It’s the good news and the bad news, there are so many music apps it can be hard to know where to start. I have found my favorites and not so favorite and yet there are still plenty I have only scratched the surface with. Here are a few that have made into and stayed in my music folder on my iPhone.
I heart radio – Whoever is at the control panel, programming in band grouping/connections is doing a great job. Pandora and Spotify are okay but when it comes to creating an artist station and sitting back to enjoy, this is the app. The discovery meter is also a cool feature that allows you to set the level to which you wasn’t o “discover” new music you may not have heard within the artist channels. The only drawbacks are that it is owned by a massive radio juggernaut and the scrolling ads that can drive you crazy if you don’t lock your device while you listen.
NPR/All Songs 247 – Another completely free app with a great selection of genres and programming. I can’t seam to leave the All Songs Considered 24/7 channel though to really explore the rest the app has to offer.
Soundtracking – This is a social style app designed to share what you’re listening to in real-time. For example, say you’re listening to your favorite Replacements album and “Alex Chilton” is really speaking to you that day and you want to share that moment with your friends on Facebook or Twitter, all you do is click on the app to start sharing. You choose how much to share but you can add artist images or your own image, location and of course a comment.
Vevo – The prefect app for the music video obsessed. It is full of real music videos, not the image of the album cover and low quality music (i.e. what YouTube is littered with). You can create playlists and it works with Apple TV which is sweet.
Bloom – This app created by Brian Eno (with others) is a user-generated music app in the ambient music realm but I find myself enjoying it way more than I anticipated. It’s a simple yet visually engaging interface where you simply touch the screen to create sights and sounds. Since I listen to music all day long, I do occasionally get burnt out on songs in the traditional sense and need a palette cleanser. The low to mid range tones remind me of one of my favorite toys when I was a kid, the Happy Apple so it is easy to get lost in a soothing meditative rabbit hole only to emerge much later.
Pandora – This was my first streaming music app but it has not stayed at the top of my list for one reason – when you start a new channel based on an artist, the like artists are so basic and superficially connected. The reason I keep Pandora around is because it is set up like Netflix in Apple TV. Roku and other streaming players so you can stream music from Pandora on your TV.
The other apps you see in my music folder from my iPhone are Sirius which I do pay for, Radio Memphis which I have talked about before and Last FM which I am still on the fence about since some aspects of the app require you to be a paid subscriber. I have played around with Spotify as well but I have no interest in sharing my entire library with any and all to view… I mean we all have to have our secrets and not everything in my library is for public consumption… maybe that should be a post – top ten songs and/or artists that I am utterly embarrassed to have in my iTunes library. Stay tuned for that one.