthusiastic about the Web, but when I was in the bank I was too depressed to find a good idea.

And because I didn’t know “anything” about business continuity, I was searching in Google, and translating some stuff in a dictionary – in both cases using auto-completed sentences. “Google suggest” gave me some nice (but limited) recommendations. A lot of sentences that looked like what I had typed were featured, but I thought “why they’re not here in the suggestions?. Even when I click the “Search” button, it gives results that have the words of the input sentence separated randomly in a lot of results, even when I put the double quotation marks, I can see the sentence alone in the results, but I have to open the link and search for the sentence to find its context…” Then the idea popped out!

It kept brewing it in my mind for a while, and I began programming some code and testing it on some Wikipedia pages, I had more complicated (and also more useful) ideas than this one, but I didn’t have the time to implement them, so I decided to go ahead with this one.

Searching the whole Web was too huge for my tiny budget, that was why I thought about Wikipedia, but then I realized it would take ages to crawl their 6000,000 articles (English only!). So, I kept living as usual with these search ideas in my head, until I noticed how unpleasant it was when I heard a part of a song and could not find it by searching using only that specific part. It all clicked then, and the idea was finally conceived 🙂

What was the original launch date?

No exact date, it was there on the web for a long time while I was debugging it, then I told some friends to test it, and then I finally put the ads on Facebook & Google sometime in mid-May.

What has been the response so far?

It’s been good, a lot of sites & blogs talk about it all over the world, especially in Italy! Continue reading

James Fontana (SongVote) – Interview (Part 2)

I’d like to share with you the “Music & You” segment of my interview with James Fontana from SongVote. This is the last part of the interview that started here.



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

I’ve been interested in music for as long as I can remember. I remember saving my money in the early 80’s for a “Ghettoblaster” that was the term in America back then for a Jambox.  The first tapes I purchased on my own were Tears for Fears, Cyndi Lauper and Starship.  My, how my taste have changed a bit, except for Cyndi, Her music still takes me back to good memories.

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?

No, that for sure is NOT my talent.

Musical likes and dislikes? Favorite artists?

I find myself listening to a lot of down-tempo beats like Kaskade and zero 7, but I enjoy all music from Steely Dan to Beyonce. Continue reading

James Fontana (SongVote) – Interview (Part 1)

James Fontana from SongVote was kind enough to sit through the MusicKO interview in full. Thanks a bunch, James! You will find the first part of the interview below, and the second is here.

James Fontana (SongVote)

James Fontana (Co-founder of SongVote)

Full Name: James Fontana
Age: 33
Startup: SongVote
Position:  Co-Founder



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

A few years back I put a pool in my back yard.  Every weekend people would come over and swim and there would be 5-7 iPods around the docking station.  No matter what, the music always became an issues.  Someone was always taking out someone else’s iPod and putting their own in.  For me I saw an opportunity for a solution that involved musical democracy.  I wanted to create a way that we could all come together based on our similarity and diversity of musical taste.

In my opinion the most distinctive feature is the ability to create one playlist based on the opinions of a group.

What was the original launch date?

Feb. 2010

What are the main uses people are putting SongVote to? In which countries has it been more successful?

We are noticing people having fun on SongVote by expressing their musical opinion in different public contest.  We also saw someone create a playlist that was moving from Dallas to Boston and was going to be in the car for three days.  They had a playlist built on song that reminded friends of the good time they spent together.  This person was able to listen to a playlist built by close friends during their long drive. Continue reading

Sander Huiberts & Richard van Tol (Earwurm) – Interview (Part 2)

This is the final part of the interview I conducted with Sander Huiberts & Richard van Tol from Earwurm. The first one can be found right here. Share and enjoy!



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

Ever since we remember. Richard: the first record I bought was Thriller by Michael Jackson. Before that I was very actively trading cassette tapes with my friends. Sander: No idea?!

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?

We have both been in several bands for the past 15 years. Richard: no footage on YouTube though. Sander: (playing electric upright bass) and (playing double bass). Continue reading

Sander Huiberts & Richard van Tol (Earwurm) – Interview (Part 1)

The founders of Earwurm (a very original music startup that I reviewed last week) were kind enough to answer my questions. Read on for the full background on their startup, and their own insight and perceptions regarding the music industry. Thanks a lot, guys!
And if you enjoy this interview (you will!), don’t forget to read the second part, “Music & You”.


Full Name: Sander Huiberts & Richard van Tol
Age: 30 & 33
Startup: – Stick A Song In Someone’s Mind
Position: Founders



Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion? is a website that revolves around sharing earworms, those sticky tunes we all have in our mind from time to time. Simply search our database featuring hundreds of earworms to find a tune and then share it with others via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If the song is not in our datebase you can easily add it to the site in less than 60 seconds.

The idea behind is that almost everyone knows the phenomenon of having a song stuck in your head. Quite often earworms are triggered by simply hearing a tiny piece of a tune on the radio or someone humming it. Our background is in Music & Technology and, amongst other things, we teach Game Audio Design at the Utrecht School of the Arts, Faculty of Art, Media & Technology in The Netherlands. One of our lectures features a short sample of the song “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie ( which always leaves our students humming the song for the rest of the day. We wanted to do something creative and fun with that phenomenon and thus the idea of sharing ‘earwurms’, short fragments of songs that trigger earworms, was born.

What was the original launch date? was launched on the 20th of april, 2010.

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

The response is actually far bigger than we expected, especially given that we are not promoting the website and that it has only been online for two weeks. Hundreds of new earwurms have already been added to the database and about 83000 earwurms have been shared through email, Facebook and Twitter.
Many people like the concept for different reasons. There are those passionate about puttings songs in their friends’ minds, while there are others who simple enjoy browsing all earwurms and keep adding new annoying sticky songs to database. Continue reading