Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘Cymbal’ app aims to help users discover new music

Cymbal Official Facebook Page)
(Cymbal Official Facebook Page)

As the number of social media outlets and digital music services that aid consumers in discovering new music continue to grow, an app called Cymbal aims to simplify the process.

Social media apps have expanded into a wide number of different niches that have made almost every aspect of life represented online. Cymbal is no different. The application has been coined as “the Instagram for music” by Forbes.

Cymbal was developed by three Tufts University students: Gabe Jacobs, Amadou Crookes and Mario Gomez-Hall. It is simple and user friendly. Users can follow their favorite bands or friends and find new tracks to obsess over. Once users create an account and begin following other users, they begin to see a feed full of album covers and tracks of random artists. Users can set a Cymbal, which is any track available from Spotify or SoundCloud. It will appear on their feeds and their followers as well. They can also post tracks to their Cymbal and favorite and comment on other cymbals, starting conversations about the music.

The entire length of a track can be streamed on SoundCloud while only a portion can be sampled on Spotify. As a result, much of the Cymbal depends on SoundCloud and whether the desired track is featured on the site. Most generic and popular names in the music industry are on Spotify and a much denser amount of artists have their music on SoundCloud, leaving a large amount of music possibilities.

However, big artists don’t seem to be the focus on Cymbal. This app appears to be a new way for undiscovered artists to publish their music in a simple environment. Within two days of downloading Cymbal, over a dozen followers were either promoting their own music or that of an undiscovered artist.

Besides who the user follows, users can search through hashtags or specific users to find a specific sound. Users can search specific words and immediately be presented with songs that have been tagged with that word.

Users can also post whatever songs they choose, which creates a vast array of genres that float across a phone screen. If given enough time and commitment, Cymbal can become a musical photo album of memories. Yet that can be Cymbal’s greatest fault.

With the mish mash of social media mediums, many might find it hard to focus on Cymbal. If Cymbal followers choose to only post every few days the app could fall back into obscurity. With its lack of an established following compared to social media giants like Instagram and Twitter, Cymbal users may find themselves feeling the app is pointless as they have a substantially smaller number of followers.

Setbacks aside, Cymbal is a potentially important app for music. Music creates conversations, brings people together and Cymbal governs itself on this notion. A group of people sharing and posting songs that mean something to them can create a larger sense of community and a new depth to music. Cymbal could help someone find their new favorite artist, song, or genre.

All that matters is if users are willing to get the conversation started.


Troy Kowalchuk can be reached at [email protected].

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