When Digg 3.0 launched in December we wondered where the capability to Digg music was. We were led to believe it was coming, but Web 2.0 abhors a vacuum. There are already a few Digg-like services for music. Today I took a look at BandBuzz, iJigg, and ChartU.
None of these sites plays music from major labels, which is frustrating, because you'll miss hearing from artists who have signed recording contracts (unless their managers get with the program and start uploading tracks). But it's also wonderful, since it lets smaller indie bands bubble up in a sandbox that's not overrun with big kids.
BandBuzz has a tiny selection of music so far. Most of it is surprisingly decent. Its music player doesn't give you as much control as the one in iJigg, but it has a nice Shuffle feature that will give you a random selection of tracks, instead of just showing you the most popular. It's also the only site that has a feature to let you vote against a track, instead of just in favor of it. For some reason, this Bury feature is currently disabled.
iJigg has a larger library than BandBuzz, and it also has a nicer player, but I found it slightly harder to find good music on it. (Tastes vary, of course.) On the other hand, the iJigg player is good, and it's possible to embed the player for any song in a blog or on a site such as Facebook, which opens up interesting possibilities. See the video demo.
ChartU, the newest entrant (and still in early beta), is a bit of a departure, since it's oriented around "charts," where popular tracks run up the chart, just like in ye olde days of the Top 40. Voting affects where items appear on charts, but you can't see the number of votes a track has. Also, the voting function doesn't appear on the player, and it's possible to start a track playing, navigate to elsewhere on the site with the music still on, and lose the capability to vote on it. Oops. Bonus: ChartU has playlists, which the other sites don't. I was least impressed with the tracks available on ChartU.
None of these services let you download music. That's an omission that another new music site, Amie Street (previous coverage) hasn't made. Amie Street also poses the question: Why ape Digg? Having users vote for music is not the only way to get popular tracks to bubble up to the top of a list. In addition to recording user recommendations, its paid download feature raises the price on music when more people buy it. On this site, the more money the music costs, the better it's likely to be.
All of these sites are going to have serious problems once Digg and MySpace figure out their music voting systems. But for now, they're interesting sites on which to troll for new tunes.