It finally happened
It’s part of my daily routine.
After checking the front page of HN and catching up on some emails, I often head to the only place I trust for discovering new music. This special place is a private community where music releases or “leaks” are uploaded by it’s members for the whole community to enjoy.
I don’t use any of the “music discovery” gimmicks that a lot of companies are trying to bake into their services. I’m a stubborn music fan, who listens to bands that don’t even exist yet. Twitter’s #music, Rdio’s Heavy Rotation, and Spotify’s “Discover” features simply don’t work for me.
As an example, here’s what I see on “Heavy Rotation” for my Rdio account on July 11, 2013:
As you can see, the majority of these albums are already in my collection or have been out for a long time. Doesn’t help me at all.
I love you Rdio, I really do. But I love you for your beautiful UI/UX and access to millions of songs on all of my devices, not music disovery.
How I find new music
I find new music by looking at the new “leaked” releases posted in my private music community. These communities come and go, but their members are devoted and aren’t shy about sharing their opinion of the new releases being posted. I value their opinion.
To me, their opinions are the only pure form of digital word of mouth.
Their opinions are not influenced by advertising dollars, the trends, or fancy bullshit “algorithms” for picking music based on my musical taste.They are assholes, but I love ‘em for it.
How I chose streaming over downloading
I went onto my private music community and saw a post for a band I haven’t seen before. The uploader indicated on his/her post that the release is for fans of Band X, Band Y, and Band Z. I’m a fan of those bands, so I wanted to check it out.
Then I said to myself:
“I want to check them out, but what if they suck? They usually suck. To find out, I’ll have to download the album, add it to my iTunes library, listen, and then delete it from my library.”
That’s a lot of work.
After walking through the steps above, I subconsciously selected the Rdio app from my dock, typed in the band’s name, and I was listening to them within seconds.
But now I don’t have to deal with the fallout of them being a shitty band. I don’t need to remove them from my library, I don’t have to delete it off my hard drive. I just move on and listen to something else.
Dear Music Industry:
My music discovery process started out as illegal, but when it came time to the deed, I chose to listen to the music legally because it was easier.
You may be onto something.
The answer, at least right now, is not in fancy discovery “algorithms”. It’s creating and supporting experiences that allow you to listen to the music you want in the fastest, least intrusive, and cheapest way possible.