Open main menu was a large online community of independent musicians and music fans, founded in 1999.[1][2][3] The site was used by musicians who were seeking greater exposure and critical insight provided by an audience of their peers. The site was also used by music fans to discover new independent artists in the site's vast collection.[1] Some music content was Creative Commons-licensed, as announced in 2004.[4] closed its doors in June 2010, offering users migration to iLike.[5]

After the demise of the original in 2003, subsidiary Trusonic, with an inventory of 250,000 artists representing 1.7 million songs, partnered with in 2004 to revive these artist accounts. Most of the technology and infrastructure developed at was retained.[6][7]


Main featuresEdit

At the site's introduction in 1999, a monthly contest for a $250,000 record contract was announced.[1][2] In addition to free MP3 hosting, offered independent bands the chance to enter into contests in which they compete for a top spot on the music charts for their particular musical genre (e.g. 'Rock', 'Avant Garde').

In 2005, the GarageBand Faceoff contest offered winners airplay during a weekday afternoon 4-minute broadcast on four large-market FM radio stations, and a grand prize Capitol Records recording contract at the end of the year.[8] Later, the prize for hitting the top of the charts was expanded to inclusion in Clear Channel's "NEW! Discover Music" program, giving exposure across over 400 of the company's FM station websites. Entrance in the contest was either earned through reviewing the music of other members, or by paying a $19.99 per song submission fee.

The site uses a sophisticated rating system to generate popularity rankings for each artist, and maintains charts of these rankings. This makes the large music catalog easier to browse for fans. The music industry also uses these charts to find new talent. Several members who have charted well found subsequent music career success in the form of label deals, licensing and promotional opportunities. Examples include 10 Years (signed to Universal Records) and American Idol finalist Bo Bice.

Licensing and partnershipsEdit

In 2004, the company licensed the GarageBand name to Apple for use with its music creation software.[9][10] Also that year, the company partnered with Microsoft for GarageBand members' music to be linked from for download.[11]

Related productsEdit introduced Gcast, a podcasting platform which integrates the digital music library, in 2005.[12] The service was created in response to greatly increased traffic to after its podcasting feature was introduced. It was announced to tie-in with World AIDS Day.[13]

In 2006, the company launched iLike, a social music discovery website and iTunes sidebar application that tracks the music you listen to and recommends new music. Recommendations also include links to free downloads from artists.[9]


The site was founded in 1999 by Jerry Harrison, Tom Zito and Amanda Welsh.[1][2][3]

In February 2002, after the dot-com crash, the company lost an important record distribution deal. Later that month, the site owners took the website offline for a time, replacing it with a message explaining they did so in order to "preserve cash".[14][15]

Evolution Artists IncEdit

In April 2002, a group of employees and site members formed a new corporation, Evolution Artists Inc, to acquire the site's assets.[10][16] In May 2002, the site was restored and available again.[17][16] archiveEdit

In April 2004, after the demise of the original in December 2003, Trusonic (formerly an division) partnered with to revive "most" of the original archive.[18] An inventory of 250,000 artists representing 1.7 million songs.[6][7] Using the name "", former account holders were able recover their music from Trusonic and automatically transfer the music content to[19] The site expired sometime between May and November of 2005.


In 2006, Microsoft started sponsoring[11][20]

Shut downEdit closed its doors in June 2010, offering users migration to iLike.[5]

As of 2013, the domain is owned by Apple Inc. and redirects to the product page for their music software GarageBand.[21]

"The Final Countdown" (1999-2001) contest winnersEdit

The band's listed below were the winners of's recurring but short-lived contest for a $250,000 recording contract.

  • November 1999: Boondogs[22]
  • February 2000: Monovox
  • April 2000: Headboard
  • June 2000: Ultraphonic
  • August 2000: MichelleCross
  • October 2000: Mercy River
  • December 2000: Sunfall Festival ("I Walked Away")
  • March 2001: Brilliant
  • June 2001: Caser ("Don't Mind")
  • August 2001: the Szuters ("Antichrist Theme")

Reviewers' Picks awardsEdit

To win a Reviewers' Pick award, a band must show growth on the Independent Music Charts by genre, high review ratings and maintain an active profile. Artist were reviewed and awarded weekly.


In December 2003, Business Wire praised for being the world's "largest online community of independent musicians", and "largest source of legal free music".

In a 2006 review in PC Magazine the site received an "Excellent" editor rating, with 4 (of 5) stars. Bill Machrone summarized, " demands a lot of work, in the form of music reviews, from participants. But this community of half a million artists and listeners may just be the Web's best source of indie music."[23]


  1. ^ a b c d Luening, Erich (September 30, 1999). "Music site brings bands out of the garage". CNET News. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  2. ^ a b c "Record producer Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) joins forces with Technology pioneer and former Netscape Executive to launch". September 30, 1999. Archived from the original (Press release) on 1999-11-28. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  3. ^ a b "Current". Mixonline. November 1, 1999. Retrieved 2018-03-15. Producer Jerry Harrison teamed up with Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tom Zito and Netcenter's former head of research Dr. Amanda Lathroum Welsh to launch
  4. ^ Dean, Katie (June 7, 2006). " Leaves Door Open". Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  5. ^ a b Wauters, Robin (2013-03-08). "After More Than 10 Years, Indie Music Community Folds". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  6. ^ a b Bialik, Carl (April 18, 2004). "GarageBand to Revive Old Archive". Retrieved 2013-03-08.(subscription required)
  7. ^ a b "GarageBand and Trusonic Offer New Home to More Than 1.7 Million Songs and 250,000 Artists". via Business Wire. April 21, 2004. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  8. ^ Hefflinger, Mark (October 30, 2006). " Contest to Air Unsigned Artists on FM Radio". Digital Media Wire. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  9. ^ a b "iLike Shares Apple's GarageBand". Red Herring. March 1, 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  10. ^ a b "GARAGEBAND Trademark - Serial Number 78378063". Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  11. ^ a b "Microsoft to work with indie music site". Associated Press. November 16, 2004. Retrieved 2013-03-08. is run by San Francisco-based Evolution Artists
  12. ^ Sharma, Dinesh C. (May 23, 2005). " tunes up podcasting tool". CNET News. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  13. ^ Hines, Matt (December 1, 2005). "GarageBand Creators Launch Podcasting Service". Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  14. ^ Mariano, Gwendolyn (15 February 2002). "Garageband unplugs site". CNET News. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  15. ^ Jerry, Amanda and Tom (2002-03-28). "Garageband Records - What's Going On?". Retrieved 2018-03-15. In mid-February, a critical deal fell apart. [..] To conserve cash, we have pulled the site off line.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  16. ^ a b "Company Profile". 2006-04-05. Archived from the original on 2006-04-05. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  17. ^ "Welcome Back to". 2002-05-29. Archived from the original on 2002-05-30. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  18. ^ " Archive Not Lost (1.7 Million Songs Saved)". Slashdot. 19 April 2004. Retrieved 2018-03-15. most of the original archive
  19. ^ " Archive Saved by". Sonicstate. 27 April 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  20. ^ " on 2006-04-04". Wayback Machine. 2006-04-04. Retrieved 2018-03-15. Sponsored by MSN Music.
  21. ^ search result. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  22. ^ Trieschmann, Werner (September 23, 2005). "After the Goldrush Went Bust". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  23. ^ Machrone, Bill (June 29, 2006). " Review & Rating". Retrieved 2013-03-08.