Startup Review: Songza -- Concierge is amazing


I’m all about trying out new apps (especially ones that exhibited at NY Tech Day), so here’s my first impression of Songza — a web radio that let’s you “Listen to music curated by Music Experts.” To be fair, we had been using the Songza desktop version around the Tech Day office quite a bit before this, but who said anything about being fair…

The Songza Music Concierge is the best fucking thing I have seen from any music app out there. There, I said it.

The Concierge recognizes the time of day and asks you to pick from a few environments to determine the mood. You then pick the category of music you want to jam out to and are presented with a bunch of playlists. One of my favorite combinations is the “Work or Study — No Lyrics” —> “Film Scores” —> “Epic Film Scores”. Let’s just say epic is the perfect description.

So Concierge aside, I was totally blown away by the app as well and here’s why:

  • It doesn’t lose any of the look and feel of the UI from the website
  • Did I mention that the Concierge is pure awesome
  • No commercials = sweetness
  • It’s fully integrated with the iPhone with skip buttons, pause / play etc.
  • Here’s the mind blowing part and maybe this was just pure luck — I rode the E Train from Port Authority (42nd St.) all the way down to Spring Street and was able to listen to 3 songs with no interruptions. I think I might be able to pick up 3G for a few seconds here and there and maybe it was just timed perfectly, but shit. This was a modern day miracle in my mind. Streaming music on the subway. Win!

Here’s the part that’s lame and I understand it is part of their marketing, so I guess I maybe forgive them… maybe. I had to signup using Facebook or email, so I chose FB even though it was against my better judgement (really should be a Twitter option). I knew they were going to try to post the music I was listening to onto my FB wall, so I tried to turn it off from the app with no success. It either isn’t an option or it’s well hidden.

Sure enough, I check on my FB wall and see that I’ve been listing to “Club Bangers” or something ridiculous like that. Not cool. I think I was able to ban them from posting more stuff via FB, but only time will tell. Like I said, I understand why they do it, I just don’t like it.

Open Questions:

  • Is there a skip limit?
  • What happens when I down vote a song? Does it never play that song again for that playlist? for all playlists?
  • Are the songs in a playlist arranged in order (i.e. Song A is 1st, B is 2nd, etc.) or is it totally random?
  • What happens when I revisit a playlist for a second time? Does it pick up where it left off? randomize? remember what songs I’ve listened to already?

All that being said, I really dig it. It has replaced Pandora for now and probably forever as long as I don’t find any other surprises. There’s still a lot more to check out as I’ve only started playing with it yesterday. For now, I have to say — very nicely done Songza team.

#6WordSummary: Songza Concierge rocks bye bye pandora