As Joey points out in the following Q&A, Critical Metrics -- in it's current state of development -- is geared towards music geeks, but future iterations will make the service more accessible to casual music lovers.
Q: What does Critical Metrics do?
A: Basically, CM takes advantage of recommendations across ALL media to quickly find and source, with some credible accuracy, your real, e.coli-free, “new favorite song.” Pretty much at whatever rate you want to consume new favorite songs.
Q: Who will use it?
A: At this moment, I think Critical Metrics will most impress BB’s music nerds and/or Rails hacker-types. The music nerds, because they’ve been waiting for/fearing a digital indexing of the music press for years already. The hackers more to laff at our sheer Ruby-on-crack audacity.
Honestly, we’re a few passes short of being nice enough for the average music consumer, but our soonish goal is for anyone who enjoys music to understand CM as a legit alternative to relying upon iTunes ads, Grey’s Anatomy, college radio, a 2.0 blackbox, or their cool friends to find fresh tunes. (Much as we love all those things, ofc. They’re all in the next rev.)
Q: How does it work?
A: Stat-wise, here’s how CM breaks down: we’re currently indexing ~22K reviews written by ~1200 reviewers, who over the last 18 months have collectively recommended 15K+ songs via 300+ review/recs sections of around 80 publications and misc media outlets. Out of these 15K songs, we’ve sourced 23K merchant links amongst iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, and various other merchants. Of course, these numbers all grow daily, but it’s already a nice library.
Q: You mentioned that Critical Metrics is especially suited for integrating Rhapsody accounts into playlists. Can you explain?
A: I think Rhapsody is proving itself to be super-suited for 3rd party integration in general. Yottamusic is a perfect example--an incredibly fast and useful Rhapsody skin that lets you build a massive CD collection in an afternoon. Critical Metrics is another example, although our focus is more on playlisting singles and individual tracks.
I think it's altogether fair to encourage everybody, iPod supremacists included, to pony up for the doggone Rhapsody subscription already. Great sound, great selection, super portable, and ridiculously cheap compared to ANY other entertainment service out there: Netflix, iTunes, and your local cable provider included. These days, Rhapsody’s pretty much my favorite net institution.