No cause no surprise to say that the world is dominated by giants streaming like Spotify and Grooveshark, and already populated with Deezer satellites that are trying to cover neglected areas without permits countries to take advantage of these services. So, new players have the difficult task of offering something different and attract, and especially to maintain, to users who are unhappy with certain aspects of these larger services. Within this latter category is Earbits , a service launched earlier this year, in addition to streaming, also combines music recommendation tools and ranks as an ideal platform for independent artists who do not have the backing of a label and have few means of promotion.
Before I tell you what were our impressions of Earbits, let’s review a little operation and their numbers. Earbits is connected with more than 290 independent labels and has a catalog of 5500 artists that compared with other services can be something small, but it is still a work in niche market share. The service is based in the United States, which is something important for the future-currently totaling more investments are funded by Y Incubator – and more contracts with labels, and has a radio feature that is very interesting and would allow artists to generate their own revenue through advertising that is inserted into this radio. The recommendations by radio services abound, the most popular subscription radio from Last.fm, but in this case we have the benefit of knowing that we are supporting, in a sense, the artist.
To be closing this brief introduction and get us more fully into the world of Earbits, there are applications for Facebook and Google Chrome that allow us to get juice to the service, plus an Android application that allows us to hear directly from our mobile songs that found in service. Now, we analyzed this application.
One of the most important aspects that we have to take into account in the review of such a service is the interface. Why? Because it will be the way in which users navigate the site, and a streaming service that is fundamental. The application of Spotify is certainly the queen in this regard, with a catalog but excellently organized and classified. Grooveshark leaves much to be desired, but that we can also blame some users.
Earbits interface is pretty clean, do not know if by the relative scarcity of the catalog or because it is designed this way. The side navigation bar by genre might have a more attractive design, and the same can be said about the browser. But how important is it to work, obviously, and Earbits does. When we entered, on the central screen we find the main channels of the service, which basically are musical genres that we select for and start listening. The sidebar also allows us to explore other genres, and have a lower bar to bar Facebook sync, which could be supplemented with other details. One of the major plus is utterly devoid of advertising.
When selecting one of the genres we are redirected to a page where you start playing the Music of the bands. This is the most interesting part of Earbits, his “heart”, we might say, where the interface really shines. A full-screen photo of the artist is the main decoration, to see the faces of the performers, along with your name and the name of the song you’re listening to. We also have a social menu with buttons to the major networks, Facebook and Twitter, to share our discovery with our contacts.
But one of the most interesting aspects is the different bands information options to be found. Through a box located at the top right of the screen, we can subscribe to the mailing list of the artists, and also access a photo gallery and biography of the band. We have and how many discs you can leave your comments on our website, through our Facebook account.
If we return to the main page, here is where it gets a little weird. Sometimes the songs stop playing and start ringing other of which we have no information. Unless we do click on the link in the biography of the band, what’s playing on the main page is virtually inaccessible. This is one of the faults of the player on the main page. Therefore, it is much more pleasant to listen and discover music from the channels by genre.
We now turn briefly to the catalog. As we said, Earbits has more than five thousand artists in their catalog, many completely independent and more recognized as Arrested Development and Weezer. I am a music lover and I must admit I never knew or 90 percent of all the bands that I had on Earbits. Does not mean they were all good, but in this sense is an experience of discovery.
Within the list of genres can access special called Special Collections catalogs, which are cured by Earbits team members or independent labels with which they are associated. This presents itself as an excellent opportunity for very small labels philosophy-it-yourself do not have the budget to spend on marketing walk. Internet, today gives us more things.
The radio functionality allows artists to make their own investment in order to have more time Earbits Radio. The numbers that we have passed are not too surprising, but we must admit it is a great way for musicians and bands to showcase their work without making a big investment.
We talked in the interface section on musical navigation possibilities offered Earbits. Let’s delve a little deeper into this. Earbits The navigation is not as intuitive as it could be, but it is very simple. For early adopters may be ideal to add some tool tips for where to find things and how to return to the main menu. Clicking the logo bar Earbits player can do toggle between what we are hearing today and the home page with the different channels.
Earbits we liked almost as much as we think it has a lot to develop. This service has just started in January, so it has plenty of room to work. Therefore, we will make a list of pros and cons that have this service, to make it clear how we will find if we decide to use it.
- Free Service
- Great way to discover new music
- Free Advertising
- Books full of independent artists
- Profiles of bands with an interesting interface
- Ability to be a free promotional tool for bands
- Easy navigation between music channels
- Clean interface
- Sync with Facebook
- Difficulties navigation
- Playback Errors
- Little value added (you may find these same songs in Grooveshark)
- User profile underdeveloped
In short, we are left with more pros than cons, but these have the disadvantages that are important service. What may be needed is an improvement Earbits important in the interface. But, if we think, Grooveshark also has playback errors and horrible interface, and not a free advertising tool or free apps. Earbits can have a great future if he can build a good community of users passionate about music discovery, refuse to remain only with the recommendations of the pay-radio from Last.fm.Tags: Earbits, Music, streaming