Peter Rojas, the man who was present at the founding of both of the two most linked-to blogs on the internet (Engadget and Gizmodo), launched the online music site he's working on today. Called RCRD LBL (record label without the vowels, you know how unhip vowels are, why not get rid of them all?) the site hasn't been accessible since it went live. Update: Rojas stopped by to leave a comment saying the site was back up and sure enough it is. I'm getting a musical education already.
None the less, here's the details. RCRD LBL will provide free, DRM-free music for download and streaming. It will be ad supported and the company simply asks on its site that you not reuse the music for commercial purposes. We'll see how well that works, but there's really no viable alternative. "In a world where many people get their music for free," the folks behind the experiment say, "we wanted to create a site where bands we loved could put their music out there for free AND get paid for it."
Music can be downloaded, it can be streamed and it can be listened to through a widget embedded on any web page or on the OSX dashboard.
Comparisons to the awful SpiralFrog, another ad-supported music site that was more or less born dead, fall short; SpiralFrog is thoroughly locked down with DRM and it's full of bands you've heard of before.
At RDCRD LBL's launch 10 record labels are participating so the selection is limited. I'm not hip enough to have heard of more than just a few of these bands, but I'll check them out once the site is up.
The RCRD LBL site, bless its overworked little heart, was designed by New York's Gelo Factory, who have worked on a variety of projects ranging from the Rhizome art community blog to the social site of the AARP.