Social Networking Around the Turntable

knobs
Photo courtesy maxw

If you’re a Techcrunch reader like I am, you’ve probably seen the reviews and talk surrounding iLike.com. But, if you’re also a technovoyer (someone who likes to check out technology, and yes, I just made that word up) like me, you’ve probably poked your head around a few corners of sites like Last.fm, et al.

What you probably don’t know about me is I’m probably the last person on earth to really care that much about music. Whatever the opposite of an audiophile is, that’s me.

But, for the first time, I was actually demoing and downloading songs like one of those emo freaks you’ve seen on the street corner – tight pants, crazy hair, and all. I even forgot all about what I was really supposed to be working on.

ilike logoWhat’s this have to do with social networking?
You thought MySpace and Last.fm had cornered the market on social networking and music? Think again. When a site as clean and easy to use gets someone like me to start messing around with just about every feature (no matter how limited the feature set) on the site, they’ve got a good thing. I’m hooked.

So, not only was I marking my favorite artists as my favorite, on the very same page I was demoing music which was somewhat related but from musicians most people have never heard of. I noted their suggestion engine needs just a little more work to become more relevant, but then I started checking out other people who had said they liked the same stuff. Come to find out, they even rank how close you are to those people.

And the kicker. The thing that tops it off. Their iTunes plugin. I can listen in iTunes, rank the music within the iTunes ratings and it will give me both suggestions for paid downloads as well as FREE downloads based on the song I’m listening to at the moment.

Now I can congregate around the music I like, learn what others like who have similar interests, and download tons of free songs. I love free stuff, and iLike has tons of it! TONS of it. For this I give them mad props.

Suggestions
Now, all they need to do is somehow leverage events and/or get some interaction between people of similar interests and they’ll have the social side down pat. I really do want to talk with the people who share my likes and dislikes of music now. But, I don’t want another cheesy feature. So, iLike, think about this for a long time, and then do something novel.

And for those of you who are looking for new music, iLike truly rocks the pants off of Last.fm, Pandora, or MySpace. You really ought to check it out.

Update:
Ok, seriously. I honestly spend so much time finding and downloading new music for free using the iTunes plugin. This is ridiculous. I can’t tell you how immersed I am. If you have the opportunity to invest in iLike I suggest you do so immediately and with a ton of money! They’re worth every penny.

[tags]music, Last.fm, Pandora, MySpace, social networking, social media, iLike.com, ilike[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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