Myspace: good, bad, ugly

The Myspace phenomenon continues, with a staggering 66 million people in ‘my network’ – and apparently, a quarter of a million new members a day. I’ve taken a bit of time to find my way around it, and I’m actually amazed by the depth of the music coverage. Yes, you’ve got profiles for the Arctic Monkeys and James Blunt. But you’ve also got grown-up acts like Coldplay, Gorillaz and the Flaming Lips. Oh, and the likes of Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash. It’s almost at the stage where any musical act you can think of has a representation, and a taster of their music. Myspace as the musical Wikipedia, anyone?
The design (or lack thereof) is still doing my head in. No getting away from it; it’s an ugly site, with a criminal lack of easy customisation options. It seriously needs some Ajax magic dust sprinkling over it. It’s hard to believe there’s not a single RSS feed in there. And if they think the kids won’t find a way to turn the streamed audio into MP3s, they’re kidding themselves.
But it works. And it works because it’s a repository for the stuff you want to know about bands. A bit of (high quality) audio, release news, tour dates. And a chance to get your name up there alongside theirs. News International is probably right; it does have the potential to be ‘iTunes 2.0’.

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