New free iPad app Shuffler.FM, a self-styled "audio magazine," aims to do for music news, emerging acts and downloadable songs what rivals like Flipboard do for breaking headlines. By aggregating featured tunes and posts from popular music blogs and online sites into an eye-catching, easily viewable tabloid format, it lets you quickly parse articles and stream related songs while reading.
Organized by musical genre (hip-hop, rock, folk, etc.) and updated in real-time as news breaks on publications like Pitchfork, Fader and Stereogum, curated feeds combine copy with eye-catching imagery and access to streaming tracks. Displaying posts as a streamlined grid of tiles, the application’s music player also makes it possible to listen to tunes while enjoying corresponding articles in which they’re featured. Allowing publications to double as virtual radio channels, the service is also available as a Web application, though the touch-sensitive tablet PC edition also adds wireless AirPlay song streaming to speaker systems.
Making it simpler to digest the endless torrent of news, gossip and updates on favorite performers, the application essentially lets tastemakers more easily steer new bands and albums your way. Capable of providing a quickly-assembled playlist in preferred musical genres, it tosses algorithm-based recommendations such as services like Pandora provide (based on personal listening habits) in favor of letting leading hipsters serve as an editorial filter. Built-in bookmarking and social media sharing features also provide a way to quickly save information on acts of interest and pass word along to friends.
Transforming the Internet’s never-ending torrent of topical news into a digital magazine readily parsed by individual preference, the program’s aerodynamic interface and ability to quickly stream featured tracks should please increasingly overwhelmed online audiences.