Pandora + Turntable.fm = Myxer Social Radio

Posted November 14

If the pressure of DJing on Turntable.fm stresses you out (all those judgmental ears), you’re in luck. A new app comes out today that melds the more passive listening experience of Pandora with the social aspects of Turntable: Myxer Social Radio.

Myxer Social Radio is a web platform and iOS app (Android coming soon) that basically plugs into Facebook to allow you to listen to music with your friends. If you download the free app, you’ll be asked to log in via Facebook so that the app can find all your friends who are already using the service. You can also invite friends. Much like Turntable.fm, the app also features rooms — created by your friends, rather than all users of the service — that you can join in order to listen to music. You can also create your own rooms.

Here’s how the app differs from Turntable.fm: With TT.fm, you enter a room and queue up a bunch of specific songs that you would like to play (on-demand). You and your friends then take turns spinning songs, and everyone in the room rates those songs as “Awesome” or “Lame,” scoring DJs points. Therefore, TT.fm is very much a “lean forward” experience.

“On Myxer, we’re taking an approach where the people that are in any particular room aren’t actively programming track by track,” says CEO and founder Myk Willis. Instead, the app works much more like Pandora. When you create a room, you’re asked to enter in a list of artists in the vein of what you want to hear. You can’t request specific tracks, though. You’ll then be presented with a stream of music.

Still, this isn’t just like Pandora in a virtual chatroom. “The music programming is actually highly dependent on who is actually present in that room,” says Willis. “Because you’ve logged in from Facebook, we know about your music preferences already. That’s the starting point for knowing what a person likes.” In addition, members of the room can thumbs-up or -down songs (enough thumbs-downs will succeed in a skip), and that activity also helps the app play music that you and your friends are into.

Naturally, Myxer also has a social aspect — hence “social radio” — like in TT.fm, you can chat with other users, and the service also has a bonus feature: Stories. When a song that has some particular meaning to you pops up, you have the option to record a video story about that song. Willis recorded one for Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence” about how, at age 16, he stalked the band after a show, paid off their hotel doorman, and partied with his idols. Those stories are henceforth attached to that song, and other users can check them out while listening.

“We want to enhance the experience of music through social interaction,” says Willis. “We want to create a listening experience where people never feel alone and always provide a way for people to feel connected to the people they care about while they listen to music.”

We can easily see folks who don’t exactly have the time or energy to participate in Turntable.fm’s gameplay checking out Myxer — it could be an excellent way to listen to music with friends at work (without all the distraction of chatting), or even formulate a party playlist (without all the hassle of DJing).

What do you think? Will you switch from TT.fm to Myxer?

By Brenna Ehrlich