I wrote an article last week called “3 Web Apps for Staying on Top of the Music Scene.” The article got a bunch of great comments, with a number of people suggesting their favorite destinations for tracking their favorite artists and bands.
More than a couple of you suggested JamBase, a site I’ve become a huge fan of. It’s a great tool for tracking concerts, festivals and more, and a useful community based around live music.
JamBase is all about live music – in fact, the tagline of the site is “Go See Live Music.” Funny how that works. Once you create a free account with JamBase, you’re opened to a bunch of different ways to track artists and shows, and even discover new shows you might just love.
On the homepage, even if you don’t have an account, there’s some cool features to be used. In the (kind of compact) interface, there are album and show reviews, articles about artists, a news ticker full of music headlines, and even a widget called “JamBaseTV” that’s full of podcasts and videos of live shows. In the mood to see a show today? There’s a “Show Finder” right on the home page to show you what’s playing nearby.
Once you’re logged in, the first thing to do is pick some favorite artists. You can do this manually through the site, or by uploading a file from your iTunes that lets JamBase know who you’re listening to. If you upload through iTunes, you can pick and choose among the artists JamBase finds, so you’re only tracking your favorites.
If you don’t use iTunes, finding artists on JamBase is easy, because JamBase provides you everything from sample songs from to lists of a band’s other fans – it’s easy to figure out who you like, and who you’d want to make sure not to miss.
Once you’ve got some artists to track, you’ll be able to easily see who’re playing live shows, when, and where. When you find a show you’re interested to go to, you can add it to your JamBase calendar. JamBase wants to act as your own personal hub for the music you’re going to see.
If you don’t want to keep everything on JamBase (personally, I don’t need another calendar), the site also offers the option to send the concert information to a friend (or yourself, presumably), or to save it directly to Outlook, Google Calendar or Facebook.
JamBase also provides you with a widget of all the artists you’re tracking, that you can embed into your website or blog. For any music junkie, it’s a cool way to display who you’re listening to or watching live.
The community within JamBase is another useful part of the site – despite my constant wariness about niche social networks. You may look around to find out what other people with similar music taste are going to see. JamBase also has periodic giveaways of concert tickets and other music-related prizes, which is more than enough to keep me poking around the site for a while.
The biggest reason to use JamBase is that it smartly integrates with the other apps you use – it plays nicely with iTunes, where most of us have all our music; it works with Google Calendar, ever the popular schedule-holder; and you can do a lot just by email, for those of us outside of it. JamBase is a great way to find your favorite artists, and make sure you never miss them coming around.
How do you find concerts near you? You may also want to check out Renee’s article on Keeping Track of Live Music In Your City, it’s worth reading!
Photo: Anirudh Koul