September 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

This Week in Music Apps: Dark Knight Rises, Trade Mixtapes, Inflict Earworms

We have new and interesting apps to share with you in our latest installment of This Week In Music Apps, including iOS, Android, and web apps, just like we do (or try to do) each and ever week.

First, take a peek at our latest app reviews (as opposed to hardware):

This Week in Reviews

  • Radio Reddit: Homespun Hits, Crowdsourced Curation, Melodious Memes
  • Top 6 Effects Apps for Playing with Sound
  • Budtobud Turns Your Downloaded Music into Internet Radio for Everyone Else
  • Radionomy: Get Paid for Being Awesome at Music
  • iOS 6 Music Scene: Major iCloud Tweaks, Easier Ringtones, Better Alarm
  • Play Classical Music with Simple Gestures, as Inspired by Glenn Gould in 1969
  • SpotiPedia: Listen to Wikipedia in Spotify

Apple iOS

dark knight risesThe Dark Knight Rises Z+ (Free; in-app purchases $1-$6): Fans of The Dark Knight trilogy who want to immerse themselves fully in Gotham City should check out this app for sure. Featuring over two hours of audio, including tracks composed by Hans Zimmer from the soundtrack; new and exclusive music; and commentary by Hans Zimmer and director Christopher Nolan, this app allows you to relive the trilogy’s final movie. Additionally, augmented sound technology transforms actual sounds from your own environment into a soundscape that merges with the other music. This is definitely a must-have app for Dark Knight fans and people who want to experience a weird kind of augmented reality.

Booktrack (Free): Music has enhanced storytelling for ages in films and on television; now it can do the same for books. Choose from one of the classic titles contained in this app, and a customized soundtrack matching the story’s plot will play as you read. Booktrack lets you choose your own reading speed, so that the music, ambient noises, and sound effects are always synchronized with the text. Versions of this app are also available for Android, Mac, and Windows. (Note: This app isn’t new, but our interview with Booktrack co-founder and CEO Paul Cameron is.)

notionNotion ($7): Notion for the iPad seeks to make the daunting task of playing — and even composing — classical music possible for regular people. Using sound samples played by The London Symphony Orchestra, and recorded at the prestigious Abbey Road Studios, you can compose, edit, and play back your own scores. This app also features interactive musical instruments, including pianos, guitars, and drums; sound effects; an audio mixer; and guitar and orchestral functions to help you round out your sound. Easily editable notations sheets accompany each of your compositions. Given all of this, Notion is a bit pricey  at $7, but its beautiful design, intuitive interface, and vast range of features may be worth the price if this sounds as neat to you as it does to us.

Google Android

Mix.HipHop Mixtapes (Free): Mix.HipHop brings mixtape culture to the digital age by offering a platform where users can share and listen to “mixtapes” featuring music from a catalog of hip hop and R&B jams. While discovering music (or helping others to do so), you can learn more about who you’re listening to by reading artist biographiess. This app provides a neat way to share music, landing it a spot on Google Play’s Top 50 Music & Audio Android Apps.

jugglrJugglr ($1): Beatronik, the folks who brought us DJ Studio 3, recently added another cool DJ application for Android to their roster: Jugglr. This user-friendly app, featuring two onscreen decks, allows you to play and mix tracks, and simulate vinyl scratching. Each deck has its own three-band equalizer allowing for optimal control. You can opt to DJ live to your crew, or record mixes for later and share them via SoundCloud. Check it out for your next house party.

Music Matrix ($1.28): Borrowing inspiration from Yamaha’s Tenori-On, Music Matrix brings a similarly-accessible approach to music creation. Available for Android phones and tablets, this app lets you create music simply by tapping squares on a grid. Once you get the hang of it, you can also adjust the tempo, scale, key, and reverb and delay effects to customize your sound. Then, you can upload finished compositions to Matrix/Net, a cloud-based sharing system available to Music Matrix’s community of users, and hear what others have made.

Web Apps

vupasVupas (Free): Vupas is a music search engine with a couple extras thrown in that helps you build playlists from YouTube, which is after all a music service. Searching for an artist brings up not only what you’re looking for, but similar artists. You could, in a sense, curate your own Pandora-like station using little else. When available, lyrics appear on the right of the page. With its clean and simple interface, Vupas is a good go-to site for those who want a quick playlist without the hassles of distracting ads.  - Knar Bedian

Earwurm (Free): Ah, earworms…those pesky little songs, or even just the catchy hooks of songs, that get stuck in your head for hours. With the web app Earwurm, you can share whatever song is occupying your brain so you don’t have to suffer alone. You can also look through songs other people have stuck in their heads, and vote for the worst earworm on the site. Why would you want to actively seek out songs that are annoying other people? Well, to be fair, an earworm isn’t necessarily a bad song. After all, we get our favorite songs stuck in our heads. A look at the latest songs submitted shows many fine songs. As for the worst earworm — well, we had fun remembering all those old pop hits that once plagued the airwaves. Remember Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” or Crash Test Dummies’ “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm?” You will now. Sorry.

filtersageFiltersage (Free): Yes, albums and movies are different, but humans notoriously can form connections between just about anything. On Filtersage, you can share connections you’ve made between movies and albums, which might help other users discover stuff. Simply connect two albums or two movies, identify whether it’s a connection based on similarity, influence, or imitation, and share the connection with the community – or you can have fun seeing the connections others have made.  Currently, Filtersage is by invitation-only, but you can easily request one there.

Tinysong (Free): This easy-to-use site has one simple feature: converting your favorite songs into tiny, tweet-friendly Grooveshark URL’s. Look up a song and Tinysong will instantly create a URL, as well as provide you with the option to share it on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon or email with a single click. – Knar Bedian

Read previous installments of “This Week in Music Apps.”

Submit an app for consideration.

Follow our relatively new Twitter for new apps.