It’s hard to find good new music, and sometimes it’s harder yet to find tools to help you do that. Shuffler.fm is just such a service and it certainly accomplishes what it’s set out to do, and that is genuinely connect audiophiles to what matters most; the music. The main page greets you with a 6×3 grid of genres to choose from (that can be alternated for up to 108 options) and little else. Choose something and it will immediately take you to a random music blog and play a song mentioned on that blog in an unobtrusive bar on top of the page (from which you can pause and skip as well). Once it’s finished, you are automatically taken to the next song and website. So while you listen to something new, you also get a unique perspective on it from an independent source. It’s an experience whose authenticity cannot likely be matched elsewhere.
The song collection is superb and there are far more offerings from independent artists than otherwise. Unfortunately the blogs that accompany them is where Shuffler sometimes fails to deliver, and it’s not uncommon to be taken to one that has nothing to offer but a link to the track that is already playing for you. There are also a few sites that may contain questionable content or that are just plain eye sores and you may not appreciate being torn from what you’re reading if a song ends before you finish, but these complaints really are minor nuisances considering what the service has to offer.
Shuffler.fm is an extremely effective facility for real fans of new music and the culture that surrounds it. With a little more quality control on the blogs and some additional networking features, it might even become close enough to perfect. But as it stands, it’s already pretty close.