Song site makes your jam toast of the town
With most major music websites now vying to have the biggest stash of tracks, Katie Wright looks at a recently relaunched site that values its quality over its quantity
Song-sharing site This Is My Jam (thisismyjam.com) doesn't care that rival Last.FM has 90 million songs under its digital belt, or that the Google Play store stocks 22 million tracks. TIMJ, which hosts "the half-million best songs of all time", knows that, when it comes to music, size doesn't matter.
Originally launched in 2012, TIMJ uses one question to curate its crowdsourced collection: what's your favourite song?
Users are only allowed to pick one 'jam' at a time, which stays on their profile page for a week unless they change it.
TIMJ encourages you to choose that one song you're obsessed with, the one you play every day for a month and tell all your friends they have to listen to immediately.
That way it's far more discerning than hitting like on hundreds of tracks, as you might on a site like Hype Machine, which gathers songs that have been posted on thousands of blogs.
It's also better than Google or iTunes, because it actually harnesses the power of Hype Machine (and other music and video sites like Sound Cloud, Vimeo and YouTube) by letting users post jams from those services, so it's not limited to relying on tracks being officially released – homemade remixes and mashups are very much allowed, if not actively encouraged.
And with new features unveiled with the redesign at the end of August, TIMJ has just got even better. There's now a history section for each jammer so you can see all their previous jams, created because users said they wanted an easy way to find people who liked the same music as they do.
Plus there's the addition of 'song screens', which show how many people have named that selection as their jam, what they tweeted about it and recommendations based on that song. This will, creators Hannah Donovan and Matthew Ogle promise, give each track a "cultural context".
"A jam isn't just any song – it's the one you love, so that piece of data is 'worth' more," they say in a blog post about the redesign. "There's a lot of music out there and when we talk to people about it, they are often overwhelmed for choice."
Using a data-driven approach to focus on favourites while other sites are obsessed with amassing the most makes a refreshing change.
This Is My Jam may not want to be the biggest, but it definitely wants to be the best.