StumbleAudio: Engine For Music Discovery

August 8th, 2008

StumbleAudio LogoStumbleAudio is for the music searcher. It is a music database that lets the user “stumble” across titles in a genre and vote for what they like. Incredibly easy to use and visually appealing, StumbleAudio is a great engine for the user who is randomly exploring for new music.

The first thing to know about StumbleAudio is that it is album oriented. Whenever you stumble on an track, you are presented with the entire album of that artist, and able to navigate through it. Vote each track up or down as you like, or keep stumbling for more. Five different navigation views make searching and organizing easier: Channels (genre), Tracks You Like (voted up), Tracks Not For You (voted down), Your Searches, or Stumble help guide your music sampling. Like rock? Click on the Channels button and select rock. Before you know it you’re selecting what artist you’d like. Album art and a name is all you have to go on at first, but unlike the record store, you can listen for free. Go through the tracks on the album, vote them up or down before stumbling on the next. Music you like becomes a channel of its own, so it’s easy to make a playlist, and one click shopping is there for the album you can’t live without. There’s also a share button that copies the url to a song to your computer’s clipboard for quick recommendations for friends.

StumbleAudio Screenshot

Unfortunately this smooth and Flash enhanced engine is running on shoddy fuel – much of the music loaded into the database is what you would expect from a bargain bin, and in stumbles we received surprising results. At the time of our review it was common to experience such jarring changes in genre while under a Channel that we were forced to wonder how StumbleAudio was assigning value to their songs. Garage band rock to gospel to reggae steel band in the Rock channel? Modern Irish folk under Metal? By their own admission, StumbleAudio pulls the track information from online saved favorites and buying patterns, which, depending on the source, may not be indicative of what people want to stumble across.

Searchwise, the “I like…” bar at the top gathers albums from across the database and although every search brings up some gospel (we searched “sinatra,” “ska,” and “u2″), the first few albums are well matched. Overall StumbleAudio is an excellent engine for music discovery, and as soon as they improve the database, it’ll really go places. Find StumbleAudio and like applications with the Listio search discover+music.

Previously in this series: iLike: Find What Music You Like And I Like
Next in this series: Comparing Music Suggestion Applications: Pandora, Musicovery, iLike, Jango, and StumbleAudio

Application: StumbleAudio
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/StumbleAudio/
Website: http://www.stumbleaudio.com
StumbleAudio is a social music discovery site to help you find new and exciting music. Indie, rock, pop, and off the beaten path artists are there for discovering. Over 2,000,000 tracks by over 120,000 artists already!

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