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The Internet is a constantly growing place and one thing that has really evolved, and is continuing to, is the way we listen to music. More and more people are using the Internet as their primary source for listening to their favorite tunes, finding new ones and sharing them with others. It’s great isn’t it? I, personally, am really liking the direction it has gone. But there’s one problem – your music is all over the place! YouTube, SoundCloud, Tumblr, Bandcamp, various blogs and websites throughout the Internet, and more – these are all places where you potentially stream music.
See the problem? It’s scattered throughout the web, so when you want to listen to that one song that you can’t remember the name of, but saved it somewhere online… it could take a while, and that’s if you saved it. Songdrop, which we covered previously in the MakeUseOf Directory, is your solution to this problem.
So how do you find it? Well, what you do now is you go to Google, search some halfway correct lyrics and hope to find that song you remember listening to. What you could be doing, however, is if you like a song, quickly “dropit” (don’t worry, I didn’t misspell it, you’ll catch on to it in a bit) into Songdrop and be on your way. Next time you want to listen to that song, just go to Songdrop and it’ll be right where you left it!
What Is Songdrop?
Well, if you haven’t “gathered” already, Songdrop is a place to save the music you discover and listen to on the web for later streaming. Think of it as your digital record collection – a place to go to find that one song you were thinking of all day. Or perhaps a place to listen to your very own custom mix of tunes from all over the Internet. But there’s a lot more to Songdrop than just that. It’s also a place to discover new music and follow other people, whether they be artists or your friends (or if you’re lucky, both!)
Try It Before You Sign Up
I love it when services and apps do this. Why? Because I like to know exactly what I’m signing up for, and what better way to know than to use it as is? So before you signup, take a look at the Recent Drops or Popular Drops pages to get a feel for the interface and features.
Of course, this isn’t the intended use for Songdrop, as the biggest benefits come whenever you create an account, but these pages are available to anyone and give a you a good idea of what Songdrop does. Do you like these pages? Don’t worry – there are direct links to them once you create an account too.
Signing Up For Songdrop
The signup is pretty simple. There aren’t any beta invites or a field to enter your email address in so you can wait “in line” until the service opens up to more users in a couple months. Songdrop is ready to go and be used now.
Like many services, Songdrop offers you the option to sign in through Facebook or to just create an account the old-fashioned way with your email address, user name and password. I, personally, like signing up through Facebook, especially for services like this because there are often benefits that come with it. I’ll touch upon that in a bit. If you do decide to signup through Facebook, remember to pay attention to the permissions (as you should with any service, website or app). You don’t have to allow it to post to your wall or let your friends see the posts it creates, although I’m not too worried about that with Songdrop.
If you opted to sign up through Facebook, you’ll need to choose a user name to complete the signup process. Once that is done (or for those who signed up directly on Songdrop) you’ll then get an email verifying your account. Follow the instructions in the email and you’re ready to rock!
Features In Songdrop
Songdrop is really pretty basic, but there are a few key features you should know about, many of which you probably will discover simply by trying it out on the Recent Drops and Popular Drops pages.
The Dropit Button
This is the primary feature of Songdrop – obviously, you need a tool to drop the music with. It comes in two forms: a bookmarklet and a Chrome extension. Once you signup, you’ll be prompted to add this, so don’t worry about finding it. Depending on the browser you use, you’ll be give then choice of either or. I’m a Chrome user so this is what I saw upon visiting the page:
If you’re a Firefox, Safari, Opera or a user of some other browser, you’ll have to use the bookmarklet.
What if you’re a Chrome user who wants the use the bookmarklet and not the extension? Well, it wasn’t the simplest workaround, but what I did was opened up Firefox, went to the Dropit button page, dragged the bookmarklet button to my bookmarks bar and synced it with Xmarks.
Alternatively (if you don’t have Xmarks, you should), you can copy the bookmarklet code, go back to Chrome, right-click on your bookmarks bar to create a new bookmark and paste the code into the Link field. Don’t forget to name it “Dropit” too.
NOTE: For accessing this page in the future, it’s located under the Help tab. Also, the method mentioned above can be done with any bookmarklet.
There are currently four feeds that you can listen to in Songdrop. We’ve already mentioned two of them: Recent Drops and Popular Drops. The other two feeds, currently, are Friends Drops and Artists Drops.
Friends Drops will be seldom used, as of now, since Songdrop is still in its beginning stages. But as it grows in popularity (and it will), this will become a pretty interesting feature. Right now, we’re bombarded with what our friends are listening to on Facebook and Spotify. It can kind of get annoying whenever it’s right there. But here, it’s neatly tucked away, but still easy to access when we are interested.
As far as the Artists Drops feed goes, this is a gem. Remember whenever I said that I’d get to the benefit of connecting Songdrop to Facebook? This is it – Songdrop will scan your Facebook account for all the artists you like, so you don’t have to add them manually.
Your Profile, Also Known As “My Player”
No not my player, yours. No it’s not “Your Player,” it’s “My Player.” Oh whatever. The My Player tab features everything in Songdrop that belongs to you: your mixes, your drops, your followers, and who you’re following.
Please excuse the sparseness of my profile. Despite my recent infatuation with it, I still have just begun to use it to build my own collection.
The search function is rather simple and features three columns: Songs, Artists and People. The People column contains the results from the people you are following. If you aren’t following anyone, this column will be blank. Sometimes even the Song column will be blank if that artist’s music has yet to be added to Songdrop.
The interface of an app isn’t usually considered a “feature,” but in this case I think it deserves some recognition. For such a small service, that’s just beginning, I am more than impressed with how well it conforms to the browser, even if it’s docked to one side like Windows 7 and 8 do.
In addition, it’s just really simple and easy to use. I think you’ll be impressed immediately after visiting the website… so just wait until you start using the service.
Included in the interface are the music controls, with an added bonus of video.
Check Out Your Settings
Like any service or app that you start using, it’s always best to take a look at the settings. Here in Songdrop you can change your account information (i.e. Name, username, email, location, password), profile picture, email notifications and social account connections (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm).
Have A Question? Check Out The FAQ
Unlike most services out there, the FAQ page on Songdrop, appropriately located under the Help tab, is both helpful and entertaining – rare, right? I thought so. If you have a question, definitely check out the FAQ page first. In addition the help, there is also just some really interesting information about Songdrop.
However, if you still need help, they offer support through Facebook and email. But be patient with them, as they state on their About and FAQ pages, they’re still starting out and a pretty small team.,
We’re in the very, very early stages of development, so there will be some bugs. If you see anything that looks weird or you just want to tell us something, feel free to email or tweet at us.
Is Songdrop Completely Flawless?
No – just like any service, especially one that’s just starting, it has it’s quirks. One that I’ve found is that it doesn’t detect everything. For instance, when trying it out on one of our Sound Sunday columns, which features music embedded in the post, it only detected the YouTube videos.
A quote from their FAQ page:
I tried to drop from [INSERT WEBSITE HERE] and it said no songs were found. That is a lie. There is a song on that website. What gives?
SORRY! We’re working on adding new sites all the time, but sometimes we can’t get access to the API or they don’t allow access to the songs on their site. Sometimes the little dude that goes and gets the location of the stream can’t find it. And sometimes it just doesn’t work. Let us know where you couldn’t drop from, and I promise we’ll look into it.
However, I did discover a workaround. If you clicked on the link to the song (in this instance it took you to the official Bandcamp website), and then clicked the Dropit button, it worked (as expected). Is this slightly more of a hassle? Yes… slightly. But you have to remember your alternative in acquiring music before Songdrop came into your life – I’m telling you, your life will never be the same. And think of this as a positive – by clicking the link to the song, you’re now introduced to the rest of the artist’s songs as well, which you can also drop into Songdrop.
In addition it still doesn’t work with a lot of the major music websites and services out there like Grooveshark, Pandora, Deezer and Spotify.
Songdrop is an incredible service already, just starting out, and has a ton of potential and room to grow. And not only that, but the people behind it are envisioning it to fill the void in our music listening habits as well. This is an exciting company to be following right now.
Are you already using Songdrop? What do you think of it? If not, jump on over to their site, try it out, and then come back here and leave a comment with your thoughts. We’re looking forward to hearing what you think!