Most of the time, Hype Machine focuses on what’s exciting in the moment. The most blogged artists of the day, the tracks getting the most attention from our members—everything on the site sorted in reverse-chronological order. Things move quickly, and this is the only way to stay on top.
Recently, though, we’ve been thinking more about the past. Reading essays like “Archive Fever” and playing with the amazing TimeHop app got us thinking: What bits of history does Hype Machine data contain? Our yearly Zeitgeists are fun, but they only paint with broad strokes: the top 50 artists, albums and tracks of the year. This approach misses moments and memories, replacing them with larger trends.
Realizing this, we went to work. We recovered over 5 years of weekly Popular charts on the site (that is an immense 272 weeks!), starting from the week of Oct 22 2007, the first full week that the site was live with the then-new favoriting feature (remember that?)