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Review of Jelli

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656 reviews
3,145 helpful votes

This one looks set to be a genuine killer startup. Here's the concept: put a social community in charge of running a radio station, by letting everyone vote each track on your beginning playlist up or down. The ones with most positive votes get to stay on the list, the ones with least, drop off. Now add an opportunity to "bomb" a track - even in the middle of playing - off the air, or "rocket" it up to the top of the playlist. Hand out rewards for the most popular rocketeers. Then throw in a real-time chatroom, the usual bunch of social profile and searching features, and finally, add more stations, all with the same features, and let listeners switch between them as they please.

Then, while you're still in beta, announce that you're striking deals across the world to start up user-controlled radio programmes everywhere in the next several months.

Yes, it will hook you. If, that is, you're happy with the music on offer - a fairly eclectic range of material from Iron Maiden to The Ramones to The Beach Boys. Classic and modern rock with some top indy bands seemed to dominate when I looked. If you're looking for anything outside of that, you'll have to wait to see if Jelli spreads successfully to other genres.

The site boasts a more than competent design which is well in keeping with the core concept and presents more or less everything you need clearly and accessibly. I would definitely have liked to see tooltips for the primary actions you can make, though, as I forgot almost immediately what the buttons were for. You may be uncomfortable with the real-time scrolling chatroom, as there is no censorship of adult language as yet, but other than that it's a fairly comfortable environment once you settle in.

The only technical issue I hit was with Firefox, which opened a new window to play the audio stream. When I switched to a different channel, Firefox opened another new window and continued to stream the first station while also streaming the second. I had to close one window manually.

This is going to be one to watch - and listen to - over the next few months as the service really takes off and the project moves out of beta and matures.

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