Jelli, the user-controlled music streaming service, is releasing a specially curated SXSW-themed station today, which will feature the indie bands playing at the festival. The playlist for the station will be crowdsourced in real-time and made available on both web and mobile.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Jelli, the startup launched back in 2009 as sort of a “Digg for streaming music,” which is how it described itself back then. (That analogy might not work so well today, now that Digg is past its prime. But you get the idea). The core concept, which has been replicated by a number of mobile streaming music startups, is to have listeners vote up or down the tracks they want to hear. Plus, users are also given a limited number of “rockets” and “bombs” which let you send a track to the top of the playing list or destroy its score, respectively.
The service works online and on mobile, and even over the air. If you happen to be away from a web connection (is that possible?), Jelli can be heard on terrestrial FM in 20 markets across the U.S., including Philadelphia (94.5 WPST), Atlanta (96.1 WKLS), Minneapolis (102.1 KEEY), Las Vegas (96.7 KYLI, 94.5 KXLI) and others.
With today’s new release, the company has made a slight change to the user experience – it’s now diminishing users’ ability to collect bombs, dropping the maximum number you can accumulate in your account from 5 to just 1. The company says bombs have “such a disproportionate amount of power compared to rockets,” that it can ruin it for others when too many are flying around. You’ll still be able to use up your collection of bombs before the changes go into effect, though.
For SXSW festival goers, the new SXSW radio station will be a fun way to not just hear which bands are playing at the event, but also get a sense of the crowd’s general opinion on them. For those not into indie music, we should note that it’s joined by another new addition to the Jelli tuner today: Jelli Jazz.
The other big news – and news that will matter long after SXSW fervor dies down – is the newly launched Android app. It’s been a long time coming, given that Jelli arrived on iPhone back in November 2010. As with its iPhone counterpart, the Android app allows for various social radio listening features like Jelli’s Rockometer (where you voice your opinion by tapping “rocks” or “sucks”), rocketing/bombing tracks, live chat with other listeners, favorites, and more.
Jelli founder Michael Dougherty tells us that the Android “rocket” feature will have a different sound effect than the rocket you would hear online.
“Our team spends a lot of time thinking about the ‘listener experience’ and like to do fun things like this with it,” Dougherty says of the tweak.
More importantly, the Android release represents a continuation of Jelli’s strategy to be available everywhere (even on FM).
“Jelli for iPhone was our first mobile experience, and how we’re excited to launch Jelli for Android,” says Dougherty. “We had also launched Jelli on the Facebook Open Graph last September, as part of the same strategy,”
The Android app went live in the Google Play store (sorry, that still sounds weird) last night.