AllMusic.Com To Shut Down



Popular music database the All Music Guide
gets folded into an entertainment portal, which pledges myriad improvements for
a richer consumer experience. They’re not off to a very strong start, however: note
misspelled Mike Watt album title, above, in screen shot of the AMG site today. See below for the new site’s interface.


By Fred Mills


Anybody who has frequented online music database the All Music Guide, at, in recent years knows what a frustrating, user-unfriendly
experience it can be: clunky interface, redundant navigation, torturously
slow-loading pages, embarrassing content omissions (and speaking of content: quality
control issues in terms of out-of-date biographical artist info and questionable
assertions in the reviews themselves; not for nothing had AMG become the butt
of numerous “as-reliable-as-Wikipedia-circa-2003” jokes) – not to mention those
pernicious stealth popup ads that the site was seeded with, ads that, all credit
to their evil designers, often thwarted otherwise robust popup blockers.


Unfortunately for many other online resources, AMG was the
only game in town – everyone from iTunes and Pandora to garden-variety music
websites and blogs were forced to link to AMG, in a kind of
between-rock-and-hard-place scenario, because much of the more specialized
content such as dates, titles (albums and songs), etc. was crucial for both
operations and as research tools. Obviously yours truly consulted it often too,
but in all honesty, it had become a portal of last resort; it’s pretty telling
when a retail operation such as was frequently the more attractive option when trying to track down
myriad details about artists and releases.


In any event, the news yesterday that is
closing up shop and changing its name and domain is neither good nor bad – it just
is. According to a report at, “Rovi Corp., the company overseeing
the site, is replacing AllMusic with a new website called, which is
designed to combine its music database with its TV and film databases for a
one-stop shop for all things entertainment. launches today in
public beta, following a private test period. It’s not clear exactly when it
will completely replace” will incorporate the music database along with and


A spokesman for Rovi (formerly Macrovision) indicated that
the usual features that consumers had gotten used to at would
remain intact, along with newly added features that include a recommendation
tool (such as genres and eras) and themed recommended playlists like the kind
one finds at services such as Rhapsody. There will also be blogs and additional
reviews added. Said the spokesman, “We think there is a better entertainment
experience out there and we want consumers to use our site to learn about it. Once
they experience the richness and features we provide, they might start looking
for it in other devices and want to connect where ever they are.”


Memo to Rovi: how about making sure that “richness of
experience” starts by addressing the crap outlined in the first paragraph


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