Western culture tells us numbers ending in zeros are milestones, or something. 500 REVIEWS.
In just about a month, MusicGrid.me has gone from a hopeful concept to a legitimate source of discussion and reference for new music- thanks to you. This week, we’re celebrating our 500th review by giving away $50 in music money to the reviewer, Ricky Cash, who raved about Brian McKnight’s “Just Me”. Cheers, Ricky! Get at us for your prize. Thanks to all of you for taking part and giving us feedback; we’ve got more good stuff in the works. As soon as is possible, we’ll give you an exclusivetaste of what’s to come before a public launch.
We’ve been working on solutions for a while now in hopes of speeding things up on the site, and we seem to be getting there [geekspeak]thanks to some advanced API caching and CDN integration[/geekspeak]. Unfortunately (fortunately?), fast is never fast enough, so speed will always be on our minds as we integrate new features and optimize the way things work- but we think cutting loading times down by 60-70% is a good place to start. We’re here to see U Smile, but 800% slower than usual doesn’t always work out so well.
Spotify is now a click away.
Since we’re all about music, it’s pretty safe to assume that most of you have heard of Spotify and their launch in the US. We dig their service and realized immediately that there’d be plenty of crossover between MusicGrid.me users and early Spotify adopters, so we built in a Spotify link just under the iTunes album widget on every album page. Now, Spotify’s library isn’t quite as comprehensive as iTunes just yet, but most albums will be there for you to stream. Immediately. Fo’ free.
Stay tuned. We’ve got more sweet features coming your way.
This Week’s FAQ(s)
You just fell in love with an album. We’re happy for you both! Sadly, on the day you realize you can sing all the songs backwards in Aramaic, you’ll know it’s time to find something else to fill the time between listens. We have a few ways of helping in addition to your friends’ recommendations: genres and related artists. On each album page, you’ll see both of these linked up! Under the artist name, you’ll see click-able Genre Tags, which take you to a Grid full of albums filed under that genre. For instance, you found yourself loving Adele’s “21” and want to find more similar albums to jam. Simply clicking ‘Soul’ in the genre tags takes you to a near-biography of influential soul artists. We’ll admit, some of the Genre Tags are strange, and that’s thanks to pulling them from Last.fm and the way others organize their tunes.
Also, the Related Artists section of the sidebar links to, well, artists that are considered to be related. It’s a bit more reliable in terms of utility, but it also favors artists from the same era as the album you’re already rocking.
We're Giving Stuff Away Again (and Other Important News)
We’re giving away $50 in music money. Again.
As of Friday morning, we have 405 album reviews on the site (isn’t that awesome?). We’ve got $50 in either iTunes or Amazon gift cards, and we’re going to give it away to the author of the 500th review. The winner gets to pick between the two aforementioned MP3 stores. That’s all there is to it. Keep rating the music you listen to, contribute to a growing community, and possibly win free music. We’ll notify the winner when it happens! OK? Go!
Oh, and the previous winners, Kyle and Max, are unfortunately not eligible to win this go-round. You dudes rocked it the first time, but we want it to feel like the first time for all the folks who have joined up since then.
Love us already? You can help.
MusicGrid.me is (intended to be) a gift to the world. No, really. You’re a part of a genuine attempt to make the world of social music discussion a much better place, and you’re doin’ it well. What we do want to do, though, is make sure the funds exist to support the traffic we’re getting. Thanks to hundreds of new users, a big traffic surge could cause us to go down temporarily, and we don’t want that at all. So, the ‘Buy This Album’ links on each albums page, along with the new ‘Give It a Listen’ widget, are ‘affiliate links’ where we get a very small ‘kick back’ for referring your purchase.
The bottom line is this: next time you’re going to purchase an album, would you mind finding the album on MusicGrid.me and clicking the link to buy? We have Amazon and iTunes already set up, and we’ll be adding 7Digital to the mix shortly. It’s an easy, easy way to show your support and help alleviate the price of existence. We’ll eventually set up some other ways to keep ourselves funded, but we’ll always be free to use. Always.
This Week’s FAQ(s)
Since we found out that what we all know would eventually happen actually is (digital music reviving album sales), it’s a little easier to be pumped about great MP3 deals. The 100 Albums for $5 page on Amazon is a great place to go- especially right now. They have new Fleet Foxes (a great album) alongside classics like Van Halen’s 1984 and the Them Crooked Vultures album. Go get some tuneage on the cheap, lest you pay too much later and let everybody know that you’re insane. Not really.
Building a collection of music too large for your storage device of choice? We recommend Audiogalaxy, iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive, and Google Music (invite needed) in that order. They’re all good in their different ways. Audiogalaxy is the free-est, and iCloud will eventually legitimize all that music you downloaded from Napster.