Licensing music for an on-demand streaming music service can be expensive, so companies like the new Eyeball.fm are finding creative workarounds that allow them to operate a digital music service without the same functionalities as their more expensive counterparts.

Eyeball.fm is a hybrid service on several levels. It’s one part customized Internet radio station, one part online music locker, and one part social networking service. Users can enter in the name of a song or artist, and the service’s music engine will create a playlist to match as a sort of personalized Internet radio stream, relying on compulsory webcasting rates to provide music.

It also allows users to upload their iTunes library to their account, and then stream those songs on-demand from any Internet connected device. And the social networking elements let users look into the libraries of friends to see what they’re listening to.

The service’s catchphrase “music you can watch” refers to the content it adds to all streaming music—such as displaying album art, lyrics and artist information.

Currently in Beta, the service is free with no ads, and is available globally.

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