Rather than relying on musical components or a binary rating system, a new website crowdsources playlists based on emotions, moods and activities.
The key to a great playlist isn't a rogue's gallery of artists or a carefully balanced mix of genres. Great playlists are inherently emotional, the soundtrack to our lives. They can pull at your heartstrings, create much-needed moments of zen and turn your darkest moment into the best day of your life.
That's the concept behind Stereomood, a relatively new music site taking an innovative approach to online recommendations. Part Internet radio, part discovery engine and part mood ring, the music aggregator builds on Pandora's much-praised model of utilizing listener feedback, but with a twist: Rather than tagging tracks based on specific musical components or evaluating their relevance through a binary thumbs up/thumbs down system, Stereomood relies on users assigning a "mood" to each song. The engine then groups songs together under relevant playlists, with moods ranging from the straight-forward ("calm," "meloncholy," "dreamy") to the situational ("just woke up," "busy as a bee," "dinner with friends" and the ever relevant "afrodesiac.")
"Behind every song there's always an emotion. We don't know why but maybe that's why we love music," Giovanni Ferron, a senior web designer at Xing and the mind behind the online radio, wrote on Stereomood's website. "So we've created a way to suggest songs that follow your feelings: Stereomood is the emotional Internet radio, providing music that best suits your mood and your activities. How do I feel? What am I doing now?"