Interviews and Reviews

Aux Tunes Transforms the Music Industry with Machine Learning; Interview with CEO Galen Krugly

Aux Tunes

Galen Krugly is the founder of Aux Tunes, a collaborative music curation platform that uses machine learning to connect group music preferences like never before. Aux Tunes is revolutionizing how people interact with media. As a member of his own platform’s target audience, Galen’s mission is to take the entire concept of decision-making entirely out of the equation when listening, watching, or consuming media in any way. Galen will be sharing more details with us in this interview with TechBullion.

Please tell us a little more about yourself?

My name is Galen Krugly. I’m 21 years old, originally from the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Western, North Carolina. Before Aux, I was an undergraduate, studying computer science and entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

My entrepreneurial story began in high school when I founded a government contracting company in hopes of diversifying my tribe’s income streams. Many native tribes are heavily dependent on casinos for their main source of income. The U.S. Government has bestowed a vast array of competitive advantages upon native tribes to spur economic growth on reservations across the country. In order to get the attention of tribal representatives, I began winning contracts on my own as a sole-proprietor. Now, my tribe has established a rapidly growing foothold in the industry with plans to expand.

What is Aux, tell us how it all started and your mission with the App?

At its core, Aux was founded to tackle the issue of media overabundance that we all face, beginning with music . The rate at which we are creating media has reached unfathomable levels. 

Aux uses our proprietary process, dubbed “social curation,” to use the overabundance to our advantage and provide users with, relevant suggestions. Social curation pulls suggestable music from a user’s personal network. By shifting the lens of our curation engine from the individual’s preferences to a group’s, we target a more precise, impactful area of suggestable music. Focusing on the user as a member of a  friend group expands the pool of music data we can use to define our interpretation of the user’s tastes. Simultaneously, by narrowing the suggestion pool from the greater sea of 70M+ songs down to songs found within the user’s personal network, the shifted lens can be implemented much more effectively. 

Aux employs open API-available user streaming service data in tandem with frictionless pairing, allowing our users to enjoy instantly AI-curated playlists based on the group they choose to define. No major streaming services offer a platform for multiple users to instantly listen to playlists tailored to be equally representative of the group as a whole. People love to collaborate, people love to listen, why is there no platform allowing people to effortlessly experience one another’s music? 

Could you give us a walkthrough of the Aux music app features and how it works?

We aim to provide collaboratively curated listening experiences.  Aux V1 is centered around pairing desired users through proximity or search, selecting a genre and having the music preferences of that entire group. Preferences are then blended together to create a live, adaptive listening experience. Aux will also recalibrate the ongoing playlists based on users coming in and out of the lobby.

Our short-term future is centered around expanding our platform’s social capabilities to enable our vision for socially curated solo listening. Solo listening based on friends is our most highly anticipated upcoming feature. Our users will be instantly able to unlock the blend of their friends favorite songs, their personal favorites, and everything in between. 

What key functionalities make Aux unique from other music apps in the market and why should users choose Aux?

Aux creates more personal curation, by keeping everyone’s music tastes in mind throughout each listening experience. Our technology shifts to use AI-powered technology to automatically pull music from different users’ genres that ultimately create a curated playlist with everyone in mind. In addition, each listening experience is fluid with the feature of users being able to leave the playlist. 

Let’s say you are hosting a dinner party and a friend arrives late. Since you’re already enjoying an Aux playlist with the other members of your group, your friend can join the ongoing listening experience and his preferences will be immediately added, changing the songs represented to include the new member. The same is true for the inverse if anyone were to leave early.

How much has technology and digital transformation transformed the music industry and what trends should we look out for?

The consolidation of streaming services as society’s new main listening vehicle is allowing for unprecedented levels of innovation. The availability of user listening data at scale is changing the way we all interact with music as a whole. The beauty of this phenomenon is that technology as we know it grows exponentially. With companies like ours leading the forefront of innovation, who knows what magical things we are in store for. Namely, the merging of social media and listening is an emerging space that we should look to for fantastic advancements. 

Tell us more about the AI in the music market, how big is this industry and what is the level of market demand for a platform like Aux?

Artificial intelligence has seen phenomenal growth and is here to stay. The innovation AI, especially deep learning AI, allows in music is particularly fascinating due to its capacity to learn. We are actively building our algorithm to pick up on recurring listening trends in live time to provide wildly relevant music suggestions within seconds.

At what level of development is the Aux app at and what should we expect and what is next on your roadmap?

Aux is currently in its first version, which pairs with desired users through proximity or search. Users then select a genre, and a playlist is curated with music preferences of that entire group perfectly blended together to create a live, adaptive listening experience. We are currently in the process of adding a friends feature unlike any other social platform in existence. Our friends feature is focused on keeping a calculated friends list to enable the best possible curation.

Our next step will be building an  adaptive algorithm to encompass all forms of media through the lens of social curation. Our vision is to allow for groups to experience powerful curation in spaces like movie streaming, podcasts, and video streaming at the same level of ease experienced currently through our platform.

Tell us more about the team behind the Aux app, what makes you special and what level of support do you provide for users?

We have built an extremely diverse and capable team that provides a variety of unique experiences and allows us to materialize such ideas at a rapid pace.

My co-founder, William Cahan, has been instrumental in our affairs; namely in the space of ideation. He brings unparalleled insight to the needs of the market. 

Our next breakthrough was attracting a top advisor in Silicon Valley. Igor Jablokov, our main advisor, has by far been the most influential member of this cabinet. Igor was previously responsible for founding what became Amazon Alexa and is now the CEO of Pryon AI. Igor’s guidance has been imperative from early ideation and facilitation of our first outside funding, to bridging crucial connections with top-shelf venture capitalists. 

Ugonna Agbafe, has been vital in building out our most recent intern class, such as Alexa Clymer who is now head of internal PR and Aidan Donaghy, a machine learning and data specialist,  ahead of our initial launch this past September. 

Our most recent addition is Allison Chaney, a professor in computer science and marketing at Duke University. She has recently forfeited her professorship to join us as our CTO. Allison brings years of experience to the table while also having undergone some of the most rigorous computer science programs in the world. 

Do you have any available opportunities for investors and partners on the Aux project?

This spring, Aux will undertake our first formal funding round of $5M. We look forward to utilizing this capital to keep our team working to realize our next version’s potential. 

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