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Mercora has Web 2.0 makeover

The Internet radio-cum-smart phone music streaming service reinvents self with social-media-friendly moniker.

The 4-year-old company Mercora has re-branded itself as Social.FM, which does two things: 1) Sounds appropriately Webware-ish and 2) explains what the service does right in the name.

Mercora used to be an Internet radio service, but then it launched a music-streaming service for smart phones, "M," last year. It had a $50-a-year subscription fee, but it allowed owners to stream music from their own PC to their phone, as well as access the music of up to five friends.

But now, it's free. And it is utilizing the Internet buzzword of the moment--social--to describe itself. The Social.FM Web, a new product, is a "social music discovery service" that allows users within the Social.FM Network to log on to its site and share specially created music channels and individual tracks. Thus far, the company says there are 3.5 million tracks uploaded by users.

It's also hoping to lure developers of widgets and add-on services. The Social.FM Web site was developed in an Adobe Rich Internet Application framework and will now have Mac OS X and Linux support.