Every so often, I take it upon myself (pretension alert!) to look around the audioblogosphere (try saying that 10 times quick) and offer some general comments. Here’s my latest installment:
1. ZShare = ?
One of my pet peeves in the past are sites that rely on rapidshare or yousendit or similar free services to transfer single songs (albums are a different story) mostly because it forces the reader to download the song without being able to listen to it first. What I like about ZShare is how you can listen to whatever it is you’re about to DL before you DL it, thus coming to the conclusion, “hey, maybe I don’t actually want to DL this?”
For any site that doesn’t have the bandwidth to self-host, I haven’t seen a better alternative than ZShare yet. I’m open to suggestions however.
2. Album blog insanity
I mean this in a good way (mostly). I’ve probably commented on this in the past, but while I’d never go album-based for Soul-Sides.com (too time consuming, too much potential liability), I fully appreciate the appeal of them, especially when it comes to out-of-print material accompanied by actual context for why you should care to begin with.
I will say this much – and this is a larger philosophical point pertaining to cultural content and the internet in general: it is mind-blowing how much stuff is archived online now. No offense to the heydey of Napster but even that once mighty institution is starting to pale next to the simplicity of Technorati or Blogsearch to find practically any song/album you might reasonably imagine. I know the recording industry is crapping bricks over this (and to a large degree, I can understand why) but for music fans, it’s an amazing time to get listen and learn to decades worth of amazing music.
In any case, if you find this all overwhelming too, blame/praise folks like these:
- •Loronix. Hands-down, in terms of volume and consistency, the best album blog I’ve seen out there. If you’re not a fan of Brazilian music and especially bossa nova after a few hours perusing the site, there’s no hope for you. (Nitpick: They need better looking t-shirts. Just saying).
•Wake Your Daughter Up. They don’t boast the volume that other hip-hop album sites do but in terms of the depth of writing that accompanies every post, I just appreciate the thought that goes into them. Quality over quantity, you know?
•The Smoking Section. Part album/song-blog for new releases, part online rap magazine. These dudes hustle harder than most bloggers I know put together. Especially as other bloggers have made the transition into more professional work (see Nahright’s Eshkay power move to XXLMag.com), I foresee Screw and Gotty being next to blow.
3. Where else to tune? For those of us still based around song-sites (so old school), here’s two of my favorites plus a new spot:
- •Office Naps. Yeah, I know, we partner with DJ Danny so I’m biased but f— it. This is what I wish most audioblogs were like: great songs, great content, nice clean design. (You need to fix your RSS feed though!). As far as I’m concerned, I’ve yet to see a song-based blog that’s got the overall package as nicely bundled as Office Naps. Look and learn.
•Captain’s Crates. No fading the Captain either – just a great site with exceptional taste. Many of the songs he puts up earn their way onto my want list (much to the detriment of my pocketbook). Plus a radio show archive to boot? We’re not worthy.
•Press Rewind If I Haven’t Blown Your Mind. I love the basic conceit of this relatively new blog: not just song MP3s but magazine scans that accompany them. It’s a great resource for not just music but also rap journalism.