Local tech company, Labs.fm, has launched a new app that allows listeners to tune into radio playlists. Called Recast, the app accesses the playlists of radio stations around the world, and allows users to listen to them as they would a music streaming service.
The brilliance, however, is that listeners access just the music playlists, without the interruptions of commercials or DJ chatter. All the songs are also skippable, meaning that if the odd irritating one sneaks in, it can easily be avoided.
“When it comes to music, the ultimate goal is the creation of the perfect playlist – human vs algorithm, genre vs mood, discovery vs familiarity,” explains Recast founder, Richard Oakley.
Services like Pandora create playlists by proposing songs based on favourites or play history. Recast takes this a step further.
“We believe that the best playlists already exist, developed by radio stations who have people who have spent their entire careers figuring out what people like. They are simply locked in amedium that, as a music experience, is ruined by inaccessibility, inconvenience and interruptions,” continues Oakley.
The app also avoids issue typically associated with purely algorithm-driven recommendations, which often give a very narrow definition of what a user may enjoy. Like the radio stations that Recast pulls the playlists from, content varies within a broad spectrum.
The app includes over 200 different radio stations, from around the world.
When a station is clicked on through Recast, it shows not only the stations’ 10 most played songs, it also shows a neat visual which breaks down the different genres the stations plays by percentage, allowing users to discover new stations that they may enjoy listening to.
Oakley doesn’t see the app being “anti-radio” or competing with broadcast radio stations, despite collecting playlists from them.
“We actually think that Recast can help traditional radio stations, and supply useful data to them. They usually use methods like telephone surveys and focus groups to try and find out what music people like. However, we collect real data from listeners, by measuring actions such as which tracks they skip over, and how that is changing over time,” he said.
The app has proved successful and extremely popular to date. It was voted one of the top products of the day on Product Hunt when launched, and also selected by Spotify as one of their Developer Showcase apps.
The app is currently only available for iPhone, but will be coming to Android soon.
To find out more, log onto recast.fm or download the app from the iTunes app store.