Discovering new music is one of life’s greatest joys. We all know the feeling when you first hear a song you love: goosebumps, foot-tapping, maybe that subtle smile. Proverbially, there’s an app for that — Choosic. The concept is simple, yet brilliant: it’s been called “Tinder for Music” — to decide whether you like or dislike a song, you swipe left or right. If you do like a song, it immediately gets added to your playlist so you can “listen anytime, anywhere.”
Recently, I was fortunate enough to speak with Chris Underdown, the architect of the new music discovery app. Here’s what he had to say:
So, what is Choosic?
Choosic is a music discovery app that recommends you new and trending content based on your preferences. It’s currently the fastest way to discover and build playlists of new music you like, and has been called the “Tinder for music”.
What inspired you to create the app?
Many of my friends were coming to me for music recommendations because they had trouble finding new tracks that they like. Afterall typing “new music” into Google or YouTube doesn’t really achieve anything. I decided to do some research and found that a lot of people faced the problem of being bored of their music collections. It was at this point when I realised there was a problem and demand for there to be a simple and easy way to discover new music.
How do you select the music?
We actually aggregate content from over 600 tastemakers and music blogs to recommend fresh, trending and emerging content. We try not to recommend chart music as it’s already receiving massive promotion. After aggregating music from music blogs we run it through our recommendation engine to deliver it to the people that would most likely appreciate it, thus creating a balance between being half-curated and half-algorithmic.
I noticed that there’s no Android app yet! Is that ‘in the works’ for non-iPhone users (such as myself)?
Our Android app is currently in development, as well as Windows Phone.
You and your team recently won the 2014 London Entrepreneurs Challenge with Choosic (congratulations!). How did it feel seeing your work recognized?
A lot of hard work goes into building an app, especially when there’s many processes running in the back-end that the end user doesn’t see. My team worked extremely hard developing Choosic, and I’m glad and proud of our work being recognised from winning the London Entrepreneurs Challenge, it was well deserved. Go Choosic Team!
‘The Next Web’ recently compared Choosic to Tinder for the ‘swipe left, swipe right’ interface. Personally, I view this as a great, simple way to say “I like this” or “I don’t like this.” Do you feel as though this comparison is warranted? Why did you choose this particular approach?
Thank you, we wanted to keep the product as simple as possible as well as solving a problem. We always wanted to recommend one song at a time to remain content-focused, and originally we were planning to do a Netflix-like scoring with up to 5 stars. Through experimentation we felt that the ‘Tinder’ swipe gesture was the right decision. We purely focus on building features that improve music discovery, so the product will change overtime but I’m pretty certain we’ll be keeping the ‘swipe left, swipe right’ feature.
Now some more personal questions! What’s your favourite genre of music and why?
That’s definitely a tough question, but I’m going to have to go for…Post-Rock! It just resonates and connects with me more than any other genre. It’s a lot more about feeling the music rather than following lyrics.
What are your 3 favourite songs you’ve found on Choosic?
Another hard question! I’ve discovered over 1,000 tracks on Choosic but here’s a few of my favourites:
Icarus – Missing You
Hosaia x Loboku – Set To Go
Patrick James – Message
Because it can say a lot about a person and their work, who would you say is your biggest idol?
I’ll be completely honest, I don’t really have any idols that I religiously follow. Boring I know, but I admire and respect the work and accomplishments others have achieved.
Anything you’d like to add?
Thank you for your time and keep up the good work at MOR.
Choosic is available on the iOS App Store for those who want to discover new music. We also have a submission link for artists in case they haven’t been featured on a music blog.
Choosic is definitely an app that I’ll be downloading when the Android version comes out. It’s people like Chris that exemplify what MOR stands for, too — taking your passion to the next level and, importantly, sharing it with those around you.
(Also, those 3 songs he posted above are awesome — check ’em out).