The new Hype Machine aroused much… hype, you might call it. Fred Wilson was enthusiastic. Marshall Kirkpatrick was positively giddy: “beautifully redesigned… social networking component is very nicely put together… very handy Twitter integration… a widely loved service.”
My reaction is rather more mixed. I should start by saying that I value what I see as Hype Machine’s basic service: it helps me find music that people have posted to their blogs. I like the favorites feature: here are my favorites @HM. On the other hand, I am among those who regret the loss of the playlist feature.
The lack of playlists sent me scuttling over to my account at Seeqpod, where there be playlists. I just created one: CoverBurb, which starts with Thom Yorke announcing “the sexiest song ever written” and then Radiohead doing an amazing version of… Hey, go and listen for yourself, then enjoy the duet between Billy Bragg and Jill Sobule.
Seeqpod is very much in beta, so I won’t grumble about its awkward aspects. I will say that it’s not (yet?) as good at finding music as Hype Machine. For example, when I try to find Yo La Tengo backing Daniel Johnson on his song “Speeding Motorcycle,” I get Daniel doing it solo (which is great, but not quite what I was looking for).
Hey, wouldn’t it be good if it was possible to mash the two services together? Seeqpod has an API. Unfortunately, HM doesn’t. Or, if it does, it evaded my attempts to find it. (I have an email in to HM to check this, and will pass on the reply if it say anything other than “No, we don’t provide an API.”)