Partystrands

Partystrands aims to be Last.fm + Digg for the jukebox

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Partystrands is a music service launching next month that will bring together aggregated recommendations, voting and photos synchronized on location by mobile phone. Created by the Corvallis, Oregon and Barcelona, Spain based company MyStrands, PartyStrands is targeting bars and clubs. The site will go live on September 14th.

People who have downloaded the MyStrands desktop application at home can take their playlists and recommendations with them by signing in to by SMS at participating locations. MyStrands monitors your playlists in iTunes or Windows Media Player and suggests songs based on similar playlists from other users.

When a number of people are logged into Partystrands, the service will aggregate their playlists and recommendations, display which song is playing on a video projector (with cover art) and let users vote songs on the list up and down by SMS. Users will also be able to send photos they take at the bar to their MyStrands profile to record the evening and to the projection screen in the venue for sharing with everyone. At least it isn’t video.

The revenue model is for MyStrands to share SMS fees with the bar owners. The service is targeting Europe first but will launch this fall in the US. Company founder Gabriel Aldamiz-echevarria reports that MyStrands has raised $6 million from two European VCs specializing in mobile technologies.

I’m not sure what I think of this. Part of the charm of playing music on a jukebox at a bar is discovery, random chance, waiting in line and feeding bills into a machine. I don’t know how well it will work to be voting songs up and down while trying to have a conversation, seeing photos (maybe of you) appearing in real time and having the music recommendations automatically reflect what everyone already listens to at home. Perhaps in the future we’ll avoid certain bars not because of the obnoxious music they have on their jukeboxes but because of the obnoxious profiles their regular clientele carry with them. I know I listen to a lot of Weird Al at home and I don’t need that making me less welcome down at the local hipster spot.

For young people who already live their lives on YouTube and MySpace and who think my 100 text messages a month is virtual neglect of the medium, Partystrands may be a big hit. Success in Europe wouldn’t be a surprise, but the service’s viability in the US will likely depend on our mobile activities catching up with the rest of the world’s.

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