Uplister

UPL Logo

Uplister was a playlist focused music startup with several hundred thousand users that operated from 2000-2002. The service allowed music fans from all over the world to create and share annotated playlists of their favorite music and discover new music based on shared personal tastes.

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The vision behind Uplister was that in the digital era, playlists will replace radio and albums to become the primary way of listening to music. This turned out to be the right idea, as evidenced by today’s dominant music services like Spotify and Pandora where almost all listening takes place via playlists. That said, Uplister’s timing was off by about 5 years. Uplister’s library included many thousands of great playlists, some from famous people:

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and many from regular music fans:

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Uplister integration in Winamp was popular:

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Winamp 1

Uplister 2.0 was going to include a music subscription service:

Uplister 2

In 2003, Jennifer Waits presented a great paper about playlists that includes additional background on Uplister. Finally, here is an early Uplister investor presentation.