In this day and age of where pretty much everything you could ever want to know is a few keystrokes away, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that’s at your instant disposal. Although social media has made the world a lot smaller place, it’s tough not to get lost in the crowd among the millions of registered users in the facebooks and twitters of the world. Thankfully, the good folks down at reddit.com have found a way to bring back the community of the online world by connecting you with like minded people through their use of subreddits — or smaller categories pertaining to specific areas of interest. If you have a passion for something, whether it be gardening, physics, or photography, there is no doubt a subreddit awaiting you.
Obviously the subreddits I find most interesting are music related, with my being a frequent contributor to the Music one (denoted by /r/Music). In fact, if you recall I setup a little bit of a social experiment trying to find out /r/Music’s favorite albums of 2009 which generated a pretty good response. Well another subreddit has recently gotten my attention by providing an avenue for musical redditors to get exposure through an online radio station appropriately dubbed Radio Reddit.
One of the many spin-offs from Reddit that isn’t in any way affiliated with the site itself, Radio Reddit shows how industrious some of the users have become by turning ideas tossed around in the subreddits and turning them into reality. No doubt inspired by the volume of music made by redditors and submitted to the site for free download, Radio Radio provides an easy way to listen to, judge, and offer constructive criticism for undiscovered bands. Although still in its relative infancy, the online station has gotten quite a following with over 500 members to both its facebook page and subreddit and over 700 tracks housed in its library.
In fact, it’s quite astonishing how many features the site already offers. Besides the necessities of an embedded stream and a seamless way for artists to upload tracks (even allowing them to select the option for it to be downloadable), users have the ability to approve/disapprove individual tracks by giving it an upvote or a downvote — standard commands that anybody who frequents reddit is familiar with. In fact after a track gets voted upon, a post is created in /r/radioreddit allowing for subscribers to gauge the popular tracks and artists to see how their song is being received.
In addition, Radio Reddit is in the process of developing a lot of improvements for the site, the first of which is setting up a regular schedule of genre-specific pre-program playlists. This eliminates the shuffle aspect of the station that can be a turn-off for some listeners (folk lovers won’t have to sit through metal tracks and vice versa) while setting the stage for eventual DJ curated shows. Also in the works are downloadable podcasts for each playlist so that users can listen to their favorites offline (iPhone users, they have you covered as well).
Certainly there are some issues with the site that will eventually need to be addressed (for one, the aesthetics), but the station has already done most of the heavy lifting streaming music sites require. Although it will most likely never reach the popularity of Pandora, it’s nice to see creative ideas unfold before your eyes while simultaneously reaffirming the potential social media possesses. Long live Radio Reddit!