March 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

Epitonic to Relaunch as Playlist Service

Precisely 12 years after Epitonic.com launched its groundbreaking indie music site, the site’s original three co-founders are getting the band back together, so to speak.

Epitonic will reappear as a playlist-oriented site on Tuesday where music fans can  stream carefully curated lists of songs within a web browser or download them for later playback. Justin Sinkovich announced the new move on Chicago radio station WBEZ — many months after the trio originally announced that the site would be making a comeback.

Epitonic was an early proponent of giving away a track or two from each album on the site — a strategy that confused labels at the time, according to Sinkovich, but which has now become standard industry practice. After launching the playlist-oriented Epitonic tomorrow, the co-founders plan to add more complicated technology to the site, including user-generated content (most likely playlists too).

Playlist sharing has always been a promising area, but previous efforts such as Uplister failed, largely because they couldn’t deliver enough actual music. But now that labels are used to giving away a song or two from every album, this sort of curation makes more sense.

For now, Epitonic.com will function as a web app, although Sinkovich says he wants to “recapture[] the spirit of Epitonic with all the new technology and updated features that weren’t available during our original days,” so we wouldn’t be surprised if the team releases it as a mobile app too.