I’ve spent countless hours digging around the All Music Guide for years now, but it was always frustrating to have to jump over to some music store like CDNOW (long gone) or Amazon to listen to clips, if you were lucky. Mp3.com for a long time was a revolutionary way to get your music out to people (and in typical dot-com bubble-bursting fashion they would pay you and send you cheap branded merch like duffle bags for free) and I’m glad to see the new owners (CNET) have done something good with it. Mp3.com is now the cream of the All Music Guide (bios, reviews, cross referencing and genres) with music clips of almost everything. They’ve struck referral deals with the pay-per-download services to get all these clips (30-sec WMA) and they start streaming pretty quickly on DSL.
Tonight I just dug around in their Freakbeat section and came across this gem of maximum R&B: Reflections by Les Fleur de Lys. They even started pulling off pure pop ala Todd Rundgren (listen to “Brick by Brick”).
Update! 7/13 Apparently the All Music Guide is undergoing a redesign and the new design is a disaster in every browser but IE/windows. The old design was ugly, but at least somewhat usable and, with so much great content, the web design community really gave them a free pass, but to build a clunky IE-only, Windows-only site in 2004 is unforgivable. Mp3.com’s UI is so much nicer that I can’t see going back to AMG for much anymore.