This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Quick Pitch: Shuffler.fm is like Pandora mixed with StumbleUpon — a music and blog discovery service.
Genius Idea: Music fans, prepare to geek out. If you’re really into checking out new music blogs/always knowing about the latest music discovery and Internet radio services, Shuffler.fm was tailor-made for you. It’s basically Pandora for music blogs — shuffling through thousands of sites to display both blog content and new jams.
The site, which launched in alpha last week, is the brainchild of the Tone collective, an interactive media and entertainment agency. The first version is pretty simple; merely surf over to Shuffler.fm, choose a channel — anything from Alt-country to Dubstep — and let the music listening/blog-reading begin.
When the first blog pops up, the most recently loaded MP3 will begin playing (a la Pandora). You can choose to skip said blog and song and go to the next, or let it play out. Once one song ends, you’re taken to a new blog site, where another jam takes over. You can also pause a song and finish exploring the site in question. At present, you can’t browse a blog whilst listening to the entirety of the featured MP3s, but that feature is coming in the next iteration.
Some of you might be wondering how this service differs from ExtensionFM, a Chrome add-on we featured in a past Spark of Genius. Well, that extension functions more as a music scraper than a discovery system. After installing the plugin, you can surf to various music blogs, where ExtensionFM yoinks all available songs and transfers them to a playlist. A lot of my music blogger friends were not too keen on this plugin, actually, since they felt like it detracted from the content of the blog. Not so with Shuffler.fm.
“We take users page by page,” Co-Founder Tim Heineke tells us. “We give bloggers page views, and help users experience [new blogs]. The next flip of thumb could open a hidden door with music gems on a cool music blog.” Currently, the service includes 1,600 blogs, but more are being added every day (you can even submit yours, if you so desire). Actually, Heineke tells us Shuffler.fm and ExtensionFM work quite well together — simply use Chrome to play with Shuffler, and lift songs that you enjoy for later listening via ExtensionFM.
Shuffler.fm plans to add more features as it continues to grow, including premium accounts and iPhone and iPad apps (in case you were wondering how the Tone dudes plan on making money). Currently, the free service is a great way to learn more about music via blogs, while also discovering some new tunes. You can also share selections with friends via Facebook, Twitterand e-mail. Now, if you would excuse me, a really awesome Thermals song just popped up and this blog looks rather rad… Goodbye, productivity.
[img credit: The Cleveland Kid]
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