- Last week I came upon Beathound, a new free service that analyzes your iTunes library and fills you in on the albums your missing and recommends new music for you. It’s pretty simple to use, just go to www.beathound.com and upload your iTunes’ XML file (found in your iTunes folder, very simple). After a few hours of analysis, Beathound sends you an email with all of the albums missing by the artists in your library and fills you in every week from then on with new releases by these artists. Certainly a useful service. Overall Beathound works great, but it can get caught in the snags of an unorganized iTunes library, and I happen to have an unorganized iTunes library.
The songs in my iTunes originate as far back as 6 years ago and theres certainly a fair share of questionable material, which is why I don’t use shuffle a whole lot. If you’ve got a Michael Bublé track lying around somewhere in your library from an old girlfriend, Beathound is going to pick up on it and recommend all of Bublé’s material. For this I only blame myself.
Beathound does miss the ball on a few things though. It lists the initial set of missing albums chronologically, so you get the most recent releases first. I can see why they did this, but there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the way they listed the artists. For example, it may list an artist of who you only have one song first before an artist you have three albums of, and you can’t reorganize it. A band’s position on your list is determined by when their most recent album was released, after which it lists their other records. This makes Beathound a bit confusing and impractical.
Because Beathound is less than a year old, I can’t be super critical. The interface is clean, its objective clear and its easy to use. I may not rely on Beathound to remind me of the important artists in my life but its super useful for staying in the know. While the initial set of albums felt overwhelming and unorganized, I think the weekly updates will be much better. I think that the team behind Beathound, namely founder Luke Hutscal will streamline the service to take care of the things I discussed earlier. They’re getting a ton of press and a lot of traffic, so much that my first upload got lost in the swarm. They promptly took care of it and sent me a link to a priority upload page. I don’t know if the team figured they’d be getting as much traffic as they’ve had. If they gear up and put in some work under the hood, Beathound could be a great addition to your musical tool belt.