Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2015 by Will Hagle
Cymbal.fm offers music discovery powered by friends, not algorithms.
Music discovery has historically been one of the hardest services to provide on the web. Many music discovery algorithms have been attempted, but few have successfully provided a combination that works for all users. Cymbal.fm is a mobile app that combines technology with the old-school method of music discovery — recommendations by friends. The app lets users share any song that they’re currently listening to or enjoying. That recommendation is called a “cymbal.” Other users can like or comment on cymbals, starting a discussion about music. This adds a social element that’s much more useful than the one seen on sites like Spotify, which tells you what your friends are listening to but doesn’t provide much useful information for music discovery.
Cymbal.fm’s slogan may be “music discovery powered by friends,” but everyone knows that online friends don’t necessarily have to be real-life friends. The app also lets users “follow” music curators like bloggers, artists or record labels. Any time these influencers post a cymbal, it shows up alongside your friends’ posts. The result is a scrollable feed of awesome new music, like a playlist of your favorite genres and artists as well as bands or groups that you’ve yet to discover. This also makes it easy for those without friends already using the app to get involved right away. The app is currently only available for iOS devices, but an Android version is on the way. If you’re looking to find new music that you’ll probably enjoy, Cymbal.fm is the app for you.