The Sixty One

I listen to music all day long while I’m working. It’s a habit (good or bad) that I developed in college while studying for hours on end and have kept up since. Heck, I became a DJ at the college radio station (WOUI – pumping out an amazing 10,000 milliWatts!) to listen to a lot of different music and did a study marathon one finals week because it was the ‘quietest’ place on campus. I love music and it’s one of the reasons why I have such a large music collection and why I fell in love with iTunes and my first iPod.
So even though I have 31 days of continuous music in my iTunes library I’m always looking for something new to listen to.  Rock, alternative, pop, blues, jazz, R & B, classical and even the occasional country song can often be heard in my office.  I think I found an excellent new source of music that thinks the way I do and is an excellent example of a good web app.

I’m talking about TheSixtyOne at www.thesixtyone.com.  It’s sort of Digg for music.  Using a simple system, people can ‘bump’ music they like that’s been uploaded by musicians to the site.  The drawback is that it costs you points to bump a song so it’s not in your best interests to bump everything.  You, in turn, earn points for songs that other people bump and for listening to more songs.

All songs are streamed to your computer in their entirety – not like iTunes where you get a 30 second clip – and there is no limit to the number of times you can listen to a song.  You can add songs to your own playlist and follow other people on the site and view the music that they’ve been listening to and bumping.  All in all it’s a very fun site.

The site was created as a ‘music discovery game’ by two USC students who have long since quit their jobs.  They’ve done an excellent job of it, in my opinion.  You can navigate the site without having your music stream interrupted.  There are numerous places like comments and bump lists that smoothly expand and collapse without stopping the music.  It’s very easy to navigate the site and discover music.  It’s very easy to browse by music category, new music, best music (music bumped the most) and follow and subscribe to other people’s activity.

An example of why you might want to subscribe to someone else’s activity is if you find yourself always bumping music that was already bumped by someone else you might want to follow them on a regular basis.  It’s sort of like the Amazon book rating service of ‘those who bought this book also bought this…”  It’s very handy and convenient and naturally you get more points if people subscribe to your activity.

I should point out that some tracks are available for download and some are available for purchase through the Amazon MP3 store.  The iTunes store will sometimes have the artists but I’ve found that it’s somewhat spotty.  Regardless, I’ve found that The Sixty One is fun if you like listening to ‘undiscovered’ music and artists are uploading new music every day.

Some of the music is incredibly bad and I wonder if the ‘artists’ upload music on a dare or a whim.  Others, though, are impressive in the quality and depth of their sound and it makes you wonder how many wonderful musicians never ‘made it’ because they couldn’t get their music to the masses.  I was already not listening to the radio because of commercials and repetition.  I don’t every see myself listening to commercial radio again.

Oh, and if you’re so inclined, I’m at thesixtyone.com/griffin.  Griffin?  That’s a story for a different day.  🙂

I know there are some other sites out there that do similar things.  What are they?  Other thoughts?