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PureSolo – Record Yourself with Backtracks

puresoloFor all the singers who would like to record themselves with musical backing PureSolo offers backtracks, recording and a variety of ways to share your creation. The PureSolo plugin is free to let you record, and then it’s possible to choose from more than 20,000 popular tracks. The download for each track comes with backing and sheet music. The cost for each download is between £0.49 and £1.99, and the download can be used to create multiple versions of the track. For pure karaoke there are 1,500 tracks costing £0.99 each. Help screens with FAQs are vital on this kind of website and they are very clear and easy to understand.

The lyrics, sheet music and backing track (which PureSolo describes as being recorded by high quality session musicians) all come in a single file download. The recorded tracks can be burned to CD, saved as MP3 files, emailed to friends or used as ringtones. PureSolo also aims to build community, offering ways for musicians to network internationally. There are also competitions with musical prizes, including one for a Gibson Les Paul Studio Guitar at the time of writing. With increasing opportunities to perform and share music online this provides a first step for singers to record and broadcast their performance and meet contacts in the music world.

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MaYoMo – User Generated Journalism

moyomoMaYoMo stands for Map Your Moments and invites users to act as journalists and videojournalists from all over the world to create an international news channel. The site is attractively presented with a world map covered yellow indicators wherever news stories have been created. Hovering the cursor over these indicators shows thumbnails of video stills plus the headlines, and viewers can click to watch the whole story. The variety of subjects covered is comprehensive, and stories remain available long term with a slider below the map to choose a date range. Viewers can browse by hovering their cursors over the general world map to choose a story, or select from the subjects on the menu.

Citizen journalism has become important in countries where the press are having trouble gaining entry, with video from mobile phones filling in the gaps television journalists can’t fill. There is potential for this website to fulfil a significant purpose. It’s also fun, with lifestyle and entertainment sections. The journalism and videos vary in quality, from those presented by skilled writers and videomakers, to the extremely amateur, although even the unskilled can broadcast an important video. One showing Michael Jackson stepping from the coroner’s van and asking if he was still alive show the potential for scams and misinformation. Despite this there’s no doubt citizen journalism is with us, fills an important role, and lets everybody have their say. The way MaYoMo has presented such a massive project in such a clear and well-organised way is impressive.

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