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Musicovery gets clustery

A new Internet radio browser service, Musicovery combines streaming music with visual navigation for discovering new (to you) music.

Musicovery is a new Internet radio browser service that combines streaming music with some really neat visual navigation for discovering new (to you) music.

Musicovery is controlled with a sidebar and a song list that's strung together by genre in small clusters. Each color represents a different genre, and you can dig even deeper by selecting your mood. The playback controls are shown on each individual song, along with the title and the artist.

What's even cooler is that similar songs can get linked together by choosing the mood and tempo, so if I pick out that I'm in a dark and slow dance mood (not often), it will give me a smattering of songs that fit the bill. When one song is finished, it moves to the next, which is visually represented as a line that links up the cluster. Each song also has a halo around it; although there's no explanation of what it means, I'm guessing it represents how many songs are linked by relation.

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If you've seen Liveplasma before, the look is very similar, also designed by Frederic Vavrille. Unlike Liveplasma's focus on discovering how artists are related, Musicovery is all about making a more visual experience to find new artists to listen to. Like music discovery service Pandora, there's a familiar sense of some very complex things going on behind the scenes.

The audio quality on most of the songs I played around with wasn't that great (below 100 KBps) which is where their hi-fi subscription service comes into play. For less than $15, you can get a year of high quality feeds. This isn't a bad price, but considering the fact you can't move these songs to a portable player or maneuver them into a playlist, it doesn't appeal to me as a listening service. Its strong suit is helping people find new music in an entertaining and easy-to-use way.

Musicovery is a really cool way to find new music. The price tag for the premium service is fairly low, but I'd like to see a little more information provided in the interface before I'd plunk down my cash. Things like a bit-rate count and album art would make it a more enriching music experience. Compared to suggestion services like Pandora it's a little more flashy, and it's really surprising how spot on some of the recommendations are. If you're not an audiophile and can handle low quality for your Web radio, you'll find Musicovery's free service more than acceptable; otherwise give their hi-fi experience a spin.