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Indy music discovery tool

We do some work with, among others, super-coder Ian Clarke (freenet | dijjer) and his brother Andrew. They’ve been at work recently on a fun music discovery software tool called Indy. Try it out.

Indy has a big listing of free music that’s available on the web. When a user runs the program, it downloads some music, plays it, and asks you to rate it. If the rating is positive, it plays more music that people who liked that song also liked. If the rating is negative, it tries something different. It’s a simple idea, but what’s great is that it lets you find new music that they would have never would have come across before. From the musicians’ perspective, it gets their stuff out to new fans who really like their stuff, without any marketing costs (you can get your music onto the system here).

This isn’t just a big deal for a few individual fans and individual bands– this is the kind of thing ultimately changes the system. Why? Because the major record labels are essentially marketing companies; their control over the industry is based on their huge marketing dollars that they can use to run ads and pay radio stations to play their songs. It’s what keeps independent bands squeezed out of the mainstream. But when bands can reach fans just as easily with word of mouth and personalized recommendation software like Indy, they can compete with the major labels without the major label budget. That puts one more crack in the wall of corporatized music and gets us one step closer to a healthier music culture.

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