Imeem has launched a re-design, which according to a blog post by founder/CEO Dalton Caldwell makes it "easier for you to discover and enjoy new music on imeem". Imeem has been growing its market share steadily over the past year and its licensing deals with all 4 major record labels makes it unique among online music services (both MySpace and last.fm have only 3 of them). But one of the few issues that Imeem has had up till now is a kludgy design that makes it difficult to navigate and a bit of an eyesore - not unlike MySpace's design in fact. This re-design aims to change that.Music-based social networking site
Dalton Caldwell also told us in an email that they tried to incorporate a lot of the ideas and feedback regarding social music services that ReadWriteWeb has blogged about over the past few months. Note that Dalton was one of the participants in August's RWW Live podcast show on online music.
The most notable changes are a new homepage for the site and a modified navigation menu you see at the top of every page. Also some new features have been introduced. Summarising from the Imeem blog post:
Spotlight: features the latest music, videos and entertainment people are posting on imeem. Expect to see "exclusive new music, popular videos, and celebrity playlists from your favorite artists."
Discover: gives you personalized recommendations of music, videos, artists and people, based upon your listening and viewing habits and those of the people you are connected to in the imeem community.
Browse: offers chart-based browsing of any media content (music, videos, photos and more) based on its popularity site-wide. You can now filter by content type, genre, and popularity in the imeem community.
Artist Pages: You can now search to find new Artist Pages, which pull everything posted by the community related to that artist into one page on the site. Also features the complete catalog of content created by the artist and a list of who else is a fan on imeem.
My immediate reaction is that the re-design is less cluttered than the previous design. When I did a search on Nirvana, I discovered some videos I hadn't run across before and my favorite feature of Imeem - the playlists - are more easily accessed and explored. Also finding new friends based on music taste is easier.
The Artist pages are excellent, full of links and videos to delve into:
Up till now I've mostly just dipped into Imeem to listen to cool music I haven't been able to find elsewhere. In the past I've tried to navigate around and explore, but found the process difficult. This new design appears to encourage more exploring of music and linking with other people with similar tastes. So I'll be giving it another try as a music social network.
Add to this new design the existing innovative features of Imeem, such as the March launch of a developer platform that enabled read/write access to user information, widgets that can be embedded practically anywhere (unlike its competition MySpace Music), and rich apps like Fanbase (an Adobe AIR app that Atlantic Records created in collaboration with Imeem) and you have a site that continues to make listening to music online a pleasurable experience.
If you're a fan of Imeem, let us know in the comments what you think of the new design.