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Browser-Based Personalized Music Player

Published 04/12/2009 and rated Ratingstars3 3 out of 5 stars
by AppAppeal Editor
What can you use the app for? is a music search engine that recommends new songs based on the user’s favorite songs. Users type the name of a song in the search bar and the search results return a list of songs that sound similar to that song. Unlike other music search engines, this one is not based on artist or genre, but on an algorithm that analyzes the “essence” of the song – the tempo, instruments, sound density or harmony. In practice the search engine returns results that do indeed sound similar to the song used for the search.

The site allows users to preview a track from the search results, or play the entire track using a built-in browser based player that displays on the search results page. Video tracks of most songs are available as well, and can also be played in the browser-based player. Registered users can add tracks to playlists, which can be accessed from their home page (My Page). Users also have the option of buying and downloading tracks when available from iTunes or Amazon. The site offers integration with Firefox and Internet Explorer by adding the Mufin engine to the browser’s list of available search engines. The site also offers integration with iTunes, which allows searching on any song in the user’s iTunes playlist. In addition, the site offers a plug-in for integration with Facebook.

Mufin screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

The site was launched in October 2008. The German-based Fraunhofer Institute is behind the technology used by the site. The Fraunhofer Institute is the organization that developed the MP3 music compression format. The site has undergone continuous growth since launch, and currently has thousands of monthly visitors and an Alexa page rank below the 150,000 mark.

What are the differences to other apps?

Competition to Mufin comes from Pandora and Apple’s Genius feature. Both of these are music recommendation engines, but neither uses the type of technology developed by Mufin. Pandora uses a team of 50+ analysts to compare tracks and builds their recommendation database on the results. Genius works by analyzing user listening habits, and basing their recommendations database on those results.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

The Mufin site has a very sleek and uncluttered look and feel. The site is responsive, with page loads and searches happening quickly. The built-in streaming media player works very well. Mufin also offers a free downloadable player for use with the site that works quite well. Navigation is intuitive and the site is very user-friendly. There is a convenient top menu bar for navigation, with tabs for Homepage, Logout, My Page, Software and widgets, and Feedback. The search bar is shown on all pages of the site. There is no advertising displayed on the site.

How does the registration process work?

Registration at Mufin is free and is required in order to maintain a playlist. Registered users may also email song recommendations to their friends. The registration process asks for email address, username, password, and date of birth. Validation of the email address is required.

What does it cost to use the application?

Registration is free and there is no premium membership to Mufin offered. Users wishing to buy and download tracks are transferred to the iTunes or Amazon websites to complete the transactions.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Mufin is recommended to all music lovers. The site is very easy to use, and the technology does work well. In testing, better than 75% of the songs searched returned results that did indeed sound similar. The recommendations from Pandora and Genius are probably a bit better, but the results achieved at Mufin contain many more obscure tracks from their database of over 6 million tracks. The results at Pandora and Genius tend to contain only popular songs.

  • Users can search for song recommendations based on their favorite songs
  • The search engine uses an algorithm that analyzes songs based on their “essence”, which includes the tempo, instruments, sound density and harmony of the music
  • Users can preview or play tracks on the site or by using a downloadable player
  • Users can purchase tracks when available from Amazon or iTunes
  • The site is very easy to use and the technology produces excellent search results
  • The site offers integration with the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers and with Facebook

Mufin video

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