The Web's most intriguing music-related destinations. This week: Soundgenerator, MP4.com and World Music Webcast.
EXPANDING SOUND: U.K. independent music hub Soundgenerator.com has expanded its offerings to include an online record store -- run through a collaboration with HMV.co.uk -- and a section dedicated to jobs and careers in the music industry. The site aims to be a one-stop destination for music fans in the U.K. and elsewhere, with features including music news, a Brit-centric retail-store locator, live music listings and artist features.
The site's newly enhanced "Industry" section features searchable databases of information about labels, recording studios, the touring industry, retailers and more. Available industry jobs are posted by category, alongside profiles of various music-industry workers. An "Education" section hosts wire news, composer biographies and information about music-education facilities.
And of course the site has interviews, features, charts and message boards, plus an extensive "Artists" section which devotes pages to artists across all genres, with discographies, tour dates and streaming media. The site prides itself on the extensive message-board community, with devoted boards to topics such as music gear for sale, music students, unsigned bands and individual artists.
THE FOURTH DIMENSION: "For those who like to watch," MP4.com features hundreds of music videos alongside its other various types of digital video clips. In addition to hosting popular videos by artists such as 50 Cent, Mya, Madonna and Faith Hill, the site has a program called "Show It" which allows users to upload video clips of their own (or videos they are licensed to distribute) for a subscription fee. This provides for broad diversity among the site's videos. Its current database numbers about 350 music videos in 18 genres, including self-uploaded material by bands such as the Duo-tones and 3rd Degree. In between are videos by acts on independent labels, whose material rarely gets exposure on national music-TV channels -- including the likes of Bright Eyes, the Residents, Beulah and Polara.
ALL AROUND THE WORLD: World Music Webcast (WMW) is a continuous streaming channel dedicated to folk and ethnic-based music from across the globe, run by the San Diego-based non-profit educational organization World Music Radio Society. Launched in 1999, the site features live-hosted programs produced in the station's own studio, with a number of weekly specialty shows.
While the site does offer its stream for free, the WMW encourages listeners to become members, with membership fees helping keep the Society afloat.