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Sometimes, an app comes along that fits a small niche in a really interesting, kind of absurd way. How many people really need an app that combines ambient music with police radio? And out of the people who think they need that app, how many are willing to pay for it? Any development time is a gambling risk; wasted time developing an app that doesn’t work out is potentially wasted money (or so the saying goes — don’t ask me, I’m still trying to earn pennies by saving them so I fall for these scams all the time). Regardless, somebody put this app together. It’s called La Vue, it’s a universal app and it’s on the App Store for $0.99.

There’s no denying the concept is pretty cool, but cool concepts with weak implementations are never any good. The real question I had going into this isn’t why anybody would bother putting this together; it’s such an original and cool idea that the real question is why somebody wouldn’t. But I did wonder if the design was any good, if the app matched or exceeded its value and who could really use an app like this. My answers surprised me. (more…)

Let’s be honest: When it comes to finding new music in iTunes, Apple could be doing a better job. Their curators for the iTunes store are good, but unless you live indie rock or pop music, you’re not likely to find more than a couple new artists every year. And for some people, that average isn’t high enough. Beyond that, Apple doesn’t promote too many small independent artists. (When I was in a rock band, I didn’t have a hope of Apple promoting me.)

That being said, the great thing about the App Store is that there’s definitely an app for that (or, in this case, several apps). One of my favourites is Band of the Day — a great free universal app that helps you find upcoming independent artists and a few who are starting to break into the scene, with a new group or individual appearing every day. These guys are great curators, but an app is about more than an iTunes link — it’s also about content and presentation. (more…)

Nothing brings people together quite the way music does. And the people at Schematic Labs know this, which is why they developed SoundTracking, an app that allows users to share with their friends and other SoundTrackers exactly what it is they’re listening to and loving, moment by moment.

You can tag songs, discover new music, add captions to tracks and build the soundtrack to your life with SoundTracking in a very musical — and visual — way. Click “more” to see for yourself. (more…)

There’s clearly an insatiable audience for radio and music apps, and Fuzz Radio is one of the latest entrants into the crowded marketplace. What makes Fuzz Radio different from other offerings is its ability for users to create their own stations using their own audio files and those uploaded by others. All that’s required is the occasional use of a computer.

Can control be the key to Fuzz Radio becoming the king of radio broadcasting apps? Find out after the jump. (more…)

The Hype Machine website works as a way to aggregate all of the cool music posts on all the cool music blogs. The very best of these curated tracks end up on the Hype Machine website, and it works work as a sort of playlist from around the internet.

The Hype Machine iOS app works similarly in that it’s essentially a music player, but you’re probably not going to be running into much music you’ve ever heard before. More than a music player app, it’s a music discovery app that will not only let you hear the tracks in full but link you to the blogs that can provide you with even more smooth jams. (more…)

I’ve never tried a secondary music app. The iOS Music app has always been enough for me, but I started to wonder if maybe there could be something better out there. Something different, cooler, that would make me give up the default Music app for good.

There’s gotta be something pretty special going on to make me turn my head, and that’s what in:play is — pretty special. Fancy gestures and a minimalist interface make for a pretty sweet experience. Will all that really make for an experience to rival what I can get right out of the iOS box, though? (more…)

Music streaming services have grown in popularity, with Rdio being one of the most popular options in the United States until Spotify jumped across the pond in July 2011. Since that date, Rdio and Spotify have been two of the biggest contenders for monthly subscriptions.

The reason I keep coming back to Rdio is that it seems to be a better fit for how I want to manage my music. I want a true iTunes-in-the-cloud solution and Rdio provides that. Even though Spotify is planning to add a collection feature and to help in music discovery, I am really liking Rdio’s innovations. With version 2.0, though, it is not just about a new coat of paint; Rdio 2.0 features new and innovative features, which positions itself in a good spot for competition of monthly subscription revenue. (more…)

Pandora has all but become synonymous with Internet radio over the past decade. For those unfamiliar, Pandora is an automated music discovery service that is built on the Music Genome Project, an initiative to catalogue music using various elemental analyses with intent of being able to recommend music you might like based on music you already know you like.

Pandora has been around for quite some time, launching way back in the year 2000 and spending most of its life as an open tab on browsers everywhere. It arrived relatively early on iOS, but since then hasn’t undergone much in the way of visual or functional updates. However, Pandora recently added support for the extra screen real estate on the iPhone 5, so we think that this is a perfect opportunity to check out the changes that the app has seen. Grab your favorite pair of listening headphones and let’s dig in. (more…)

Sirius XM is a radio subscription service which provides most of their content commercial free. You most likely have seen a Sirius XM enabled radio in a car and might even already be a subscriber, but did you know Sirius XM is also available on iOS?

The Sirius XM app for iOS enables subscribers to keep jamming or listen to their favorite talk show while not in the car. Using the service through the app does include some extra features. These extra features include being able to listen to shows on demand, pausing events, songs, or shows, and starting at the beginning of a song when tuning to a station with TuneStart.

Read on to see if including Sirius XM Internet streaming is right for you. (more…)

Audiophiles regularly lament their disapproval with music players. The algorithm-based system of Pandora lacks a human element when selecting tracks to play. On the other end of the extreme are streaming apps such as Live365 and Songza, which rarely allow outside influence when listening to someone’s pre-programmed station. Spotify playlists are at the mercy of their creators and ⎯ let’s be honest ⎯ sometimes our friends and favorite media sites don’t have the best taste in music!

Can a balance between being controllable and being out of the box exist for music discovery? Shuffler.fm thinks so. It uses blogs, one of the digital era’s most prevalent tools for music experts, to guide listeners to new music. But is Shuffler.fm’s in-the-know curation method enough to keep listeners tuned in? Find out after the jump.

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