That aside, I got a $20 voucher for the MP3 store last week and spent it all on some pretty great music. I searched for one of my favorite teen punk bands, The Forgotten Rebels, and found a band called Ultimate Power Duo that self-identified as Rebels-esque. I downloaded a handful of their tracks, and was instantly transported to my wasted youth of listening to "In Love With the System" over and over again in my friend Mike's basement while drinking hard cider that we got the taxi driver to buy for us.
The recommendation system is the key to PayPlay, since it's unlikely you've heard of most of the artists in their catalog. The artists self-identify, citing their musical influences. Searches for better-known artists -- David Byrne, Tom Waits, Talking Heads -- yielded less fruit: there were so many artists in the search results and many of them appeared to be quite adept at, um, hiding the extent to which they were influenced by some of my favorite acts.
Still, it was easy to fill my basket with $20 worth of $0.88 music, all of which I've enjoyed immensely. PayPlay also features an admirable artist split, with artists taking home an average of $0.59 per track, (artists signed to labels average about seven percent of the price of an iTunes Store download), which means that your purchases at the store are pretty good karma, too.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.