Real quick because I ought to be doing my psychology homework…
I’ve been considering social feedback in increasing user loyalty and community involvement in online systems.
I was a Pandora listener for a while. I liked Pandora because it gave me interesting songs, but I like a really broad range of types of music and Pandora seemed to narrow for my tastes.
Jango is what I went to next because the interface was better for adding artists to my profile. It seems to stick to a genre for a while and then switch over and do another. I generally like it and I’ve gotten a couple of new songs from it. It gives some community feedback by having stations associated with individuals. You only stay within one person’s recommendations though. Maybe there’s community stations I just haven’t found yet.
Grooveshark seems to be really close, but I’m waiting to actually be approved to use it. I think that they’re dealing with the P2P issues and attempting to avoid the RIAA by being selective in their listenership.
I suspect though that they’re addressing a question that I’ve already had. I have a bunch of songs on my computer at home that I legitimately own. I have playlists there that I would like to have access to (and I would like to be able to create playlists while at work that I could listen to at home). Why, since I own this music, can’t I listen to it?
There’s a Y-Combinator startup reble.fm that allows streaming of songs. Streaming is legal even to other people so long as only one person is streaming at a time and the group is small.
The idea of thin servers solves four problems:
- I own a bunch of songs and I should be allowed to use interfaces that allow queuing and seeking those songs in whatever method I want.
- I have an awesome song from a great local band that isn’t in any of the recommender systems.
- My band has a great new song that we want other people to potentially have recommended to them.
- My huge server is completely swamped by 10,000 people all attempting to listen to music simultaneously.
Recommendation interfaces based around confederations of thin servers increase their potential network issues exponentially, but the state of broadband may well be such that this is a surmountable challenge. Music is nowhere near the bandwidth hog that video is. In exchange for those issues you allow anyone who wants to begin serving music, and you allow individuals access to the greatest source of songs that they are likely to like: their personal collection.