Mar 3, 2007

MP3 Blogs: Get Peel!

I am a late comer to the whole MP3 Blog thing - basic concept is simple, though I don't understand how they get around copyright laws (i'm guessing that they don't): people who are really into music post up entries on music - reviews, reminiscences, whatever, and alongside the cover art, some random picture, and the occasional YouTube link for the obscure video, they actually post up MP3s.

Well, that's cool. So I'd started checking out a few blogs, and even through I use the syndication feature in Safari (Mac-only browser) that tells me when there are new posts, it was still a real pain to go to the site, download the song, figure out whether I want to keep it without having it get imported into iTunes, and then deal with the duplicate (because iTunes copies imported MP3s to file them away when you let it do the organizing for you).

Well, no longer. All music lovers + mac users, listen up! There's a tiny program that some beautiful people created called Peel that's awesome. It's basically an MP3 blog aggregator with a clean interface that goes online for you, checks out the blogs that you have identified as worthy, tells you if there are new tracks up, and gives you awesome control.

There are two tabs in the iTunes-like main window. One is Playlist - basically links all the tracks that have been on that blog in the last x days. It does not download the songs unless you set it that way. So you can just stream the music to hear it, and flip around to see what you like. Find something you dig? Just hit "download" and Peel brings it from the site. With back-end iTunes integration, if you just set up a couple of things (like having the files download into your iTunes music folder where all the artist folders are when iTunes is organizing your music), and you have iTunes organize imported music, the track will go into your library, get filed away nicely, and show up on a new Peel playlist.

The other tab is called "Web" and lets you read the text entry on the blog! It's like a mini browser in your music listening software - and sans the ability to hit links, will give you the context for the tunes you've been able to get your grubby hands on. I'm so hooked. It's the best of all worlds, cuts down my already ballooning site surfing, and gives me access to niche sites (I have 2 excellent metal sites for now, and deep soul cuts at Soul-Sides) as well as pretty eclectic stuff (looking for jazz now). The UI is clean, and updated regularly.

So Get Peel while it's still free! And if you're a peecee user, well, maybe you can find something similar with iTunes integration. I guess.

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