By BoLOBOOLNE payday loans

Rhapsody Profiles FTW!

Excuse my newbie exuberance, but OMG Rhapsody.com finally launched profile pages!!!  They’ve been up for a while now, which makes me think they’re for real this time.  A couple of you might remember that this feature was live for something like a week in early 2007.  But it was very slow and didn’t live long.  Sniff.

I worked hard to make this feature possible when I was working at Real.  The fact that I couldn’t get it re-launched was a big motivator for me to move on to greener pastures.  I saw making Rhapsody social as an important evolution of the music catalog’s organizational schema.  It’s also an attempt to bring the product into what Tim O’Reilly would call Web 2.0.  Tim’s canonical essay is long-winded, but I really liked how he summarized it in a recent interview on NPR — basically the product gets better as people use it.  The millions of people who use Rhapsody are an asset that has been almost completely unused, except to take their money.  I saw it as a way to take on one of the product’s biggest shortcomings.

Rhapsody has tons of music.  TONS.  Rhapsody almost certainly has something you want to listen to right now, regardless of who you are or what your current mood or situation is.  It’s a strong statement, but there really is that much music.  The problem is figuring out what you want to listen to.  Rhapsody has a great categorical index of music, so if you know you want to listen to D&B or Emo or Vocal Jazz, no problem.  Or if you know specifically the name of something you want to listen, just search for it.  Other than that, you can take the homepage recommendations, browse the catalog manually, or sift through Playlist Central, a dumping ground for unvetted playlists that is a case study in how not to use user-generated-content (UGC) on a website.

Picking good music is difficult.  This is what DJ’s get paid for.  I originally wanted this feature to be called "DJ Pages."  The idea was to give a voice to the small fraction of Rhapsody users who are fanatical about the product.  People who are serious music buffs love Rhapsody, and if given a voice would and still might add tremendous value to the music catalog.  Right now the editorial voice in Rhapsody is controlled by a politburo of paid editors.  They’re really good, but they’re just a handful of hands.  DJ Pages would democratize the music editorial process so anybody with an opinion can contribute.  The social graph becomes the voting process to select who’s worth paying attention to, just like with pagerank.  What Tim calls Web 2.0, I like to refer to the democratization of information.  Partly because it’s fun to call people Communists when they cling to control of information, but mostly because the analogy is apt and helpful.

The Rhapsody team has made an important step in this direction of openness.  I hope they keep running with it.  If you want to see what’s been playing on my Sonos at home, check out my profile page.  But most importantly, I’d like to express my CONGRATULATIONS to everybody who made this possible again and the first time!!!!11!!1

  1. Katie B says:

    WHOO HOO! So happy! :)

  2. Ramez Naam says:

    FTW! Time to fire up Rhapsody again. It is still the primary way I listen to music at work.

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