Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let's listen to music together

I'm back on my I Should Use My Skills To Make Music Fun To Listen To kick again. It's a bit of a misnomer, because this "kick" is nearly perpetual.

First, I daydreamed, I should make a site where I can recommend artists/albums/songs to others, in a time-ordered fashion, as in "here's what I'm listening to now, it's great". And everyone else could do the same, and in doing, I would discover new music through friends, socially, conversationally. That was "Phase I". Phase II, I thought, music will be fun again! My friends will say "Listen to this. It's great." And I will, and I will say back, "you know what? You're right. That's great!" Everyone will love it, everyone will use it, it will take over the world with all it's awesome features, and it will only take way more effort than I'm willing to spend on this project; Which brings me to Phase III, but first I have to explain this hypothetical site's biggest un-feature. There's no music sharing going on, just music recommendations. The presumption is, users can easily listen to whatever recommended music on their own, and finding a given artist/song is not a burden. It doesn't matter how. (I happen to through Yahoo, which I have to recommend honestly; it's $9/mo or $72/yr. But this is of course, not the only way.)

So, Phase III. Really, I don't even know if this idea would even be neat. And I think there are already tools online we could use to try this out, and see what happens. Namely, (or similar), and Google reader (or similar). As I hear new artists/albums I like, I will add them into delicious, tagged as something like "music_recommend". My friends will subscribe to my music_recommend tag in Google reader, and they will see that I have recommended a few artists since last they looked. Of course, my friends will have feeds that I will subscribe to, and we will be merry together.

The magic of rss has a pleasant side effect. If I get lazy (which I will), and don't recommend anything in 6 months straight, my friends won't get angry at me for consuming their attention for nothing. They just won't get notified that I've recommended anything, because I haven't. The magic of delicous is two-faced. There's a spot for a description, which we can explain "I like this because..." (if we want), and I could see that being nice. But then, there's the problem of what we put in the url field. I don't know, but I also don't care. I'm just going to read the title (which should have the artist or album name) and I'll just look it up on my own. I don't need to click on any links. (But maybe to the band's official site, or something. I think it will have to be something unique, so delicious doesn't think its the same entry as some previous one.)

Anyway, if anyone thinks this would be neat, I'll need a volunteer, or 2, or more. It's kind of a tall order, with rss knowledge and nearly unlimited music access required. There aren't many people I know who even qualify, but you know who you are. If I get a volunteer, I promise to start such a feed, and update it. I also promise to subscribe to your feed, and listen to at least some of your recommendations. (Probably all of them, but this is an experiment; and I don't like making promises.) If this turns into something neat over time, perhaps I'll build an actual system around it.


Disclaimer 1: as usual I haven't researched if my idea has been implemented by someone else. But perhaps even if it does, my offer still stands.

Update: this sub-optimal description of a good idea is being implemented right now.


Brian said...

I have to give Chris credit for inventing the Phase I, II, & III lingo. Phase I (idea) is the initial idea; Phase II (utopia) is convincing yourself how your idea is going to revolutionize nearly all known things; and Phase III (reality) is realizing why most of phase II won't work, and settling on something more practical. At least that's my interpretation.

Brian said...

I went ahead and made a feed, as an example, since it doesn't actually require much effort.

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