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Another social network for music fans? UPlayMe, you slay me.

It could be great, but is still a work in progress.


Someone should tell the creators of all these media- and playlist-swapping social networking services that, you know, just because you like the same music as someone doesn't mean you're necessarily going to get along. Because, let's face it. There are way too many of these sites and Web apps that try to connect people based on what music they like. There's Last.fm, and Pandora, and Imeem, and...okay, I could go on and on.

Well, here's a new one that I heard about on Tuesday night at the NY Tech Meetup. It's called UPlayMe, and it aims to be a different kind of music-based way for people to find each other and build connections online. Founder David Fishman is no stranger to social networking--he created an early teen-oriented site, Bolt.com, and has collaborated with a Tripod founder (remember them?) for UPlayMe. You can think of the new service as a cross between an instant-messaging client and a service like Last.fm. Download the software, and it'll log what you're playing on iTunes, Windows Media Player, or WinAmp. According to Fishman, the rationale is that there are a ton of media-scanning social networking sites out there that analyze your playlist, but not what you're actually playing. Within the UPlayMe client, there are anonymous and non-anonymous e-mail and IMing functions, and--of course--friends lists.

Here's where UPlayMe can really carve out a niche: For now, it's limited to music, but Fishman says that he is soon going to expand it to video content and (at the suggestion of an audience member) possibly even games, so that you can connect to fellow Counter-Strike addicts and "Lost" fans. When that happens, UPlayMe could gain footing as something really different. But at this point there just isn't too much that really draws me to it.

You can try out the UPlayMe client here. For the time being, it's Windows XP only, but Fishman is aiming for a Mac beta before the end of 2006.