See Things Differently
I was pleased to see ChartU (BETA) finally launch, since I’ve been following its progress. It is similar, in essence, to sites such as Shadowglobe – it allows bands to upload tracks which are subsequently voted upon, and then compiled in to a chart. However, it expands on the somewhat limited channels offered by Shadowglobe by breaking the music down in to numerous genres, and therefore allowing you to listen to the ‘best’ music in pop, grunge, world, dance, drum and bass and countless others.
The interface is very neat, and there is nothing superfluous to the experience – it’s just upload, voting and charts. Tracks are in full, and you can either listen to whole charts or compile your own.
The site is currently limited due to the fact few artists have uploaded tracks in genres such as ‘World’ so they’re a little empty. Also, in a website open to the world how do they define ‘world’? Presumably, if you live in Spain and play Spanish folk tunes, you don’t classify your music as ‘world’?
I appreciate these sites act as filters, which are essential for people to navigate music. However, the fundamental flaw in these sites is assuming that in a public vote the cream will rise to the top ensuring the ‘best’ artists get heard. Of course, if that really were the case we wouldn’t have to listen to dross like Leona Lewis. Which is why I prefer sites like Critical Metrics or Hype Machine that rely on the opinions of reviewers or music blogs.
That said, nice site and continues to build on what I believe is essential for music sites – in a world where music is close to free, it’s all about the value you add to the music, not the music itself.