TheSixtyOne, Scrabbel Video, and vote in the CDD

with 11 hours to go

I have a new hobsession (obsession/hobby), it’s watching the Crate Digger Death-match votes as they come in. I tend to keep a tab open and check the current CDD poll status as I’m waiting for another page to load. It’s been exciting, Bomarr had an early lead, but D-Form has had a slow, but steady rise that eventually overtook Bomarr’s lead. In the last 24 hours though, The Evolution Control Committee’s track has really taken off. Can Boom-a-lakka-boom more than double it’s votes by midnight? Maybe today’s WFMU article will help give it that push.

Speaking of obsessive online behavior, I’ve recently joined theSixtyOne after reading Scott Beale’s post about it on Laughing Squid. TheSixtyOne is a music based social ranking network, like a Digg for artists and musicians. I’m usually skeptical about joining networks like this, but I’m glad I did. Within one minute of posting my lolCats song I already had 3 “bumps”. In three hours, 15 more new listeners bumped the song. Worst case scenario, 18 people that had never heard of me, listened to the song, and enjoyed it enough to help push it up. Even if no-one else hear’s the song, that’s enough to make me happy.

TheSixtyOne’s community seems very welcoming, and the voting system is very unusual When you log on, you are given a certain number of points (20) that you can spread around to songs you feel are “bump” worthy. If you bump a song, you lose some of that score, but if other people bump the song after you did, you double the score you have invested. So it is in a listener’s best interest to promote songs and artists they like (to get their score back). It reminds me of playing the stocks. Listeners can leave comments on a song, or on an artist’s profile, as well as follow what their friends are listening too or create their own playlist. Right now, I’m listening to Jay Hathaway’s playlist.

For musicians, the site has proven itself as an exciting way to promote work to new listeners, and an easy way to get music hosted for free. Anyone can listen to your songs without having to be a member, and the site offers options for downloading, etc. TheSixtyOne also offers the ability to sell your songs DRM free, making it a great (and super easy) alternative to iTunes for distributing your music electronically.

Perhaps the most useful of TheSixtyOne’s features (for artists and listeners) is it’s embedded mp3 feature. If you find a song you like, simply click the “share” button and it will offer email, links to social sites, basic hyperlink, or the flash music player html. 4 hours after uploading my song, I found this!

The only problems I’m finding with the site tend to stem from it’s non-intuitive format. It took me five minutes to figure out how to log on as a new user. How difficult is it to have a “register” or “new users click here” button next to the sign in options? My biggest beef, however, is that artists are not allowed to bump songs (even by other artists). The site requires that you are either a “listener” or an “artist”. So even though I’m thoroughly enjoying the artists on Jay’s playlist, I can’t bump them without logging out of my account and creating a new “listener” account. That is plain stupid!

An addition of a “lyrics” feature would rock, and I’d also like to see more room to let fans interpret songs they like by uploading their own fan art (album covers, etc) or videos of them rocking out or whatever. I can tell that the community is very interactive (I’ve gotten tons of great messages and comments), so I’d like to see the site grow that interactive feeling.

In a final bit of news, one of my favorite bands, Scrabbel (who aren’t on the61), have recently uploaded the music video for “Emily, I” a song of their forthcoming third album. Apparently the song has already made it to youtube’s front page, that’s great news guys.