Bliptastic: Blip.FM Social Radio

I try not to be too faddist. It helps that I am not a gamer. Every so often however, along comes a website which combines function with form in delightful way, and such is Blip.FM which in a nutshell is no more than community DJing. I haven’t found anything so immediate and addictive since Seesmic, the video conversation site, came along almost a year ago.

Its simplicity is very effective. Whilst in all other social networks I add my friends with some level of caution, on Blip I am happy to add DJ buddies purely on the basis of shared music likes. Leaving the page on autoplay, I am happy to let my friends and DJs play music for me all day long, and when I want to join in, I provide the same experience for them.

I don’t know quite how the music industry will respond to this – they don’t seem to have taken on board Seeqpod as yet which does a similar thing, scraping the web for MP3 files, millions of which are out there “in the wild” – but it treats the whole experience very differently because it has understood the crucial aspect of modernity which is that we are not alone. Like Last.FM it offers music streams easily shared and personalised according to taste, but unlike Last it offers a more genuinely live experience, with more in common with micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter. For me it beats Last.FM hands down on the basis of sheer ease of use.

You’d hope that labels and artists will see Blip.FM as a positive thing, as it unleashes a veritable army of amateur pundits and tastemakers.

Blip.FM also sensibly includes a “buy this” button prominently in its interface. This currently only searches Amazon, which is a bit useless, but the concept is sound. It works: in a few short days, I have had my ears opened and found many new artists via Blip, as well as been reminded of gaps in my own library which I have forked out cash to plug. There is an upload function (complete with cautionary copyright warning) which I have used to place free downloads from my MySpace music friends, CC-licensed podcasts and my own unreleased tracks in the Blip catalogue.

One word of warning: if you join, make sure you don’t let Blip.FM spam your friends with invites! There is an “uncheck all” option when you get to the “invite your friends” page which should prevent this happening.

If this takes off as I think it might, traditional music radio will soon be quaking in its boots. Of course, if I were running a station, I’d be uploading shows to Blip on a daily basis with a link to my internet stream in the accompanying text. As my friend and colleague Brian Greene says, radio is about to get social.

I’ve added the Blip widget to the right column of this blog.

4 Responses - Add Yours+

  1. topgold says:

    Can you–in the UK–actually buy tracks you play on Blip.fm?

  2. Krishna says:

    Blip.fm is possibly the most addictive social networking site I’ve joined in recent months.

    I also think that it gives me a little more of a connection to the other DJ’s as we are sharing something of our own likes and dislikes through the message we leave and the songs we choose.

    And I enjoy your station – thanks Dean!

  3. Dean Whitbread says:

    topgold – if they are on Amazon, yes.

    krishna – yes, truly, the micro-bloggers take to it very easily

  4. backlotops says:

    I blew Blip.fm off at first. Now I have that feeling I may have missed something. Is there a rewind button?

    I won't have a chance to play with this now. I do have it playing in the background. Is there a way to choose a style or genre. I occasionally used iTunes for it's radio from other countries. Arabic stations for instance had some interesting music. Rap/Hip Hop was one I'd return to after adding to favorites.

    I just posted a tune and see that you sent a welcome & what took so long … no excuse … I was late.

    okay going to reply on Blip and pick another tune to share.

    Talk to you soon.