June 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

Mixcloud ‘Cloudcasts’ DJ Sets to the iPhone

Mixcloud has complemented its popular web app with an iPhone app bringing a world of carefully-programmed music — DJ sets, talk and music podcasts (remember those?), and radio segments — to Apple’s smartphone.

If DJs are your rockstars, Mixcloud for Apple iOS is right up your alley. But wait, what’s a “cloudcast”?

“Cloudcast is a term we coined to denote any form of extended audio, from radio show to DJ mix, curated by a human,” explained Mixcloud co-founder Nico Perez. “The aim was to have a new word to describe podcast-like content hosted in the cloud.”

Mixcloud isn’t wholly reliant on humans in its quest to deliver hand-picked . The app’s Hot category is “determined by our secret-sauce algorithm… a measure of: play count, favorites, Twitter and Facebook buzz.”

You can log in with Facebook, which, as happens with any app that uses a Facebook log-in, shares the information pictured to the left with the developer. If Facebook information sharing creeps you out, Mixcloud also offers the option to create a native account there, which is nice, and something we wish purely Facebook-log-in-reliant apps would consider adding for those privacy sticklers out there.

The music fan (ideally, the electronic music fan, because most of the stuff on here falls somewhere within that wide-ranging category) is faced with a simple choice after opening the app. In addition to the Hot category mentioned above, as well as searching by tag (pictured), user, or cloudcast, you can view cloudcasts by categories (genres divided by music and talk) or favorites (mixes you’ve liked in the past), or check out your profile, which lists your listening stats and number of followers.

mixcloud following social musicYes, borrowing a page from Twitter and Rdio, the socially-conscious Mixcloud lets you follow other users within the service in order to see what they’ve played, favorited, created (if they’re a DJ), who they’re following, and who’s following them. If your friends are active enough, you could use Mixcloud without ever seeking out a mix on your own, due to this extensive follow feature.

According to Perez, the mix of content in the app is “about 50 percent DJ sets, 25 percent music radio shows, and 15 percent talk radio shows/podcasts.” We’re not sure where the other 10 percent went, but that sounds about right otherwise.

“We believe that people have different listening modes, and different apps help cater to each mode,” explained Perez. “Spotify or Rdio are great when you know what you want to listen to. When you’re looking to discover new music, or listen in a passive lean-back style, MixCloud may be your app of choice.

If you hear something you like, a simple tap lets you share it via Facebook, Twitter or email — or share it with your future self on the web via ReadItLater. And the Mixcloud app supports multitasking, so you can listen to these mixes while you do other things with your phone. This “beta” version is not perfect; indeed, we crashed it twice, but it was only released this week, so we expect it to improve in that regard.

Loyal Mixcloud.com users already know they need this app.

As for the rest of us, we sort of know these DJ sets, podcasts and talkshows are out there, but they can be hard to get to. Mixcloud does a fine job of wrapping them all up in a neat package for the iPhone — although we really wish it had a caching feature so you could queue up shows via WiFi in order to play them back later without eating into a limited data plan.

As part of its launch, Mixcloud is free on the iTunes app store “for a limited time only.”

The main player screen displays an image from whoever made the cloudcast:

mixcloud listenYou can share any mix via Twitter, Facebook, email, or remind yourself to check it out later:

The talk categories mainly refer to podcasts:

mixcloud talk categoriesThe music categories will be more interesting to Evolver.fm readers:

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