A true newcomer to the Music 2.0 scene, Uvumi just launched in October of 2009, and it appears to be quite promising for artists, fans, and the entire community. However, Uvumi doesn't have quite the feature set that other websites offer, though it is leaps and bounds beyond MySpace Music or any of the major label commercial media giants running sites out there (example: OurStage).
The good: Dedicated to artists and fans, and to the community as a whole, Uvumi provides a truly seamless listening experience, one which is rivaled only by TheSixtyOne. You really can browse the site while you listen to music without any interruption and without any annoying popup windows, and you really do have total control over what you listen to and how you listen to it. You can create playlists and bookmark songs, and the daily popularity charts are a great way to discover new music. Song genres are determined by tags that listeners define for each song, so instead of just one person, or the artist, deciding which genre each song is, it is based on what the entire community thinks, which is an interesting and different way of approaching the situation. Also, playlist creation and management is super easy, and really cool, as they don't seem to enforce any limits on how many songs or playlists you create.
Best of all, at least for artists, Uvumi has a tool called Uvumi Press Kits. It lets artists create very nice PDF press kits that they can use like a standard EPK or they can print them out and hand deliver them, old school style, to venues, radio stations, and other contacts. And, incredibly, the press kits have no branding at all, which I actually think is quite amazing. If you have ever seen a sonicbids EPK, then you should appreciate what it means to have no branding: artists can present their press kit as their own creation, without having to have some company's logo plastered all over it. This tool is unlike anything I have ever seen for press kit creation, and the fact that it's free is a really great value for indie artists.
The bad: Boring to look at. From a graphic design standpoint, there's not much going on there. But then again, this might be good because it brings more attention to artist content instead of flashy interface design. Another thing that is really lacking is proper music discovery tools. The charts are great, and if you make friends and become a fan of lots of other members, you'll get status updates about the songs those people like, playlists they create, etc. You can view other users' listening history, too, which is a nice way to explore, but it's not very easy to find and you really have to dig around to discover new stuff that might not be on the charts or in peoples' playlists.
All in all, this small project out of Austin, Texas, has a lot of potential, I will be keeping an eye on them to see what they do in the future.
|Our Stage >>|