By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Whenever a website takes off in a really big way, it’s inevitable that imitations will eventually start to pop up to try and ride on the back of that site’s success. I mean, look at eBay and the countless auction sites that popped up during the late 1990’s trying and subsequently failing to capture some of that eBay magic.
Now we’re starting to see a site trying to capture some of the Twitter magic. Blip is a Twitter clone but with two major differences – it only focuses on music and it doesn’t have anywhere near the level of traffic that Twitter has yet. But I have to admit, this one does have potential.
Basically the theory of Blip goes like this – you can play music through Blip, others can play your music through Blip, you can play their music through Blip. If you really like any of the music, you can buy it as an Amazon MP3 through Blip – and of course you can chat to one another, as you would on the normal Twitter.
So after making an account, this is the page you will see :
As you can see, it is very similar to Twitter. You can “follow” people whose musical tastes are similar to yours (just go to their profile page and click on “follow”, but the first priority is to get some music going so people start noticing you and start chatting to you. That way, you can start to gain some followers and get your musical mojo going. Just don’t start playing Kylie Minogue or ABBA. That’ll get you a reputation right away!
So at the top of the page, under “What are you listening to?”, just start searching for a song or an artist (or both). I’ve found they don’t have everything so don’t get too exotic or choosy. Since I am into Eric Clapton, I typed his name in :
That then brought up a selection of what was available :
You can then either preview a song (to see how good the quality is), “Blip” it to choose it or of course search again. I chose to “Blip” ‘Behind the Mask’. This then prompted me to ask if I wanted to attach a message along with the song. So I added a message :
Once I have written my message and pressed OK, the song and the message are added to the main public Blip timeline and the song starts to play.
Now there are some keyboard controls for controlling the music. The + and the – keys controls the volume of the music. The left arrow and right arrow keys navigates from song to song. The space bar plays and pauses the song and the “P” key refreshes the Blip timeline.
There are no desktop apps for Blip so everything is confined to the website and as I said, the traffic levels for Blip are nowhere near Twitter’s. Some people may like that – being part of a smaller, more intimate community like Blip instead of a larger, noisier community like Twitter. Plus if you are REALLY into music, you may like how Blip is solely focused on music and nothing else.
I am using this off and on but if someone were to make an Adobe desktop app for Blip then I would use it more often. Call me lazy but it’s just too much effort to remember to visit and log in all the time. If it was on my desktop then I would use it more often. Probably a lot of other users are thinking the same – if it isn’t on the desktop, it won’t get used.