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Search, Mix & Play with Songza

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Play around with Songza, a music search engine and Internet jukebox, and the first question that pops up into your head will be: How can this be legal? Whether the latest offering from Humanized, a Chicago-based company, is skirting the legal limits or not, or if it will even be around for long, one thing is for sure — it is damn good. (It is the same peer group as Hype Machine, a start up that we have previously covered .)

Scratch that! Not just good, but awesome — and dead simple. I threw some rather obscure artists at the search engine — Rishi Rich, Veronica, Dub Factory, Nitin Sawhney, and Shri. These artists are not exactly chartbusters, and only real tablatronics are aware of them, yet the quality of the results, and speed with which they were served back, was very impressive. The tracks included some songs I wasn’t even aware existed.

A simple right click is all it takes to play back the songs, share them with others, or build a playlist. The tracks in the playlist are easy to manipulate, and you can move them up and down. If you close the browser and come back after a day or so, the cookie remembers your playlist and plays back the tracks. The quality of music isn’t the greatest, but still not bad for spur of the moment listening. (Update: One of our readers has figured out that much of the tunes are coming from YouTube minus the videos.)

Songza can become a good accompaniment when you don’t have your entire music library handy, but have a distinct craving for Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side Of The Moon.” (Forty-something readers of mine will know exactly when that craving strikes!) Now I just hope they can stick around for a while, because I couldn’t really figure out how they intend to make money.

Related Post from WebWorkerDaily: Humanized’ Enso, Quick Silver for Windows

18 Responses to “Search, Mix & Play with Songza”

  1. i don’t know they are asking about paying for every songs play on songza website but

    how they are earning money from there website after all they are providing free service …

    and they are using you tube and other site videos then to whom they are paying ?????

    can any one have an idea about it ………………….. :-)

  2. I met Aza Raskin, the mind behind songza, at TechCocktail in Chicago a couple weeks back, and he seems like a very cool guy and even exchanged a few e-mails with him. After meeting him, i looke online to check out what else this kid has done and was quite amazed. Check out his wikipedia profile , he is tech legacy. According to wikipedia his father started the Macintosh project . This is some pretty insightful reading.

  3. It seems to be the age of instant gratification music services. Lord knows how long it’ll take the RIAA to rain down a crapstorm on these people, but it sure is cool to see great tunes at the click of a mouse. is another cool site that also allows you to sync the contents of your iPod for streaming anywhere.

  4. Om,

    Great discovery . You a Rishi Rich fan too ? I treid to test it extremely by asking for Daler mehndi and mehsopuria – even hema sardesai. Songza delivered. of course it had no results when I used my name ( of course I haven’t sung any songs) and I am happy it did not offer any alternatives.



  5. I’ve been using Songza for a couple of weeks now and I must say I’m very impressed. The thing that really got ne hooked was the super-simple interface. I can’t recall another web-based service that makes it so easy to rate (thumbs ‘up’ or ‘down’) and add tunes to a playlist.

    Such a simple little interface it makes you wonder why no one has executed the idea before… but that’s exactly what’s so good about it – the best ideas are always like that.

    If you haven’t had a play around yet, then you really should!

  6. Any engine that knows Shri, whom I have had the pleasure of seeing play bass (and he is absolutely amazing) and tabla on more than a few occasions is a must check. That said, I am picky about quality, so if that is below par I don’t see myself staying with Songza

  7. Hey Mr. Malik.

    Hope the Thanksgiving went well for you!

    I don’t know why, but for some reason I feel the songs “somehow” directly come from YouTube, as they already have an options called watch on YouTube + the quality is kind of flv to mp3 quality, if you know what I mean.

    Well, the best proof I just found is this:
    If you have firebug, then you’ll know what’s really going on behind the scenes.
    When the Web site loads, there’s one call to “top” file. The returned data is in JSON format. Look at the “id” tag. Now go to YouTube. In the YouTube url, replace the watch parameter with this id, and you’ll see a video show up.
    For example, right now the top song is: Faizal Tahir, and the id is: 5UqJ0IpZuyQ. So, the YouTube url would be: and so that Faizal Tahir video shows up.

    Sorry to blow the bubble, but songza, in my opinion is still a great service to find songs quickly, so, I guess, keep it up!

  8. The only thing I found I didn’t like is the quality of the music. I understand it’s grabbing the songs from YouTube and other places which have a bit lower quality than I like. Great for spur of the moment. Not so great for audiophiles.