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