Machine Shop: Hype Machine Team Blog

Missing a Concert is Becoming Even More Difficult

In addition to TourFilter, which I mentioned in the last post, Gabriel Benveniste is also hard at work trying to make sure we don’t miss upcoming shows.

His project is SonicLiving, a social event-tracking site with a few kickass features I was excited to see.

SonicLiving kills when it comes to adding bands you want to track. Gabriel must have known that many out there are lazy and created a way to import iTunes, Last.fm and Pandora artist lists into your user profile. In other words, if you use iTunes or these two music services you are quickly on your way to keeping track of bands. Awesome!

There is also a seamless way to check out what everyone else is tracking, using the popularity charts. I forgot to add Radiohead to my list, but the chart quickly reminded me with Radiohead coming out on top with 333+ subscribers. Gabriel must also know about this, as the Radiohead critter logo would now and then show up in the title bar of the site. Cute.

The calendar interface is packed with goodness and includes many features allowing you to subscribe and play with your shows – iCal, Yahoo & Google Calendar and etc.

There is, of course, more. Innovation makes me smile.

Have a look!

Never Miss a Show with TourFilter!

Getting notified about upcoming concerts is nothing new. Such services have been around for years at ticket vendor sites (TicketMaster, TicketWeb, etc) and sites devoted specifically to this task (Pollstar).

Except that they all sucked.

Listings from ticket vendors are incomplete – they list only their own shows. Pollstar charges for their notification service when you track more than 5 bands (generous!) and even features friendly pop-up ads that bypass Firefox’s default pop-up blocker.

This is why I was so happy to see TourFilter – a concert tracking service made with real music fans in mind.

TourFilter tracks a comprehensive list of venues in major cities (New York, Boston and London seem to be the most complete right now) and allows users to track bands, explore what others are tracking and get recommendations of live events. Just like everything else on the web these days, it’s a work in progress, but it kicks ass just the same.

Try it out!

A Podcast that’s Worth Your Time

I’ve never been able to listen to podcasts. Sure, the idea sounds great, but whenever I still listen to my iPod, I just want music. Not someone talking about music, yesterday’s politics or outdated technology news. All of that I can read when time is right. Add to this the fact that many podcasts out there are of questionable quality and it gets tough to find anything worthwhile.

Contrast Podcast is what I’ve found myself listening to in the recent weeks. It’s an interesting themed podcast created by music bloggers (most of them listed on the Hype Machine) – each participant contributes several minutes of audio, creating a flowing, focused podcast.

The most recent one focuses on instrumental tracks, but with a twist: the bloggers who submit their choice of tracks, have to sing the bit where they introduce the track. An older release gathers songs that the participants enjoyed when they were 16.

See (or listen) for yourself: http://www.timyoung.net/contrast/

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