Where is the Dewey Decimal System for Digital Music?

Where is the Dewey Decimal System for Digital Music?


Music is my constant companion. A typical day for me musically, would look something like this:
– 6:00 AM Power music for my run to the gym
– More power music while I work out
– News article reader app (Umano) while I make breakfast
– Classical music while I work through emails at my desk
– Music selection for scripting/fashion show etc.
– Soft inspirational music for walking to meeting
– Fun dance tunes to celebrate a successful work day
– 528Hz music for meditative activity (ex. yoga)
– Vintage Vinyl while I make dinner
– Mopey Emo before bed

In my daily routine I have mentally assigned certain genres of music to tasks, and my day’s playlist is more important than my Moleskin planner, which is REALLY important. So management of my music library needs to be quick, seamless, and perceptive for my day to go smoothly and be productive. Really I am looking for the Dewey Decimal System of music organization, an app that has the aptitude to find and organize my music whims into easily recognized categories and that never makes me wait.

To be honest, I am still in search of my own perfect music dewey, but I wanted to share the following music service apps because all have at least one trait that I am looking for:

Hype Machine:

I don’t even use this app properly and I still love it.
Hype Machine is a blog aggregator that measures what music people are talking about the most online and it puts them into handy little lists for you. The best function is the one-stop shop access to all of the cool kids and their blogs. Hype Machine allows you to find out who in the world of music blogging has the same taste as you and then you get to access their feeds.

Hype Machine is primarily my background music while I work, and of course, when I blog. In this way, I have amassed a collection of 1000 hard to find tracks that I adore before they ever become popular, if they ever do. This requires a patient approach and willingness to discover, but it gives you the opportunity to have freshest beats before anyone else has even heard of them (great for trend spotting in music). Oh to be the Cool Kid…
Downside: you can’t manage any of your songs. So they just sit in a chronological list of favorites.


Simply put, rdio is the Netflix of music. Your subscription will cost you $9 a month and it will give you unlimited access to the entire rdio library, which is impressively vast and varied enough for my aversion-to-main-stream taste . Even though it is a little slow to add the newest album of your favorite artists the song lists are endless and it is a great dinner party musical roulette go-to. Plus it has great potential for social media music sharing i.e. you can even collaborate on playlists with people in your network.


The best trait of Songza is that it will give you a great playlist based on what you are doing or how you feel. The debbie downer is that it is not easy to interact with the music you are listening, like when your “jam” comes on while vacuuming the living room, and you have to stop because there is no function to remember the song other than to know that it was a part of a random playlist that someone else compiled for you. Which is, I think, one of the biggest disappointments in music of the digital age, we have in many ways lost the ability to interact with what we are hearing, music has become less about where it comes from and more about how it can be shared on Facebook. Anyone remember waiting for your favourite song to come on the radio, and frantically slamming the record button on your boombox with the blank cassette. No? Just me?

Just like a carefully crafted mix tape from my youth, I want to take all the chart topper functions of these apps and make something Melvil Dewey could stand by. Until then you can find me toggling between these apps feeling glad that none of them involve fast forwarding a cassette tape to exactly the right spot when I get a hankering for Fleetwood Mac.