Shuffler takes music blogs and turns them into Internet radio.
Love It: Nearly endless selection. Great experience for new music.
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Hate It: Too few customization options for the player. Desktop only, for the time being.
While there are lots of choices out there for finding new music, the world can always use more. Shuffler takes a unique approach to finding that music by searching music blogs around the Internet and locating tracks that fall within a genre that you select.
While many services focus on pulling tracks from YouTube, Last.FM and the like, Shuffler’s aim seems to be to get you in touch with the heart of music fans – the music blogger.
The service will pick a track from a random blog (fitting your genre description), play it for you and then move onto the next blog. The whole process is pretty seamless and it turns into a great way to not only find new music but new blogs as well.
As you’re listening to new songs, there are some social sharing functions along the top of your page, and some control options as well:
Shuffler is run by a guy named Tim Heineke, who you might remember from another music startup that we featured on TNW called Twones. Where Twones was all about tracking, Shuffler is all about discovery, and I have to say that it works really well…for the most part.
Here are my issues with the service:
Shuffler seems to let blog owners categorize their own site. While this is great, the inherent problem is that sometimes a blog will go on a tangent of music that isn’t necessarily its category, so you’ll have some unexpected (and possibly unwanted) results.
The player is big, and there isn’t a small option. I did speak to Heineke about this. I suggested that a popout player would be very welcome. I’m anal retentive about having a load of tabs open, or about closing the wrong thing. A dedicated player window would help, with that.
In response, Heineke states that Shuffler is doing something similar for the forthcoming iPad and iPhone version of the site, and it might work well for the web version too. There was no confirmation, but I’m guessing that it would be an easy implementation to make things more user friendly.
So there’s the dish. Overall, Shuffler is a great service. It’s really non-invasive, while still being accessible enough to let you bookmark a great blog when you find it. The music selection from the Internet’s blogsphere is, frankly, second-to-none and Shuffler is an awesome way to get more involved with it.
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