You have music you like. Somewhat inevitably, you might want someone else to hear it. What do you do?
Okay, so the answer is YouTube.
This is a hard question today. If you want to share music with even just one person, it might be hard. What if they’re not using the same streaming service you use? What if they don’t use streaming services at all?
Yes yes. YouTube. Find the song on YouTube and send that link. Sure.
The most recent Why’d You Push That Button episode “Why did the Instagram of music fail?” is all about this. They talk about wanting to see what their friends are listening to, and that Spotify’s activity feed is the only thing even remotely good at this. There are two major problems with this setup, though: this feature is desktop-only, and if wager most Music listening happens on phones now, and even if you are on the desktop, you can’t do anything with the information. You can’t even send them a “like.”
So use YouTube, genius. Just find the song and grab the URL.
Rdio did social listening fairly well, but it was a link-based experience that was definitely desktop-only. Also, Rdio’s dead now. So.
Cymbal is a site that seems like it’s nailed this. You sign up and then share whatever music you like. You can do it on your phone and it works with every major service. The downside is that it’s shutting down. So.
Last.fm still works! But nobody uses it now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it shut down. So.
Personally, I make a little playlist on Spotify every few weeks. It’s not perfect, but it’s the easiest way for me to express what I’m into at any given time.
Hey, what about YouTube though? (Fine) Lax copyright restrictions mean just about every song has been uploaded. Search, grab a link, and go. This is what everyone I know does.
Well, those who share music. Most don’t. And I imagine that’s probably the truth here. The reason social music hasn’t ever properly taken off is that most people probably wouldn’t use it.
I’ve got a quick theory here. I think people don’t share music because it’s personal, and they’re afraid of revealing something potentially embarrassing. We’re not too far away from a time when you were weird for liking rock and pop. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s totally how it was in my junior high. Music is so close to us that we don’t want it ruined by any outside contaminant.
My other theory is that most people don’t think about music in any sort of ranking way. Music is just there or it isn’t, and they would never think of becoming an evangelist for a particular album.
So, malaise or fear. That’s why we can’t have nice things like good social music sharing.