One of the few Web 2.0 activities I regularly participate in is the iTunes Song of the Week. In fact I participate so regularly, I would say it’s almost like a cult for me. Obviously, I love it for the free music, and frankly I haven’t felt so musically hip in years. If you download enough, you will eventually get a free song which later appears in a major cinema soundtrack, a teen show or perhaps the Wegman’s background music track.
But it’s also very interesting to read the reviews for the iTunes Community (which is fairly large). If nothing else it is a great chance to see how one of the larger “communities” functions in the wild. Sometimes a review will recommend another single which I have already heard somewhere in a TV ad, but have never been able to download. Very informative (and profitable for the recording artists). Peer to peer is definitely king here.
I’ve also learned that for every new artist I have discovered here, I read at least one review from someone who has seen said artist in Dallas, London, San Francisco or Los Angeles. No matter how “with it” I become with the modern musical trends, I know that there will be someone even hipper. Web 2.0 means learning humility.
Of course, the interesting part of all may be the ratings fights. Do you love it or hate it? Or more importantly – do you love it when everyone else hates it? Based on reviews I have seen, I would have to definitely have to classify the core iTunes Single of the Week audience as being suburban and favoring acoustic driven 90’s flavored singer-song writers. If we are on a rap or electronica week, reaction is rarely positive. As a closet urban music listener, it IS frustrating to see how little Turkish/German jazzy electronica is appreciated.
This week, we are back to singer songwriters, but the top review was a 1-star questioning the ubiquity of the singer-songwriter genre. A community rebellion perhaps? We are asked to click “Yes” if we agree, and push the review even further up the rankings. I have to confess that I did click “Yes”, but then downloaded the song. It actually seems fairly catchy, and I do like the chance to expand my horizons.