Timbre is the Best Live Music Discovery App… But the Best is Yet to Come

Timbre: “The simple way to find live music”

eric lindell in atlanta

Eric Lindell at Vinyl? Hmm…

When I started Nine Local, my goal was to become a place where all live music fans could go to find local shows in their city. At the time, I struggled to find a blog, online magazine or mobile app that gave me exactly what I was looking for: accurate and up-to-date information on all the live music events in my city, including my favorite local venues and local artists. But I wanted this blog and/or mobile app to also offer quality and excellence in regards to design and marketing. With a little experience blogging and zero experience developing anything outside of basic HTML, I figured I would just start writing. Read the first blog post for an introduction to Nine LocalAs I shared new music and recommended shows in Atlanta, I continued using mobile apps that just didn’t cut it. Then came Timbre…


“Timbre is a location-based live music discovery app that enables users to find live shows in their area… Timbre also offers the ability to play music samples (and full tracks for Spotify Premium users) from the artists, purchase tickets, and share with friends – all directly from the app, within three taps.” – timbreapp.com


“Nothing we’ve seen makes it this easy to use your ears to find music to see live, wherever you happen to be on the globe… it’s a play button with a purpose.” – Eliot Van Buskirk, Evolver.fm

“I have a feeling Timbre is going to live on my iPhone for a long time, if only because it’s such a delight to use.” – Matt Peckham, TIME

“Music services often try to pack a lot of features into tiny apps… By comparison, Timbre feels shockingly spartan.” – Christina Chaey, Fast Company


Timbre, a Cambridge, Massachusetts startup, is the best live music discovery app out there. The design is clean and simple and the features are spot on, especially the iOS Calendar integration, the music samples from iTunes and the full tracks from Spotify. Other perks include the Timbre blog which features recommended shows by local bloggers from other cities and occasional ticket giveaways! It was also nice to see Timbre add Twitter handles for social engagement in Boston and New York.

However, Timbre is not perfect…

What Timbre lacks are the same things ALL live music discovery apps lack: updated data on cancelled shows, sold out shows, venue changes, lineup changes, time changes, broken ticket links, etc. And while local artists who may not be included on the app are allowed to submit their show schedules, they either do not take the time to do it or they simply do not know Timbre exists. In my opinion, bad data = bad user experience.

Timbre in Atlanta

Two shows listed above never happened. Is this a good user experience?

Unlike Natalie Robehmed who praised the mobile app in Forbes, “figuring out Friday night…” was not “…so much easier.” Last Friday, I checked to see who was playing in Atlanta but the first and third shows listed were artists that had cancelled weeks before. I’m assuming they were still listed because the information on SeatGeek (the data provider used by Timbre) had not been updated. These errors can send excited fans on a wild goose chase searching for tickets that don’t exist. Unfortunately, inaccurate data can be found on Timbre on a daily basis. The app (data) should be current because most of the time the venues and artists don’t take the time to update their concert calendars and/or notify “ticket search engines” like SeatGeek.

It seems the only solution is for Timbre to become its own data provider or to have someone local in every major city who can manage and update this information (i.e. a Timbre “street team”). When a live music discovery app figures out how to scale this process and eliminate errors, concert goes will surely notice the difference.

Disclaimer: The intent of this blog post is to encourage Timbre to continue being awesome. I’m excited for the future of this company and I’m in no way affiliated with any of its competitors.

Image source: Timbre | Featured artist: Eric Lindell (ranked #1 on Nine Local’s blog last February!)