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Tuesday
Aug312010

15 Awesome iPhone/iPad Apps for Music Lovers

It should be no surprise that your iPhone/iPad is a great device for the music lover in us all, even beyond the iTunes/iPod capabilities that come standard. There are tons of apps available for a variety of music lovers. This is the list of the 15 must-have iPhone/iPad apps for music lovers to discover and listen to music, share the awesome music they love, and enjoy live music:

DISCOVERY

1. Last.FM

When it comes to preference based radio players, the two big names are Last.FM and Pandora. Last.FM uses the preferences of other users in the community who have similar tastes in music to recommend songs to you. You can like and dislike tracks all the while adding to the “preferences” that the app uses to suggest new music to you. One of the key differentiators for Last.FM is the unlimited number of skips. If you don’t like a song, skip it. Other apps limit you to a certain number of skips every hour which can be annoying when exploring new genres and artists.

On top of song recommendations Last.FM provides event recommendations with the ability to check off whether or not you’re attending in order to share with the rest of the community.

Price: FREE

2. Pandora

Now, to play devil’s advocate… Pandora is another preference-based music discovery app. By now, most people are familiar with Pandora. Type in an artist or song and Pandora creates a radio station based off the particular “attributes” such as vocal harmony, rhythmic patterns, etc. and uses this information to predict what songs users will like. Pandora’s one major downfall is the fact that you are allowed only 5 skips in an hour which can really make it difficult to try experimenting with new styles of music that you’ve never dabbled in before.

Personally, I like the Pandora app just a little bit better than Last.FM (just a few months ago it was the other way around). Right off the bat, Pandora is just a little bit more pleasing to the eye. As soon as the app loads you see the search function. Type in artist or song title and you’ve begun. Full artist info is available and it’s all put together with a very clean, easy to use user interface. Pandora does have its downfalls but when it comes to music discovery Pandora takes the cake.

Price: FREE

3. SoundHound

SoundHound is one of several music identification apps out there right now but offers a few extra bells and whistles over the competition. First, SoundHound’s main feature is its ability to recognize songs that are playing from a speaker or that you sing/hum into the built-in microphone. The app offers 5 free music identifications a month or unlimited IDs with the $5 premium version. You can also discover music with the “What’s Hot” section that shows the weeks most popular songs as well as “Underplayed” the section showing songs that are being listened to much more on SoundHound then on the radio.

Once you find your song, whether it’s on the app or pulling from your personal library, you can view the artists bio which includes sharing and purchasing features, in app lyrics and YouTube videos, and even a link to automatically create a Pandora radio station based on song or artist. In addition, tour dates and similar artists are available within the app.

SoundHound not only provides a great app to figure out the song that you just can’t figure out what it’s called but also includes a bunch of additional information on artists and discovery features.

Price: FREE

Premium version: $4.99

4. MySpace Music Romeo

MySpace Music brings to you Romeo, an app where you can “fall in love” with music. Romeo reminds me of MTV (back when they used to play music videos) meets Pandora. With a whole bunch of music videos in their database, you can choose what genre you’re in the mood for (hip hop, rock, jazz, etc.) and also what kind of mood you’re actually in (energetic, partying, studying, romantic, etc.) and continuously plays music videos from mainstream and emerging artists. You can then “love” songs and Romeo picks up on your preferences over time. Romeo allows you to share, download and skip (6 per hour) tracks. This app helps remind you why MTV used to be cool and helps you to discover new music all at the same time.

Price: FREE

SHARE

5. Tweet That Track

TweetThatTrack is a fairly simple app that allows you to update Twitter with what you’re currently listening to on your iPod. With the simple push of a button an automatic update is sent to Twitter as #nowplaying on my iPod: {artist} - “{song}” while the app keeps track of your past tweets for you to review. This is a very simple app but great for those of you looking to broadcast your taste in music easily.

Price: FREE

6. iShareTunes

iShareTunes is essentially a music sharing game that allows you to earn badges for having a great taste in music. Share music from your library with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail and receive comments, likes and re-shares. The more popular your shares become the more points/badges you collect and you become a trendsetter within the community.

You can also find people with similar tastes and view their profile, seeing their recent shares, comments, etc. While the developers are still working out some of the bugs, this app is still very interesting for sharing music and building your own following based on the music you like. If the app and badge system continue to be updated as they are now I can picture this really catching on… imagine the Farmville of the music community. Get on board now and start building your reputation as a trendsetter.

Price: FREE

 LIVE MUSIC

7. Local Concerts

Local Concerts is the best free concert app and it’s no surprise seeing as how it’s powered by iLike. The app asks for permission to determine your location and that’s it. You instantly have a list of upcoming shows in your area based on the music in your library. Find a concert you like and you can get directions, find tickets and share with your friends. You can also search through an alphabetical venue directory to see the schedule for upcoming performers.

Price: Free

8. BandMate

If you’ve got 2 bucks to spare, then check out Bandmate, an app similar to Local Concerts with a few more bells and whistles. BandMate will also recommend local concerts based on your music library but goes even further to find artists that match your preferences. From there the app gives you the ability to browse through bios, videos, artist websites, and ultimately keep track of all your upcoming concerts. As if you weren’t pumped enough to see your favorite (or next favorite) musicians in concert, BandMate creates custom playlists of all your favorite bands with upcoming shows. BandMate even gives you the ability to browse events in different cities so you can plan your next road trip based on shows you want to attend. With all these features you might ask yourself is there anything this app can’t do? No. The answer is no, end of story.

Price: $1.99

9. Rock Show Concert Posters

This is a great app for the live music enthusiast who’s looking for souvenirs from their favorite shows. Browse through hand-made, limited edition concert posts from over 200 bands including MGMT, Phish, The Killers and more. Once you find one that you like you can order it straight from the app and have it shipped to your door.

Price: Free

10. Concert Vault

Concert Vault gives you access to an enormous collection of live shows from the 1960s until now featuring artists such as Jethro Tull, Santana, The Who, The Ramones, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The… you get the idea. Search by most popular, newest or listen in on a handful of radio stations. After selecting your desired show you can skip around to different points in each set while reading full concert summaries, set lists and images of the artist. Relive the experience of some of your favorite shows of all time.

Price: FREE

LISTEN TO MUSIC

11. Pocket Tunes

Pocket Tunes is praised as one of the best streaming radio apps in the app store due to the inclusion of many different features not available through other radio apps. With over 16,000 podcasts and 23,000 pre-populated stations streaming (with the ability to use GPS technology to search for local stations) you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for. Pocket Tunes allows you to search iTunes Store for songs currently playing on the station you’re listening to with just the tap of a button. Are you going to miss a segment on your favorite radio show? Not with the recording feature (the TiVo of streaming radio) which allows you to playback portions of a radio show, skip forward and back, and gives you access to play radio programming even when you’re not able to connect.

Price: $6.99

12. Super Ghetto Blaster

Do you ever get bored of looking at your iTunes library while playing music? Do you ever wish you could walk down crowded streets bumping your iTunes library from an ’80s style ghetto blaster? I feel your pain. Well now it’s possible (available only on the iPad). Super Ghetto Blaster is designed to make your iPad screen resemble an old school boom box with active peak meters, spinning tapes in the cassette deck, audio controls and even organizes your music in a vintage cassette case stand.

Price: $.99

13. Audiogasm

Audiogasm is another app that allows you to make listening to music a little more visually appealling. The app creates “hypnotic visuals” that move to the music. Take screen shots by swiping the screen or shake your iPhone/iPad to change the animations on the screen. With options to listen to random songs or create playlists you can listen to your favorite songs and become mesmerized for hours. Maybe even days or weeks. I’ve been watching it the whole time I’m typing this. It’s a problem.

Price: $.99

14. Tune Frame 

Tune Frame is the perfect party playlist app. Album artwork is displayed across the entire screen which creates an appealing way to show off your music collection. Tap an album and add it to your playlist (it automatically determines your favorite song from the album) making playlist creation relatively simple. Rediscover old favorites that you tend to look over in your iTunes library with changing artwork then just tap “play next” and it’ll be bumped up to the top of your playlist.

The coolest part about this app is you can plug your iPad into your home stereo for a party and suddenly you’ve got an interactive jukebox where your guests can create the playlist for the party. 

Price: $4.99

15. TuneWiki

TuneWiki has been featured on MicControl before and it still stands as one of the best apps that combines music, video, and lyrics all into one. Lyrics scroll in time with the song (karaoke style) and even along with radio stations. 

TuneWiki incorporates a community as well, showing you the most popular songs throughout the community and even giving “music maps” showing what people are listening and where in your area. Any music lover that likes to actually see the lyrics along with the music should take advantage of this free app.

Price: FREE


There’s an endless amount of music apps out there but this list covers the 15 that are most relevant for music lovers. I’m always open to suggestions though! What music apps do you love? Let us know for future lists!


Chris is the co-founder of MicControl, a music blogging network based on a music social networking platform. This post originally appeared on the MicControl blog on August 25, 2010. Chris can be found on twitter and facebook.

References (1)

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Reader Comments (5)

You might want to mention whether an app is available outside the US. It may be hard to imagine, but some people don't live there! And it seems companies do want to maintain geographical boundries on the web.

September 6 | Unregistered CommenterBob

There is actually another great app for listening to music. Its called Party Playlist and is great for creating playlists on the fly while friends are over or you are giving a party. Two independent players that let you change the mood of music at anytime.

September 15 | Unregistered Commenterbrdgolf1

Another great app for music lovers is discosalt Magazine app. An indie rock magazine from the guys behind the popular indie music, film, art website www.discosalt.com. Some great articles, album reviews and independent music news here with some cool design.

August 1 | Unregistered CommenterNorman

I personally like Pandora and Soundcloud a lot. But, rest of your suggestions look also amazing. I am amazed to know that there are so many options available out there for music lovers like me. Thanks Chris for recommending these apps. Will surely try 'em out.

February 22 | Unregistered CommenterNitya

Another great one to try is LimitList: http://www.tenkettles.com/limitlist/. We've used it for our wedding and parties and love it!

March 16 | Unregistered CommenterTO

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