For three years I was part of a site called “This Is My Jam.” The premise was pretty simple: you choose one song, and only one, you are truly passionate and set it on your profile, along with a few words about it.
The beauty of this versus, say, Spotify is that it was a lot simpler. On Spotify, people make big ol’ playlists of songs they like, which can be fun, but also overwhelming. TIMJ was the digital equivalent of that scene from Garden State where Natalie Portman puts the headphones on Zach Braff’s ears and tells him to listen – one track, not an algorithmically-generated playlist of 30 or more.
Anyway, This Is My Jam shut down, as did Rdio – another place where you could share individual tracks along with some comments. I knew I missed them but I didn’t realize how much until discovering Cymbal.
The premise of Cymbal is pretty similar to This Is My Jam – share a song, and some words, and then listen to other people’s songs and their words. While TIMJ felt like a place where you would want to leave a song up for a day or even a week, Cymbal is a little more immediate – I’m doing two or three a day – but it feels good.
The main thing I like is the conversation that’s happening, and the ability to discover people who have some similar likes as you but are also out there finding new things. Facebook and Twitter somehow just don’t do it for me on music sharing, and while I’ve adopted Spotify as my listening place, it is sorely lacking in the human aspect of things. Music should be social.
I’m steeling myself for the inevitable closure that seems to follow every music service I truly love, but maybe these guys can make it happen.
If you’re inclined, you can find me at my usual spot.
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