New social music services have made it easier than ever to see your friends’ favorite music and get updates as they discover new tunes. Since the launch of Facebook’s Platform, over 100 Music applications already developed for you to choose from. Now, your Facebook profile can quickly be transformed from Facebook’s standard (and boring) list of favorite bands into the life of the party. We’ve thoroughly examined all the current Facebook music apps and selected the best for you to check out.
The poster-boy in the Facebook Music category so farhas been the extremely popular iLike music app. A Facebook Platform launch partner, iLike delivers a great experience – almost entirely inside Facebook – by combining several functions into one great package. The iLike install process is seemless and you start by selecting artists that you like. iLike provides each artist with its own landing page where users can listen to music, see recently released albums and even buy directly from iTunes.
Depending on the artist, either full tracks or song clips are available for free – similar artists are shown and MP3’s from newer artists are available for download. Once you’ve built your list of artists, you can quickly see concerts – as well as your friends’ concerts. iLike also offers a music quiz to see how well you really know your favourite artists. With great functionality and a slick interface, it’s easy to see why iLike is so popular.
One disappointment in the iLike application, however, is your inability to share playlists. Last.fm has made a name for itself as being one of the best tools to share your playlists and see what your friends have been listening to. During installation the Last.fm application presents a spam-your-friends page but then quickly gets to work. The Last.fm app automatically captures your favorite music and creates a playlist based off this list.
Click play and you’re rocking–Last.fm is one of the easiest music applications to get started with. Last.fm automatically includes similar artists it thinks you’ll like, and if you don’t you can quickly skip the track. However, some features don’t seem to be working, like the “purchase album” link and the Last.fm player — they intermittently disappeared from our profile page during testing.
To add your own MP3s to your playlist, though, you’ll need to look beyond the major music apps. One of the fastest ways to upload your own music is through the Music application by Steven Lu and Russell Frank. You can upload just about any music file ( under 8MB ) and it will appear as playable link on your profile. The whole process of uploading and linking the file is nicely abstracted away behind simple user interactions. The Music app looks great for independent artists but it does seem ripe for abuse and will probably watched closely by music industry lawyers.
Concert goes will love the BandTracker application by Oodle.com. The app starts with 2 simple questions, “Who?” and “Where?” From there, you can see where over 200,000 concerts are happening, or you can search just your area and see which artists are coming to town. You can also see your friends’ concerts or invite them to a show that you’er dying to see. The one disappointment with BandTracker, however, is that the profile page is very basic–it would be nice to include some artist photos or album art.
For fans of Album art, the Visual CD Rack by Edward Frederick lets you display your CD album art. The process to add CDs is very painful, though, and it’s not clear if the visual effect is worth the effort.
While not strictly a music application, it would be hard to talk about the music category without mentioning the Yahoo Music Video application. The application is one of the slickest we’ve seen. After you install Yahoo Music Video, you can quickly select videos that you like and post them to your profile page. You can also see your friends’ videos.
One of the most innovative features of Yahoo Music Video is the “Dedicate Video” feature. You can send a dedicated video to someone special by selecting them from your friends list. This is a really great way to hide the “Invite your Friends” feature – not only good marketing but also a little romantic 🙂
The growth in the Facebook music application space has been enormous. Just last week there were 60 music applications, and this week there are over 100. Many of the major music sites are still MIA from Facebook, or struggling to create a unique experience inside the Facebook environment. We’re expecting to see many more music apps coming soon…things can only get better for music lovers!