Turntable.fm is a hot social music service for sure (if you’re into dance music), but despite a handful of musicians premiering tracks on the service, it’s always been more of a casual consumer product than a tool for serious musos and bands/DJs. That’s why Soundcloud-based social listening service Mixlr stands a chance against the buzzy beast.
Mixlr launched in 2010 as a tool for easy audio livestreaming. In 2012, it got a facelift: “For this new release, we’ve concentrated on making the live experience as fun and interactive as possible, taking a similar social approach to Turntable.fm, but applying it to more than just music,” co-founder Greg Lloyd told The Next Web. That means chatting, “liking” and sharing galore.
The homepage of the web app features a pretty rad-looking color wheel, each wedge connoting a different genre of music. Choose a wedge to enter a room (much like with Turntable.fm) and jam to whatever tunes the room creator is spinning. Each room contains a page featuring the avatars of everyone else in the room (pictures, not weird animals or creatures) and you can click on those avatars to access their profiles and/or follow them. Rooms also have a chat functionality, and users can “Like” jams that they deem worthy. There’s no Turntable.fm-esque voting, however.
Mixlr isn’t just a passive listening experience, though — unless you want it to be. You can also host your own “Broadcasts,” which can be created in two different ways. Firstly, you can compose a playlist from Soundcloud, searching for tunes within the service or copy-pasting links. We can see bands easily hosting listening parties in this way.
Secondly, you can host live broadcasts on Mixlr by downloading a free app, allowing you to stream live music/talk radio/high, depressed keening directly from your computer. You can also invite friends to join via social networks, and save broadcasts once you’re finished for later listening. Broadcasters can also embed their shows on blogs, websites and Facebook Pages. Live jam sessions with your adoring fans? Yes, please.
Mixlr also has a premium version that allows for downloads at around $6 per month, but the free offering is pretty damn useful all on its own.
Social music is decidedly a burgeoning corner of the music tech world. Just today, rumors started swirling that Turntable.fm is close to signing deals with all four major labels, and competing services like Myxer Social Radio and Facebook Listen With keep cropping up every day. Mixlr distinguishes itself from the pack by focusing more on content creators than those consuming the content, a formula that might help it survive in an increasingly crowded market.