Music: imeem/MySpace merger

The sudden end to imeem shocked me for quite awhile. Read more…The online music service had the largest variety of songs from mainstream and non-mainstream artists that I’ve ever seen. On imeem, users could search songs by artist or song name like any other online music streaming site, but took free music streaming sites to a new level with the “find related songs” option. The unique feature was a great tool for discovering musicians/songs and expanding your musical tastes. Playlists and favorites were other helpful features. People could also explore other users’ playlists and leave comments. The free imeem mobile iPhone app was a good compliment to the site, though some key elements from the site did not transfer over into the app.

Initial Shock

I came to rely on the app for all my music needs, and then one day, the app stopped functioning. My multiple attempts to start up the app failed and, after much frustration, I decided to get to the bottom of the problem. I went to the imeem site, which automatically redirected me to the MySpace music site. Confusion! I headed to Google and got the terrible news. MySpace bought certain assets from imeem and completed the deal in December. All imeem users (paying and non-paying members) could not access any songs or playlists.

Steps to recovery

Some time after, I received an e-mail from MySpace. I could recover my imeem playlists (no favorites) by signing up for MySpace, entering my imeem e-mail address and then click on the “import” button. What a pain. I canceled my account on MySpace long ago for a reason. I refused to sign up again. But, eventually, I got so anxious to reconnect with the ghost of imeem that I grudgingly decided to retrieve my songs onMySpace. Fail. A bunch of my songs were missing! The hard-to-find songs were the ones I most desperately wanted to recover.

What many have lost

Many people, including myself, have lost songs from their imeem playlists because the songs didn’t match content in the MySpace music license catalogs. If only I had seen this coming. If only the imeem mobile app gave a warning: imeem is merging with MySpace and advises users to make a list of all your songs in the case that some information cannot be retrieved. Or even: Hurry and make a list of your favorite songs—imeem will not exist after [insert date]!

But I should leave that in the past.

Analyzing the merger

Still devastated, I did a Google search on “how to access imeem favorites.” Tech sites and blogs covered the MySpace acquisition of the money-troubled imeem and the recent resurrection of imeem playlists.

“…[P]eople might be happy with [the import option], but I’m sure a majority of people see this as useless and a waste of resources at MySpace,” commented Aj Collins on techcrunch.com.

Problems with importing playlists were a major concern among imeem fans.

“Playlist creation was shared and appreciated on imeem,” commented Marcus Siegel, also on techcrunch. “It turned music taste into an art.”

Those who tried to import music playlists from imeem said that MySpace did a terrible job and would not be returning.

“When you have 100-plus song playlists reduced to 2-3 songs and no way to recover the song list, [it’s called] a colossal failure,” commented another imeem user.

The big question: Where will I find all my songs again?

MySpace is your place if you had songs from mainstream artists, but people with different tastes have few options.

I was lost myself. Where do I turn? I had long sworn off music sites like Pandora because no results were found when searching for “Billy Talent,” a Canadian rock band, or “Samurai Champloo,” an anime with a unique hip-hop soundtrack. Is there a solution?

“Tons of people have already jumped shark to other imeem-like sites such as Grooveshark,” Collins commented.

I sped to grooveshark.com and my efforts were immobilized by the slow loading of the page. Sure, the end result was cool graphics, but let’s not overdo it.

I put Grooveshark to the test with searches for the least recognized songs and bands on my list (stored in my brain) of favorite songs.

Stay tuned for the results, as well as a list of other music site alternatives, in a future MUSIC post.

-Smez

**SMAG wants to know: Where do you get your music from online? What is your favorite free online music streaming site? Did you ever use imeem? Have you lost songs after imeem’s demise?

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