Timbre: An App for Localized Live Music Discovery

August 26, 2013

5:00 pm

Going to live concerts is a treasured pastime, pursued by One Direction-teens and Billy Joel-Gen X-ers alike; indeed, going to live music events is the raison d’être for some. But there’s a lot of music out there, and it’s easy to get into this habit of only attending shows for bands or musicians with which we’re familiar. Where’s the curiosity? The discovery of new sounds? That open spirit often associated with music? Timbre is a localized live music discovery app designed to help you find live shows, with a specific focus on a user’s defined location.

“[We’re] really focused on discovery rather than scanning your currently library [of music],” says Andrea Squitieri, director of marketing for Timbre.

Responding to demands of convenience and functionality, several apps have been created with this function of live music discovery; the most popular among them being Thrillcall, Songkick, and Bandsintown. But whereas these other apps find shows based on a user’s pre-selected preferences, social media activity, or current music libraries – finding shows for bands and musicians that are already have a user’s cognizance – Timbre encourages users to discover new bands and acts in their local area.

“[Timbre] has a minimal interface that’s really more about getting you to discover what’s playing around the corner on a Friday night…rather than alerting you on your favorite bands.”

The app’s lack of a filter emphasizes Timbre’s goal for new music discovery; users are only given the option to search by a specific city or near their current location. No details are provided per band or musician listed other than their names and the date of their performance(s). Selecting a show prompts a sample song of the band or musician to begin playing, helping the user to determine their interest in attendance, as well as giving them the opportunity to purchase that band’s or musician’s music directly from iTunes. The app doesn’t promote or highlight any bands, allowing for both globally acclaimed bands and local musicians to share the same space.

Timbre is a product of Intrepid Pursuits, a Cambridge-based, mobile development company that does a lot of work with and for other startups. The idea behind Timbre, and its focus on local band discovery, originated from the company’s CTO, Matt Bridges. Last May, Bridges attended a local hackathon focused on connecting and disconnecting communities. Timbre was inspired by an independent musician at the event, who shared his frustration with the inefficiencies and inabilities associated with distributing awareness of upcoming performances in other parts of the country. Hence, Timbre became a music discovery app that focuses primarily on user-defined geographical area.

Timbre will be at this week’s Tech Cocktail Boston Mixer & Startup Showcase. It recently released an update of its app wherein users can save upcoming shows and further ease the user experience, allowing for one-press calendar integration and quick-access map/directions.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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