When you hear about a one-hit wonder, there’s no need to wonder what their best song is. It’s their “one hit.” What about other bands though?
One of the neatest music technologies to emerge from Midem Music Hack Day earlier this month is That One Song. Part of the This Is My Jam website, this feature plays you the one song you simply have to hear by a particular band — their hit single, if you will, as determined by passionate music fans who know what they are talking about, for the most part.
In other words, That One Song aspires to be not a popularity contest, but a quality contest. It doesn’t matter how many times everyone has played something, but rather, how many times people who really care about music have chosen a song as their favorite of all, for that week at least.
“Since every song on Jam is someone’s favourite, the quality of data is incredibly high” said Matt Ogle, founder of the London-based This Is My Jam in a statement. “The most popular song — often the crowd pleaser – isn’t always the best song. ‘That One Song’ will often suggest something different to the top tracks on other services.”
Not only do you get the “best” song by whatever band you enter, but you also get to see who chose it as their favorite song of the moment on This Is My Jam It, as well as what they said about it when they posted it, giving you a new way to find people to follow on This Is My Jam.
That One Song also includes a “B side,” just like an old vinyl ’45, consisting of a deep track people might not be as familiar with.
“The hack was born out of a love for old 45s, with their A side / B side simplicity,” adds This Is My Jam product designer Hannah Donovan. “We were both frustrated by coming home from a night out with our phones’ Notes apps full of artists to check out, then having to search through various music services just to get a sense of the artist’s music. I’m busy! There’s a lot of music out there! I’d rather have an expert tell me the perfect song to start with.”
How does it stack up? Here’s a playlist of representative “A sides” on Spotify from That One Song, and here are some B sides. We also did some spot testing of the service, and found the results decent or at least thought-provoking for every band we entered.
So yes, we agree with Ogle and Donavan that “That One Song” should help solve the problem of what to listen to first when you hear about a new — or old — band that you don’t know yet.
Later this year, This Is My Jam plans to relaunch with “all new music and community functionality built on top of the song graph” that powers That One Song, with a public song API to follow, allowing other services to utilize this data.