When Exfm first launched, it was a Chrome extension that let you scrape MP3s from music blogs as you surfed, creating a handy little playlist of tunes (no hunting and pecking required). Over the months, the service has added more social tools — in addition to its O Music Award-nominated iPhone app — but today, Exfm is out with a brand new web platform that mingles curation and recommendation deftly.
While we dug Exfm‘s original conceit — easy listening without all that reading — we did wonder initially: “Hey, cool, but what about all the music blogs that took the time to curate these tunes? Is it really fair to click over to Pitchfork solely to score songs, and then click away?”
The addition of social aspects was also cool — via integration with Facebook, Twitter, etc, users could see what their friends were listening to as well and share tunes with those pals. One could also make a profile on the site in order to more easily organize jams. Still, we missed the curation aspect. Yeah, it’s cool that all my friends like Foster The People, but what do the experts say?
Well, Exfm’s new platform brings all those aspects together: You can still surf around the web, collecting tunes as you go, and you can still follow friends and check out their tunes, but Exfm has also added a new Explore section, which highlights more professionally picked content. You can check out what Tastemakers are listening to (a feature that the iPhone app also boasts), a Monthly Mixtape created by music bloggers, as well as an “Album of the Week” (we feel that this section could be a little better built out, perhaps featuring a review). Users can also see what albums are trending on the service with their friends, what tracks are being “Loved” across the service, and which of their shared tracks people are “Loving.”
To round out these sizable tweaks, Exfm also rolled out extensions for Safari and Firefox, in addition to the preexisting Chrome product, and a new Site Player that music blogs can use to stream their MP3 content.
What do you think of the new Exfm? Would you use it to discover new tunes?
By Brenna Ehrlich