Tech: Peel and Finetune

I’m adding to my category list here so that I can more easily keep track of innovations out there that might have an impact on either the creation or dissimenation of music.

Two new tech tools that fall into the dissemenation category have recently caught my eye.

The first, Peel, is a real dream come true for me. It’s sort of like iTunes but for music blogs.

My problem with music blogs is that in order to try out a song you often have to download, which – legal issues aside for the moment – can be a pain as it gunks up your hard drive with files that you may not want, or files you forgot you downloaded, etc.

Enter Peel. All you do is add the url for the mp3 blog of your choice, and Peel does the rest. It grabs the mp3 in some type of RSS gesture, and allows you to stream them right from the interface and/or download them right to iTunes. It’s a fantastic way to keep up with new music without filling your hard drive with songs you never listen to.

Another new tool that I’ve recently been enjoying is called Finetune. It’s similar to Pandora, and in that it’s another social music site. What makes it different is that it really forces you to drill deep to create a profile. By that I mean, that you create “playlists” that must have a minimum of 45 songs in them, all culled from their tremendously comprehensive library. Once you do this, not only have you created a cool collection of songs for you and others to listen to, but you’ve also given the site a ton of information from which to refine future suggestions, etc.

Half the fun of Finetune is building these playlists, as their preferences engines are pretty good, and point you to logical, yet sometime surprising things. I find it generally deeper than either Pandora or

You can check out my inagural playlist here.

Both of these services point to the importance of musician’s actually getting their music out there. In the parlance of Malcolm Gladwell, bloggers are “mavens,” and services like Peel, Finetune, and others have the ability to be “connectors.” This is two-thirds of the equation when it comes to the necessary elements to start your music towards tipping. Leverage them!


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