Every once in a while someone asks me about software companies to work for in the Seattle area that aren't Microsoft, Amazon or Google. This is the first in a series of weekly posts about startups in the Seattle area that I often mention to people when they ask me this question.

The iLike service from GarageBand.com is one of a new breed of "social" music services which is a category popularized by Last.fm. The service consists of two primary aspects

  1. A website where one can create a profile, add friends, view stats about the music you listen to and see what music is popular among iLike users.
  2. An iTunes plugin which recommends songs from signed and unsigned artists based on what you are listening to and also allows you to see what your friends are currently listening to.

I tried the service and definitely like the concept of getting music recommendations from directly within iTunes. The only downside is that you get samples of the recommended songs (probably the same snippets from the iTunes music store) instead of having the entire recommended song streamed to you. I guess that makes sense since it is a free service and likely makes money via an affiliate program. The company recently got a bunch of funding from Ticketmaster so I expect that they will soon start integrating concert ticket recommendations into their user experience which would explain why they require a zip code when signing up for the service.

The president of iLike is Hadi Partovi who recently left Microsoft for the second time after a stint as a General Manager at MSN where he greenlighted start.com which eventually morphed into the live.com personalized page. One of the key developers of iLike is Steve Rider who was the original developer of start.com.

Press: Seattle Times on iLike

Number of Employees: 25

Location: Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill)

Jobs: jobs@iLike-inc.com, current open positions are for a Web / Server (Ruby) engineer, Software Development Engineer in Test, Web/DHTML engineer, Database engineer, and desktop client engineer