12/10/2012 09:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Rockbot, Oakland-Based Music App, Lets Customers Be Their Own DJ

This post is part of a series from HuffPostTech, Socialized, that will profile a different social startup--from apps to services to websites--every day. Want to be featured on the site? Email us about your startup, which should have a social media component and be less than two years old, at

Ketu Patel was sick of walking to the other end of the bowling alley just to use the jukebox. He would miss his turn bowling and spend large chunks of time away from his friends, all in the name of curating the perfect soundtrack for his evening.

So he and his friends decided to build a mobile app that would solve that problem forever. Enter Rockbot, a business music service based in Oakland that allows customers to choose their own soundtrack to play at participating bars, restaurants, stores, and yes, even bowling alleys.

What it is: In the era of Pandora, Soundcloud and Hype Machine, it's easy for consumers to listen to music on their own terms when they're at home or at work. But Rockbot is the first company to tackle the listening experience elsewhere.

"In the age of smartphones and the Internet, why should we still have to listen to elevator muzak?" Rockbot CEO Garrett Dodge told The Huffington Post. "Our mission is to make the music you hear at any business fun, social, and customized." Dodge and Patel founded Rockbot two years ago to create a platform for both business owners and customers to manage and interact with the music they hear.

How it works: Businesses subscribe to Rockbot and in turn have access to the company's wide music library. Business owners can then curate playlists and choose the music playing in their venue by using the Rockbot app on their phone.

Customers visiting a business that uses Rockbot can also download the app and request their own songs, create playlists and vote on the songs playing, thus influencing future selections.

Why you'd use it: Because it's the holiday season, and let's be honest, we've heard Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" just one too many times.

How to get it: Visit Rockbot's website to create an account or download the app on your iPhone or Android.