13 June 2006

What I Like: The Hype Machine

This week I want to talk about The Hype Machine. It bills itself as an audio blog aggregator. Remember the mp3 blogs I talked about? Well, this site has a list of blogs it checks regularly and lists all the songs that appear on those blogs. That's nice, but it's not the best part of this site. The Hype Machine has a Flash player so that you can listen to the song without going to the original site. Just click "listen" next to any track and a player pops up with the top 50 tracks already loaded. While the track is playing, there is a box on the side that shows the name of the blog where it was originally posted and a link to the post. There are also links to buy the track from Amazon and/or iTunes.

The site is frequently updated, and old tracks drop off the front page after three days. The archive goes back to April 2005 but most of the tracks prior to Feb 2006 are disabled (most likely to avoid copyright issues). Another cool feature is the Now Playing link. It brings up a list of tracks that other visitors have listened to in the past five minutes. You can also create an HTML badge to go on your own blog that shows the top tracks.

What is the music mix like? It is a bit heavy on the techno dance mix stuff for my taste, but that is the nature of mp3 blogs in general. The mood can change from day to day. For instance, many blogs featured Billy Preston tracks when he died last week which gave The Hype Machine more of an R & B flavor for a couple days. Even after skipping over much of the punk and techno stuff, I still found plenty of music to entertain me for the past five work days.
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