Music has been a factor which has helped move forward the technology industry. The ability to listen to music while on the go, gave Apple the desire to make a better portable music player. Today, music is leaning toward streaming. This makes more sense in today’s time. A lot of users probably already use Rdio or Spotify to satisfy their streaming needs, but there are times when I do not want to do the work. Sometimes I don’t feel like building a playlist or constantly searching for the next song to listen to. For times like these, I rely on Songza.
Songza is a music streaming service but with a twist. You cannot search for a specific song and play it, and you cannot build a playlist, but you can tell the service what type of mood you are in and it will play the most appropriate music. Go download Songza, select reading as an activity and enjoy the rest of this post with some accompanying reading music.
The concierge is one of the most unique features in Songza. The app will open to the concierge which will show the approximate time and it will automatically give suggestions for music based on six activities. These will be based on the time of day. For example, any time the app is open in the morning, the app will have the activity for waking up.
The approximate timings are editable anytime in the concierge. For example, you can change the concierge options to Thursday evening instead of Wednesday late morning.
If any activity or mood strikes your liking, selecting one will lead to another option to choose the genre or category. I chose the “Still Waking Up” option which led to a choice of genres. Choosing the “Indie” choice will lead to three playlists to choose from. These will include a description to give you an idea of what is in the playlist as well. When you have made up your mind what playlist to listen to and picked it out, similar playlists will load below the play button of the selected item.
The Now Playing screen uses a blue progress bar to show the status of the song. Above the progress bar lies the music controls such as Next and Pause. Also above the progress bar is a thumbs up and down, which is similar to Pandora as a thumbs up song will communicate the current song is really liked and more like this should be played. Album art is displayed in the middle of the Now Playing window. Since the app and service is free, iAds are built into the app as well. They will show in between the album art and music controls, but the ads are able to be minimized out of sight.
Pressing the bulleted list in the left corner will display the playlist description with similar playlist. The ability to star playlists is available as well. This is a useful way to keep a playlist easily accessible if you really like it. Also within the description screen is the ability to share the currently playing song and playlist name. The built in options include Facebook, Twitter and email. Also there is a shopping cart option available. This will load the currently playing song in iTunes for purchasing.
One of the biggest aspects of Songza is being able to enjoy music without having to plan out a playlist or put much thought into it. You just tell the service what activity or mood you are in and it starts to play a playlist that goes along with the activity or mood. But if you feel like seeing what is popular on the service or exploring all of the moods and activities that Songza has to offer, then these options are available as well.
Within the bottom menu bar is a Popular option. This will show which playlists are featured, trending and all-time favorites. Next to the Popular choice is the Explore option. This is where you can browse through all of the activities, moods, decades and cultures. There is even a record store clerk option which has very specific playlists such as “Vintage Bachelor Pad.”
The activities and mood listings can get very specific, which seems like a good thing. Some of the activities include Energy Boost, Formal Dinner Party, Staying Up All Night, Walking Through A City and Studying.
There are many more activities to choose from but there are also several different type of moods including Gloomy, Happy, Motivational, Soothing and Visceral.
It can be very easy to discover new music based upon your selections in mood or activity, or just browsing the Popular list.
A Different Approach
As you can probably see, Songza takes a different approach to streaming music. Instead of having to take the time to tell what song or artist to play, a user just needs to communicate the mood or activity they are currently doing and music that fits that situation will play. It seems to be a more natural way to listen to music; an easy way to have a true soundtrack to your life.
Another huge feature is the ability to skip songs. There are always going to be songs that a user might want to skip since they have heard it a lot or do not like it as much as the music expert. Thankfully, Songza supports unlimited skipping so you never have to listen to a disliked song just to stay on a certain playlist.
Songza brings innovative music features to the music streaming app collection. Instead of focusing on specific genres and songs, it adapts the music collection to the activity or mood. I always found it a delightful experience to match my music with my activity. The music was responsive when streaming and the ability to skip any song is a plus. Also, since it is free there is no risk to check out Songza and to start enjoying some music matched to your activity.