Musicovery is an online interactive radio station which makes your next-door neighbour think that you’ve just inherited John Peel’s CD collection.
It fulfilled every single one of my musical needs instantly.
Musicovery is such an elegantly simple site I really don’t think I need to explain it. Just go and visit it now and you will get the idea faster than I can lay it out in writing.
Musicovery automatically generates play-lists based around your mood. Mood is plotted on a square with “dark” and “positive” taking the sides; whilst “energetic” and “calm” occupy the top and bottom. By selecting a point anywhere on that grid you hear the music which that point describes.
You then get the opportunity to narrow the selection.
If you want to get properly crazy you can switch the mode to eliminate anything that’s charted so you get music that you couldn't have heard before.
However if you don’t want people thinking you’re a bit strange and you are confident that gospel music isn’t your thing then Musicovery lets you filter that genre out.
Each genre is colour coded and presented in an aesthetically pleasing way. The list becomes a movable map with lines connecting the songs.* This is totally unnecessary, but it looks really good. This is one of the best uses of Flash I have ever seen, particularly from an intuitive usability viewpoint.
Because the site doesn’t have a traditional search engine, the exploration experience is similar to using the softlinks on E2: if you stick around long enough you will find some weird weird stuff.
The site is still new and I can’t wait to see what they build on this fantastic foundation.
*Musicovery sprang from the minds of Frederic Vavrille and Vincent Castaignet the same people who designed musicplasma and liveplasma. So that’s why it might look familiar.
See Pandora.com and last.fm for other examples of interactive web-based radio-stations.
Musicovery was listed in pcmag’s top 100 undiscovered sites 2007.
Ok so there are more problems with this site than I originally let on.
Firstly and most importantly the method of selecting a songlist; which seems at first glance as though a random selection program is choosing songs from a vast database; is actually just choosing from pre-determined songlists selected by a point on the grid. I know this because I selected the same songlist twice - down to the pattern the lines made. A curse of a photographic memory.
Talk about seeing the man behind the curtain.
Other problems: A day after submitting this node half a page of Goggle ads appeared. Now that pretty interface has to appear in a sliver of space in the centre of the page. It looks awful.
Finally they don't have enough Genre's. This leads them to exclude or shoehorn punk, ska, folk, etc into inappropriate definitions.
In conclusion I'm still using musicovery whenever I'm feeling a bit lazy but I'm not quite as keen as I was any more.