Ithaca, N.Y.-based Instinctiv has raised $750,000 to develop Instinctiv Shuffle, a new application for Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and iPod touch, and other software. Investors include Cayuga Venture Fund, Rosetech Ventures, and angels.
What’s Instinctiv Shuffle do? It tracks the music you’re listening to, sends the song info back to their servers, and uses your listening activity to try and figure what song(s) in your iTunes library you’d like to listen to next — a “smart shuffle” feature like Web-based Pandora. (See YouTube “commercial” below.)
The tricky part: It requires a hacked, or “jailbroken” iPhone or iPod touch, and won’t be coming out for the new iPhone apps store. Why not? Because Apple’s software developers kit is too restrictive, Instinctiv says, and their software wouldn’t be able to work or be allowed into the store. (They are hoping Apple will relax their rules at some point. Possible, but don’t hold your breath.)
We get their point, but we’re not sure that’s going to lead to widespread adoption of their software. Jailbreaking used to be the only way to get third-party apps on the iPhone; it won’t be on July 11 when the new apps store opens. And the new iPhone 2.0 software — which we think most people will upgrade to — will need to be re-jailbroken, anyway.
Apps like Instinctiv Shuffle are some of the few reasons we think some hackers and early adopter-types will continue to jailbreak their iPhones. But we think jailbreakers will be a tiny minority of new iPhone buyers, which won’t leave Instinctiv much room for growth, even if it’s awesome. (Meanwhile, this is exactly the kind of app that could flourish on Google’s Android platform once they get their act together.)