iLike: Find What Music You Like And I Like
One of the major elements in web 2.0 has been the application of social networking, and we’ve seen it integrated into anything from blogging to politics. iLike, the web 2.0 application for music discovery, uses the favorite tracks of the community – specifically friends – to bring you music recommendations.
Let’s take a stroll through it and see why the music discovery application has such a presence on Orkut, Facebook, hi5, and Bebo. Sign in for an account and we are encouraged to give our approval of artists in iLike, voting on a page of popular artists to help iLike narrow the field. Once past this we see that there are two ways to use iLike: there’s a website with a number of music discovery tools, and there is a downloadable plugin for iTunes, the iPhone, or Media Player. Taking a look at the plugin first we see that the sidebar installed (in our case iTunes) is a slimmed down version of the website, with our preferences showing. Tabs allow us to focus in on Artists, Related music, or our friends’ suggestions. Our Artist page is full of content based on the preferences we’ve given, including playable tracks from our preferred artists as well as event information, and YouTube videos. The Artist tab and the Friends tab in the iTunes plugin are narrower repeats of those tabs on the site, featuring content from your preferences. The Related tab is the unique feature of the plugin, incorportating music already in our iTunes or Media PLayer libraries and giving recommendations based on it.
iLike also runs the independent music site GarageBand, so you might expect a lot of unknowns in the database, but iLike puts it all together, including music from the top of the charts. As a matter of fact it is very focused on what people are responding to and each artist page will have the number of fans that song has attracted and an option to add it to your own list. Separate pages also have listings of popular music and top five songs from Garageband. Artist pages will combine information about the artists, with musician blogs, events, song lists, and album lists. With so much information we can see why some people think of it as a musical portal.
One way to see iLike is as a music aggregate, pulling artist info, charts, and people into one place, but that would underplay the social aspect of iLike. Suppose you find a song you like but one that you know your friend will love. If you are both in iLike you can send it to them or let them discover it by their Friends page. Find new friends through the listener pages of your favorite artists, or share across other social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, or Orkut. As with all music suggestion applications iLike rarely can play the full music track – licensing makes it too difficult – but full songs are available through the subscription service Rhapsody. To find iLike and applications like it the Listio search discover+music works well.
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/iLike/
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