[The Audiofiles] Soundrop – Music To My Ears


My name is Amanda, and I’m addicted to music.

Electronic Music. Acoustic Music. Trance Music. Rock Music.

Live Music.

Good Music. 

All Music.

Thoughts come to me in song lyrics.
I’m too busy dancing to your ringtone to answer your call.
I eat, breathe, laugh and sleep in four to the floor time.
I equally love and hate Shazam when it can’t recognize the eccentric remixes I find.
That ‘new’ song you love? I probably know a remix in each and every EDM genre.

By a rough estimate, I spend at least half the time I’m awake enveloped by the pounding basslines, serenading synths and delicious drops of music: From the moment I wake up, the current alarm tone on my phone sets my pace for the day at 128 BPM, I refresh my Hypem feed as clothes fly around my room like a hurricane and with my iPod in hand – bounce from my apartment to the car, plug it in, turn it up and head out.

The glory of living in the age of social media sharing, technology and kickin’ beats is that there are always new ways to both share and listen to music.

It started off with Pandora and the ability to craft unique radio stations that evolve over time and Last.fm which keeps track of your listening history and makes it easy to share favorite tracks socially.  As the social media craze caught wind, so did the necessity to change the way we’re both listening to and appreciating music.

Spotify, currently one of the best known third party applications for both listening to and discovering new music with friends, has more or less revolutionized this idea.  The company was started in the United Kingdom in 2008 and finally opened up registration to include the United States in the 2011.  Shortly after, they formed a timely partnership with Facebook that requires all users to tie their accounts together – not only encouraging the social aspect of Spotify, but more or less requiring it. There are tons awesome features on Spotify – like the ability to create collaborative playlists with your friends.  However, once you’ve linked accounts you can tell which one of your friends still listens to Nickelback and who has suddenly become a raver kitten – so world be warned, if you’re embarrassed by your musical selection Spotify might not be the music application for you.

I wasn’t a huge fan of people being able to track my latest and greatest melodic moves, and I definitely didn’t feel like scrolling through a laundry list of the bands I stopped listening to years ago every time I logged into my Facebook.  Needless to say, I was on the hunt for something better.  When another music sharing site called Turntable.fm popped up on my radar, I couldn’t help but get excited: it was unlike anything else currently out there.  After you sign up, you can go to thousands of different ‘DJ Rooms’ that have a five turntable set-up for up to 5 users to DJ “back-to-back” .  When the site was created, rooms had a 200 user capacity – but now there’s seemingly no limit to the number of people enjoying the app.  The only downfall of Turntable.fm being that if you want to have your shot at a DJ slot, you might have to wait an incredibly long time – especially in a popular room.  I used the site for a few months, but found myself going back to Hypem and Digitally Imported, where I felt that  either the sets had more strength or I had creative license to play whatever I want.

Well enter the game changer: Soundrop.fm. I litererally only found out about the website this morning, but after playing around with it for most of the day I think I’ve finally found a keeper.  They took a pretty page from the Turntable.fm book – having genre, artist and label based ‘Rooms’ where each member of the room can both add tracks with the search feature and vote their favorites into higher position.  The more votes, the closer to the top of the queue.

There are currently two ways to enjoy Soundrop, they have a nice little web based interface that’s a little glitchy but very easy to use and – in an incredibly genius move – you can also access the application through Spotify.  To me, the difference between Soundrop and Spotify is both social and temporal.  Spotify is wonderful for creating a catalog of songs your friends love that you can listen to at your own discretion, whenever you want most likely by yourself.  Soundrop, on the other hand, tells you what your friends are listening to right now and let’s you all enjoy it together.  Completely fitting that their motto is ‘Music Sounds Better With Friends’ – and I couldn’t agree more!

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