Last year, Tim Heineke of Twones and Tone.fm, Marcel Corso and Diedrik Martens launched a new Amsterdam-based music startup, called Shuffler.fm, to let users listen to the tunes and artists being covered by music blogs while they read.
The startup thus began its career as a cool web app for music discovery, with the goal of aggregating music from blogs across the Internets — based on genre. …
With its initial functionality, Shuffler.fm was really a hybrid of Pandora and ex.fm for music blogs-curated tunes. Yet, on Tuesday, the startup expanded that influence to include Flipboard, launching an iPad app that transforms music blogs and websites into radio stations, curating them in a Flipboard-style layout of words, pictures, and streaming audio.
The Shuffler.fm iPad essentially app creates an aggregated music magazine that serves content from a diverse set of music bloggers and experts in realtime (content is updated by the minute), providing a ready-to-consume filtered stream of music optimized for discoverability and at the same time presenting a curated experience so that users don’t have to deal with parsing the ridiculous amount of noise being dished out by music content producers. In other words, it’s music listening with an editorial filter.
Of course, rather than basing the content it serves on your existing tastes, like so many other music services out there (Last.fm, Pandora), Shuffler’s audio is brought to you in genre-based channels that are populated by (only the coolest) blogs, like Pitchfork, TheMusic.FM, and Stereogum to name a few.
Users can create playlists of songs from these visual RSS blog feeds at the bottom of the app, where they can then listen via the app’s player, all while reading about the songs they’re listening to. The app also supports AirPlay so that users aren’t just confined to listening to music from their iPad’s speakers.
Why I’m Curious:
Music blogs have been hugely influential over how people discover new music (Stereogum, Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan), as has algorithm-based music suggesters (Pandora, Last.fm). What Shuffler does is mash-up the both of best worlds: you get to choose music based on genre (rather than a specific artist), and then Shuffler aggregates all the latest blogosphere news about them to display the most recent articles about them. It’s a full music immersion experience — learn about artists while you discover new ones.
What’s most interesting is sound’s immersion into iPad territory, an inherently visual playground. What Shuffler has done is given it some visual meat to accompany its audio juice, and also tapped into the iPad’s “touch here, swipe there” appeal. For music nerds, this could be a very cool thing. For marketers, it could be a very good lesson in adapting to platforms.