Thoughts on Beats Music »

Nick Heer, with a good piece at Pixel Envy:

With so many paths to enable a solid music addiction, you’d hope that these would stand out above the others. And, indeed, I’ve found these recommendations to be a cut above the rest. You do still see boneheaded recommendations (People who like Queens of the Stone Age also like old Kyuss? How very wet this water is.) but it also throws out some pretty solid recommendations. As an example, I love Autechre, so it recommended a playlist of Leftfield music (the genre, not just the artist).

In addition, there are some really great playlists to introduce you to artists, so you can get an overview of their entire career. There are playlists with an artist’s influences: Arcade Fire apparently digs Springsteen and the Rolling Stones; similarly, there are playlists with artists who were influenced by a given artist: Radiohead apparently influenced Bloc Party and The XX. The home screen will feature any of these at a time, based on listening habits. Like any good recommendation engine, it gets better as it’s used more.

I agree with Nick. At first, I was kind of “meh” on the service, but after using it for a (very small) bit I have to say I really like it. The playlists are original, diverse, and spot on. I haven’t seen anything as good in terms of discovery, and that includes my beloved Rdio. I have to hand it to the Beats Music folks. Outside of some launch-day stumbling blocks, it looks good. Interested to see where it goes.