A new extension for Google's Chrome browser has made it 100 times more enjoyable to search for and play free music on the web.
"ExtensionFM is a browser extension for Chrome that finds every MP3 file on pages you visit and automatically creates a library of those songs for you to enjoy."
Ever hear a song on a blog you like and then forget where and what the song is? Or are you ever directed to a music blog and spend more than 30 seconds looking for the song you wanted to hear? Or do you just skip music blogs in general for lack of a seamless playlist?
This is where ExtensionFM works beautifully. Once you've landed on a page with available MP3s, the ExtensionFM icon shows a little blue number count of the total available MP3s. The extension then swiftly pulls all available free MP3s into a drop down menu in the top right corner of the browser.
Play the song from the extension's streaming playlist in the top right or on the horizontal source bar at the bottom of the screen. Like the song? Add it to your queue and continue to play it ever after you've left the page. Don't like the song? Hit X. ExtensionFM allows users to receive a constantly updated stream of new music from previously visited sites and features a "site of the day" on their blog.
I met with the four employees of ExtensionFM on a sticky hot day in their SoHo office while beats like Neutral Milk Hotel, Vampire Weekend and MGMT cranked out of the stereo. Dan Kantor, the founder and CEO of ExtensionFM previously founded Streampad, a social music service that was acquired by AOL in 2008. After working as AOL's Product Director, Dan left in December 2009 to start ExFM in January 2010 with co-founder and COO Charles Smith and co-founder and creative director Marshall Jones, who also left his position as art director for AOL Music. In May, 2010 James Dennis joined the team as a senior developer.
"ExtensionFM is changing the way we listen to blog music," explains Charles who was previously involved in the early stages of Real Media, Tacoda and Etsy and has been working with New York based startups since 1995.
In early March, the team went on the road to meet with investors and was incorporated on April 1, 2010. ExtensionFM is backed by Boston based Spark Capital (Tumblr, Twitter), New York's Betaworks (bit.ly, tweetdeck), Founder Collective (big think, Hunch, Hot Potato, posterous, Soluto) and Dave Morgan (Tacoda, Real Media).
For now, ExtensionFM focuses on the discovery, playback and purpose of music. Just like Etsy was exciting for burgeoning artists, ExtensionFM can provide excellent exposure for music bloggers and indie artists.
"Bloggers are radio DJs from yesteryears," says Charles. And just like radio DJs have a platform, sharing tunes through ExtensionFM will give music bloggers a new set of listeners. Furthermore ExtensionFM can provide valuable analytics to music bloggers. For example, "These people in this location are listening to this song right now, and have just added it to their library." And for the bands, ExtensionFM could feature affiliate links to merchandise and concert tickets.
Currently only a web-based application, ExtensionFM has a number of items on the agenda. "We are also really excited to move into the mobile space," says Marshall, who's been thinking of possible interface designs all day. "We can really improve the music playing experience on Android. The bar has been set pretty low," he explains.
This isn't just exciting news for music bloggers. It has the potential to change every audiophile's methods of music hunting. Writing this post was that much more enjoyable to the tune of a slew of new muses via ExtensionFM.