Today I received an invite to the closed beta for the new MySpace. My initial excitement was shortly followed by a humble “meh” after thinking back to what MySpace became in recent years… I shuddered to think about the highly customised profiles with colours that would make your eyes scream, fonts that were impossible to read, and ultimately a social network for people over the top…
So when I logged in, I was completely surprised by the simplistic, minimalistic yet beautiful interface that reminded me of the new Windows 8 UI, only shinier.
What is the new MySpace? Well, it has a slightly different purpose than the old one. Gone is the focus on being friends with Tom, and instead we have a focus on music. MySpace has become a music application. It’s designed to listen to and discover new music. It contains all the features you’d imagine (similar to Spotify) including:
1) Self-created playlists
2) Ability to share/listen to others playlists
3) Pre-set radio stations
4) Self-generated radio stations based on a song or artist
However, in reality this contains so much more. Songs can have video’s attached to them which are easily accessible, and when watching a video, it beautifully maximises full screen (within the browser window) with side panels that minimise to continue exploring while the video is playing. Oh, and once it stops, whatever playlist you were listening to before automatically continues (small feature but nice).
Added to this, if you close your browser, log on to another machine and open it up, it automatically continues where it left off. Gone is the need for a downloadable application such as Spotify, and instead you have a browser based version which looks better, is super fast, and contains a lot more features.
This is where last.FM comes into it. Last.FM is a successful music social network – Stores your music library, lets you listen to radio stations, and you can connect with friends with similar interests. Well, MySpace makes the connecting and sharing process a LOT easier now. There’s a simple connect button on every artist and song which adds it to your profile, and the UI easily also allows you to listen to and add music to your playlist within the current window.
I think for MySpace to work, people will need to change their perception from what it was, to what it is now. As a music application, it blows Spotify away. As a music social network, it blows last.fm away. This isn’t attempting to compete with the facebooks and twitters of the world – it is simply a music only focus but the ability to connect with friends does then increase the amount of time spent within the site.
I’ve included a load of screenshots for you all to see the new UI in it’s full glory below. Comment and let me know what you think!
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