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Arts and Entertainment

Listen Up: Finetune is Fun

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At LAist, we've done everything to convince ourselves that we're not missing out (tho we could use the rain) by steering clear of SXSW (did somebody say 5 weeks 'til Coachella?). Enter our new buddy Finetune. This music-streaming app, a veritable iPod shuffle for the world to share, combines Pandora's music recommending capabilities with Last.fm's social scene and takes the "Web 2.0" look, tagging and sharing mechanisms a step further. So take a break from slacker for a minute and come play with us. We selected a bunch of audio tracks from the Finetune library and embedded it quite simply, below. Go ahead, press play.


You're listening to a 47-song playlist as selected by LAist and played in random order. Why 47 songs? Finetune requires that every playlist be at least 45 songs, without playing more than 3 cuts per artist. We selected from only the artists scheduled to perform at SxSW this week. As frustrating as it was to scroll through the list of roughly 1,500 bands on the SouthBy sched, it was even more of a drag to dig up tracks from said bands in the Finetune archive. But never mind to what lengths we'd go for rock 'n' roll.

Screenshots and more after the jump.

The current iteration of Finetune's main page seems to express their desire to be a big part of every Web junkie's life. Even the artists appear to be enhanced to look like avatars. The artists listed at top left default to the most tagged -- the Finetune library has more than 2 million songs in it. After signing in, tagging some favorite bands and styles, the tag-columns will "learn" to better reflect your interests. If every SxSW artist that they have (not all that many, sadly) were tagged "sxsw" it would have been alot easier than searching for each artist individually. Finetune is still in Beta so we'll cut it some slack, though it doesn't need much.

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Below is a screenshot of the current setlist. It's possible to view any setlist, sample 30 secs of any song and then, with the press of the + button, add it to your own playlist. Tagging and fans, noted on the right sidebar, will help personalize your listening should you listen to the "radio station" of one of the 300+ distinct genres in Finetune's library. The flash player (which hardly resembles a radio) is just calling out to be embedded online or even dropped into Second Life.

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Check us out on Finetune here and please wontcha be our friend? Grab from our 47-track goodie bag and roll your own. The best way to use Finetune is to bypass the main portal and delve straight into the social tools. Click around -- who likes this band? this record? who's got this in their playlist? Add from there. Oh, and you can even listen while you Wii.

If there's a Web app that you think we've just got to check out, don't be shy. Drop a line anytime.

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