PureVolume, a service created by Neubix of Unborn Media Inc., is my favorite source for music and has been since its initial release. It provided an easy way to find independent artists and allows you to download and listen to their music for free. They recently have released PureVolume v3 and have really done an amazing job. A new beautiful design, nice integration of Flash and Ajax, and on top of that, it now has social networking. You can signup as a listening and add bands and friends to your profile. You can maintain a blog and even create a photo gallery. Not only is PureVolume an excellent service for listeners, but also provides great exposure for bands – no matter the size of the band. I have found tons of bands from PureVolume and I can happily say that at least 50% of the music that I own has been found through the help of PureVolume.

If you are familiar with PureVolume, you will notice the new beautiful design consisting of simple gradients, dark colors, sIFR, and excellent implementation of Flash and Ajax throughout the site. But the main reason why I love PureVolume is because I can find music of any genre, signed or unsigned, listen to the artist through their Flash streaming music player (PurePlayer) and download the artists music for free if the artist has songs available for download. The service is free for listeners and bands, but if the bands want to step up their plan to PurePlus for a small amount, they are given more features, more space for storing music, and also given the opportunity to become a featured artist giving the band a large audience of new listeners that can hopefully boost their musical career.

Artists are given their own profile page that they can maintain their music, lyrics, photos, listings of upcoming shows, and even a blog. The main feature though that everyone loves though of course is the media player. Bands can upload mp3′s, group them by albums, and allow listeners to stream the music through the PurePlayer (screenshot above). If listeners like what they hear, hopefully they will add the band to their favorites, become a fan, buy the artists music, and maybe even spread word about the artist. I have PureVolume open all the time on my computer (it’s true, and I know my brother does too) and have certain bands that I listen to every day. You can open up the PurePlayer in a popup, which makes it a whole lot easier to browse around and still listen to the music. There are a few things though that I would love to see in the media player, although it may be asking for too much. Having the ability to add multiple artists to a playlist and have them play through the PurePlayer. At the time you can only listen to one band at a time, which I am happy with, but would absolutely love the ability to have a type of queue of artists to play.

I mentioned the use of Ajax throughout the service. You will see this nicely implemented when adding a band to your favorites, adding comments, or when viewing content. Content is layed out in tabs and to make the experience a lot quicker for the user, Ajax is used to grab the content of a tab when clicking it instead of refreshing the page. This is a great feature because you can now view other sections, like photos and the blog, while still listening to the music using the embedded PurePlayer. The old version of PureVolume did not have this so I was extremely happy to see the company take advantage of Ajax technology with their service.

So, what about the social networking that I mentioned? The whole social aspect is new to PureVolume but I think they definitely hit it off very well. When viewing an artist, you will see on the bottom right a container with the tabs, Fans, Friends, and Comments. Fans are listeners that have added the band to their favorites and Friends are other artists that are friends with the band you are looking at. This lets me see other people that like the music I like and see what other music they like. With the help of PureVolume allowing listeners to become fans, it makes the service even stronger when it comes to music discovery. Lets get a little more on the social side now, reaching to a point that compares with top social networking sites. Listeners can signup, add friends and favorite bands to their profile, maintain blogs and photo galleries, and comment on other friends profiles. Get friends, hear what kind of music others listen to, and meet people with similar musical interest.

Overall, I am loving the new version of PureVolume. I didn’t think their service could get much better, but clearly I was wrong. It is now a strong music and social community with over thousands of artist and music. Just a warning though that the new version of the site has recently been released and they are still battling server issues every once in a while. If you experience slow download times, small errors, or the server hanging, just give it some time and check back a little later. They are usually very quick with getting things sorted out. Otther than that, I am very happy with the service. As said before, I think it would be really cool to be able to set a queue or artists for the PurePlayer. Also, something that I would like to see is a feature that used to exist on the older PureVolume, the random artist button. On the old PureVolume, you were able to select a genre and then keep viewing random artists under that genre, but you can’t do that anymore on the new version and even though it’s such a small feature, it helps pass time looking for new music. A feature that I really like is in the Listeners area (need to signup), that if you enter your zip code, it will find shows in your area from the artists on PureVolume. It’s neat seeing all these artists showing up next to where I live and I am actually thinking of seeing one of them this month. If anyone wants to keep up with PureVolume’s news and developments, be sure to check out their Backstage Blog. That’s about it. Music and social networking in one. Excellent work, Unborn Media.

View PureVolume – We’re Listening To You.

2 Comments on “PureVolume gets Social”

  1. genbeta says:

    Descubre a nuevos artístas mediante Purevolume.com

    Purevolume es una comunidad de amantes de la música libre en donde puedes compartir tu música como ser lector de la música de los demás. El sitio está integrado en un entorno sencillo y agradable usando conjuntamente ajax y flash. Nos encontramos…

  2. Ardy says:

    Thats a nice run through of pure volume. Thanks!