Posts Tagged

Music

My first iOS experience came by way of an iPod Touch that was given to me at Christmas  in 2008.  I remember feverishly setting it up so I could comb the App Store for goodies; making sure to download all the best apps and games available at the time. Now that Christmas is upon us this year, some fortunate few are being introduced to iOS for the first time.

When you find your way into the App Store for the first time, you’ll soon discover that it houses a lot of apps. Like, millions. Many of them bring a unique feature to the iPhone that you don’t get from first-party apps, but then there are the apps that compete with Apple’s offerings. Now, being that Apple owns and operates iOS, its apps often include killer features that you won’t find in third-party alternatives. However, even with this advantage, some third-party apps are capable of offering a superior experience.

With this in mind, I’ve rounded up a list of what I believe to be the best free and paid alternatives to Apple’s first-party iOS apps. Read on and get ready to download! (more…)

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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Creating an alternative to a stock app is risky. Most iPhone owners will never go looking for an app that will replace something that Apple already ships, unless they are looking for additional functionality or something radically different.

Creating an alternative to a stock app that is well entrenched within both Apple’s ecosystem and within the hearts and minds of consumers is borderline insane. While people are used to changing their web browsers, most don’t care to actively search for a replacement to a music app. The bar is set high for Ecoute 2.0: can it survive in a world where Apple ships its stock music app on every iPhone? (more…)

Attention iPhone owners! You know how you can never seem to find a great music streaming service for iOS? Well, Google has released their Google Play Music app on iOS, which features their All Access service with library of 18+ million songs. At long last, I can ditch the gigs of music on my iPhone and tap into this cloud music business I’ve heard so much about.

Okay, so that was probably an unnecessarily snarky opening, but please forgive me if I don’t get excited about yet another streaming music service that’s incredibly late to the party. Especially when the last service to land on iOS ended up being rather lackluster (I’m referring to Xbox Music for those that didn’t wish to click the link). I can only speak for myself, but as a member of the Rdio faithful, Google’s music service has a lot to prove for me to even entertain the notion of jumping ship. Let’s find out if it can do just that. (more…)

If you’ve ever taken a trip on the London Underground (or any subway service for that matter) then you’ll no doubt notice that each train is littered with small ads, providing both an effective means of marketing whilst giving us commuters something to read when we’ve accidentally left our headphones at home.

Sandwiched between the various online dating sites (apparently everyone in London is lonely) and cosmetic surgery boutiques was an ad for a new online music service called Bloom.fm. The ad, promising features such as 22 million tracks, offline playback and a radio service similar to that of Spotify and Rdio, was enough to pique my interest. After spending a few days with the iPhone app and service, I can honestly say it is making me think twice about continuing my Spotify Premium subscription.

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Spotify have been allowing developers to build upon their platform for some time now, giving developers the ability to build their own music discovery apps and services that go beyond anything Spotify alone could do.

One such service that has been made available recently is Moodsnap, a music discovery app for iOS users with a Spotify Premium subscription. Moodsnap finds music based upon your mood by choosing from a number of pre-selected pictures to best represent how you feel. While it’s an interesting idea, the app is far too buggy and its lack of variety and often confusing images makes it hard to understand why it’s a better alternative to any other music discovery app, including Spotify Radio.

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Let me get this out of the way: iOS 7 is great. I love it. But it’s not perfect. There’s a million fantastic improvements, but there’s also a few things that Apple still hasn’t gotten around to improving. I’m not talking about design problems (although there are a couple of those), but rather about some of the little quirks that still drive me crazy.

With that in mind, this is my attempt to keep a small log of the things that really bother me. Consider this is a wish list of tiny things I wish Apple would get around to in iOS 7.1.

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Last December I wrote an opinion piece about Microsoft’s (and Google’s) place in the iOS ecosystem. In the article, I stated that Microsoft had finally learned that restricting their popular services for the Windows Phone 8 operating system doesn’t necessarily translate to more sales of hardware devices running said OS. This transition of philosophy was evidenced by the release of Microsoft’s popular services like SkyDrive, Xbox SmartGlass and OneNote on iOS.

Since then, Microsoft has even released Office, though the app is restricted to those subscribing to Office 365. Another popular service that finally made its debut on the iPhone just a few weeks prior is Xbox Music. I won’t deny that I was anxiously waiting to see that Microsoft had in store, as I’ve long admired their music service. Join me after the jump as I determine whether or not my wait was in vain. (more…)

Like a DJ in your pocket, Splyce is a beautiful music player that lets you select songs and order the playlist before mixing the beats, displaying visual effects, creating a light show and more. All it takes is just some basic instruction from you, and Splyce will get the party started.

Use the app as an everyday music player, at get-togethers with friends, or while you’re at the gym. The app displays the beats per minute for every song, so you can take that into consideration when crafting your playlist. Hit the jump and I’ll show you how it works. (more…)

A few months ago I reviewed #nwplyng, a social network designed to share your favorite music and discover new music. Overall, I found the app to be well suited for its intended use, even if it’s not all that great at helping you find new users to follow. Some time before that I reviewed a predecessor in the social music discovery app space, Soundtracking, which shares a number of similarities to #nwplyng, but has a very different philosophy.

While both apps are work as described, the social network aspect may not be very appealing for everyone. Soundwave Music Discovery (referred to simply as “Soundwave” going forward) offers a different approach by providing a socially aggregated music discovery service without many common social network features. Does this twist create the ultimate social music discovery experience? Find out after the jump. (more…)

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