Can’t get through your day without a dose of karaoke from around the globe? That’s what Smule is hoping with Tuesday’s launch of its new Smule Nation online hub.
Smule, maker of such popular iOS and Android apps as Magic Piano, Sing Karaoke, I Am T-Pain, and Guitar has opened up a new way to access the nearly countless number of songs created by people using the company’s apps. Smule Nation lets anyone with access to a Web browser to listen to, rate, and comment on performances.
According to co-founder and CEO, Jeff Smith, Smule users have created more than a billion songs. With the unveiling of Smule Nation people across the globe can listen to these songs without having to download an app or belong to a particular social networking service.
“A lot of those songs, including my own cover of ‘Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain’, are not especially good.” Smith said in a press release. “But when you have a hundred million people singing, playing, and curating the songs, a couple nuggets rise to the top.”
The redesigned Smule site carries Listen, Songs, and Apps links along with links to popular and new songs, in addition to a Smule Picks selection where you can hear some of the site’s best material. Click the Listen link and then click a song on the resulting page. Play controls appear on the bottom of the page, the song begins playing, and you see the locations of the people responsible for the performance on a world map across the top of the page. Click a person’s name and you’re taken to their performances page where you can listen to other tracks they’ve created. If you like what you hear, click Follow and they become part of your network.
When you click the Songs link you’ll see a long list of license-free songs available through Smule’s apps. Click a tune and you move to a page that includes the song recorded by a variety of users. Some versions are quite good, while others are likely to have you questioning your faith in humanity.
But that’s not point, Smith told me. “Music is the original social network. Like YouTube, much of the content here won’t replace the pros. But it’s a lot of fun.”