New Media to Look Out for in 2009


via NY Times

For many people, the end of the year brings a spate of New Year’s resolutions. Generally, those resolutions revolve around breaking bad habits – which isn’t so easy. So how about we give you an easy one to check off the list? Your newest resolution can be to “try new things.” And here are three new music services – one radio, one mixtape, and one single track – where you can start fulfilling that resolution, already.

One Llama is a new take on the online radio station – but with a twist. Unlike purely user-driven selection, One Llama throws “collaborative filtering” and “audio similarity” into the mix. Designed by scientists from National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), this technology has lofty goals to “anticipate and predict what’s most unpredictable — human behavior and sensibility.” Will it work? It’s still too early to say. There aren’t a ton of folks using the service, currently, so the streaming quality is good. The music selection is interesting, with a wide variety of genres. It’s worth a try.

Audiolizer offers a library of musical selections for creating playlists – the mixtape concept we all know and love. It’s rather limited at this point, but it shows promise. Currently, you have to know the artists or songs you’re seeking, but Audiolizer has a discovery option in the works. And there doesn’t yet appear to be a way to save and share your mixtapes with friends – aside from walking over and setting up a playlist on their machines. While there is no information on where the tracks originate, the selection is extremely broad. I searched on a number of random artists and was able to find a bunch of music from each one. But your tastes may be more eclectic than mine, so give it a shot.

Fizy is a track-by-track search service. No playlists. No downloads. Just searching for and playing individual tracks you’re seeking. So why try it? There are two big benefits to Fizy. First, it’s database of music is huge. They’re claiming over 75 billion mp3s indexed. Diving through the Fizy music selection made me nostalgic for the good old days of Napster when I could find practically any song I wanted to find. Second, it’s international. Fizy supports at least 26 languages and is designed to be accessible to as many people as possible. As an added bonus, Fizy will also serve up a video of the track, if it’s available. In fact, during my testing, I found the video selection to be a more comprehensive and more accessible than the US-centric MTVmusic.

If you’re in the mood to test some very early services – or if you’re just looking to find that random track you’ve been seeking – these three are definitely worth trying.

Here’s hoping that satisfying all of your New Year’s resolutions will be as easy as this one.

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