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RAIN 8/18: Strikingly simple Shuffler plays to niche tastes, is dangerously addicting

Posted on: 08/18/2010

RAIN REVIEWS NEW BLOG AGGREGATION MUSIC SERVICE

Yesterday a new music service called Shuffler launched, which aggregates music from across music blogs and assigns the mp3s genres from Last.fm. Essentially, the site transforms thousands of music blogs into a radio stream (RAIN coverage here). And Shuffler makes it all wonderfully simple for the user.

Landing on the site provides you with an eye-pleasing selection of music genres. They range from broad (Pop, Alternative) to ridiculously niche (Dream Pop, Australian, Balearic, Witch House, Math Rock). There’s an emphasis on the indie music scene, but there’s plenty of other selections too.

Clicking one of these genres starts music playback and loads the blog page from which the particular mp3 was found. On top of the page is the Shuffler player bar, from which you can switch channels, skip the song, go backwards, pause the music and share it on social networks. Simple.

One drawback: clicking a link on the loaded blog page — like an artist’s MySpace page — takes you away from Shuffler and stops the music. There are some other kinks, like duplicate genre listings. That said, the site is still in “alpha” and has only been public for a day or so.

But yes, we know, Shuffler is not radio. Yet radio folks should take note of the service for its striking simplicity, ease of use and breadth of options. All are qualities worth emulating.

And while this addicting and fun-to-use service may not be radio, that doesn’t matter to a music-loving web user. — MS

CBS INTERACTIVE CHIEF PITCHES SXSW PANEL IDEA

Earlier this week we reported on two Internet radio SXSW panel ideas up for vote (RAIN coverage here). CBS Interactive president David Goodman has also submitted a SXSW 2011 panel idea: “Discovering New Music In A Digital Age.”

It would discuss the best methods for discovering new music, how personalization is changing the music industry and more. Remember, this panel will only become a reality if it gets enough positive votes. So head on over to the panel’s page on SXSW (here:) to find out more and vote!

iHOME APP COMBO CAN WAKE YOU UP WITH NET RADIO

iHome is a name usually associated with iPod and iPhone docks (like this one), but the company recently released two iPhone apps. The first, iHome+Radio ($2), tunes in to over 20,000 Internet radio streams. It integrates with the second app, iHome+Sleep (free), which displays weather widgets, social media updates and more.

Together, the apps let you set sleep timers and alarms for Internet radio streams — essentially turning that iA5 dock into an Internet radio alarm clock. Twice has more coverage here.



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