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Meet Wonder.fm: We Are Hunted’s co-founder is back with a new music discovery site

We Are Hunted fans, take notice: The co-founder of the once-popular music discovery service is back with a new site that squarely focuses on SoundCloud: Wonder.fm mines SoundCloud for the 99 most-played tracks of the last month, and then aggregates them on an image grid for easy browsing.

Users can start to play any song with the integrated web player, or switch to a more detailed playlist view that shows how many plays titles got within the last 24 hours, week or month.

Wonder.fm is being built by Stephen Phillips, who co-founded We Are Hunted and led [company]Twitter[/company]’s music efforts after the company acquired We Are Hunted in late 2012. Philips told me that he built the new site after leaving Twitter in July. “I just couldn’t help myself,” he said. “I’m an obsessive music hacker!”

Philipps is working on Wonder.fm by himself, but that doesn’t stop him from having big plans: The site’s image grid will soon include hip-hop, EDM and Asian pop as well, and Philipps also wants to build apps for Android and iOS. “My hope is that music fans seeking cool sounds outside the top 40 might find it a really fun app,” he said.

Philipps’ original site We Are Hunted scoured P2P networks and music blogs to build charts based on the popularity of tracks online. The company behind the site was acquired by Twitter in late 2012, and Philipps led a small team to work on a dedicated music app for Twitter. That app, which was simply called #music, was built in secrecy, with Phillips’ team operating out of a small office atop of an auto body shop in the San Francisco Mission district. However, the app never took off with Twitter’s users. Said Philipps:

It struggled due to a lack of licensed music and limited integration with the core Twitter experience. It needed music and tweets!

Twitter eventually killed the app about a year after launch, and shifted to improve the music experience within the core Twitter app instead. Phillips said that he was grateful for the opportunities Twitter offered, adding: “But I am a entrepreneur to my bones, so ultimately, the call of the wild came for me again, and here I am.”

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