August 20th, 2009
Portland Startup Weekend valedictorian Mugasha opens sliced and diced DJ sets to everyone
I’ve been following and listening to Portland-based Mugasha—a service that gives you access to an impressive collection of streaming electronica DJ sets sliced into manageable chunks—since its humble beginnings at Portland Startup Weekend in May 2008. (I’ve got Myon and Shane 54 going as we speak.) Since then, they’ve been covered by Scoble (although the Qik video looks like it’s gone now), got some love when they launched their private beta, and were selected for the SXSW 2009 Accelerator program. But I haven’t been able to really gush about them until now.
Today, the Mugasha team took the beta sticker off of their service and opened the site to the public—and a little blog you may have heard of, called TechCrunch, took notice.
As a recovering electronic music addict, I enjoyed testing the service a lot and the content – which includes both DJ sets and music podcasts – really is high level. Mugashan, which started as a small project at Startup Weekend in Portland, sports a very intuitive interface and a couple of nice features. For instance, you don’t need to register for the service to stream music, only if you want to express your opinion on sets or even individual tracks by ‘liking’ or commenting on them.
I wholeheartedly agree. Only I’m not recovering. And I’d be saying that even if Mugasha weren’t a Portland company. I’ve been addicted to Mugasha for quite some time and I don’t see any signs of stopping. Especially when they keep adding so many awesome sets.
I’ve written about Mugasha a number of times. Each time, I’ve provided reasons as to why I think it’s one of the Portland startups with a fighting chance to go big time. So rather than repeat myself, I’ll simply quote myself:
Unlike the bevy of Web-based music sites that simply replay existing content, Mugasha actually improves listeners’ access to DJ sets by splitting them into individual tracks. Using the service, listeners gain access to the exact same content, only now it contains track listings, artist information, the ability to jump around the set as they would like, and – if something strikes their fancy – the option to purchase a particular track.
Compared to how we’re accessing DJ sets today, it’s a leap from that linear radio format to the modern user-controlled listening experience to which we’ve all become accustomed. And it’s provided in an interface that is intuitive and aesthetically pleasing.
And my one complaint about Mugasha when I wrote that post—limited set selection—doesn’t even come into play anymore. There’s a ton of high-quality content out there, now.
But the reason I really, really like Mugasha? Did I mention they’re from Portland? Oh, well there’s more than that. You see, the guys are incredibly passionate about electronica and the DJs who create it. They want to help promote artists and their work. They want to ensure that listeners have a better understanding and appreciation for the music they’re hearing. And they’ve got some great ideas on how to generate revenue around that pursuit while ensuring that the artists get the compensation they deserve.
It’s really a win-win-win situation all around for you, the artists, and Mugasha.
What’s more, it’s just been great experience to watch the Mugasha team continue to persevere from idea to private beta to a full-fledged startup garnering international recognition. That’s just cool.
I mean, it’s open now.