Edge

The Hype Machine keeps music fans “in the know”

By Ben Wexler//Contributing Writer

Have trouble finding new music? Ever wonder when your favorite band is coming to town? If the answer is yes to either question, you should check out The Hype Machine.

When sophomore Danny DeOliveira recently heard about The Hype Machine, he was in awe.

“Lately I’ve been hunting the Internet for music, and this will make my life that much more easier,” DeOliveira said. “I might become addicted.”

Started in 2005 by New Yorker Anthony Volodkin during his sophomore year of college, The Hype Machine is a website (Hypem.com) that aggregates select music blogs and posts songs from the blogs onto its own Web site. Each song posted has a link to the original blog, where you can often download the song for free.

The site’s homepage lists the latest songs that have been uploaded. Another section has the most popular songs on the site from the last three days, which gives everyone the opportunity to be exposed to new artists.

There is also a search feature, which enables you to look for songs from your favorite artist. The diversity of music on the website is remarkable. You can search for musicians ranging from Bob Dylan and Daft Punk to Jay-Z. Local concert schedules are also listed for each artist.

Critics contend that the site is just used to download music without having to pay for it. However, users do have the option to purchase music from Amazon or iTunes through Hypem.com, which supports both The Hype Machine and the artist.

While electronica artist Boys Noize, who also operates his own label, doesn’t think it’s The Hype Machine’s fault for pointing music fans to blogs where they can download songs for free, he has had to request to have his songs taken down on numerous occasions.

“[I think] blogs and mp3s are cool,” Boys Noize wrote in an e-mail interview with The Miami Hurricane. “It‘s not cool to post a track in super quality months or weeks before the official release… If it continues like this I’m not sure how long my label, BNR, can survive.”

Mashup artist E-603 sees it differently though.

“[Artists] can possibly get helped substantially by The Hype Machine whether they agree or not,”  E-603 wrote in an e-mail. “The website helps smaller independent artists like myself make a splash in the popular music world.”

September 30, 2009

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Ben Wexler


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