The MoodAgent app for Windows computers, the Winamp music player, and iPhone, Android, and Nokia smartphones creates playlists based on mood –sensual, tender, happy, angry, or any combination of those — as well as tempo, meaning that it can make up-tempo playlists for the gym, or down-tempo ones for napping on the plane.
Unlike other mood-based music apps we’ve tested, this one draws its playlists from your own music library, whether on your smartphone or desktop computer. This means there is no lag while songs load into a stream, and audio quality remains at whatever level you are used to (problems that plagued similar apps we’ve seen). The obvious downside, of course, is that MoodAgent doesn’t introduce you to new music, so it’s best for folks who often download new stuff often.
MoodAgent wins high marks for its intuitive and engaging interface. Simply adjust the sliders based on how you’re feeling (because the brainwave synchronizer that would obviate the need for those controls is at least a few years out) and the app attempts to generate a suitable playlist from your collection.
This worked well most of the time, but we spotted some peculiar choices. For example, dragging the “Happy” slider all the way up, and nothing else, launched a playlist that began with Portishead’s haunting “Nylon Smile” and Interpol’s mostly-minor-key “PDA,” although, again, it usually did a much better job than that.
Several useful options add depth to the app, which costs a few bucks (varying slightly platform by platform), such as the ability to exclude certain artists from appearing in generated playlists, and locking tracks to keep them in playlists. The app also packs a function to share resulting playlists with Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
Overall, we found Moodagent stable and fun to use, but for $5 (the iPhone price) we’d expect it to work without those occasional “WTF” moments.