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The Echo Nest and Rhapsody Launch Sanity-Saving SXSW Festival App

March 11, 2011
Press Release

The Echo Nest, a music intelligence platform powering smarter music apps across the web and various devices, announced Festival Explorer Austin Edition, an iPhone app sponsored by the popular music service Rhapsody. The app was designed to optimize the South by Southwest music festival for each user by integrating personalized concert recommendations, show calendar, location-based tools and in-depth data on each of the 2,000+ bands playing in Austin from March 15 - 19th.

This free iPhone app, available in iTunes, will help attendees of the South By Southwest music festival create their own ideal line-ups out of the staggering number of shows scheduled for next week in Austin by letting them search, browse, and listen to all the scheduled bands in one handy app. In addition, users can optimize their schedules with the wisdom of the crowd using unique, socially-aware technology from The Echo Nest.

Festival Explorer Austin Edition (VIDEO DEMO) lets festival-goers explore the entire concert calendar by artist, venue, or tag, or search for individual bands. Many bands play multiple times during the event, so users can add a specific appearance by a band they want to see to a calendar—or to their Favorites list for easy access to all of their shows.

In addition to personalized recommendations, The Echo Nest’s “hotttnesss” API, which powers popular music discovery services such as the MTV Music Meter, scours the web to find bands generating the most buzz across social media and among music tastemakers. With the Festival Explorer Austin Edition, fans can find the right bands and venues based on Internet buzz. The whole interactive calendar and every single show are mapped onto Google Maps, so that show-goers can try to schedule shows nearby to each other when possible.

If you’re listening to B.o.B. on Rhapsody and want to see if he is performing at SXSW, for example, one could search the app for the venue, (Kiss & Fly), or any of the bands performing there, then add it to their personal calendar on Thursday, March 17, at 1:00AM. The app displays upcoming shows in chronological order for the current day, tomorrow, or the whole festival, making it easy to find out where you’re supposed to be next.

“Music discovery is core to what Rhapsody, the Echo Nest and South by Southwest bring to music fans,” said Brian McGarvey, vice president, business development, Rhapsody. “Whether it’s getting turned on to a new artist through Rhapsody’s original editorial content, being guided to new music via The Echo Nest’s technology or experiencing a band live at the festival, The Echo Nest and Rhapsody are the tour guides to the musical journey fans will have through the Festival Explorer Austin app and beyond.”

“South by Southwest is like drinking out of a firehouse for serious music fans—over 2,000 bands playing in a stretch of just a few days,” said Jim Lucchese, CEO of The Echo Nest. “The Festival Explorer Austin Edition iPhone app helps fans get the most out of this great festival and find their new favorite band.”

About The Echo Nest

The Echo Nest is a music intelligence company that connects the greatest application developers to the best data and music to enable the next generation of music experiences. Powered by the world’s only machine learning system that actively reads about and listens to music everywhere on the web, The Echo Nest opens up a massive repository of dynamic music data to application developers ranging from one-person operations to multinational corporations. Over 160 music applications have been built on its platform to date.

The Echo Nest was co-founded by two MIT Media Lab PhDs. Winner of three National Science Foundation SBIR grants, The Echo Nest’s investors include Matrix Partners and Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Argos Management and three co-founders of MIT Media Lab. For more information, visit echonest.com. Follow The Echo Nest on twitter @echonest.

About Rhapsody

The Rhapsody┬« digital music service (www.rhapsody.com) gives subscribers unlimited on-demand access to more than 11 million songs, whether they’re listening on a PC, laptop, Internet connected home stereo or TV, MP3 player or mobile phone. Rhapsody allows subscribers to access their music through more touch-points than any other digital music service, including mobile phones from Verizon Wireless, through Rhapsody applications on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, RIM BlackBerry and Android mobile platforms as well as through devices from Vizio, SanDisk, HP, Sonos and Philips. Rhapsody, and the Rhapsody logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Rhapsody International Inc. Follow @Rhapsody on Twitter and keep up with the latest on the Rhapsody Facebook page.

The Echo Nest and Rhapsody Launch Sanity-Saving SXSW Festival App

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