TheSixtyOne: Review of an Obsolete New Medium

thesixtyone screenshot

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

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. They have an entire Creative Commons “cc” section on the site, where you can listen to Creative Commons tunes.

5 Replies to “TheSixtyOne: Review of an Obsolete New Medium”

  1. Quoting from your article

    “the ‘heart’ button is directly linked to a seniority system which is too difficult to ‘level up’”

    You filthy casual, the search for good music is no easy stroll along a rose petalled path! Dammit man you must strive to grow your collection and your precious, precious hearts; discover the hidden gems by ploughing though metric tonnes of dross and jingles. Refine your ear through the pain and dedication to the search for lost art too diverse for the mainstream markets who slaver over ice cream theme songs and think they are listening to the highest art, those fools. Every heart you can spend is a testament to your pain and stamina in face of adversity and the vapid commercialisation of the art that is music.

    Join me oh padwan and I will complete your training and we can rule the sixtyone universe together!

    Seriously though yes it’s a good site for discovering music and a damn shame it has fallen so far from its former glory…. *sigh*


    1. Love seeing you here commenting on this,
      because I always see you on t61 still ;D

      Nice to have a recent article on such an old site that dies from time to time, it does honestly feel like a ghost town though : (


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