November 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm

This Week In Music Apps: Reliving Concerts, Food Operas, History of Rock

Given that we’ve been entertaining ourselves this week by reliving concerts with OMGig and watching shows on iRocke and Concert Window, I decided that this week’s app round-up would be a good time to explore other apps that deal with concert footage.

Here in the northeast we experienced our first snow of the season — a brutal reminder of the value of housebound entertainment. Luckily, these apps let you enjoy concerts right from your own home (see also: Top 6 Apps For Going to Concerts or Reliving Them).  I also tracked down strange, food-themed opera videos, the xx’s new artist app, and another for exploring the history of Rock and Roll, and more. First, the reviews:

This Week in Reviews

Apple iOS

FMFinder (Free)

FMFinder maps out similar songs and artists

Select songs from your phone’s downloaded music library, and FMFinder creates a bubble map of similar songs. Tapping any of those leads to a new screen where the iTunes music video (if available) will play previews, while embedded YouTube videos let you listen to the whole song (sometimes the app finds the wrong video), and if you like what you see and hear, you can make that artist the center of a new map Alternatively, check out the top Last.fm songs, iTunes music videos and songs or search for a song or artist.

Edge Music (Free)

Edge Music has one goal: to encourage you to shoot concert footage for upload to the Edge Music Network site (maybe this is why it has more videos than Crowdpulse, below). After a friendly reminder to shoot the footage horizontally, you begin to record. If you screw up, you can choose not to upload the video — otherwise simply fill in the artist and venue information, and the app can even make suggestions based on your time and location. My only frustration: After I told the app I wanted to use my video, I was unable to exit the upload screen. Pressing cancel was of no avail, either. Other people report the same problem. Aside from that, the app and its companion website are a great resource for anyone who wants to either relive the recent concert they attended or check out what they missed.

History of Rock ($5) 

History of Rock

For those who love rock, we salute this iPad-exclusive app, is the closest thing you’ll be able to get to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without leaving your home. Just like the in the museum, you can follow the history of Rock from its origins to the present day. You won’t see amazing artifacts from the likes of The Beatles and Metallica, but you also won’t be paying four times the price of this app (visiting the museum costs $22  per person).

8 Bit Radio (Free)

Attention, old-school gaming enthusiasts: This app lets you immerse yourself in the world of nostalgic 8-bit tunes from old favorites like Super Mario World, Sonic, Metroid, and Megaman. Unlike other apps with game music, there’s no need to download files of the clips with this one — just select a game, play the song, and be transported back to childhood days of low-quality graphics and good clean fun.

Google Android

Omnivore (Free)

"O" sings to you about food

If you love both opera and food, this is your lucky day, because this app combines your two loves. The off-kilter app serves up one course per day of opera music videos about food. If you try to enjoy another course, the singer “O” intones that you will need to come back another day. We’ve never seen anything like it.

The XX (Free)

Though the iOS version sports a nicer interface, the xx did not neglect their Android-toting fans when they released their new artist app. With news, videos, photos, and live show videos, this one is at least on par with the iOS version in terms of content — actually better, because tapping “More” leads to additional stuff scraped from social media — official and fan Twitter feeds, Jaime’s blog, a “Fans’ blog Feed,” and more.

Web Apps

Crowdpulse (Free) 

Crowdpulse

Step One: Go to a show. Step Two: Film it with your whatever. Step Three: Upload it to Crowdpulse. Since the app and the site are relatively new, there isn’t much on there yet, but the potential is certainly there for creating a crowdsourced concert resource, since this stuff can get lost on YouTube. Also, you can follow other users who share your taste; gain “street cred;” and “like” videos. We particularly liked the feature that lets you find videos shot at a particular venue, because it makes it easier to find footage of the specific show you attended (YouTube uploaders don’t usually include that information when they upload there).

Couch Seats (Free)

As the name implies, this website has live videos from popular artists of the past and the present — everyone from vintage Aretha Franklin and the Beatles to newcomers Grouplove and Childish Gambino. All the videos come from YouTube, so the site isn’t introducing new content onto the internets, but unlike YouTube, there’s no search bar on this curated site, which is less concerned with helping you find specific artists than with browsing and discovering new favorites. And as with most sites these days, if you come across a gem, you can share it with a single click.