Most music-tweeting services don’t do much for me, but Blip.fm has always stood out as the exception. For all the inspiration it draws from the original Twitter, Blip.fm works perfectly well as a standalone site for real-time sharing and social music discovery. Now, its edge on other Twitter/music mashups is about to grow, as Blip.fm is set to introduce a set of features based on familiar Twitter attributes — hashtags and trending topics — that can be used as filters to create customizable radio stations.
Although Blip.fm can still be used socially through Twitter and Facebook, features like these increase its usefulness as a destination rather than something that piggybacks on other sites. The updates will appear at beta.blip.fm in the next day or so, with eventual rollout to the rest of the site.
Much of Blip.fm’s appeal lies in its smart user interface design, and the new innovations are no exception. Users can now tag individual songs with hashtags, then click on a tag cloud to filter the tags, genres and artists they’d rather hear — or rather not hear — in an ongoing playlist. For example, you can create a real-time station of songs your friends are listening to, but with everything in the country or electronica genres removed. Moreover, popular hashtags can “trend” just as they do on Twitter, allowing a user to create, say, a Thanksgiving playlist of songs people have shared for the occasion. In effect, the tools can turn Blip.fm into a customizable, real-time music sharing service whose automated elements don’t detract from the serendipity of human-powered discovery. A screenshot is below.