I can’t help but feel a little sorry for music blogs as of late. I’m sure you may be familiar with The Hype Machine and may use it on a daily basis. For the uninitiated, it is essentially a music blog aggregator, which takes details of tracks and ranks them based on how often they appear and how popular they are. I’ve found it really interesting to browse around and discover new artists.
However, lately I’ve been wondering if these blogs are getting a raw deal. From my own personal experience, I can say that recommending music takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you decide to go into detail about your choices. Often, the recommendations which the Hype Machine scans are sourced from long detailed blog posts, which I’d say were put together to provide some context for why the author made those choices on any particular day. These aren’t put up quickly without little thought. However, I generally never look at these posts when listening to music from the hype machine, as I’m after that next great track fix. I can’t imagine that these blogs get much traffic that translates into loyal visitors from the machine. I’ve previously also heard that many of these blogs get a huge amount of their bandwidth eaten up from the number of downloads/streaming they get as a result. I don’t know who is to blame here, or if indeed this problem exists, whether the blogs are providing unneccessary background information or getting good results from the machine, but I still feel a little sorry for them all the same.
[Update 2/2/08: One thing I forgot to mention here is that there are alternative services offering a different way of providing music recommendations. I recently discovered the Peoples Music Store which allows users to make music recommendations within their own unique stores. The users get 10% of the sale if people decide to purchase from their stores. I really like the idea, but I’d imagine people might take these recommendations and purchase somewhere cheaper, like amazon.]