August 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Console.fm: Asynchronous Group Listening with a Dance/Electronica Slant

consolefmWe’ve spotted another addition to the dot-fm DJ crew: Console.fm, a curated group listening room of sorts that’s all about a simple listening experience and handpicked tunes.

The service described itself as “the easy button for music” in a presentation last week, because all you have to do is click your bookmark to go to the web page and music starts playing automatically. You can also navigate tracks as you wish, and switch between a long list of dance music sub-genres — everything from Breaks to Trance.

Console.fm claims 40,000 listeners — 70 percent of which are “active” — but unlike Turntable.fm, none of them can DJ songs. Instead, the people who work at the startup select music from the treasure trove that is SoundCloud, through its API. SoundCloud was originally designed for people in the music biz (or semi-pro hobbyists) to share tracks with each other, so there’s plenty of great electronic music to choose from.

“The songs are chosen based on what we do in real life to discover electronic music,” explained Console.fm designer and CEO Alex Baldwin via email. In the beginning, this web app offered live chat. But each listener hears songs on their own pace, so that approach ultimately didn’t make sense.

“The social features have changed a bit over time,” he continued. “We used to have a chat, but then moved over to comments. There isn’t a social DJ experience like Turntable; Console is more like Pandora, in the sense you just turn it on and let it go.”

You don’t have to sign in with Facebook Connect, and can use the service anonymously if you wish. If you do use Connect, Console.fm lets you leave comments, add tracks to your favorites, track every song you’ve ever listened to on there, share tracks to your Facebook friends, and play a top tracks category.

As claimed, Console.fm offers a neat, uncomplicated way to listen to handpicked dance and electronica tunes. But if you’re not into that stuff, it’s probably time to head back to that indie-or-whatever room on Turntable.fm — or maybe Outloud.fm, which lets people DJ whatever tracks they want from SoundCloud.

  • Spacebarsentiments

    So they leave out “Electro” from their genre list, which is arguably the oldest form of electronic dance music. The rest of the selections I’ve been listening to are mostly junk. So, good ideas, but a bunch of dudes with poor taste in music, apparently.