07 November 2011

Playlist Central - Free music streaming for South Africa on cellphone or PC

[ UPDATE 2011-11-07: 
Under the "more" button at the top you can generate a random playlist from 5 to 50 songs from 'any' genre and year. There is also support for cellphone streaming and ... interestingly ... uploading songs?


UPDATE 2011-12-05:
I noticed a few weeks ago that this site was no longer accessible and now when you go there it says "account suspended" so I guess it's back to the old drawing board, or www.grooveshark.com for your music fix :)


END OF UPDATE ]



When I was in the U.S.A. I was overwhelmingly convinced that Pandora music service would be the next big thing to hit the world of internet music streaming. When I returned to South Africa I was heartbroken to discover that it's limited to U.S.A. and I would never be able to partake of the juicy goodness that lies in Pandora outside of the States.

Almost two years later, a poor substitute has surfaced in South Africa called Playlist Central which boasts (at time of post) more than 76GB of 64Kbps MP3 music (that adds up to more than 1200 artists, 2900 albums, almost forty thousand songs, or in other language - one thousand two hundred hours [forty nine days of non-stop music]) that is free-to-play online.

Some may argue that forty thousand free-to-play songs online for South Africans isn't a poor substitute but clearly those 'some' haven't tried out Pandora! Since this post isn't about Pandora I won't do a comparison and will focus more on Playlist Central and what it offers in a South African context.

Playlist Central is currently in a beta offering but from what I've tried in the afore-mentioned context of available South Africa services it's fantastic. Sporting a range of artists from A-Z including the likes of Abba, Seether, Breaking Benjamin, Adele, and Sepultura there's sure to be something for everyone.



The controls aren't too complicated and you can even set up your own playlists. I am not one hundred percent convinced that this service is completely legitimate (having said that, any would-be music broadcaster can obtain rights to broadcast so why would the medium of internet broadcasting be any different than a radio broadcast?) or that it will survive being free but on the surface it has a lot of promise. If the developers of this service can improve the way you can pick up random music to play then I think it will be a huge hit. At the moment, from my dabblings, you have to manually pick the albums / artists / songs you want to play but with the ability to set up a playlist it's not too much of an effort. I would have preferred a randomiser to just login and play random songs (ala Pandora) but no matter, it's a great alternative for online-music-streaming starved South Africans.

The introduction to Playlist central reads as follows:

Welcome to Playlist Central! 

Playlist Central is a free, cloud music service, providing ubiquitous access to a substantial music archive. 

Use it to listen to new music before radio stations get wind of it. Create playlists to be shared with friends or even played at your place of work/ Stream DIRECTLY to your internet radio HIFI and run multiple channels to different parts of your house. All this at CD quality audio! This service works on every internet line available in South Africa! 

To get started, select an artist on the left an queue up some music! 

Registered users enjoy advert free listening, IMMEDIATE playback and more! All it costs is one R20 SMS every month. No cash, no credit cards, no long bank transfers! Email sales@playlistcentral.co.za for more information.


Here's a screengrab to show you how it looks:


And here's a screenshot about the cellphone support (currently supports iPhone, iPad, iPod, Windows 7, BlackBerry Playbook, and Android).



One final request - if you found out about Playlist Central first from this post, please do me a favour and hit a thumbs up, a +1, or a comment so I know that my posts are being useful :) Call it an exercise in stats analysis (even though it's a mild flavour of ego patting).

Go and check it out: www.playlistcentral.co.za.

Thank you.

No comments: