This personalized radio app from Japan is like Flipboard, but for music!



Japan’s mobile music sector keeps getting more crowded. While RecoChoku, the country’s leading mobile music app, has over one million songs that users can search through, other companies are figuring out alternative ways to deliver music to fans. One such app is a new personalized radio service called Life’s Radio, from Japanese company Sockets.

The app plays music according to your mood or situation, and remembers your likes and dislikes. In a way, it is sort of like Flipboard or Zite for music. Life’s Radio leverages a database of over 500,000 songs that the company has built up over the last ten years, with over 1,000 radio channels available.

The user interface of the app is very simple. You just turn it on, and you can see options like mood, theme (situation), and purpose 1. Upon choosing mood, you are given selections like ‘romantic’, ‘natural’, ‘upbeat’, and ‘nostalgic’. For theme, there are options like ‘morning’, ‘summer’, ‘driving’, ‘jogging’, or even ‘family’.

By tapping on the Seed button, the app will start to play songs that are similar to the one that is currently playing. The app will also play songs reflecting your previous Likes. And tapping on the cart button will open a web link on Safari, where you’re given options to buy CDs on Amazon, Rakuten, HMV, or on iTunes. A particular song I chose to buy wasn’t available on iTunes but they still showed me the link. So maybe a little more tweaking is needed.

Music labels already on board with Life’s Radio includes Sony Music Entertainment, Victor Entertainment, and Warner Music Japan (as of June 25th). For each song in the database, there are over 2,000 elements such as instruments, tempo, artist’s voice quality, and lyrics. And radio channels are created by mixing and combining songs with similar elements.

The app is available for a monthly fee of 350 yen, both on iOS and Android. To check out how the app works, you can see a video over on Life’s Radio website.

  1. In the app, ‘purpose’ is called ‘Suppli’, probably meaning supplements.