One of the biggest questions nowadays is what the future of the net will behold. Some interpret this very literally and think the web should just “look better”. Others think there will be a great structural change. I’m part of that second group. Just like Web 2.0 was all about the community, Web 3.0 will show intelligence; not only displaying information, but processing it as well. These days we are seeing the prologue to this “Webolution”.
‘The Filter’ makes a perfect example.
I must say, I’ve had my share of music discovery websites, some better than others, but none of them ever really satisfied my needs. Though still in (open) beta, The Filter has already added loads of music and movies to my wish-list.
The Filter works using a ‘you-rate-it’ kind of system. It starts out by asking what your favorite genre of music and movies are. Based on these genres, you’ll receive a list of media (music, movies and even web videos) which it thinks you’ll enjoy.
You can, after checking out the audio fragments and/or film trailers, rate each title on the list. Each rating will affect the media showed to you in the future. So as you advance, The Filter will improve its understanding of your likes and dislikes.
The site has a fold-out music player at the bottom. The music fragments are about 20 seconds in length; complete songs would be nice, but the fragments are long enough to give you an impression of what to expect. I’ve encountered some problems with the player though, it has jammed more than once during my search for music, but perhaps that’s just me. The videos, on the other hand, are being pulled in automatically from YouTube and similar sites after which you can rate, share and save them.
Apart from just browsing the list on the front-page, you can tell The Filter that you “own it, so please don’t recommend it again”, or go to the item’s ‘profile page’ to look at similar artists and movies. Another option is to rate the genres as a whole (You can do this by clicking on ‘improve my recommendations’ -> ‘Rate things now’).
Besides the obvious, The Filter also hosts music and film ‘news & reviews’, though I won’t go into detail on that. Another type of media, television, will also be covered in the future. According to the site its estimated time of arrival will be in about “393 cups of tea”.
Filter ““ available for Windows and Mac
The Filter presents: Filter. This free plug-in can be used in combination with iTunes, Windows Media Player and Winamp (sadly, not with MediaMonkey) and is available for both Windows and Mac. It can save you the trouble of having to rate stuff by looking at what you’re listening to and reporting back to the site.
“˜The Filter’ looks, feels and functions great. It’s a great tool to discover music and movies and a lot better than the other “˜music-discovery’ alternatives I’ve tried in the past. So what are you waiting for?
(By) Simon is a student from Belgium who wastes his time relaxing, watching anime and surfing the net. He would tell you to check out his blog, only he doesn’t have one!
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