Myspace’s Pandora-style Music Video Recommendation App is a Step in the Right Direction

Big changes have been happening at MySpace over the past several months as the once dominant social networking site tries to re-orient itself in a post-Facebook world. Shortly after unveiling a slick new design this month, the Beverly Hills based company launched an all new music video recommendation app for web and iPad called Music Romeo. By beefing up their still thriving social music business, MySpace is signalling a shift away from direct competition with Facebook, where it has been steadily losing ground over the past several years. Using recommendation search technology by Australia’s We Are Hunted, MySpace’s Music Romeo represents a refreshing and necessary change in direction.

In a nutshell, MySpace Music Romeo continuously offers up music videos based on what genre and mood you select. There are 15 genres and 13 moods ranging from chill to party to naughty. If you decide that you “Love” the track being played, this information is used to make predictions which more closely match your musical tastes. Think Pandora but instead of audio it’s streaming music videos. The results are impressive. Despite no search functionality, Music Romeo was able to provide me with a steady stream of excellent new music to enjoy.

Simple, clean, minimal – not words typically associated with MySpace design, and yet Music Romeo is just that. The design is such a departure from the social network’s signature clutter that I had to double check to make sure that I wasn’t using the wrong app. The interface is unobtrusive, elegant and functional. It’s so simple and straightforward anyone can enjoy it with almost no learning curve. This is a significant departure from the MySpace of old, and hopefully this design philosophy will filter its way through to other areas of the site as well.

Moving away from general social networking and into music makes all the sense in the world for MySpace, which has been caught in an identity crisis for the last few years. By aligning itself with music lovers in a more direct way, MySpace is finally leveraging its strengths within the social music community, where it is still a dominant player. Let’s hope they continue in this direction.

In this spirit of change, will we finally see a built-in band profile editor? I won’t hold my breath.

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