I still remember the day I got my iPhone 4S like it was yesterday.
As soon as I came home, I ran upstairs, carefully opened the pearly white iPhone box and from it, took out my beautiful new iPhone. I stared at it for a minute, cradling the phone in my arms and sighing with ecstasy. Then, without further hesitation, I went app binging. I downloaded Angry Birds. I downloaded Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Yelp. Bump. CardMunch. What Pokemon was to Ash Ketchum is what apps are to me: I gotta download ’em all.
With this being said, I’m very delighted to start this new series called “The App Corner,” where I’ll introduce you to some apps that I love, some that I despise and some that I just keep around because I’m too lazy to delete them.
So what better way to start than with music apps?
I am a die-hard fan of NPR. I was quoted on NPR one time, talking about Instagram (I would be talking about apps…) and soon after it aired, I ran to tell everybody I knew that I was on National Public Radio.
For you millennials, X-Gens and Y-Gens, contrary to popular belief, NPR is not for old people. NPR is one of the hippest radio stations out there. Not only do they report the news, but they also do book reviews, chat about food and, of course, discuss music – popular, underground, indie, R&B – the list goes on.
The NPR Music app is extremely smart phone-friendly, with lateral and longitudinal swiping abilities. The eclecticism of the music that NPR showcases is also something that I appreciate to no end.
T.V. Rating: 6/5
Pandora is so widely-used these days, most people would assume you’ve been living your life under a rock if you haven’t heard of it by now. Founded by Tim Westergren in 2000, Pandora’s main mission is to help connect its listeners to music that they love. To this day, this is still being achieved with the help of the Music Genome Project, or what the website calls, “the most sophisticated taxonomy of musical information ever collected.” The result? Pandora which caters to listeners who enjoy a very personalized listening experience.
Regarding the app, I prefer using it mobile than via my laptop. Why? It’s very easy to use and extremely convenient.
Tech Volo Rating: Easily 5/5. I could not do without this app.
People like to choose sides. Some people like chocolate ice cream while others like vanilla ice cream. That’s just how the world works sometimes. Many people tend to pick sides when it comes to Pandora and Spotify as well. I like Pandora because my music repertoire is somewhat limited, so I use it to discover new music. My roommate, on the other hand, is very music-savvy. She plays in the USC Marching Band and loves that Spotify plays the exact artist or songs she wants to hear. What it comes down to is this: if you are very decisive about music, you are more likely to use Spotify. If you just want to test the waters of music, you are more likely to use Pandora.
This is probably a biased review, but I feel like the Spotify app is a little cluttered. All I really want to see are my playlists. I guess the “What’s New” feature is pretty neat-o, but all and all, the Spotify app is not as aesthetically-pleasing as the Pandora app.
T.V. Rating: 4/5
I know what Shazam is, but SoundHound is my personal favorite because it was introduced to me before Shazam. So there. I also think SoundHound is easier on the eyes. It’s my go-to app when I hear a song with which I’m instantly smitten.
T.V. Rating: 5/5. I’ve been able to find out the names of tunes at restaurants and shops and from commercials with this handy-dandy app.
Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against Shazam. I’m somewhat of an introvert, which makes the social-aspect of Shazam a little lackluster to me. Nevertheless, Shazam does the job just as well as SoundHound. I guess it’s another chocolate vs. vanilla, Pandora vs. Spotify kind of thing.
T.V. Rating: 4.5/5
SoundCloud, to be brief, is like Facebook for music. Not only can users share sounds with others, but they can also interact with others while a sound is playing. Musicians like Ellie Goulding and SBTRKT also use SoundCloud to share music with their fans.
The SoundCloud app is very straightforward and makes sharing sounds and creativity easier than ever before.
T.V. Rating: 5/5
I downloaded Songza only a couple of days ago and I can already say that I’m a huge fan. Songza is like Pandora, but instead of personal preferences, it doles out music to match various activities and moods. Say, for instance, that you want to listen to some food-themed music while you’re cooking. There are a couple of playlists for that, including “Soul BBQ” and even “Good Ol’ Time Eatin’.”
Both website and app are very navigable and attractive.
T.V. Rating: 5/5
With more and more people listening to their own people in the car and at home, it seems that radio is beginning to fall out of fashion. But there’s hope for those who still love their good ol’ good AM and FM. TuneIn allows users to tune into any program in the world. Whether it be local radio, music, talk or sports, there is no end to the possibilities.
The TuneIn app has a simple layout that gets the job done.
T.V. Rating: 4.5/5
I wish I could say that these are all the music apps I have tried. Unfortunately, these are just a couple. For the sake of brevity, I’ll list some others that you can check out: SoundPrism (touch-based music player, very cool), studio.M (combine different beats to create catchy tracks) and AutoRap (turns talking into rap… kind of a silly app if you ask me, but it can get addicting).
Did I miss any of your favorites? Did I mention apps that you have never heard before? If so, please let me know in the comments below!