Archive for the ‘thesixtyone’ Tag

Social iTunes

I’ve been a longtime user of Last.fm, and while it’s a valuable resource for music discovery, it has its drawbacks. It’s not tied directly into iTunes, which means A) not everybody has it, and B) you have to go to a web site outside of your jukebox to access it. I like the idea behind iLike (no pun intended), but there’s so much more they could have done with it.

iLike is a social music site similar to Last.fm. It offers the ability to install a sidebar built into iTunes that, in addition to tracking and broadcasting what you’re listening to, shows you related music to the currently playing track, news about bands and tracks your friends on the service are listening to. But for people like me with large libraries, I get a lot of info about bands I don’t really care about.

The sidebar should take advantage of the mass wealth of metadata iTunes stores on listener history. Data like individual track play counts and skip counts would be great ways to choose which bands’ news gets delivered at the top, and which similar bands you’re more likely to want. Just because I have one song by 2Pac, doesn’t make me a fan of him. It shouldn’t be factored as heavily into my recommendations.

These services should also go beyond their walled gardens and take a cue from the Hype Machine, pulling blog posts and album reviews from outside sources. With all the investors watching these social music services (thesixtyone is another on that list), there’s still a lot of room for improvement.