Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: Yahoo!, Microsoft, Singingfish

BETA MUSIC: Both Yahoo! and Microsoft have launched online Beta trials of community services that have various music ramifications.

Yahoo! is currently testing its social networking/blogging service called Yahoo 360 via with invite-only Beta testers for now, but will broaden the trial on March 29. The Yahoo 360 service adds blogging capabilities to such existing services as instant messaging and photo sharing. This means Yahoo’s LaunchCast listeners can use the service to recommend their favorite stations or artists, providing links to each.

Meanwhile Microsoft quietly introduced an online community site for electronica fans called crossfader.com. Although in Beta form, the site is publicly accessible now with music and artist information posted.

The site features different listening rooms for various electronics genres such as house, techno, drum & bass, etc. where posters can either upload free tracks to sample or provide links to other destinations.

Artists such as DJ Spooky and Tony Touch have featured sections as well. It looks like Microsoft plans to rotate in a new featured artist on a regular basis. Additionally, crossfader.com features links to both hardware and software products that electronica fans can use to create their own beats.

SPRITELY ... OR NOT: Microsoft seems to be all about the beat these days, also teaming with Sprint to launch a new online hip-hop music and “branded entertainment experience” aimed at teens called The Scenario (http://music.msn.com/thescenario). The site features various hip-hop artists like the Game, Kanye West, etc., listed as the playlist of Sprite’s miniature animated spokesperson Miles Thirst.

Miles Thirst recommends new music from the various DJs, and the site also features a branded Internet radio stream called Thirst Radio.

For those who like their music discover free of corporate identities, Singingfish.com is an audio and video search engine that guides users to all manner of free media available on the Internet. The service indexes several audio formats, including WMA, Real, Quicktime and MP3.

User simply enter a keyword search term and select the appropriate filters, such as MP3’s only. Results can be actual tracks from the artist or remixes/mashups created by others.

Searches can be saved for future listening or e-mailed to others. The site also features a list of most popular searches, top recent searches and staff favorites. For those looking for a quick, no-hassle fix, a search button called “I’m Bored” on the front page will lead to whichever random track is cued up at that moment. Each click provides a different result.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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