Smartphone multimedia provider Myxer has entered the realm of streaming online music with Myxer Social Radio, a website and downloadable app that lets users simultaneously listen to and chat about custom radio stations. But full Facebook support may be its most unique innovation, with constantly updated feeds that let social network users see what friends are rocking out to in real-time, then instantly crash their listening rooms.
Designed for use on desktop PCs or iOS or Android devices, Myxer’s software allows users to tune quickly into themed online radio channels at no charge. Fans can then invite friends to chat rooms to enjoy conversation or group listening sessions on-demand. The service offers over 12 million tunes in its catalogue and requires a Facebook account to access and activate. It also allows joint participants to vote on songs and influence each virtual space’s auto-streaming playlist.
Myxer emphasizes live commentary as a core element of the listening experience – unlike rivals such as Spotify, Grooveshark and Pandora – by including the ability to upload videos that can be tagged to each song. Known as "stories," these recordable film clips ostensibly allow fans to share what each track means to them. The company is also planning to introduce a tool for sending friends songs with custom-taped video dedications. Such personalized touches may help to differentiate the service from competitors such as Turntable.fm and Rolling.fm, which allow users to create cartoon avatars, swap witty one-liners and DJ simulated concerts.
Whether the program’s more social and realistic focus will attract music fans en masse or coax subscribers away from previously-entrenched opponents remains yet to be seen. But for those who miss the days when tunes were shared in opinionated company, Myxer may prove the most compelling way to transform Facebook into a giant digital jukebox.