In February of this year Jennifer Waits and I attended a social media week conference at the Adobe headquarters in San Francisco, at which Seth Goldstein of Turntable.fm spoke. During a panel on social networking radio, Goldstein critiqued his brainchild.
“I wish [Turntable.fm] was more background,” he explained. “In a way I think there are a lot of passive services that aim to be more engaging. We have the opposite problem. It’s really engaging for a small community. Because typically, if you use Turntable, you go in and you get addicted, and spend four days of your life not doing much of anything else. And then you say, ‘I just can’t do this any more. I’ve got to get back to my life.’ Right?”
TT.fm’s response to this problem is Piki.fm, a new music listening service that is in invite-only beta stage. My tt.fm friend Nanotone got me a pass, and while I’m sure Piki will primarily serve as a mobile application, I’ve been checking the desktop version out.
Piki has apparently been in the making for a while. Its great virtue is that while it appears to function like Pandora, the app uses people rather than a database driven genome as its algorithm. You can pick or upload songs in a variety of ways. But Piki is structured to get you to listen to what your friends play, then comment on the tunes or dedicate them to others.
In some ways Piki is a less frenetic version of Turntable.fm. No five deejays bopping away at the top of the screen. Not a big selection for this classical music lover (at least at this point), but I’ll stick around and see where it goes. Thanks Nano!