Talking Tech Friday – Blip.fm

I realized that I haven’t reviewed very  many music sites so this week I bring you Blip.fm!

What is it?

Blip.fm is a microblogging site for music.  Similar to Twitter, the big concept driving Blip.fm is “What are you listening to right now?”  Blip.fm can integrate with Twitter, Friendfeed, and Last.fm, among other sites.

How does it work?

You create an account by choosing a “DJ name” and entering an email address.  After that, you can choose to integrate Blip.fm with the other sites listed above, or look for friends that are already using Blip.

To start listening to music, you enter in 3 songs or artists and Blip will search for other “DJs” who have similar tastes.  I was feeling a little eclectic, so I’m not going to share what I listed as my favorites.  Blip then matches up 30 other people based on the songs or artists you’ve listed.  This automatically populates your homepage with a list of the latest blips from those 30 people.  It resembles going to your Twitter page after you’ve been using it for a month – there’s a nice list of songs there for your listening pleasure.  You can add and delete DJs whenever you like.  It’ll automatically start playing songs on your homepage, with an attractive bar at the bottom of the screen with music controls and listing which song is currently playing.

You can listen to music a variety of ways – first, you can “blip” your own song.  Each DJ “blips” by typing a song’s title and artist in the search box. Blip then searches for the song, and you choose which you’d like to blip, along with a short comment (up to 150 characters) if you like.  Once blipped, you can start listening to that song.

Secondly, you can just listen to the blips listed by the DJs you follow, either the ones automatically generated for you, or by creating your own list of DJs (if you added your friends and such).

Finally, you can go to the Blip.fm Public page, which lists what everyone is blipping, and just click on songs you’d like to hear.

You can “reblip” a song someone else has posted to your own blip feed, or add any song to your playlist, a saved list of any blip you’d like to keep.

Each blip also has a link to purchase the mp3 – I clicked on a song and it took me to Amazon’s MP3 store, which was just fine with me.

There’s a way to add “props” to DJs that you like – I admit that this escapes me somewhat, but I believe it’s like Technorati’s authority ranking – the more props, the more authority that DJ has.  Of the 30 DJs that were automatically assigned to me, most had more than 500 props.  I doubt I would ever reach that level of authority with my bizarre, yet standard listening tastes.

One thing that is quite annoying is that you can’t explore the site and keep listening to a song – each click navigates away from the music stream, so you can’t hunt for DJs while still listening to a song.  I’m sure this is a difficult thing to program, but it means I don’t want to waste my prime listening time checking out other people’s blips, or I have to remember to open links in another tab.

Blip.fm also recently opened up their API to private beta, so eventually there will probably be widgets available.

Possible Library Uses

Something fun to keep the staff sane while working in quiet cubicles.  A possible use would be to highlight new music acquisitions –  you could blip a song from a cd held by the library, commenting that it’s available in the library, and have it post to your library Twitter feed or webpage.

Again, I probably won’t leave Pandora for this, but it’s a nice idea.  Have any of you used Blip.fm?  What do you think?

Reviews:

Advertisements

~ by Anali on February 20, 2009.

 
%d bloggers like this: