A brand new music service has just launched an open beta version: Guitarati. Yes, yet another new music service, but wait, this one has a totally different approach then existing music start-ups. Founder Sonal Pandey explained me in an email that the world of music discovery is dominated by tag clouds and rating systems, yet they don’t have anything to do with ‘feelings’ about music. According to Pandey, Chicago-based and self funded Guitarati has found an intuitive way of music discovery based on music-color co-relation. And it looks like this:
Click on the color that you feel it represents your mood and Guitarati offers you a list of songs. Within this screen, you can either choose a lighter or darker tone. When it gets too new-age for you, just pick a familiar genre.
The business model is more down to earth, as users can listen to a high quality full-length song stream for a cent, and these cents get deducted from the download price – which is determined by the artist – when they download the song. 75% of the earnings go to the musicians and their label.
So the barrier for uploading your own music is pretty low, though I’m not sure people can get used to this new way of picking music. What does a yellow song mean? And what’s the difference with pink? Moreover, I believe every culture has different associations with colors. When western people are in a love mood, they might go for red. But will Asians as well? I wonder how this will develop. One thing is for sure, it’s really interesting to see how the lists of songs for a color will change when more people from all over the world will rate the music.
The biggest challenge for the Guitarati team will be to prove its users they’re not just a gimmick, but a serious way of finding music. Maybe they could get a music star to write a testimonial?