Soundcloud and Bandcamp: Usurpers of MySpace’s online music throne

A music blogger recently tweeted, “Tried to play a song by a band on MySpace but it didn’t work cos’ MySpace is a mess.”

That one sentence, in essence, encapsulates the downfall of social networking website MySpace in one fell swoop. It was once the first-choice destination for music fans to listen to new tunes, but now, with a new, muddled interface and lagging numbers, its death is on the horizon.

Soundcloud
Image courtesy of Flickr user lizbadley

Figures revealed last week showed that MySpace lost a staggering ten million users between January and February this year. It was once the place where every band uploaded their music, but with MySpace seemingly on the verge of toppling, who is in line to take their throne?

Soundcloud is emerging as a leader in the field. Once slightly confusing, its clean interface and social networking integration has made music streaming easier than ever before. And with the ability for users to send tracks in a DropBox style way to record labels, it brings bands ever closer to the higher powers.

Bandcamp brings commerce into the equation and allows punters to stream bands’ music before they buy either digitally or physically. It ignores off the clunkiness of MySpace and is a one-stop-shop for bands to ply their wares.

And to Facebook – the social networking website with MySpace blood on its hands. It stole their users, but did it steal its bands? Facebook traditionally lags behind on band pages and it seems heavily reliant on third-party apps to let bands list their events and stream music. Advances on Facebook’s pages always seem to be slowly rolled out, but it is clear the website’s strength is in social networking, not music.

MySpace is still alive, but barely breathing. Soundcloud and Bandcamp however, seem to be billowing with life.

Music on the move: music making and playing with iPhones (and iPads)

With the launch of the hotly anticipated iPad last Friday we thought we would round-up the best music related apps available. Including games, music players, and everything in between. When the iPad launches it will be backwards compatible with all the current iPhone apps meaning you have over 300,000 apps at your fingertips.

iPhone and iPad Music apps

If you are fed up with shelling out loads of money on music from the iTunes, then Spotify is certainly worth a look. Spotify launched last year to much fanfare as it the first music store that allows premium account holders to consume as much music as you want for a flat rate. Spotify is available on the app store for free and if pay for the premium service you are able to upload music to your iPhone even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection and with over 8 million songs you never be without your favourite music.

Soundcloud is another app that is worth picking up it allows user to access their Soundcloud account on the move. It lets you seamlessly browse and listen to tracks from people you follow, sent to you from other people or sent directly to your drop box. It’s based on the twitter following system so you follow artists and you can listen to their music they have uploaded. And for only 59p it’s a steal.

If you’re like me you hate it when you hear a song but just can’t remember what it’s called. Well Shazam looks to answer those questions with their nifty app. Shazam gives you instant satisfaction when you want to know what song is playing. Just point the phone towards the music source to identify and buy the track or share your discovery with friends and family. Yes, sometimes it doesn’t work on obscure tracks but it has worked for me a lot of the time. And its free.

Bloom made quite a splash when it was released last year– Bloom explores unchartered territory in the realm of applications for the iPhone. Part instrument, part composition and part artwork. Bloom’s innovative controls allow anyone to create elaborate patterns and unique melodies by simply tapping the screen. Turn the lights off, plug in some headphones and start relaxing all for £2.39.

Beatport have recently released their app, which works with their fantastic music store. Beatport is the world’s leading dance music online store and with their new app you can you access the whole of their store over Wi-Fi or 3g and you can listen to tracks or add them to your cart so you purchase later and you can do this all on the move. It’s the perfect app for any DJ or music junkie and it’s free.

One of the top selling apps is the Ocarina, it’s the official instrument of the Zelda games. Ocarina allows you to blow into the mike on iPhone like you would on a flute and you have yourself a fully functional virtual instrument. And at 59p it will give you loads of entertainment for a small price.

If your looking for a great Radio app you can’t go wrong with Internet Radio Box which allow users to listen to 30,000 thousand of radio stations across the world. The only downside is you can’t listen to it and use other apps like safari at the same time…yet.

iSequence is great little app for the music producers of the world – it’s fully functional music sequencer and with ability to export any ideas through midi to any fully fledged music software. It’s a great app to waste time with and with a solid bank of sounds you’ll soon be making music.

Daft Drum machine is worth a look and allows you to become Daft Punk by using combinations of loops, drums, bass and various voice effects you can make your own Daft Punk songs of your own. It’s 59p and worth every penny.

OSC is a nifty app that allows you to use your iPhone as a midi controller for any music software – for the price you can create your own touch midi pad for the fraction of the price of a Jazz Mutant. And it’s a very reasonable £2.99