Apps & Mobile

Music Discovery Riches: Boiling Frogs, Self-Destructing Sites & Album Cover Musaics

MusaicMusic discovery comes in many forms and this selection runs the gamut from Boil the Frog's mind boiling playlist approach to NewMusic Ten's anti-iTunes monthly selection that will soon disappear. If that doesn't inspire you to discover new discovery tools, perhaps famous organizations such as MTV and NPR will draw you in? No?

Then what about a Musaic composed of album covers that is strangely reminiscent of a recent portrait of Rick Santorum? You know the one I mean. Discover!

NewMusic Ten: Anti-iTunes Pop-Up Shop

I would have included NewMusic Ten in an earlier music discovery roundup, but I mistakenly thought it was a service offering music bundling. But that's on me cause I should have realized from the press release that "online music's first ever pop up shop" is the "anti-iTunes coupled with eHarmony."

NewMusic Ten offers a monthly selection of an album or EP from each of 10 artists. At the end of the month, everything is erased including comments and a new batch is introduced. And, before too awfully long, the whole thing will be gone because it's "designed with obsolescence in mind." Enticed?

Boil the Frog: 6+ Degrees of Separation

Boil the Frog is an app created during the Music Apps Hack Weekend. Though it's probably the most fun app mentioned in this post, it's not readily available to the general public.

The app relies on a Spotify/Echo Nest combo. You pick two artists, ideally two that seem totally unrelated, and it creates a playlist that gradually takes you from one to the other displaying something more than 6 degrees of separation while slowing boiling your aesthetic mind. Nice!

If you have Spotify, you can check out an example.

MTV Music Meter 2.0

The MTV Music Meter has been updated and you can check it out on the web or download apps for iOS or Android:

"The MTV Music Meter is a daily list of artists trending right now. Discover these artists and others like them through audio samples, photos, recent tweets, news articles, and bios. Or chart your own discovery path by searching through over 1 million artists."

I think I'm supposed to make a snarky comment about MTV rediscovering music at this point but, hey, we're all in discovery mode these days.

NPR Music for iOS

NPR brings its taste in music to iOS with an app for both the iPhone and iPad.

The iPad version seems to be getting the most attention and, if you dig NPR's music selection, it sounds pretty darn cool. Among other options:

"You can build a playlist by dragging and dropping, and then save it for offline listening. You can listen while running other apps on your iPad or send it over Wi-Fi to your home stereo. And if you don't know where to start, a special feature in the playlist will suggest NPR Music features based on the artists already in your iTunes library."

Musaic: Powered by Rdio

Having begun with Boil the Frog, it seems appropriate to close with Musaic, an app that takes an interesting approach to music discovery by displaying a representation of an album cover composed of other album covers. You click on the underlying cover art and it takes you to a new artist.

Currently Musaic only gives you snippets of music but it's another great example of an app that could be turned into a business. Perhaps it's a feature as a business but wouldn't it be nice if you could listen to a whole song, purchase it if desired, click through to a music video and/or Like specific tracks or albums?

Or are you as tired of those options as you are of music discovery?

[Note: Thumbnail illustration via Musaic.]

Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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