0.0 star rating

MySpace Music Review

Pros: Unlimited free music; Unlimited playlist creation; Amazon MP3 integration;
Cons: Cant search for songs using pop-out media player; Cant share songs;
The Verdict: The revamped MySpace Music joins forces with Amazon MP3, music labels, and pop-culture icons to create a serviceable but flawed mash-up of a music store and social networking site.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

Music has always been a major element of the MySpace experience, but the social networking site’s revamped MySpace Music makes finding and listening to music easier than ever before. Thanks to a partnership with EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, music fans can listen to an unlimited supply of ad-supported streaming music, and have the option of purchasing a digital copy from Amazon MP3. The combination is admirable, but ultimately it’s a half-baked music experience that won’t appeal to anyone other than MySpace diehards.

Article Continued Below

Account Setup and Design

While anyone can visit the MySpace Music site, creating playlists and buying music requires signing up for a traditional MySpace account. We were prompted to add a photo and friends (by importing contacts from our webmail’s address book), but were able to skip those steps. After completing the setup, we arrived on our profile page and clicked the MySpace Music banner on the right side.

The core of the new MySpace Music is the My Music Page, where you can create and edit playlists. It’s a surprisingly clean layout—a big improvement over MySpace’s cluttered user-profile pages—that contained several sections including Featured Playlist, Featured Videos, and Exclusives (a mix of interviews and multimedia content). You can create a main Profile Playlist that is featured on your page (which can consist of up to ten tracks) and an unlimited number of others that you can use personally. As of this writing, there was no way to share playlists, an odd omission for a social networking site. MySpace, however, says the site is an “iterative process, and will be rolling out new products and services over the next months.”

Music Discovery

Finding songs to add to playlists is as simple as typing in an artist name, album, or song title. Once you find the song, you can even click the play button to listen to it before adding it to your mix.

The Featured Playlist feature let us listen to a number of celebrity playlists from the likes of Ludacris, Jessica Simpson, Queen, and others, but unless you’re a celeb chaser it’s a frivolous feature. Featured Videos let us check out video clips (we watched Beck’s “Gamma Ray”) and e-mail the video link or embed it into a Web site. And the Exclusive Content feature allowed us to read an exclusive interview with Ben Folds Five and check out the band’s tour photos.

All in all, MySpace Music doesn’t offer much in term of music discovery, as there isn’t a way to find related artists or in-depth reviews. Clicking on artists’ names takes you to their MySpace pages, which aren’t nearly as streamlined as the default MySpace Music page.

Pop-Out Media Player and Audio Quality

The revamped media player pops out from the site, so you can enjoy tunes while browsing other pages or working on a project. Unfortunately, we couldn’t search for artists or songs from this window; it was only possible through the actual MySpace site. Audio quality was good: When we streamed The Dirtbombs’ “Ever Lovin’ Man,” it was loud and crisp, and on a par with music streamed from Slacker. Occasionally, a track wouldn’t begin when we pressed play, but that didn’t happen very often.

Although one expects visual ads when using a free service, the ones that we were subjected to didn’t mesh well with the site and, frankly, were a bit obnoxious. The ads on the MySpace Music page itself were for dating sites, car insurance companies, and other miscellaneous promotions, which also appeared within the pop-out media player. If the ads were strictly for music-related products, we wouldn’t have minded their presence as much.

The Amazon Connection

MySpace has partnered with Amazon MP3 to let users purchase DRM-free tracks, which typically cost 89 or 99 cents (prices vary). In the music player, we clicked the Buy button located next to the song (which could only be done from the pop-out player or profile playlist, but not with songs returned via the search engine), and we were prompted to log into our Amazon.com account. Take note that downloading tracks from Amazon MP3 requires users to install downloader software (compatible with Mac OS X and Windows). You can also purchase full albums by clicking the Buy Album button when applicable, and a partnership with Jamster also lets you buy ringtones for $2.99 each.

Verdict

MySpace Music does a respectable job of integrating an unlimited supply of free tunes and giving you the option to purchase them, but other than allowing you to post playlists on your page, it doesn’t offer anything over Internet radio stations such as Slacker; in fact, it offers less. With Slacker, you get a far broader music-discovery experience through album reviews, artist bios, and links to related artists. One of the most head-scratching omissions in MySpace Music is the lack of playlist sharing, which should be a staple of any social networking site. If you’re a MySpace addict, this is a decent offering; otherwise, you can find a superior experience with Slacker.

Tags: MySpace Music, Web Apps, Software, reviews

Technical Specifications
MySpace Music
http://music.myspace.com


Software TypeWeb App
PlatformsLinux; Mac; Windows; iPhone
FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE