by Bill Forman
MySpace's grim determination to make itself worse and worse is pretty amusing to watch — unless, of course, you're a musician.
Now in its eighth year, Rupert Murdoch's sad-sack alternative to Facebook and Twitter is still the most widely recognized way for artists to introduce their music to fans and promoters. But with pages that won't load and songs that won't play, MySpace has started making services like SoundCloud and even ReverbNation look good.
So what's a frustrated musician to do? One especially innovative new option is viinyl, a service that provides users with an ingenious platform for marketing and distributing their music. Currently in private beta — which basically means you have to fill out a form and wait a bit for them to send you an invite — it's a tool that enables artists to create their own online single ("1 Song. 1 Site. 1 URL.")
The interface is clean but eye-catching, which makes it the antithesis of MySpace. Instead of shuttling you back and forth between a bunch of crowded, slow-loading pages, viinyl's pop-up windows provide instant access to the artist's song, video, lyrics, press release and contact info, along with the ability to share via the social network of your choice. Suitably impressed visitors can then purchase the single in a half dozen digital formats, or maybe just offer the artist an opening gig at Red Rocks.
Personally, I think viinyl could be a pretty smart solution, although it remains to be seen whether it will catch on. In the meantime, you can go here to check it out for yourself.