So, you might remember, not that long ago, I wrote an enthusiastic blog post about a new Bandcamp feature.
“Which one?”, you ask. Fair point. I may have written a few enthusiastic posts about that certain feature. As well as other Bandcamp features (it's not my fault Bandcamp started great and keeps getting greater).
Now, since I don't want to be accused of internet crushing, I will keep my enthusiasm for Bandcamp's new Music Feed toned down. Which isn't easy, as I've just spent some time playing around on it and I can't help but feel that someone has taken my Facebook feed and removed all the ultrasound photos, all the “repost if you like things too” posts, all the promoted ‘Get A Six Pack In 5 Weeks’ ads, and all the, well, basically all the things that drown out the thing I'm most interested in. That thing that says more about a person than any watered down, passive aggressive status update could ever say.
What's the last album you bought? And why did you buy it?
As great as the new fan accounts were when Bandcamp first launched them, this new Music Feed thing has just improved them, and the entire discovery process on Bandcamp in general, ten fold (although, a hat tip to their new homepage and radio show, which is also pretty bad ass). I've only spent about an hour on my Music Feed so far, but I can assure you that it was an hour filled with great tunes that were almost all new to me. And it's a completely sincere experience, void of any hint of self-promotion, because it only shows you music that people have liked enough to buy, or recommendations based on someone else's similar taste.
If the Music Feed is left exactly as it is now, then it will already be a great thing that I foresee myself spending many a hour on. But I have a feeling that this is just one more step in the very promising social direction that Bandcamp is taking their service. The opportunity to interact with other fan accounts over a shared love of music seems to be the tempting next step (i.e. commenting on items in your Music Feed, interacting with other fans), although I can see the hesitation in doing so, as a beautiful thing could easily be ruined if people started spamming links to their own stuff (remember Myspace?). I'm sure this fan interaction will come, as I think the positive implications of doing so will outweigh the negative, and I'm also sure that Bandcamp have their thinking caps on and will implement it in their usual clever and well thought out manner.
But even if they leave it as it is, I'd be willing to bet that my Music Feed is going to become my go to source for new music discovery. There is just something very organic and genuine about it. Also, it works. My feed is full of new music that I like. And just like the original launch of their fan accounts, this new feature is going to get more people buying music… and get people who already buy music, buying more. And this is a good thing.
It's also refreshing to know that while everybody is talking the loudest about the pros and cons of the Spotify's of the world, Bandcamp just keeps quietly doing their thing. And their thing is being more and more awesome for both the music buyer and the music maker.
In closing… get a fan account set up, find some people to follow (you can start with this guy), and start experiencing just how refreshing your Bandcamp Music Feed is for discovering new music. Your headphones will thank you. And the people making all that lovely noise in your headphones will thank you too.
But also, damn you again Bandcamp. I woke up this morning not intending to buy anything except maybe a coffee and a sandwich, and now I have a growing list of things I want to purchase. Not just one… a list. Bastards.