Create the Soundtrack For Your Life With SoundTracking

Recently, I reviewed an niche social networking app called Oink, which let’s you share the things you love with friends. Mainly, Oink is used to share a specific item, such as a Big Mac at McDonald’s or your favorite cup of coffee at the local diner. While Oink fills this particular niche nicely, other apps are available in the App Store that fill the roll other social niches. Instagram, for example, allows users to share photographs, and a little-known but highly usable app called Peepapp allows you to share the apps you’ve installed on your iPhone.

While food, photos and apps (especially apps) are great to share with friends, music is often one the most shared topics of discussion. Enter SoundTracking, the nifty little app that helps you “share the soundtrack of your life.”

Getting Started

When you fire up the app for the first time, you’ll be prompted to sign-in with either your Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare account. The inability to create an account with an email address may irk some people, but using Facebook and Twitter to post a SoundTrack is a major part of how the app works. Once you’ve successfully logged in, you’re ready to start posting.

If you have the Facebook app installed, Soundtracking uses it to verify your Facebook credentials.

If you have the Facebook app installed, SoundTracking uses it to verify your Facebook credentials.

Posting a SoundTrack

To post your first SoundTrack, start by tapping the off-center tab button in the bottom navigation bar. From here, you can search for the song you’d like to SoundTrack, use the Music ID function (similar to using Shazam) or select the song that’s currently playing in the iPod app on your phone. While the aforementioned options are very handy for most user, I typically listen to music via the Rdio app, so the search function tends to work best for me.

If the song you wish to SoundTrack is playing audibly, the Music ID function is very handy.

If the song you wish to SoundTrack is playing audibly, the Music ID function is very handy.

When doing a manual search, start by entering the artist’s name. Once you’ve done so, a new screen will appear with a list of the artist’s most popular songs (an extremely handy feature). When you’ve selected a song, you’ll be taken back to the search page, but now the song will be listed below the artist’s name. In addition, a green play button is present next to the song, which is a great way to make sure you’re about to SoundTrack the right tune (especially if multiple versions are available).

Doing a manual search for a song is a simple two-step process.

Doing a manual search for a song is a simple two-step process.

That next thing you can do is add a photo with your post. SoundTracking offers the ability to take a new photo or upload a photo from your phone. Additionally, you can choose from a collection of artist images, which I tend to use as a way of introducing the artist to friends. The last two steps include adding your location to your post, which is useful if you’re at a concert or live event, and adding a description, which will appear as the main text in your status update and/or tweet.

Most artists have a large number of images to choose from.

Most artists have a large number of images to choose from.

When all the pieces have been put in place, tap the Preview button in the top right corner. The screen will transition in to a preview of the SoundTrack you’re about to post. Above the preview are icons for Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. If you’ve connected SoundTracking to any of these services, they’ll automatically be highlighted to share your post, so make sure to tap on any icon you don’t want to use.

When you are finished filling out the desired fields, tap the Preview button to begin final preparations.

When you are finished filling out the desired fields, tap the Preview button to begin final preparations.

Below the preview is a handy option to customize your tweet, which is only available to iOS 5 users. When you tap the Post button in the top right corner to submit your SoundTrack, an additional screen will appear that let’s you alter the text that appear in your tweet. Personally, I haven’t found any reason to use this feature, but perhaps some users don’t like the formatting SoundTracking uses for tweets.

Perhaps you can see something wrong with the formatting that I'm just missing.

Perhaps you can see something wrong with the formatting that I'm just missing.

What Your Friends Will See

When you’ve posted a SoundTrack to Facebook and Twitter, your friends and followers will see your description, as well as a link to preview the song. If your friend click the link on a computer, your friends will be taken to a SoundTracking page that will include an option to preview the song, the photo and description you included, and an option to Get the Song via iTunes or Spotify (done by clicking the plus icon to the right of the preview button).

Your friends can preview the song right from the page.

Your friends can preview the song right from the page.

From a mobile device, your friends will view a very similar, but scaled down, layout. In addition to iTunes and Spotify, the Get the Song feature includes an Rdio option. When choosing this option however, I was taken to a new page soliciting the Rdio service. The page included a option to open the Rdio app, but the song did not play as advertised.

Barry Manilow doesn't seem very impressed with the Rdio functionality offered by Soundtracking.

Barry Manilow doesn't seem very impressed with the Rdio functionality offered by SoundTracking.

Design

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about SoundTracking without talking about the app’s design. Steve Jang and his team at Schematic Labs did an amazing job on the overall look and feel of the app. SoundTracking is elegant and minimalistic, and does a great job of not bombarding you with too much to view at once. Additionally, the wood texture used for the header and post a SoundTrack button compliment the app design very well.

The overall use of brown, tan and black really makes colors stand-out in the app.

The overall use of brown, tan and black really makes colors stand-out in the app.

Do I Really Need an App to Share Music?

If you’re a user to multiple social networking services, this is a very fair question to ask. It’s true that if you’re into a song and would like to share it with friends, you can easily post a status update or tweet. When you do that though, it’s up to your friends to find the song you’ve posted (unless you were generous enough to include a link).

With SoundTracking, all the grunt work is done for you and your friends. Even better, if you tap on a post in the app’s Feed page, the song preview will automatically begin playing. So, if you’re really into music and sharing with other, I’d say SoundTracking is most definitely worth your time.


Summary

A great way to share the music you love.

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