Hype Machine has introduced a new feature called Fast Forward that’s like speed dating for indie rock fans and indie rock songs. Here’s how it works: After clicking “go” on the Fast Forward home page, Hype Machine plays 30-second samples of songs and shows the blog post from which the song came. (For the uninitiated, the Hype Machine is a streaming service that plays songs that have been posted at a select group of music blogs.)
If Fast Forward seems familiar, it may remind you of Shuffler.fm, a great site that streams music from music blogs through a couple dozen or so curated channels of both mainstream and niche genres. Each song played at Shuffler comes with the blog page with the source music (Shuffler takes the music from each blog’s RSS feed), allowing the listener to read up on the artist as the song plays. Shuffler launched last year, got some good press and won a B2C award at MidemNet Labs startup competition earlier this year.
It’s striking that Billboard, which is the voice of the legacy music industry, has a friendly feeling towards both hypem and shuffler.