December 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Songs With Friends? ZOOZtunes Turns All Music into Social Quiz Game



ZOOZtunes, the latest from ZOOZ Mobile, lets you pit your wits against those of friends and strangers alike, in a new way: by naming that tune. We’ve seen music quiz games before, of course. Even the ancient iPod of yore had a rudimentary one built-in. ZOOZtunes takes things to the next level in a number of ways, combining practicality and fun into an entertaining social game app for iOS, which doubles as a neat way to share and discover music with friend or strangers.

Perhaps the best part: You can play it with your own music library, rather than the garbage everyone else listens to.

zooztunesTo play ZOOZtunes (free, iOS), choose “Start a New Game” from the main menu. You can email a friend and invite them to play (assuming they have iOS), or invite a Facebook friend if you’re signed in with Facebook. Otherwise, select Auto-match and ZOOZtunes will select an opponent for you based on your music libraries.

Then it’s time to pick a song – any song — from iTunes or your own music library. ZOOZtunes will choose four similar tracks to round out a five-song-sample medley to send to your opponent ( ZOOZtunes uses an API from The Echo Nest, publisher of, to generate the medley), which form the contents of their quiz. You’re also free to switch songs in the medley.

Once received, this medley of song samples begins to play. Your opponent will have to guess each song before time runs out. Then, it’s their turn to choose a song and send you a medley. Each game lasts three rounds, and whoever has the most points after all three wins.

To add difficulty, you and your opponent can add audio effects (including “Chipmunk,” “Screw,” and “Chop”), to make the song  less recognizable. Or, if you’re feeling nice, you can add a voice recording to give your opponent a hint.

You’ll most likely come across songs you’ve never heard before, but are similar to your taste in music, due to how opponents are selected and medleys are generated, which makes ZOOZtunes a great way to discover new music you might like, even as you’re being entertained by the game. To that end, the app tracks songs from your opponents (and the songs you’ve sent) in the “ZOOZtunes Library,” where you can preview and buy them on iTunes.

Meanwhile, a “Daily Challenge” generates (you guessed it) a daily challenge for you to play in solo mode.

We definitely enjoyed playing ZOOZtunes, and we test a lot of music apps. In just a few minutes of testing, an opponent sent us a medley with songs we hadn’t heard, but were immediately searching for on YouTube. We also enjoyed testing our own music snobbery, and were pleased to be challenged, unlike with other musical guessing games.

Our only beef is that we experienced the occasional crashes and freezes, and had to restart the app a few times, which was frustrating. But that should be ironed out soon, and the underlying concept of playing a music quiz game that makes musical sense with friends and unknown opponents alike is rock solid.