Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest

How Online Music Stores Are Changing Music Criticism

Recommended Posts

Here's a thought-provoking article from the NY Times. FWIW, I've tried--and love--Pandora.

The New Tastemakers (NY Times)

...

ervices like Pandora have become the latest example of how technology is shaking up the hierarchy of tastemakers across popular culture. In music the shift began when unauthorized file-sharing networks like the original Napster allowed fans to snatch up the songs they wanted, instantly and free.

But the field is also full of new guideposts: music blogs and review sites like the hipster darling Pitchfork have gained influence without major corporate backing. And customizable Internet radio services like Pandora, Last.fm, Yahoo

Edited by Andy Whitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The weakness of these huge databases is they don't tell you why you might like an artist. Sure, they can spit out a RIYL, but that is it. I've been around music long enough to tell from even a poorly written review whether or not I would like something. Heck, even "tastemakers" like Pitchfork can trash an album, but based off descriptions of why it is or isn't good, I can tell if I will like it or not. You don't get that from a simple RIYL.

A second factor in favor human music criticism is the quality of writing. I enjoy reading good musical writing. I love reading what Andy has to say. Say what you will about Pitchfork, but whether you agree with them or dispise them, they invoke a reaction. They have something to say and they say it in an interesting way. There is an art to musical journalism, you can't replace that.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Pandora every once in a while. I've found I can use it to enhance whatever mood I'm in. When I want to be reflective I use my Over The Rhine station (and notice that no one selected is as good as Over The Rhine). When I want to discover beats I use my Portishead station (and get the same results as with the Over The Rhine station). The Radiohead station has actually introduced me to some new artists, and I've liked some of the stuff I've heard on there, although I haven't bought anything yet because of Pandora...

I would never look forward to Pandora in my mail each month like I now look forward to Paste Magazine. Kyle nailed it -- the quality of writing coming from Paste is unusually insightful most of the time. Not only that, but after a time you kind of understand what you're getting yourself into with Paste. A healthy respect for past music tradition with a longing to discover the unknown and new talent that they can find. All this while dropping a lot of the crap that Rolling Stone might publish. (And here I am mostly speaking to the actual language rather than the topics, because I think Paste writers are smart enough to handle any topic better than Rolling Stone.)

So in short, I don't think Andy or any of the Paste writers will be out of a job for a long, long time. In fact I plan to buy a subscription for a buddy of mine for Christmas. I suggest we all do that, and keep the most Focused-on-the-Music magazine alive.

-s.

Edited by stef

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and I've liked some of the stuff I've heard on there, although I haven't bought anything yet because of Pandora...

I think it's just a novelty. It won't stay around forever. In a funny way, it reminds me of that Jackson Pollock website that someone linked to last month. It entertained me for a short time, and then I got bored with it.

Perhaps I just don't have enough patience to go to the page every few minutes and skip a song if I don't like it (which happens to be very frequently). I end up listening to the radio station for the song or artist that I based it on.


Listen to my tunes by visiting my website, or come say hello on Facebook and Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Last.fm (myotherbrother), but I've actually never checked out any of their recommendations. I just find it fascinating to see charts of what I listen to... ::blush::


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dont know if that fits in here, but I can shed light on some of the more important web 2.0 aspects that stand behind services like last.fm...

Pandora, last.fm and other web applications make ample use of web 2.0 principles because they are inherently web 2.0.

User contributed value is one of those core principles; another is the so-called long tail. It means that there is a small quantity of popular products in a big market, but also a huge amount of products in low demand in niche markets -- which are, counted together, at least on par with the big market and the big names.

Traditional stores cannot sufficiently handle those nice-market products -- storage space is often limited. But web stores like amazon can. They can take less popular items into their range of products on offer. An example is netflix.com: They lend out more unpopular films than popular ones [wikipedia, the long tail].

In summary:The long tail is a principle, a web 2.0 business model that allows small retailers (and labels, in the music world) to find a place to put to market their niche products -- and to find their customers on the web which would otherwise be very difficult. As far as I can see, this is increasingly successful and popular with consumers as they are almost guaranteed to get what they want in one or the other corner of the web.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...