Remember AOL? AOL used to be huge, but the company has largely faded into the background over the past few years. The company did make a few attempts to gain attention recently, but most of those attempts were lame and failed. Now, AOL is back, and this time the company has come up with something that you may actually want to use.
Interestingly, AOL has entered the music scene by creating PLAY. PLAY is a free (at the time of this writing) music player that’s compatible with both Android and iPhone (look, the two phones can play nicely together!). Not only is PLAY free, but it’s actually a decent player – really!
What PLAY Can Do
AOL can’t afford to be picky. The company also can’t afford to charge too much for an app or for music. After all, AOL is no Apple. So, instead of charging users a lot of money to listen to obscure music, AOL offers a number of different CDs and music services for free. That’s right, you can listen to and discover all kinds of new music with PLAY.
It’s also possible to listen to music from SXSW and to stream SHOUTcast radio. This new service from AOL will open up unique music from all across the globe, so that listeners can find new music to jump into. Why rely on the radio to play good music when you can discover your own new tracks?
What PLAY Can’t Do
You knew there had to be a drawback to this service, didn’t you? Well, there is. PLAY can do a lot of great things like help you discover new music. But, PLAY doesn’t allow you to download, bookmark, or purchase music. I’m confident that AOL will fix these flaws, but, for now, users are somewhat confined to sharing music with one another.
Sharing can be great, but this only works if a lot of users are tuning into PLAY, and this isn’t happening quite yet. Still, you can get a lot out of SHOUTcast, CDS, and SXSW for the time being.
Why Give PLAY a Try
PLAY isn’t iTunes or Amazon. Let’s repeat: PLAY isn’t iTunes or Amazon. This alone should be enough incentive to entice a few music enthusiasts. You won’t pay to download PLAY, to listen to music, or to find new tunes. Supporting a company such as AOL is a great way to open up the music market to players other than Amazon and Apple.
While PLAY isn’t quite up to par with the two music giants, it is promising. You may have thought that AOL was gone for good (other than the tired messenger service), but that doesn’t appear to be the case. AOL has never really been known for creating great services, but PLAY may just change all of that.
In this world, companies have to come on strong in order to compete with the big guns, and the music scene is a tough nut to crack. PLAY may prove to be a strong competitor. Then again, without support AOL may sneak quietly into the background once again.