A couple of entries back I complained about the problems I had getting up and running with MOG. According to their latest newsletter they’ve found the elusive database index needed to radically speed up their import process, but I have yet to find the inclination to give it another go.
One of the reasons I found it quite so frustrating was that I’d recently been beta testing tourb.us, a live music website that allows you to build a set of favourite artists and will keep you informed on when those artists are going to be in your area.
Despite some early problems with Safari (which I believe are now fixed, though I tend to use Camino so haven’t checked) the site was very easy to get into, and the option to seed your profile with favourites imported from last.fm meant a profile could be up and running in very little time. You can subscribe to lists of shows by particular artists or in a given area by RSS or iCalendar so it’s also easy to keep in touch.
The site’s listings are still far from comprehensive. They rely on a selection of screen scrapers and user input to keep up to date which–as anyone tracking the Grand Rapids metro on upcoming.org can testify–needs a critical mass of users to be reliable. The guys are very responsive, however, and open to suggestions of new sites to scrape, so hopefully it will grow quickly.
What I like most about tourb.us is that it feels like a light solution that will play well with other music-related sites. It’d be good to see clearer connections to a service like Music Brainz to help identify artists beyond their names (ever so useful if people want to build further services on top), but there’s time for that.