LOL DOUBLE DROPS!
_archive for the ‘Music’ category
I’ve noticed noticed an um…interesting trend lately in musicians’ websites - is it just me or are they starting to look more and more like myspace pages? To investigate, I went to the Billboard Hot 100 Chart to see what kind of websites the top artists had. And sure enough, 4 out of the top 10 definitely exhibited at least some of the traits I’ve noticed: a long scrolling page with an image in the background, and lots of type, images, videos, sounds, animation, links, and anything else you can imagine - all right there on the homepage for our viewing pleasure!
These sites all belong to artists in the Billboard’s top 10:
(I did also discover one top 10 artist site that I really enjoy and doesn’t follow the trend—props to Jason Mraz for being original and having a really cool site that looks absolutely nothing like a myspace page!)
I decided to research the phenomenon further, and noticed that the trend is mainly followed by pop, rap, and r&b artists—not so much by alternative or other generes. Take, for example, Lil Wayne, Pussycat Dolls, T-Pain, and Jay Z, and even my girl, Alicia Keys! Are you starting to see the similarities here?
One possible reason behind this trend is that many of them are incorporating the social networking aspect into their site. They’re allowing users to create profiles so that they can personalize their experiences on the sites—not a bad idea in itself. So I can understand where they’re getting the idea to mirror the popular social networking site, but they could definitely execute the concept differently. Come on - what happened to visual hierarchy and well-organized user interface? Not to mention a little originality! Some of these artists have great music - now they just need beautiful, user-friendly websites to match. Get in touch, people - fluidesign can help!
[sigh]…Back to the real world for me as I return from a long weekend in San Francisco at the Outside Lands music festival.
Of course, my main reason for the trip was the music – which was amazing, by the way (Radiohead, Wilco, Jack Johnson, Bon Iver…need I say more?) But as a designer, I can’t help but notice the visual aspects of my surroundings. There was certainly no shortage of visual stimuli at the festival to go along with the great music. So I thought I’d share some of my pictures here.
It’s a trend.
This is 85+ recorded covers of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”.
“Mapped in relation to the original recordings by the band. Although available information was limited, the graph is data rich in representing time since original recording, recording artist, release name/date and label…”
Music fans, do you like?
Jez Burrows says, “I transcribed the entire album and produced an exhaustive collection of diagrams and analysis, including: every word contained in the album in order of how many times it appears; references; grammatical structure; and the overall distribution of lyrics and ‘la’s.”
Something like this gives fans a visual summary of the artist and the album. More on how the visibility of music is changing here.
As the 2008 Summer Olympics kick off in Beijing and we prepare to be bombarded by media surrounding the events, art may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But of course, as with any major event, there is a need for promotional materials. As it turns out, there official artists selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee that are responsible for creating these materials. Meet Mark T. Smith, a talented artist who works in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. He was commissioned to create an image for the 2008 Olympics, along with a series of related posters and other promotional materials.
In his interview with Steven Heller, Smith tells us what it’s like to create art for the Olympics.
Let’s say you are listening to a song and you want to share it, you go to blip, and if you integrated last.fm, you’ll see that song already listed in the “What are you listening to?” field. Then all you have to do is “blip” (post) it with a comment.
Like twitter, you can direct the post at someone, and because they allow twitter integration, you can direct it at someone on twitter as well, and your blip gets posted there too. On blip, all your music posts gets organized into an ongoing playlist. And like muxtape, the interface is awesome, as you can use you arrow controls to navigate through the list. And again, like Twitter, people follow your ongoing playlist (feed) and can see your new blips on their homepage where all of their follow’s blips live into a combined playlist.
Here’s a screenshot:
Now check out this music industry predication graph by Enders Analysis:
My prediction is that if people start using blip, you’ll see a higher “listen-to-buy ratio” because 1) as a user, you’re getting very qualified music recommendations without having to do any active work, as your friend’s blips automatically are added to your home page 2) blip makes it really easy to buy; each song has a “buy” link to amazon.
This is different than lastfm.com where you have to literally, consciously, decide on which friend’s music to review, go to that page, read through what they have been listening to lately (not songs they especially like), and possibly listen to it. With imeem.com you have to do the same, but it’s a little better because you can check out their playlists, which is obviously songs they like. And with ilike.com, it’s pretty annoying because if a friend does send you a song they like, in most cases the full song is not available to listen to, and you come to a dead end because we’re all too busy to go to another music service, try to find the full song, and then maybe or maybe not buy it.
So here’s my tip to the music industry, specifically to record labels. Go create an account now, and promote it a bit, and have fans follow your feed of all of your musician’s new music. Then come back and tell us what your “listen-to-buy” ratio is compared to all the other music social networks. Seriously, as mentioned in a previous post, I’d really like to see the music industry start making money again.
This pretty song just feels like a weekend roadtrip with the windows down. Despite feeling like my head is incased in a jelly-like concrete substance (read: i am sick, ugh), this video makes me excited for the weekend, for the end of may (get out of here already spring!) and finally SUMMER.