This post is by Alison McCarthy (@aliiimac). She's an intern at Hypebot.
As Kyle Bylin discussed, prior to the rise of the new social musics apps we're currently witnessing, the technology made available through our iPods and iTunes players simply didn't offer us a way to easily share our music with others.
But new services such as Shazam Friends, MusicWithMe, WahWah.fm, as well as SoundCloud, GrooveShark, and Pandora integration with Facebook and Twitter are now allowing us to listen to the music we already know we love, discover the new music we hope to love, and share it with our friends.
This month, yet another service has appeared on the market which has potentially advanced the way we share music with our social network. We've all had those musical moments when the perfect song is playing just at the right place at the right time: our flight is descending into New York City as "Empire State of Mind" is playing on our iPod; we're out for a scenic drive to the beach while listening to The Beach Boys; we wake up in a great mood and get ready for the day to "Good Day Sunshine."
SoundTracking, the first product to be officially released by San Francisco's Schematic Labs, allows users to share "the soundtrack to your life" with friends as they happen in real time. So not only are we sharing the music itself, but we're sharing the experience surrounding the music.
To create a SoundTrack, users have three options: First, a song can be searched for and submitted manually through the 'Music Search' function. Second, by using the 'Music ID' function, a song can be identified similar to the way Shazam works. Finally, users can access songs through the 'On my iPod' function, which accesses tracks stored on a device.
Once a soundtrack is created, users can add a photo, tag it with a location, and comment, and finally, circulate it through their Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter networks. Other SoundTracking friends can 'Like, love and comment' on each track, and app users can also view which songs are currently trending. SoundTracking has also been integrated with full iTunes Store support, meaning that each song comes equipped with a 30-second preview and option for purchase.
SoundTracking is still in its early stages, and much of its success depends on building a substantial userbase – without the friends to share your music with, there's no fun in sharing in the first place. So far, reviews of the iPhone version have been positive, and there's an Android version in the works – so there does seem to be potential for SoundTracking to carve out a space for itself in the seemingly expanding social music market.