New web app builds radio streams out of SoundCloud users' tastes

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 11:30am

Radio.SCRadio.SC is a web app that builds radio streams out of the music tastes of any SoundCloud user. (SoundCloud is a website designed to help musicians upload and share music.) As Radio.SC promises it on its website: "Every SoundCloud user is a radio station."

The streams are built using "the information that SoundCloud has about who follows whom and who favorites which tracks, to intelligently select the music it plays," Radio.SC developer Tom Price told Evolver.fm.

"This won’t become the only way you ever listen to music (what will, these days?)," writes Eliot Van Buskirk, "but if you’re a SoundCloud person or know lots of SoundCloud people, it’s a powerful way to flip a channel on in seconds and listen to someone’s taste."

You can find Evolver.fm's coverage here and try Radio.SC here.

Evolver.fm spotlights top Spanish streaming radio apps

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 12:25pm

Ibiza SonicaA new article from Evolver.fm higlights several Spanish streaming radio apps, most of which were new to us at RAIN.

The top music app in several Spanish iTunes stores, Ibiza Sonica "plays the top radio station in the dance-party island of Ibiza — mostly electronic and house music." Another app, called biit, offers "a wide selection of radio channels," plus the ability to customize the stream.

Then there's Rockola.fm, a mood-based web radio service that "plays music according to where you place yourself on a multi-colored map of emotion."

You can find Evolver.fm's article right here.


Web radio service plays music based on what the weather's like

Friday, April 27, 2012 - 11:30am

WeatherMusicWell, as Evolver.fm points out this is clearly "not the way we will all listen to all of our music in the future," but it's a fun idea nonetheless. WeatherMusic is a radio-like service that plays tunes based on the current weather.

It uses Rdio to serve up tunes (so you'll need a susbcription to hear anything but 30-second previews of songs), but the Evolver.fm says the playlist is "fairly appropriate." Plus, the service actually tells you the weather, which is more than what you can say for most Internet radio services!

You can find WeatherMusic here, its iOS app here and Evolver.fm's coverage here.

Tell Songza's new Music Concierge what you're doing, it picks the music for you

Monday, March 5, 2012 - 11:40am

Music playlist service Songza today launched a new service designed to deliver musical experiences based on when you're listening and what you're doing. Songza's new Music Concierge automatically notes day and time.Songza Tell it you're about to go jogging, for example, and it draws from its library of expert-designed playlists of songs for a radio-like experience suited to exercise.

Evolver.fm's Eliot Van Buskirk reviewed the Music Concierge today. He wrote (here):

To be fair, no music recommendation system is ever going to be exactly perfect. Songza succeeds, to an extent, in its attempt to cut through the millions of songs out there that any of us can now listen to without paying a cent in seconds on Spotify, YouTube, or elsewhere. The admittedly-thin proof: I am still listening to the station it recommended.

In 2010 indie music online retailer Amie Street's online business was sold to Amazon. The company itself remained independent and owns Songza.com.


Van Buskirk investigates why Pandora, unlike some other services, does not offer offline mobile playback

Monday, February 27, 2012 - 12:20pm

Pandora mobileLast week Evolver.fm's Eliot Van Buskirk suggested web music services offer offline playback options to help mobile users get around restrictive data plans (RAIN coverage here). He noticed Slacker includes such a feature, as do many on-demand services, but Pandora and other web radio companies do not. Why?

Two reasons, he found. The first is that "Pandora doesn’t have the necessary license from copyright holders that would allow them to store hours of programming on your smartphone."

The second is that Pandora "doesn't view offline playback as a necessary feature." Pandora VP of corporate communications Deborah Roth told Van Buskirk that the company's mobile app offers a "seamless listening experience regardless of signal drop... it doesn't really have relevance to the data plans. Audio streams extremely efficiently and we've seen no impact of data plan caps for our listeners."

You can find Van Buskirk's coverage here.

CNN Money reports "we are running out of wireless bandwidth"

Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 12:20pm

CNN Money's chart using FCC dataCNN Money recently reported that "the supply of wireless data in the United States -- the stuff that lets us use the Internet on our smartphones and tablets -- is fast disappearing," writes Eliot Van Buskirk in Evolver.fm.

He argues that, if true, that may pose problems to media services like Internet radio. Van Buskirk encourages web radio services to offer offline playback options (like Slacker and most on-demand services) as one solution.

He also notes that customers of at least one mobile carrier, AT&T, "are already feeling the squeeze." The carrier is apparently throttling unlimited data users' mobile speeds after they consume less than 2GB of data in a billing period.

Sean Ross ran into that issue earlier this year (RAIN coverage here), though he noted such a issue probably wouldn't impact most mobile web radio listeners.

A new study from wireless bill analysis firm Validas found such behavior on the part of AT&T to be "pointless... throttling does nothing to alleviate network bandwidth issues."

You can find Van Buskirk's article here and more on Validas' study in Boy Genius Report here.

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