The Rock Hard Times is a music search engine and database where you can perform searches or browse by artists, genres, places (countries), and labels. Each page on the site is filled with content like album listings, photos, videos, and links to lyrics, tabs, fansites, shopping sites, and more. The Rock Hard Times' creator, Mime Cuvalo, envisioned the site as an IMDB of music, but really the site is more of a mashup between IMDB and Wikipedia, since every page of TRHT is editable by anyone.
You may be thinking that there are plenty of music search engines and portals already out there, so why do we need another one? Cuvalo acknowledges this, saying,
"Yes, I know about discogs.com, last.fm, musicbrainz.org, and all of the others...my reason for doing this website is that I felt there wasn't a site like it available - that there was a need for it. Something that would pull everything on a particular artist together into a neat, simple package. Something that would be editable by the people but in a more structured way than how Wikipedia does it."
You could also include music sites like MusicPortl and FoxyTunes Planet to that list of similar sites as well. However, where TRHT is different is in the fact that all the content housed there is editable. You can login to gain access to add, remove, and edit links, photos, videos, and all the other information a page displays.
TRHT also stands out for the amount of info it contains. In addition to the usual content you could find anywhere, an artist's page may also include tour information, details on past members of the group, birthdates and birthplaces, links to previous labels they recorded under, links to fansites, streams of songs or entire concerts, links to reviews, articles, interviews, and more. While a lot of the content is housed off-site, like lyrics (apparently illegal?), an artist's page is a great jumping-off point for finding all kinds of information about them, their band, and their music.
If you search for an artist who doesn't have a page yet, you can create one for them. You can also add artists to a list of "favorites," which, in the future can be created via a playlist upload feature that's currently disabled while the site is in beta testing.
The only issue with the site that I had was the terribly small font that's used everywhere, even when a more appropriate larger-sized heading should be used. Without larger headers, I almost missed seeing the link that allowed me to switch from viewing the albums to viewing the "other releases," an interesting feature that highlights remixes, b-sides, and other compilations an artist may have contributed to. (Did you know Sonic Youth contributed to a Christmas album? Wow!) However, aesthetics alone is not enough reason to dismiss this potentially valuable resource. True music fans owe this one a look.