For the past few months, I’ve been helping my friends, @resnicow and @lautenbach, get ready for the launch of their mobile product, Rexly for iPhone. My role has been largely operational, what I’d call an operational mix between “lurking in the shadows,” making and refining task lists, party-planning, and t-shirt management. (Speaking of which, if you’ve read this far, live in San Francisco, and are free Thursday night, September 29th, please join us at the Rexly “Music With Friends” party @ Harlot. Note, you must register and tickets are limited: rexly.eventbrite.com)
Today, the culmination of their hard work (including engineering by @garthex) has resulted in “Rexly for iPhone,” which you can freely download now. Also, Rexly has been featured today by TechCrunch and The Next Web (includes short demo video).
In a nutshell, Rexly is an iPhone application that helps you connect your iTunes library to your Facebook account to see what your most trusted friends are listening to. Given all the recent noise about music discovery, open graphs, and tickers of music, think of Rexly as sort of providing a similar service but with much more signal over noise and more user control. Plus, it’s meant for a mobile experience on iPhone. In terms of features, you can follow your friends, mark some as “super trusted,” and neatly discover what your circles of friends are listening to. There’s a “magic” timeline feed (my favorite feature) which algorithmically surfaces up music your closest friends are listening to, which has already influenced what I’ve listened to myself. The social signals provided by @garthex’s algorithm are really strong, and the design of the iOS application by @lautenbach is delightful yet simple.
It’s been a hell of a lot of fun working with these guys. That’s mainly the reason I saddled up with Rexly. Years ago, I moonlighted as a writer on music for Flavorpill and had the pleasure of going to about 500 concerts over a six year period in San Francisco. Those were the days, to be sure. I was a music savant back then. However, my interests changed, I moved back east, spent a lot of time on a plane (and in Asia), and now that I’m back in California, I realize just how “out of touch” I became with respect to music. To catch up, I go to my most trusted friends and share music. I want to know what they are listening to. I don’t care about the crowd or aggregate data — I just want one social signal with some context, and I’m sold. I’m all ears. And, Rexly provides that magic.
A final world: Rexly is not a “music startup.” It took me a while to realize this. Yes, this application is tied to music and iTunes, and that’s the core of the experience. But, in terms of the roadmap, Rexly is a discovery and data company. The idea behind the company is to aggregate digital media consumption (behind music) across services and platforms to build a profile of a user’s taste. So keep tabs on them, because this is just the beginning.