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February 13 2014

Spotify Unveils Valentine's Day Playlists for Soulmates and Singles
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Whether you're planning a romantic date or celebrating the single life this Valentine's Day, you're going to want some tunes to guide you through the night

To help, Spotify released three Valentine's Day-themed playlists that feature popular love ballads for both the love-struck and heartbroken.

The first playlist is based on Spotify's analysis of which tracks have been streamed the most on Feb. 14 in recent years, with Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" claiming the top spot (well done, Spotify users). These tracks are loaded with inspiration for those struggling to find the right way to tell that special someone how much they mean. Read more...

More about Music, Entertainment, Spotify, Playlists, and Valentine S Day

January 07 2012

3 New Tools for Promoting Your Interests


The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Each weekend, Mashable selects startups we think are building interesting, unique or niche products.

This week we focused on three companies creating new ways to promote your interests.

SeeJoeRock is a network for musicians and music industry professionals to connect. StereoPill is a web app that creates music playlists, and Juxtapost is a free online posterboard that lets you share photos of your favorite things.


SeeJoeRock: A Musician’s Free Community


SeeJoeRock

Quick Pitch: SeeJoeRock is a free community for musicians.

Genius Idea: Bridges the gap between unsigned musicians and professionals in the music industry.

Mashable’s Take: Described at the “eHarmony for musicians,” SeeJoeRock is a network for unsigned musicians and music industry professionals to connect. Unlike most music sites, SeeJoeRock focuses on the “unknown” or “unsigned” musicians, providing a place for them to be seen, heard and discovered.

Whether you’re an emerging artist looking for help to produce your first CD, or a professional searching for up-and-coming musicians to perform at a local venue, SeeJoeRock is the network that will help you find the resources you need.

Unsigned, independent musicians and bands can create their own profiles and include bios, genre, talents, levels of experience and instruments played. They can also upload MP3s of recorded songs, music videos, photos and links to their websites and social networks.

This information lets music professionals such as labels, talents, agents and promoters search for and find the musicians they need by genre, style or location.

Likewise, professionals in the music industry can create their own profiles and list their contact information, biography, shows, the services they offer and the type of musicians they target.

Each month, SeeJoeRock features a new artist/band and professional on its site. The header is replaced with photos and logos of the band or professional, and their profiles and a music video are displayed on the home page.

Launched in 2009, SeeJoeRock targets paid advertisers targeting musicians. The company also offers the option to produce CDs, in collaboration with a partner company, for new artists.

SeeJoeRock currently has nearly 5,000 registered users.


StereoPill: Web Application That Creates Music Playlists


StereoPill

Quick Pitch: StereoPill creates event playlists crowdsourced by your audience.

Genius Idea: Lets event attendees create a dynamic, detailed music playlist so DJs can host better events.

Mashable’s Take: While DJing at hundreds of events including weddings, parties and corporate functions, Ari Rosenfield found a serious disconnect between the music his clients requested him to play and the music guests wanted to listen or dance to. So in 2011, Rosenfield developed the solution to this disconnect — StereoPill.

StereoPill is a web application that lets party guests create a playlist by voting for the songs they want to hear. The site then ranks the votes on a live voting page, which can be set to private, and allows guests to comment on and discuss the songs that will be played.

The built-in song previews let guests listen to and know specifically which songs they are voting for.

StereoPill is designed to give event planners and professional DJ’s insight into their guests’ musical preferences before hosting a live event. Personalized playlists will allow DJ’s to host better events because they gain a better understanding of the genre and style of the music the guests prefer.

“As a professional DJ, I still rely on my years of experience and extensive knowledge of music,” says Rosenfield. “But StereoPill has an invaluable tool in connecting with my clients and their guests and getting powerful insight.”

Playlists cost $15 after your first event, which is free. Discounts are given to high-volume customers.


Juxtapost: All Your Favorite Things, Side by Side


Juxtapost

Quick Pitch: Juxtapost is a free “social vision board” sharing site.

Genius Idea: Organizes photos of all your favorite things, side by side, onto your own postboard.

Mashable’s Take: How many times have you searched the web, found something you love, and then lost it? If this happens more than occasionally, Juxtapost will make sure you don’t lose any of your favorite things again.

Juxtapost creates a “social vision board” by providing tools for its members to bookmark photos they find while browsing the web. The simple-to-use application connects users with a robust community that is also sharing their discoveries.

Using Juxtapost is easy – just sign up instantly via your Facebook account and add the “Juxtapost It!” bookmark to your browser. Then, simply click the bookmark while on any website to save your favorite images to your postboard and share with your friends or on Facebook.

Users can organize their collection by color using the automatic color index or export their posted data to an Excel spreadsheet.

Although the idea behind Juxtapost is similar to online pinboard Pinterest, Juxtapost claims to be different for several reasons:

  • While Pinterest is designed for public sharing, Juxtapost gives users the option to make their postboards private.
  • Juxtapost automatically attempts to fill in a description of the photos users post to save them the hassle of writing their own descriptions.
  • The site has an instant preview feature so a user won’t lose his or her place on a postboard.

Juxtapost was launched in December and is self-funded. Based on the products its members are interested in, Juxtapost recommends a single service to a member for low-percentage referral fees.

Image courtesy of Flickr, JPott


Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: bizspark, bizspark weekend roundup, DJ, Facebook, juxtapost, music industry, musicians, pinterest, playlists, seejoerock, stereopill

For more Business coverage:


June 16 2011

New Yahoo App for Android Mixes Shazam & iTunes Genius [EXCLUSIVE]


Yahoo is about to muscle further into the music business Thursday with the launch of Play by Yahoo. It’s a free Android app that combines one of the best features of iTunes — the ability to make instant playlists based on a song or a mood — with music-identifying apps like Shazam.

Play’s bare-bones home screen offers three options: Library, Shuffle and Identify. Library, naturally, takes you to your tunes (all stored locally — no trendy cloud music here). Shuffle is the Genius-like option. You can create a playlist based on a single song, or simply tell the app to create a playlist based on the kind of tunes it knows you listen to a lot. This is the algorithmic option for when you stumble to your car in the morning, bleary-eyed and decaffeinated, and want to listen to music that works for you, but you don’t want to make any decisions.

Identify is where the Shazam-like functionality comes in. Yahoo doesn’t yet have quite as extensive a library as Shazam; In my tests, I managed to fox it completely with the 1 Giant Leap album, for example.

But where the Identify feature shines is its “Continuous” option. As you’d imagine, this listens continuously to the music playing — taking samples every 30 seconds or so — and builds a list of tunes. At a party or a club where you really like the music but don’t want to bother the host or DJ for the full set list? Enjoying the light rock set on the radio but can’t name any of the songs? Then your app has arrived.

Play is a little too bare-bones at the moment. There’s no way to purchase songs once you’ve identified them, though Yahoo says that’s coming soon. The option to play from the cloud — or from Google Music‘s local cache — would be great. And of course we’d love to see an iPhone version, as would Yahoo, but good luck getting an app that threatens iTunes into the iOS app store.

But overall, this is a strong showing from a company that many consider to be on the ropes. Taking two popular services like Genius and Shazam and not only combining them in a single app, but improving on the functionality of both? That seems to be a sign that Yahoo genuinely understands the needs of users and has the talent and focus to create great things.

More About: android, genius, iphone, itunes, play, playlists, shazam, smart playlist, Yahoo, yahoo music

For more Mobile coverage:


April 05 2011

Need a Party Mix? Dubset’s Cloud Radio Plays Mixes From DJs


The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

mixed_tape_imageName: Dubset

Quick Pitch: Dubset is Internet radio for DJ mixes.

Genius Idea: A technology that automatically reports tracks that make up mixes to licensing organizations.


Cloud-based radio services like Pandora are proficient at automatically matching music to moods or genres that their users request. But one particular group of human beings — DJs — has been practicing the same basic function as an art form since music started being recorded. And they would argue that they complete the task with a much higher rate of quality.

Sharing professional DJ mixes on the Internet is risky, however, because there’s no good way to ensure that royalties for each song within the mix will reach the artists that legally deserve them.

Dubset founder Dave Stein set out to solve this issue for the DJs that he often worked with in his former life as a club promoter. After running into prohibitively expensive roadblocks exploring deals with record labels, his team eventually developed a technology that he calls “MixScan.” The technology automatically identifies songs within mixes and then reports them to licensing organizations that collect royalties and distribute them to the artists. It’s like Shazam for DJ mixes.

This technology is the main factor separating Dubset from its most similar competitor, Play.fm. The latter company is based in Australia, and it asks its users to identify tracks within mixes so that it can report them. Stein says that unlike this crowdsourcing approach, MixScan is about 95% accurate. This accuracy takes liability away from brands who might want to advertise on the platform.

But a dubious royalty payment system hasn’t stopped Play.fm from raking in advertising dollars. Heineken sponsors an entire channel on the beta site.

Another distinction that might prove valuable to Dubset is its focus on high-caliber DJs and clubs. The platform works as a marketing tool for DJs and the venues that they play at. About 500 DJs have set up profiles on the site that include not only their mixes, but the venues where they will be playing next. Those venues are able to promote themselves by posting recorded-live DJ mixes and future lineups on Dubset profile pages. Users can “follow” the DJs and venues they like.

Exactly how all of this will monetize is a question the self-funded startup is still poking at. That said, it has already formed a handy site and iPhone app [iTunes link] for pulling up free, professional DJ mixes without feeling like a pirate.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Canned Muffins


Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

More About: cloud radio, DJ, dubset, play.fm, playlists

For more Startups coverage:


May 06 2010

5 Great Ways to Find Music That Suits Your Mood

Music Listening ImageJessica Miller has written for Jewcy.com, The Jew and the Carrot, and is an avid digital music explorer. She holds a B.A. in religion from Barnard College, and blogs regularly on her own site, The Boomerang Blog.

You don’t have to be Oliver Sacks to know that music can have a profound effect on the human psyche. Music is undeniably important in shaping moods, and, likewise, certain frames of mind require certain kinds of songs.

Luckily for us, there are now several websites out there that feature mood searches. Instead of generating artists and songs by genre or title (as Pandora does), they are able to filter songs by emotions and activities.

So whether you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up; you’re down and you’d like to stay that way for a bit — whether you’re in an “Empire State of Mind,” or it’s just another “Manic Monday” — we’ve hand picked our five most satisfying sites for finding the perfect songs to suit your mood.


1. Musicovery


Musicovery Image

Musicovery is a fun and colorful website that lets you find your mood-appropriate music with several adjustable options. First, it instructs you to chart your mood on a grid, with the x-axis going from dark to positive, and the y-axis ranging from energetic to calm. Then, below the chart, you can select which genres of music you’d like Musicovery to dig around in for you, and which music decades you’d like to be included in the search. (If you’re open minded, you can select them all!)

Musicovery then creates a brightly colored family tree of mood music for you. Each burst on the tree has a shade corresponding to a genre (rap is dark red, funk is light green, etc.). Although you have to register on the site in order to shuffle from one song to another, you can always alter your mood on the grid if you don’t like what’s coming up. You can also ban songs you don’t like, and you’ll get the next song in the lineup.

As an added perk, if you’re looking for something to dance to, there’s an additional grid to refine your search. This grid allows you to alter the dance-ability and tempo of your tunes. There’s also a discovery feature that will just plainly surf Musicovery’s library for you without any fuss.

Pros: Fun to look at, lots of fine-tuning options.

Cons: Registration is required to shuffle and choose specific songs.


2. AUPEO!


AUPEO Image

Despite the enthusiasm in its name, AUPEO! is not the flashiest website, but it gets the job done. Like Pandora, it is capable of creating a playlist for you based on a favorite artist, but it also contains an easy-to-use mood search feature.

Simply click the mood tab, and then select one of the ten provided emotions, which include aggressive, happy, relaxing, and dramatic. Then you can instruct AUPEO! to hunt for appropriate songs in all genres, or narrow its searches down to one specific classification. The menu includes nine genres ranging from pop, to country, to R&B. Hit the orange music notes icon and you’re in business. You can shuffle songs if you want something new, or change your search criteria. As you listen, AUPEO! will give you album covers to look at, which is nice.

Pros: Simple and easy to use. No fuss involved.

Cons: Must search for songs one emotion and genre at a time. Occasional ads.


3. Stereomood


StereoMood

There are three elements to Stereomood: Mood, activity, and artist.

To get started, you can either click on one of the tags on the homepage, or use the menu at the top. The tag cloud on the front page is a wacky jumble of emotions and activities varying from the more basic (e.g. sad, jogging) to the more eccentric (e.g. lost in thought, driving Route 66.) I prefer to use the menu at the top, which is a little more organized. The menu lets you search either the site, the moods, or the activities one at a time. If you search by mood or activity, a pull down menu will appear, and you can make a choice from that list.

Whatever you choose, you will be taken to a playlist page where you can either select the specific songs you’d like to hear, or just put the songs on shuffle. There is also a menu on the left that will suggest other action, emotion, or artist playlists for you based on the one you’re currently in.

If you simply choose to search the site through the menu, you can put in whatever criteria you wish, including artists you like, or your own activities/emotions. The search results tend to be a little more literal when you put in your own keywords, but, for example, if you wanted to find a whole mess of songs that contain a specific word, this would be a good tool. If you search for an artist though, you can see what mood and activity playlists your favorite band is included in, which is kind of fun.

Also, regardless of how you search, each song that comes up contains a list of tags, so you can see what other playlists each one is in.

Pros: Shuffling, and even choosing specific songs you want to hear, is possible.

Cons: Slightly disorganized.


4. Last.fm


Last.fm Image

Maybe I’m the only one, but I never realized that it’s possible to search music by tags on Last.fm. Thanks to those user tags, Last.fm can be an excellent aid for finding songs appropriate to how you may be feeling.

Simply type an emotion into the music search field, and then click on the appropriate tag. You’ll get a station full of songs that other Last.fm-ers have tagged as being appropriate to that emotion. In addition, you’ll get a heads-up on the artists included in the station, and a list of suggested tags that might be related to what you’re looking for.

Pros: Very straightforward. Easy to pick up and contribute if you already use Last.fm

Cons: Somewhat less adventurous.


5. Thesixtyone


TheSixtyOne Image

Thesixtyone is different from the other sites because it has a strong visual component. The images and information it generates are usually nice, but can veer towards distracting or cluttered at times. Other than that, it’s a fun experiment in finding mood-appropriate music, and in finding new music in general. Since thesixtyone likes to highlight newer artists, you’re more likely to hear something you’ve never heard before on this site.

To get a mood station on thesixtyone, simply hover your mouse over where it says “popular” on the top right, then click on moods. A little menu will pop up with 12 moods listed (10 really, since “remix” and “covers” are not moods.) Just click on one and the station will start playing. If you’d like to shuffle forward or back, click on the green paddles on both sides of the window.

Pros: Nice photos and artist information. Backtracking is possible.

Cons: A little cluttered. Less user-friendly.

Have you found any other sites that can generate music playlists by mood? Let us know in the comments, and happy hunting!



For more technology coverage, follow Mashable Tech on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook




More music resources from Mashable:


- 5 Free Ways to Identify that Song Stuck in Your Head
- HOW TO: Create Free Music Playlists Online
- HOW TO: Turn Your Android Phone Into a Killer MP3 Player
- 10 Best LEGO Music Videos on YouTube
- 10 Amazing Musical Instrument iPhone Apps

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Neustockimages

Tags: Last.FM, List, Lists, music, music discovery, playlist, playlists, web apps


April 11 2010

HOW TO: Create Free Music Playlists Online

Sharing music can be as much fun as listening to it. There are a large number of legal services online that allow you to share songs with friends, but some require paid accounts and software downloads, while others suffer from restricted geographic availability.

So, in the spirit of mixtapes from years gone by here we’ve hand-picked and tested three personalized streaming music services that will let you easily create a playlist online and, better still, share it with friends, wherever in the world they might be.

Try out the services we’ve listed below and let us know which you like the most. Oh, and be sure to link to the playlists you create in the comments so we can have a listen.


1. Mixtape.me



Creating a Playlist

Mixtape.me is really easy both to get started with and get using. Signing up requires creating a username, entering an email address and password and once you’ve deciphered a Captcha, you’re good to go.

Finding content for your list is likewise just as easy. Simply enter a term — song name or artist — in the search box. MixTape.me’s songs are added by users, as well as generated from the millions of songs indexed by MP3 search engine SeeqPod and SkreemR.

When the list of results comes up you can either hit up the song to start it playing, or drag and drop into a playlist which you can create by clicking the “+” sign next to playlists on the left hand side of the screen. To add more songs you just need to carry out more searches.

While your list is auto-saved as you go along, it can just as easily be edited. Once you’ve created your list you get the option to add a picture as well as the ability to add a description, should you feel it needs it.


Sharing Options

There are a few options for you here. You can share with “Friends” on Mixtape.me, you can auto-generate an email with a link to the list, you can get a shortened URL (for example in this instance “http://mixtape.me/p/14398″) and you can tweet the list which creates the following message on Twitter: “Have a listen to my mashlist playlist on MixTape.me: http://mixtape.me/p/14398.”

In addition, you can embed the playlist using HTML. Here’s one we made earlier:


2. 8tracks



Creating a Playlist

Like the now closed down (and due to reopen as a band resource) Muxtape service, 8tracks lets you upload your own music to the site, which you can then save as a streaming playlist to share with others.

Signing up is simple, and allows you to chose your own personalized URL. To create your playlist, simply select at least eight tracks, no more than two of which are from the same artist or album, making sure you meet the conditions of 8track’s licensing agreement.

Getting MPS and AAC tracks on the site works on a simple browse to upload basis (which took a little time, but certainly not off-putting) after which you can name your playlist, enhance the auto generated description and add up to five tags, as well as illustrate it nicely with a pic.


Sharing Options

While the playlist’s URL can be directly shared (http://8tracks.com/amymaeelliott/amymaeelliott-s-april-2010-mix), a simple “share” button offers a short cut to tweet the list with a shortened URL (http://8tracks.com/mixes/105018) as well as post it to Facebook and StumbleUpon.

Finally, there’s also the option to embed the playlist by copy and pasting some HTML code. Here’s our effort:


3. Grooveshark



Creating a Playlist

To use Grooveshark you have to sign up for an account which is another simple username, password, etc, type affair, after which you can start makin’ music.

Search works via a keyword basis via a search box. If you click to play a song, Grooveshark brings up a neat row of thumbnails showing the song’s title, the artist and album art at the bottom of the screen and, although you can drag and drop to create a playlist the more usual way, you can also turn your little selection of recently listened to thumbnail songs into a playlist too, which is quite a nice touch.

While we were seriously impressed with the music we found to be available through Grooveshark, if you can’t find a track you want, or want to add your own home-made music, you can upload music files from your computer to your account on the site, although this can take up to 24 hours.

Sharing Options

Grooveshark generates a direct URL for your list, which appears as follows for our creation: http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/playlist/Mashlist/27397447 and also offers the option to email it out from within the site.

More advanced options include the ability to export the playlist to a Grooveshark widget, with the choice to mirror the changes in the online playlist. Rather than being stuck with whatever design the site offers for its widget, there are vast customization options.

As well as scroll through a list of designs to chose from, you can change the color scheme, the size (great option, Grooveshark guys!) all of which is previewed live so you can see your changes. Here’s our customized widget:



For more technology coverage, follow Mashable Tech on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook




More tech resources from Mashable:

- 10 Must-See Google Street View Sightings
- 5 Must-See Google Easter Eggs
- 10 Fantastic Websites for Spotify Fans
- 5 Free Ways to Identify that Song Stuck in Your Head
- Top 10 Modern Gadgets with Retro Styling [PICS]

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, eAlisa


Reviews: 8tracks, Facebook, Grooveshark, StumbleUpon, Twitter, iStockphoto

Tags: 8tracks, grooveshark, how to, List, Lists, mixtape.me, music, playlists


December 02 2009

MOG Launches All You Can Eat Music Service [FREE INVITES]

MOG-service-260We wrote last week about the impending launch of the MOG music subscription service, and now that day is here. To recap, MOG will be taking on Napster and Rhapsody in the all-you-can-eat, on-demand listening experience for $5 per month.

With an extensive library of millions of tracks backed by all four of the giant major label consortiums and an innovative music management interface (see the embedded video below for a demo), it seems like MOG is stepping up to the plate with a compelling offering in the music subscription space.

MOG will be offering the first 100 Mashable readers to follow the instructions below a free month’s worth of service. Find out how to get yours after the break.


How To Get a Free Month of MOG Service


1. Follow the @mogdotcom account on Twitter.

2. Use the retweet button at the upper left of this post to RT it on Twitter.

3. If you are one of the first 100 retweeters, MOG will send you a Direct Message on Twitter with an invite for your one month of free subscription service.

If your trigger finger is too slow to net you a slot in the first 100, you can still head over to MOG and check out a hour-long free trial of the service (no payment information required up front). You can also feel free to keep following @mogdotcom on Twitter for other upcoming contests and giveaways, including lifetime memberships and other prizes.


MOG-create-playlist

Were you one of the lucky 100? If you’ve had a chance to check out MOG, be sure to let us know your impressions in the comments.


MOG Overview Video



Tags: MOG, music, playlists, startups, subscription


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