All the recent foul-mouthed talk about the death of music criticism at the hands of a certain music blog aggregator proved one thing: The Hype Machine is a powerful tool that’s here to stay.
And as we could have guessed, it wasn’t long until some competition came along. Introducing the Great Hype’s newest opponent, muzic.com:
Muzic is creepily similar in design (especially) and function to the Hype Machine: it lists recently posted mp3s, which are searchable by artist or title. According to Eric Blanpied, one of Muzic’s founders, the primary difference between the sites is Muzic’s focus on bloggers. The site is built to drive traffic to the blogs, he said via e-mail. Unlike Hype Machine, which offers cached streams to users, songs don’t play on Muzic; clicking on “Get Song” takes you directly to the blog post containing the MP3 you were looking for. For those who simply want to listen to a track, this can be rather inconvenient. But for those rare, curious individuals who read the accompanying blog posts, it’s no different from Hype Machine.
Another key difference is that Muzic allows artists to create profiles and upload their own tracks for download. The Hype Machine doesn’t allow artists to upload music, said site founder Anthony Volodkin via e-mail, because that “would shortcut the value of highlighting the conversations we track on blogs, where bloggers cover music they are interested in.”
It seems unlikely Muzic will become the next destination for online music profiles (especially with sites like Soundcloud gaining traction), but “as a human alternative to math-driven exposure opportunities,” you might be hand-picked to be featured on Muzic’s main page, Blanpied said.
This could indeed be a refreshing change from seeing certain tracks shoot to the top of Hype’s front page based on what publicists are peddling—unless your tastes don’t happen to align with Muzic’s owners.
Both camps agree that the goal is helping individuals discover new music by empowering bloggers to spread the word about artists and songs they love, and both sites also cull the mp3s from a list of approved blogs——so if you have one, submit here and here.