See Things Differently
We were intrigued by what we saw on The Filter. It’s a UK site who have created a nifty software application that analyses your music collection, then passes the information back to the ‘Filter Brain’ which subsequently presents you with a Playlist of tracks based on your music library. So far, so Last.fm you might say. However, it differs slightly in that there is no streaming music on Filter – it is all based on Playlists and subsequently quick and easy to use. If you like a track you’re given the option to buy from the usual shops (Amazon, iTunes etc).
Initially I liked the idea. I don’t listen to Last.fm since I find it too esoteric. So, the idea of being given a playlist seemed fine. But then I saw the downside. There is no streaming music, only links to YouTube videos. The playlists are built around what I already have, with new tracks recommended based on my existing collection. Therefore I have to click on each track to see if I liked it. And when I tried the demo, the first track recommended to me was by Radiohead, who I can’t stand…
There are many more applications based on playlists. They’re undoubtably a powerful way of sharing music. But for mainstream users I think they require the listener to do too much. Most people, I suspect, simply want music to play when they click on a button, and if they like what they hear they’ll stick with it.