Vote early, vote often...with OurStage for iPhone

Today's voting day in the U.S., but if you've still got the urge to cast ballots tomorrow, OurStage has come to the iPhone.

In case you're just awakening from a coma, today's election day in the United States, and turnout's expected to set records.

You'll find this song from Pocket Rocket on the Punk/Ska/Psychobilly channel. I liked the composition and the instrumental playing enough to rate it one thumbs-up.

But what about tomorrow? After the polling places have closed and the results are in, what can you do if you still hanker to cast a ballot and make your opinion count? OurStage offers you the chance to make or break thousands of independent artists by listening to and rating their songs.

The Web site's been around for more than a year, but last week the company added a free iPhone application as well. You can choose from more than 50 stations in genres such as indie rock to death metal/grindcore to singer/songwriter (with separate categories for male and female). Unlike the Web site, which asks you to judge two songs head to head, the iPhone application simply asks you to rate each song with one, two, or three thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Even if you're not particularly interested in voting, it's a good way to discover loads of new music you wouldn't hear otherwise. The ratings determine which songs rise to the top, which means the average quality of songs you'll hear on any given channel is pretty high--better than surfing among randomly connected bands on MySpace pages, for example. Pick a favorite genre--I like their Experimental channel--and you'll probably find a couple gems.

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About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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