Late last year I heard about the MidemLab competition for promising music startups, which had finalists in the ‘music discovery’ category as follows:
Music Discovery, Recommendation & Creation
ChartsNow.mobi (UK) – mass market mobile music service
MPme by Apsmart (UK) – curated internet radio
musicplayr (Germany) – music discovery & blogging
Navegas (Germany) – connecting the world of music tool
Rexly (USA) – social discovery & recommendation
Songs2See by Fraunhofer (Germany) – music game development
SoshiGames (UK) – game-based social music discovery
Twusic by LemonLab (Belgium) – Twitter music application
Watzatsong (France) – crowdsourced music search engine
WhoSampled (UK) – music discovery
In the middle, I highlighted MusicPlayr … because earlier this week they offered up some beta invites, and I got a quick chance to check out the service. What did I think about it?
Here is the basic description:
The musicplayr team is based in Germany and will soon be joining the vibrant scene in Berlin. The core team worked together on a previous project and Thorsten says they have a strong friendship that helps fuel an easy working relationship. They began development of musicplayr in late spring 2011 addressing two concerns:
Fragmented music collections that may include playlists on multiple services as well as on one’s personal devices; and,
Disastisfaction with the music discovery process on such services as Last.fm.
In addition, Thorsten feels that what one is listening to now, a discovery feature of music services on Facebook such as Spotify, is not necessarily music that one might want to share or that represents one’s taste.
Functionally what you do is find stuff you like on sites like YouTube, SoundCloud or some music blogs you can find through sites like Shuffler or HypeMachine. Then you choose to add a link to one of your playlists and the song is added. This basically turns YouTube music videos into pure music … and allows you to promote otherwise unavailable artists from SoundCloud.
The playlists are currently only Public, Private, and another Private … but the developers say more are on the way.
I have shared some cool YouTube music of rare live performances, and also some music by both of my sons from SoundCloud, and gotten some responses to those. Unlike some sites this isn’t like a video game where you are ‘scored’ or ‘ranked’ by how many shares you get, which immediately makes those with less mainstream tastes the losers of the bunch … this is all about just sharing. You choose your genres for your profile, then search for others with similar tastes or just browse users.
The focus is purely on the music – you get the whole song, with artist info available based on the source. You are not given samples like other sites, not immediately pushed to buy … it is about finding stuff you like and then taking that info to iTunes or Amazon and grabbing the whole source recordings.
So far it is a pretty cool – albeit a bit rough – experience. Keep an eye on MusicPlayr in the near future.