[caption id="attachment_26344" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Image courtesy of Flickr, badjonni"][/caption]Are you one of those people who's always sharing new music with friends, but rarely receives any recommendations in return? Don't fret -- you don't need better/smarter/faster friends, you just need an iPhone and the motor skills to download Herd.fm.
Herd.fm -- which originally popped up at SXSW 2011 as a geo-location-flavored app -- is out with a new mobile iteration that focuses more on sharing tunes with friends and getting recommendations than dropping tunes on a map.
Upon downloading the app, Herd.fm will scan your iTunes library and cull your Facebook data (if you choose to plug in via Facebook) to find your favorite/recently shared tracks. That knowledge will, supposedly, help the app recommend music to you in the future. After connecting with friends, you can then start sharing music from your iTunes library. Choose up to five tracks to send a mini digital mixtape to your pal via a kind of text message-like epistle (you can also broadly share that mix to Facebook and Twitter) and the app will instantly send you a song that you might like based on what you shared/what you like.
Every Herd.fm user has a profile -- with images ported over from social networks -- featuring a history of your shares, your "Journeys" (or a map showing how music you have shared has traveled throughout the Herd.fm network) and songs that you have favorited. That way, you can keep track of your activity within the app, and determine just how influential your musical taste really is. Bonus for the egomaniacs. You can also check out which songs are trending throughout the whole network.
Predictably, one can't really listen to a full song in-app (unless it's on Soundcloud) -- only brief previews on iTunes -- which makes the experience of sharing tunes a little truncated when compared to other apps. Remember, Spotify lets you share tunes with friends via message as well. However, the reward aspect of scoring music recommendations is compelling, and the app could certainly be useful for folks who refuse to pay for the music subscription service (Spotify Free subscribers don't get mobile access).
Check out a demo video of the app below: