Alternative to the old AudioGalaxy?
I realized yesterday that as I grew older, I left behind some of the wonder that I had for the world. One of the biggest things I lack now is the drive to dive in and find new music. Then, this morning, I remembered a time when the music found me. Literally.
AudioGalaxy has a long sorted history as described on the wikipedia page:
Audiogalaxy was an Internet music service with three incarnations. From mid-2010 through 2012, it was a personal audio placeshifting service. From mid-2002 to mid-2010, it was a promotional website for the Rhapsody music subscription service. From 1998 to 2002, it was a file sharing system that indexed MP3 files.
In a usage sense, the oldest incarnation of AudioGalaxy provided a client that sat in your system tray. You created an account on their server, then, within a web UI, you opted in to groups. You then had the option to accept tracks that users of these groups shared to the group. This was the most valuable feature. It crossed the line between just eating up pirated music for the sake of it, and receiving tracks you’d probably like. This is how I found Waiwan’s – Distraction and Omid’s (O.D.) – Beneath the Surface (instrumentals), both of which are pretty obscure and amazing.
What is an alternate to AudioGalaxy? Can I make one leveraging BTsync? What about a “cloud-linked” client that can download pushed tracks from existing sources (youtube, soundcloud, mixcloud, grooveshark, leveraging offliberty… hmmmmm (tomahawk?) )?
Or maybe it’s already written. last.fm, as far as I know, is the most similar service. It isn’t driven by attributes of songs, as Pandora, but instead is driven by a combination of social tagging, similar listeners, and genre. For instance, try to create a Pandora station and a last.fm channel for Astral Projection. You should quickly find out that, with Pandora you will get general techno-y/trance type music, while with Last.FM you might get other psy-trance artists (only).
But, the charm is missing from last.fm. It’s dry. It’s processed. It’s heartlessly machining social information and spitting tracks at you that fit your machined attributes. This is a lot different then the idea of the original AudioGalaxy: that I can join some groups, leave the client opened, come home and have five new tracks to listen to that my fellow-group members xxC0ldeyZxx and oOotreeoOo have pushed out to the group.
I’m not sure if this world just moved too fast for the AudioGalaxy of old. Or maybe I’m just a traditionalist who can’t adjust to the soulless machining of my social data for recommendations. Then again, as my older brother moved away from watching soul-shaking movies onto soft comedy and light-hearted indie, I even joined jinni in hopes that my ratings can be machined into some useful recommendations.