If the kids are Tunited, they will never be divided, to paraphrase completely the wrong band. Midge Ure, formerly of Band Aid, Visage, Thin Lizzy and Ultravox -- of Vienna fame, although we're partial to the spikier end of their back catalogue, such as Young Savage -- has today launched Tunited, a social music-streaming site aimed at unsigned artists.
Tunited offers pay as you go streaming of unsigned and grass-roots artists. Sharing and promoting music earns you streaming credits, with the option to create and share playlists and blog or review music. You can also apply to be a 'Tastemaker', guiding other users on the music you love.
Artists can use tutorials on free music software MUTOOLS, Audacity and Ableton. They can collaborate and rehearse online, personalise their own Tunited shop for music and merch, and get advice on the music biz (as we like to call it). Streams qualify for the charts, should a track become successful.
Tunited is so right-on, it'll even plant a tree to offset the carbon emission of your downloads. It sounds like an excellent way to discover new music, and we hope it does well in the increasingly crowded digital-music space. Tunited is not to be confused with Tunify, which is not to be confused with Spotify.
Midge Ure's Tunited is also not to be confused with Peter Gabriel's The Filter. Clearly a music discovery Web site is the must-have accessory for forward-thinking, ageing rock stars -- we hear Dave Stewart, Nik Kershaw and the accordion player from Mr Mister are planning a social network based around vegan happy hardcore.