Update: Soundflavor is no longer available.
Music is an indispensable part of our culture and with the internet we have almost instant access to a variety of genres and artists like never before. So is it any wonder that free music services flourish? Are we saturated, yet? I don’t think so.
Soundflavor combines well known music discovery formats with a few more features to make it even more interesting. Basically it is Last.fm or Pandora spruced up with videos, advanced discovery options and easy social network integration. Does that sound good? Let’s dive in and see how it works.
The website is very clear cut and easy to use. On the start page you can enter an artist or song to find music the traditional way. Alternatively, you can browse music by genre, lyrics, decade or go through a list of songs that can be downloaded for free.
Let’s say we’re browsing music by lyrics, which seems like the most unique option. You can select music by lyrical subject or mood. Mellow sounds good. Once you made your selection hit Go.
In the next step Soundflavor will present a list of matching tunes and even more filter options. To fine-tune the results you can now really go into details and combine all sorts of specifications. I specified the genre, instrument and mood. Et voilÃ , the tool came up with one of my favorite songs from Coldplay as its number one suggestion.
Once happy with the result, click “Play This Page” and Soundflavor will launch its Video Jukebox (Flash required) in an extra window and begin playing the playlist you still see on the website.
The videos are streamed via YouTube. Hence they can be anything from homemade video clips, live recordings, to the actual, original artwork. Nevertheless, all videos appear to be of high quality and most are in fact original music videos or at least live recordings of the original artist.
Should you like a song, you can make a one-click playlist based on the sound of that song. Should you dislike a video, you can simply skip it. Thankfully there are no limitations as to how many times you can jump straight to the next song. Besides, you can play a song directly from the playlist on the website.
Should you decide to sign up with Soundflavor you can add songs you enjoy to your favorites or save playlists. Within your profile you can access this information and replay the songs or playlists later on. Additionally, you can upload your iTunes playlists and Soundflavor will convert it into video playlists.
You can connect with other users, browser their favorites and playlists, leave comments on their profiles and add them as friends. And you can “Grab Widget”, implement it on your homepage, blog or social network profile and share it with your existing friends.
Certainly established services like Last.fm and Pandora retain unique features and are not endangered. However, Soundflavor opens up a new niche and enhances music discovery by several more options and degrees of freedom. Definitely a great tool!
Try it and let us know what your impression is.