Thursday, February 01, 2007

Using Tags to build better playlists!

I have been working on the Finetune service for quite sometime now, and as a result you could imagine that I have become somewhat of a power user. Here's my Profile for reference:

Teknision's Profile

I have many playlists, and I listen to them all the time, on the site, the Wii, and ummm..... well, other places....

But the bummer is, I am getting bored of them. Don't get me wrong, they are awesome! (If you like really hardcore stuff), but after weeks of the same songs, the old playlists start to get a little tired.

To spice things up, I like to turn to using Artist Radio here and there. Artist Radio is awesome for discovering new music. Just search for any artist on the finetune site and click the good old green play button to listen to a playlist that is dynamically created, featuring that artist and all kinds of other related music.

While that is fun, I still get a bit frustrated that I am not in total control of what I am listening to.

What I really want, is random tracks within a sandbox of artists I have selected. Welcome to Tag Radio!

At first, it is easy to perceive tags as a way for anyone to add keywords to artists and albums to help the rest of the community find and listen to categorized music. For example:

You could take a look at the tag called "Rock" and you will get served a dynamically generated playlist of content that has been marked as rock.

You could look up Comedy-R (which is really worth checking out), and listen to all your favorite comedians doing stand-up all day.

But forget the community for a second! We're power users here, let the people find their own music! Instead let's use tag radio to build great dynamic playlists filled with only the things we want to listen to. Instead of thinking of a tag as a keyword added to content, think of it as a "Dynamic Playlist".

Steps In Building Personal Tag Playlists:

I am going to base this on one of my own playlists called "Cry Me a River".

1/ Select one of your playlists, and think of it's title as a tag name. In my case it is "Cry Me a River".

2/ Visit each one of the artist pages of the artists that have a song in that playlist. On that artist page, add a tag to the artist that is the name of your playlist. So for me, one of my artists is "Thrice" so I add the tag "Cry Me a River" to them.

3/ Once I have added at least 15 artists to the tag, I can now listen to the tag as a "Tag Radio" station, by clicking the green play button on the tag page.

Following these steps will give you a playlist that is very similar to your actual playlist, but everytime you listen to it, the tracks will be different!

Original Playlist

Tag Radio Playlist


Anonymous said...

great idea!
my concept of not getting bored was listening to playlists of people who were fan of the same artists I'm fan of. I didn't like all of the stuff I got to hear but digged out new jewels for my own playlists...

Tony said...

Alongside Artist Radio, listening to other people's playlists is definitely a great way to find new music.

My post was not as much focused on new music though. It is focused on building playlists of artists you like, yet setting it up so that every time you listen you get fresh stuff!

In one case you are looking for new content, in the other you jst want a fresh mix of the artists you already know and like.

Christopher said...

So, simply, please reach out to me we are interested in your work and products for our corporate customer base...dude this iso nfire. Thank you for the solid code base. Oh, one note wii did stop my PC clock from running...just a bug I am sure.

peggylon said...

I guess if lots of people start tagging artists the way suggested, the tags listed will stop being useful but'll rather become a source of confusion... Wouldn't it be a better idea to have private tags as well as public ones?

By the way, how can tags be edited/deleted? Couldn't figure that one out...

George said...


Felipe said...

Very very good... and excellent results! Thanks for the tip

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a Great idea!
I'll put my profile here and you can tag to there

Hope to see you soon here!-
Thanks-this is a wonderful blog!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a Great idea!

I put my tag here and you can find me here.

Hope to see you there too!
wonderful blog.

Ricardo said...

Great tip!! Only thing is, I wasn't able to make the tags work through a browser (I tried IE and FF). However, once I installed the SpringBox and the FineTune widget, I was able to listen to the tagged playlist I created. I am also now able to skip songs, where I wasn't able to in the browser.

Thanks again!


Anonymous said...

Hey guys!! ithank you so much for creating this!! wow! great idea!
you made life a little better

Jason said...

I've been using tag radio for a bit and an addition I would like added really soon is the ability for your tag station to play from your tagged albums as well. Sometimes I only like an album or two from a particular artist and the tag radio should play from there too, not just your tagged artists!

patra said...

what this means: You're gonna have to listen to some of then!!!

my list don´'t work in may blog!!!

Anonymous said...

YOU!! YOU think that you can beat me in the whole typing thingy, of typing thingys.

I do not appreciate this confrontation behind my bacvk too!!
You are horrible and should lose your job.



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lsjb said...

I cannot create any list or add any song. What is the problem with FineTune?

Anonymous said...

if someone can please email me @ and tell me how to make my own freakin playlist i would stop bein so pissed off