New app employs custom tech to identify songs within long mixes, lets users build radio-like streams

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Issue Date: 
May 21 2012 - 9:00am

From Issue:

Thefuture.fm's iPhone appThefuture.fm, the recently revamped web radio service that features mixes from "the world's best DJs," has launched an iPhone app. The app offers access to mixes and music from more than 5,000 DJs. Users can search for DJs, as well as artists and songs included in mixes, and specify by genre (like Dubstep, Progressive House, Jungle, Neo-soul and Disco).

And make no mistake, we're talking serious mixes here -- some hours long with many different songs blended together. Thefuture.fm nicely displays what particular song is playing at the moment within a mix, along with a link to buy the track. The service employs technology built in-house called Mixscan to identify the songs within mixes (crucial both for royalty purposes and to help users find music they like within long mixes).

The app also offers a feature called "My Radio," in which users can assemble mixes to play back-to-back and essentially create their own radio stream.

Thefuture.fm's iPhone appThefuture.fm's iPhone app is still a little rough in places. For example, in our testing the "My Radio" section required a manual refresh before we could see and listen to our chosen mixes. Some other functionality was at times noticeably slow, like searching. But the core functionality -- playing music -- worked flawlessly. And there's some excellent music to be found from Thefuture.fm.

Indeed, the best aspect of Thefuture.fm's app is how quickly and easily it moves users from the initial screen to listening to great music.

Thefuture.fm relaunched in late April. It was previously called Dubset (RAIN coverage here).

The service's CEO and co-founder David Stein tells GigaOM their iPhone app "is just a first step for his company’s goal to distribute and monetize music mixed by famous DJs." Thefuture.fm will launch freemium features and monetization options in July. It's also apparently "talking to various other music services about licensing its Mixscan technology, and the site is on the verge of closing a Series A round of financing. To date, it has raised $1.3 million," reports GigaOM.

You can find more coverage from GigaOM here and Thefuture.fm's iPhone app here. -- MS

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It's sure nice to hear good

It's sure nice to hear good mixes, especially when it comes to the jungle music - I honestly didn't believe this genre was auditioned anymore. I'd like to hear some great songs put together, I wonder if the DJs think of themselves as chemists working with dangerous substances, probably even better than those who work for http://www.weidmann-diagnostics.com/.

I don't see how the title of

I don't see how the title of the web radio service has anything to do with its merchandise, unless we're talking about a dark gloomy future, where no songs are composed anymore and all the music we have is solely relied on what used to be. But their app is worth taking a look at, for sure. I believe NSCCom.com was going to close a deal with thefuture.fm to automatically have it incorporated. I haven't heard any recent news about it, though.

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