Summarizing previous chapters (part 1 and part 2) it all comes down to this:
- The Sixtyone is not the game it used to be a year ago.
- Despite what they say on the About page, it's not a democratic site. It's a private project that lacks proper social features.
Does this mean that artists and listeners should avoid t61? Certainly not. It only means that the founders have a different view on how a revolutionary music site should look like. We can jump low or high, but at the end of the day we have to respect the choices that are made by the people in charge. Either that or move on to the next site.
Now I don't know if you know T61 as well as I do, but if you did, you knew that moving on isn't easy. If not because of the friends 1 you made, than most certainly because of the music you've heard. Within the last twelve months over 25.000 songs were either uploaded by genuine artists, or downloaded by the T61's own scraping system 2. A lot of these songs probably don't suite your taste or reach your standards, but after 10 months of membership I could easily make a top 100 of songs that should be number one and a top 200 of songs that would be number two.
Obviously, the quality of music is solely the merit of the artists who created it, but the people behind T61 deserve some credit to. They pay the rent (not unimportant), the design is neat, the persistent audio player is a treat, tagging is a great new feature, the artists bio automatically displays when you play a song, there are several ways to discover new music and so on, and so on. So no matter how critically I was about The Sixtyone, the music and the way it's presented are ace. The question is: is it good enough? Is it good enough for listeners who want to play an active role in the promotion of ambitious indie artists? Is it good enough for artists who want to be in charge of their own success? Is it good enough to support a music industry that is led by performers and audience, in stead of businessmen? Are we in need at all of a site that can fulfill these ideals? Maybe not, but thinking of the old T61, I know it sure would be awesome.
If I had to define the new Sixtyone in just a few words, I would say "It's a good site to find and collect great music, but don't bother about the game - it's hardly functional - and don't think you're part of a community, just because you've found some social features."
Ten months ago I truly believed I participated in a killer project that could change the ways of the music industry. Today I'm a member of just one of those music sharing sites. The new Sixtyone is OK, but I liked the old one better. Much better.
1At T61 it's easy to find other people who are as passionate about music as you are. But knowing these people doesn't mean you form a community inside. For that you need to sign up for a listener group (max. 1) or meet outside at Max Bumps or Plurk.
2Scraped music is music that wasn't uploaded by artists, but downloaded by T61 from various music blogs and added to the pool of songs. Scraped songs are a minority. More about this subject here.