Piki isn’t like Turntable; it isn’t real-time and doesn’t try to recreate the physical act of bringing music fans together in one room. Instead, the service relies on your friends’ taste in music, drawing from their own favorite songs — called “Picks” — to build you a playlist. It’s as if Pandora or Spotify Radio merged together with Turntable.fm, creating a significantly more passive experience.
Once you’ve found a few friends or followed recommended strangers, you can start listening to your radio-style playlist immediately. You can also choose to hone in on specific genres like Indie, or artists like Daft Punk.
If you’ve been spoiled by Spotify’s generous licensing deals, you’ll be disappointed to know that Piki is limited to a certain number of skips — just like Pandora. Adjusting the radio by genre or artist is one way to work around this limitation.
As you listen, you’ll be able to re-pick songs too, which will then show up in your friends’ playlists.
The app isn’t entirely friction-less. Re-picking songs could be easier — it currently requires three taps instead of one, and your playlist wont be very good if your friends have horrible taste in music. This in mind, I did end up following users with excellent taste, and found myself re-discovering favorite songs as well as finding new favorites.
Until Spotify fully rolls out its social features, I have trouble siding with any music service that relies solely on algorithms for recommendations. Music is inherently social, and Piki takes the hassle out of sharing songs with friends.
If you’ve watched this space closely, you’ll know that Piki has been teased since December of last year. Turntable initially released a Web version of Piki in private beta, but has since taken that down for the time being. According to founder Billy Chasen, the Web version will launch in May. An Android version of the app will apparently launch a couple of weeks after the Web version makes its debut.
Until then, the iOS app is now live and entirely free. Check it out via the link below: