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Songza Releases Major Upgrade: Lean Back & Enjoy [A First Look]

SongzaSongza has always been about quickly finding a playlist that fits your mood and taste. With today's release of Songza 3.0 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, the fast rising music streamer has made that experience even simpler.  “This app update coincides with four new milestones for Songza," states Elias Roman, co-founder and CEO of Songza. "We’ve just had our 6 millionth App Store install and served over 560 million songs in the last 30 days. We’re now reaching 4.7 million monthly active users who spend more than 65 million minutes with Songza each day.” The company also recently completed a $3.8 million fund-raising round.

My First Look

As a regular user, I went into the upgrade a bit skecptical. Please, Songza, don't mess with something that already works so well for me. Don't clutter it with new features.

Not too worry. The Songza designers appear only out to impress with improved simplicity, not overload it with features - though there are a few surprises if you want to find them. Overall the app feels more responsive, the design a little less cluttered, and moving around around it feels even easier. 

Now available from the iTunes App Store, Songza 3.0 also brings these upgrades:

  • 2Search for an artist, and you’ll see every pro-curated playlist on Songza that features them. Make your selection, and the playlist will begin with a song by that artist.
  • To make music discovery easier, in-app tips help you move from playlists you’re getting tired of to new ones.
  • The HQ Audio feature, powered by Audyssey Laboratories, improves headphone sound quality without increasing data plan usage. Many new headphone models are available and easier to select. Hopefully they'll soon do the same for computer and portable speakers.
  • When you're short on time, a long press on any Concierge "situation" like "driving" starts a playlist that Songza thinks you'll like. Watch out broadcasters, starting your Songza playlist can now be as fast as turning on your car radio.
  • From the Concierge screen on an iPhone or iPod Touch, shake your device and enter what you're doing and Songza will find an appropriate playlist.

What's Next?

With already impressive usage likely to accelerate after this upgrade, how long can Songza stay a 100% free service. (Ads currently run on the site and apps, and not in-stream?.)

A traditional music streamers like Spotify or Rhapsody would be smart to acquire Songza to add their impressive features and the team that created them. Or perhaps Songza as part of a broader streaming music service is what early investor Amazon has had in mind all along.