Essential music geekiness: Songkick
A friend introduced me to Songkick recently. I know, I know, I’m late to the party, everyone who is anyone has been using it forever.
If you’re also not clued in, Songkick is a web site (duh). Sign up and, enter the locations you are interested in and the artists you are interested in, and Songkick will email you when the stars have aligned and your favourite band is playing in your home city – or at least somewhere you can get to. Or you can cry at the gigs that you can’t go to. The concept is simple but it’s (almost) all that is needed.
The hardest part about the entire thing is finding all the bands that you’re interested in tracking. Over the past few months I’ve added 216, largely by entering a band I like, then clicking through to all the “related bands” that show up in the search results. It’s kind of addictive. Over the course of writing this post I clicked around the site and added another 8. That’s still a kinda low number though – a REAL geek would probably go through their music collection alphabetically and get systematic about it (I’ve pencilled that in for tomorrow). And for people who might be concerned that the more obscure and/or underground metal bands are not included, I’ve actually found it’s pretty good in that respect. The official line on the origin of the data is that “we currently index over 100 different sources including all the major ticket vendors, a plethora of smaller vendors, local listings, ArtistData and a whole bunch of others”. I understand that artists/managers can add their own gigs too.
Songkick has quite a few other features, like the ability to check off shows that you are going to or that you might go to. These dates are then assembled into a calendar for you, and you can feed this into Google Calendar or other ical-compatible apps. You can check off past gigs that you went to, and there are some fledgling social features, like the ability to see which other Songkick users are going to (or if it’s in the past, went to) particular shows. It doesn’t go very far with the social integration however – it doesn’t let you “friend” other users or be notified when they’ve checked off shows, which seems like an obvious feature and surely one that is on the cards. I had a look through their FAQs and it seems that there were some more involved social features in the past, but Songkick has had to “simplify the site so that we can build things up again with a stronger foundation” so those features will presumably be coming back at some time in the future.
Top of my wish list, however, is an Android app. Sure, I can log into the web application on my phone but a full-featured mobile app would be very cool. There is an iPhone app but not being in that particular cult, I haven’t seen it and cannot comment on it. Good news again from Songkick support: as of four days ago, they assure users that they’re “working on it”.
So there you have it. Want to know what I’m up to? Songkick will tell you: http://www.songkick.com/users/goatladykay
Tried Songkick? Like it? Hate it? Leave a comment