Following its €500,000 seed round this fall, Berlin-based music startup Musicplayr, which acts something like a playlist of tracks you build from various cloud services, is now available as an iOS application. The app brings the key features from the online service to mobile, including the ability to explore profiles and discover new music, stream songs and playlists, create playlists, and more.
For those unfamiliar with Musicplayr, the service debuted in 2011, offering users a way to pull tracks from sites like SoundCloud, YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and various music blogs, and organize them into streamable playlists. The startup doesn’t have deals with record labels, because it’s only aggregating music hosted elsewhere on the Internet – it’s not storing the songs on its own servers. It’s like a Tumblr blog of embeds, but one that has a play button. In fact, that was co-founder Stefan Vosskoetter’s, a Tumblr user himself, original inspiration.
Initially attracting a core audience of music enthusiasts, Musicplayr now also appeals to those who may be more interested in just finding new music, not organizing it themselves. With a Twitter-like “following” model, users can find others based on how they’ve tagged themselves (i.e., by style of music – “alternative,” “folk,” “electronic,” “hip-hop,” “soul,” etc.). Since its U.S. launch, the startup has grown to around 100,000 users – still quite a small crowd, but one fairly obsessed with music discovery.
When the company raised its seed round and entered the U.S. market this October, co-founder Stefan Vosskoetter told us that an iOS application was in the works, which would also introduce a new feature: music identification. This Shazam-like function, available today, lets users tag the music they hear using Gracenote‘s technology, and they can then add those tracks to their own playlists.
The app itself is fairly simple to use. You don’t even have to login before beginning to stream music. Instead, the initial landing page upon first launch is the “Discover” section where you can find people’s music profiles to follow and immediately begin playing their favorites. (I wish all apps just let you start using them right away. Love this feature).
Registered users, meanwhile, can tap on the “user” icon on the bottom left to login and access their own collections and those of their followers. Like the web version, Musicplayr offers a Facebook login option, which, incidentally, is nicely done – if you’re already authenticated on iOS, it doesn’t pop up one of those awkward windows where you have to type in your username and password again. It just quickly logs you in.
You can then hop over to your “Home” stream (button far left) to listen to the tracks from the profiles you follow, or return to “Discover” (the globe button) to find more people to friend.
Music streams offer expanded views and collapsed views, the latter which is useful for browsing through long playlists. Beneath each track, you can like, comment or tap the “heart” button to add it to your own playlist. The music identification option (far right button), as noted above, lets you tap or shake your phone to tag tracks you hear in the wild, then add them to your own playlists.
Co-founded by Vosskoetter and Thorsten Lüttger, Musicplayr is free for now, but it may move into “freemium” later on by charging for more advanced features. The app also is a free download, here on iTunes.