All-In-One Music Discovery with MTV Artists

Forget about Teen Mom and Jersey Shore: MTV is returning to their roots with their latest app, MTV Artists.

Yes, you did hear correctly — MTV has exchanged their plethora of mediocre reality shows for what made the channel great from the start: music. Its goal? To make music discovery an easy process anytime, anywhere. Find out exactly what it brings to the table after the jump.

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Design

Like many of the apps I use, MTV Artists’s design was the first thing that drew me to the app. The app itself features a clean, modern design, which allows the focus to be on the content as opposed to the design itself, which is always a good thing. The only thing that mars this clean image is the Pepsi ads that come at the bottom of nearly every page, which would be more annoying had this app been paid.

High quality photos and video dominate the interface of MTV Artists.a

High quality photos and video dominate the interface of MTV Artists.

Most of the menus focus on media, such as photos of artists themselves, making the interface attractive from the start. It also allows users to be able to use the app from the start without having to spend much time figuring out how to use the app.

Functionality

While many music discovery apps serve as either a song identifier or an information database, MTV Artists is both. MTV Artists features an extensive database of information on thousands of different artists as well as some powerful search tools to find the music you want.

MTV Artists does not lack tools to help you find new artists to listen to. Several different collections are curated in the app, each of which has a panel of different artists that you can check out. Collections can be curated either by MTV, such as the Artists to Watch collection, or by guest artists such as Lorde or Mac Miller.

MTV Artists comes packed with tons of different collections, curated by both MTV staff and musicians alike.

MTV Artists comes packed with tons of different collections, curated by both MTV staff and musicians alike.

Individual artist pages also recommend related bands, but the pages themselves do much more than that. All the information you’d possibly want on an artist: their biography, years active, and where they’re from, can be found on each individual artist page. Artist pages don’t lack media, either: photos of the band, videos of them playing music and interviews, and even a rundown of the artist’s top 10 songs in 90 seconds are available right at your fingertips. But strangely enough, there aren’t any links to the artist’s website available on the artist’s page.

Artist pages hold everything you'd ever want to know and more about all of your favorite artists.

Artist pages hold everything you’d ever want to know and more about all of your favorite artists.

Did you like what you have heard? Each artist page has links to buy the artist’s music, as well as links to purchase tickets to upcoming concerts.

The search tool in MTV Artists is also pretty strong. Not only can you look up different artists, but you can also look up those lyrics that have been stuck in your head for ages but never knew what song they belonged to. Lyric search works relatively well; unless the song is really obscure or the lyric you remember is too general, you won’t have a hard time finding the song you’re looking for.

Lyric search is one of MTV Artist's most powerful tools.

Lyric search is one of MTV Artist’s most powerful tools.

Sound ID

Sound ID is MTV Artist’s song recognition mechanism. Possibly the app’s most powerful tool, it uses your phone’s microphone to listen to a song that may be playing, then it identifies the song and gives you information on both the song and its artist.

Unfortunately, Sound ID is either hit or miss: when it works, it works flawlessly; otherwise, it doesn't work at all.

Unfortunately, Sound ID is either hit or miss: when it works, it works flawlessly; otherwise, it doesn’t work at all.

In my experience, Sound ID has either worked flawlessly or not at all. When it works, which is unfortunately not all too often, it identifies the right song, even if it is new or obscure. Strangely enough, it seems to work better when music is quieter as opposed to louder, and it is able to pick up sounds over the voices of other people in crowded situations. Still, the feature needs to be worked on to increase its reliability, as it has yet to work consistently for me.

The Verdict

All in all, MTV Artists does give a full music discovery experience to its users. It is one of the most well-rounded music discovery apps I have ever used: it provides tons of artist information, media, and ways to purchase both music and concert tickets upon first glance. Plus, it’s designed well, so you’re able to start discovering new music right off the bat.

However, the app does fall a bit short when it comes to functionality. As mentioned before, lyric search is a bit gimmicky; however, it has been improved a lot since the last version of the app. Sound ID, on the other hand, still does not live up to par, which is unfortunate seeing as it could have been MTV Artists’s most powerful tool.

MTV Artists is available for free on the App Store, and I would recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about the bands they love or want to find a whole new world of music despite its flaws.


Summary

A music discovery service that provides everything but the kitchen sink.

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