Listen-App: Serendip Makes Everyone A DJ

By Michael Mintz, NoCamels January 21, 2012 Comments

Always searching for new music that fits your taste? A new Israeli company aims to utilize the Internet’s social potential to help you discover new songs and artists.

Serendip is a free music player that is built to design playlists for its users, based on music uploaded by millions of social network users in real time. What distinguishes it from other “make your own playlist” platforms is its ability for non-linear listening.

According to Co-Founder & CEO, Sagee Ben-Zedeff, Serendip is trying to find a cure to what he refers to as the “Pandora Fatigue”. In his words, this is a state in which people get bored by the repetitive nature of songs played based on resemblance to sounds and rhythms of previous songs. After a while, according to Ben-Zedeff, it just sounds like you are listening to the same type of song over and over. When dealing with online playlists “there is always the problem of what to play,” he says.

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Serendip, founded in early 2011 by Ben-Zedeff and Assaf Atzmon, decided to take a different approach. The duo says they noticed  the way social networks were changing the way they were exposed to music and decided to maximize that potential for the public.

Instead of using algorithms, the company uses the creativity of the human mind and character. Just as people tend to bounce around when they listen to music, Serendip takes that human eclectic taste and channels it into the users’ ears. Instead of having a playlist based on similarity to other songs, it is based on similarity to like-minded strangers.

Serendip - Technology News - Israel

The Serendip User Interface

This is how it actually works: The company receives data from popular social networks, so that every time music is uploaded from any public source, it is integrated automatically to Serendip under that user’s name. The user then becomes a Serendip DJ – sometimes without even knowing it.

Currently, music is taken directly from Twitter, but Ben-Zedeff points out that Serendip will  soon track Facebook and other social networks. “Serendip connects you to people who wouldn’t necessarily connect socially. Now they connect through music,” he adds.

A Serendip user can see who shares a similar taste in music from among almost 11 million users currently in the company’s database. The user can also hop from DJ to DJ based on his uploads in real time – branching out to different musical directions.

Like other music platforms, users can search for specific songs and artists and create playlists based on genre or country of origin. To encourage more interaction between users, there is a button that allows users to “Rock On” a DJ or a song, similar to Facebook’s “Like” feature.

The application’s developers aim to turn it into a tool that artists and record companies could use to know what the public wants to hear in a direct and focused way and through which artists and potential fans can connect. It is currently in its alpha stage and is anticipated to have its full release by the end of this fiscal quarter.

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