OpenMusicMedia#12 LDN: Music Discovery Smack Down – Humans vs Hackers

September 28, 2010

Algorithms or authorities, which is best for music recommendations and why?

Despite talk of falling revenues across the music industry more music is written, created and produced than ever before. Much of it is freely available on countless platforms both legal and not so much so. A decade on from Napster and we’re truly living in music lover paradise and the possibilities to discover music, new and old, are overwhelming endless. But discover how exactly?

The volume of new music necessitates ways of getting it to the right ears quickly and with a minimum effort, time and/or money. As a result the possibilities of finding out about new music continue to multiply. Apple’s Ping being the latest high profile addition to the ranks of Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm et al. How do those new ones fare against the old ways? Have hackers replaced music journos as gatekeepers for the hottest new shit out there? How do you find out about new music and why? Have your habits changed as new models surface or have you been praying for a reincarnation of John Peel and Lester Bangs?

Long serving NME Features Editor James McMahon kindly agreed to give us a brief history of music journalism, as well as defend its relevance in music discovery today. James currently divides his time between writing about music for The Guardian, writing graphic novels for Shortlist magazine, writing about film for Total Film and editing the music website for rock and roll people, STUNT.

In the hacker corner we are fortunate to have none other than Last.fm’s parting Head of Web Product Matt Ogle who will summarise the most important innovations over the past years in music discovery and generally fight his corner.

All in all we don’t expect any blood shed, but a peaceful yet impassioned and most importantly open discussion with decisive arguments on both sides.

Also this is the first time we are at The Book Club, so please do arrive hungry and thirsty. 😉

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