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Soundwave is a music discovery application that works to build recommendations from a user’s smartphone listening habits. Available today in the iOS and Google Play app stores, Soundwave works in the background by recording what a user listens to (whether it be from Spotify, Rdio or iTunes) and loads it to a news feed, where the user can follow what their friends are listening to. Think of it like Facebook’s news feed, but only for music.
Soundwave is a Dublin-based startup, with backing from Mark Cuban and endorsements from Apple’s Steve Wozniak, who are also two of the high profile known individuals users have the option of following after opening the app.
With a left hand drawer-style menu similar to that of Spotify’s mobile app, Soundwave’s layout as is intuitive to users as it is well designed. The main activity feed includes filters, so you can filter by what people have ‘liked,’ a song-level rating system similar to that of YouTube’s, or simply by what others have listened to.
Soundwave’s most impressive feature is a slight tweak on the concept tracking listening activity by location. Rather than see what’s around you, users are presented with a Google map and a pencil tool and by drawing a circle around a location of choice, are able to see what people are listening to in that area.
Soundwave is impressive, but with Spotify, Rdio and more with their own build-in recommendations services, do users really need or have the capacity for yet another music recommendation service? This isn’t a criticism against Soundwave as it might be towards the entire music marketplace in general, as the road towards a successful music discovery app is littered with literally hundreds of failed apps that have launched and failed to convert into a successful business model down the road.
But just last week Soundwave announced reaching the milestone of a quarter of a million downloads, and with features on the iTunes and Google play homepage and an all-star list of investors who have sunk over $1.29 million in seed funding, Soundwave certainly stands a fighting chance.