I recently spoke to Joey Anuff and Will Kreth about their cool new music-related venture, Critical Metrics. (Joey is the co-founder of Suck and Will is the co-founder of Wired.) In short, Critical Metrics is a powerful song discovery system that lets you build playlists and listen to them in a pop-up player. (Try their "100 songs we love" in the upper left hand corner.)
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
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
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
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
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.