thesixtyone is a platform on which you can listen to and rate music and rate it. Musicians upload their music for everyone to listen to. If you like it, you can “bump” it, giving it a vote. The music which gets voted the most is posted to the front page. So basically, it works for music like the famous social news platform Digg works for news.
Most bands that are available at thesixtyone are rather unknown, but there are also a few better known artists. For example, I’ve seen (err… or heard) music by Daft Punk and The Darkness. Although I do not know whether these have been legally uploaded to the system.
There is one specialty with this rating system: Bumping costs points. When you vote for a song which later on gets voted on by other users you gain new points. Additionally, certain actions which are encouraged – like logging in daily or listening to newly uploaded music – give points.
Nevertheless, I have a slightly critical attitude towards this concept. There is very little incentive to explore and vote for new music. The probability that more people will vote for a song is higher if it is a mainstream song. This effect is worsened by distortions in the rating behavior of crowds which exists even without such systems (see Does popular music appear to be better?). All in all, I think that thesixtyone is encouraging a mainstream culture.
A very personal downside of thesixtyone for me is that I have not been able to find any music that I like at the platform. 🙂 This might be due to my weird taste in music, though. ^_^
In conclusion, I think that thesixtyone is an interesting experiment – although not for me.
More music discovery systems
I compiled a list of the most important music discovery systems in one lengthy article.