August 08, 2006
Music Blog Aggregators & MP3 Search Engines
Posted by Gordon Smith

Fred Wilson is hyping The Hype Machine: "It just proves that aggregating music blogs (letting the people create a music service) is better than trying to work with the record labels to create one."

Fred convinced me to take a look. I searched "Garfunkel" and found a short list of songs by my favorite singing duo, and Hype Machine streams all of them to my computer seamlessly!


You can get much longer playlists by searching "Beatles" or "U2" or any recent flavor of the month. For example, here is the playlist for Nelly Furtado:


You can't download the tracks from The Hype Machine, but with a site that is this easy to use, that will be only a minor annoyance for most users. Plus, if you really want a track, just go to the blog where it was originally posted.

Oh, perhaps you are worried about copyright? No worries. From The Hype Machine:

The Hype Machine supports and respects the artists, writers, editors and producers who create original content available on the web.

The Hype Machine site users are encouraged to enjoy legitimate downloadable media and support artists by purchasing music after sampling it online. We provide full acknowledgement of the source and author for all audio that provides it - and we recommend that blog publishers include appropriate metadata when making audio available on the web. We also provide links to purchase music from, iTunes Music Store and the eMusic digital music store, where possible.

Additionally, authors of all postings that we index are clearly identified whenever they appear on the Hype Machine website or in the search results. All such mentions have a link to more information about the specific blog and a link directly to where the post appears on the Internet.

As a search/indexing engine, we enable users to find all sorts of audio. We can't be responsible for what people post on their blogs, and we can't be responsible for what you do with it when you find it.

The search/indexing interface contains links to other weblogs/websites. The Hype Machine neither controls nor endorses these web sites, nor reviews or approves any content appearing on them. The Hype Machine does not assume any responsibility or liability for any materials available at these web sites, or for the completeness, availability, accuracy, legality or decency of these sites.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the "DMCA") provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the Internet infringes their rights under U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that materials we link to infringe your copyright, you (or your agent) can contact us requesting that we remove the links to the material.

Ok, my "no worries" comment obviously was tic. As far as I can tell, the Recording Industry Association of America has not launched an offensive against The Hype Machine,, G2P, and other sites that link to copyrighted music, but that can't be far away. Last month a Dutch court shut down (more here), which seemed to offer a similar service. The underlying legal rules are different, but the common theme is that the sites are linking to infringing materials.

The DCMA provides some safe harbors for linking by service providers, but those safe harbors require that the service providers not have actual or constructive knowledge of copyright infringement. Could The Hype Machine make that argument with a straight face? I would be interested to hear from the copyright gurus on this issue.

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