I have an enduring love for a music-discovery website called “TheSixtyOne” which largely fell out of popularity in 2010 (after an infamous site re-design which I personally favor). While this site represents the execution of a great idea (effortlessly lets users discover and listen to many small bands), and has some great features (gamification, randomized playlist presents a “youtube leanback” feel), it also has some major flaws (annoying search button, the ‘heart’ button is directly linked to a seniority system which is too difficult to ‘level up’). These flaws, along with the inability to update format and compete with other better organized systems like 8-tracks, ultimately lead to this website’s demise.
However, I found some great music here, completely by chance! I was lead to the site by vlogger Michael Aranda, and subsequently discovered bands like ‘The Format’ and ‘Chris Merritt’. When you find a song you really enjoy it feels like you were speed dating, and found the love of your life – but better, because polyamory is accepted and you can love all this music simultaneously!
Favorite features of TheSixtyOne
- Artists can make their songs available to download (for free or $1.00) right from the listening page with the click of a button! Releasing some songs for free, and having them circulate on my ipod is a great way to make me really become a fan of your music!
- The whole site is built to let you stumble upon something great. They even categorize their music into 12 “moods” to allow you to find that sound you’re craving, or to just put something appropriate on in the background of your dinner party.
- Artists as popular as Mother Mother, Lykke Li, even MGMT have music on the site, an attempt to get themselves noticed before these artists really blew up. This is also where some great, little known bands are now just getting their start. TheSixtyOne offers a treasure hunt for the hipster seeking something authentically cool before the rest of the world discovers it.
- The “quests” the site presents offer mild goals to achieve, offering a sense of satisfaction and reward to your search. Quests also challenge the listener to expand their musical discovery, while encouraging them to spend more time on the site.
- They have an entire Creative Commons “cc” section on the site, where you can listen to Creative Commons tunes.