With the end of the year approaching, “Best of” lists are everywhere. To help you cope without ignoring them, we’ve aggregated a lot of those into a “streamable” article: the ultimate collection of the best music of 2012, so you can check out all the most critically-acclaimed music of the past year, all in one place.
But enough about the past. There’s plenty of new music to discover, as always, Maybe you’ll uncover one of next year’s top hits using one of these new, noteworthy apps.
First, the latest app reviews.
- One Giant Hashtag for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, and Google+
- Can Apps Teach You To Improvise Jazz?
- The New Spotify Lets You Discover, Collect Music More Easily
- Rhapsody Lets Android People Collect Music with Microphones
- 5 Good Things (and 5 Bad Ones) About iTunes 11
- Songs With Friends? ZOOZtunes Turns All Music into Social Quiz Game
As it plays a song through your iOS device’s speaker, this app shoots video of you singing along — or, really, any scene at all, creating a rough music video for the song. You can post the video on SongBooth for commenting, favorite-ing, and sharing, of course.
It’s an interesting concept but, unfortunately, most of the videos I saw so far were fairly low-quality, with a lot of lip-synced songs and random video footage. Still, the app is pretty new, and we can hardly fault people for trying. Maybe it will help that each year, the video with the most likes will win a recording contract.
Think Turntable.fm, but local. GroovePond lets you create “ponds” that are sort of like Turntable.fm’s rooms, but in order to get in, everyone has to be on the same WiFi network, making GroovePond suitable for offices, dorms, and so on.
The resident DJ has control over the song order but anyone in the pond can contribute and vote for songs. You can join an existing pond or create your own within the app. This could prove useful for democratic parties, similar to what RoqBot does for bars, restaurants, stores, and other public locations.
FourChords HD (Free)
Another music game app, FourChords is like a simplified chord book, in that it lets you play songs using only four chords (just like The Ramones, if they knew another chord). You’ll not only be able to play songs by artists like Nirvana, Amy Winehouse and Madonna but you can also sing along, as the lyrics that appear in karaoke-like manner.
Beastmode.fm plays random content from music blogs. That’s right: no search button, no requests. Because Beastmode.fm believes “more choice = less happy” and pushes you to explore new music (all streamed from “radiozine” Shuffler.fm). You can still choose a genre or a specific blog to play music from, offering a modicum of control. The app also lets you keep track of your finest discoveries by designating them as favorites This well-designed site gives us that sometimes-required extra push to go out and explore the music world beyond our comfort zone.
Tunigo, a playlist guide to music, is available in this standalone web version, in addition to as a Spotify app – and either way, the music comes from Spotify. Countless playlists are nicely sorted into categories and genres so you can easily find some new jams for your next workout, a theme party, or rainy day. You also get news to augment the new releases on Spotify.
“Well that sounds a bit redundant,” you might say about this distinction between news and new releases — nope. For starters, it’s not easy to browse beyond the twelve newest albums featured on Spotify. And Tunigo’s news section isn’t just filled with your average news article: each story is accompanied by a playlist, so when you’re reading about a new vaccine that could make the flu disappear you can play the related playlist called “Your Favorite Coffeehouse” which has mellow tunes that, surprisingly, appropriately evoke feelings of times of hot bowls of chicken noodle soup and fighting colds.
A bit on the pricey side, Musictube is a desktop app that only plays YouTube videos — and those, of course, are almost all free.
But it’s not just a player that helps you sort through the seemingly endless sea of YouTube music videos, it also is a Last.fm scrobbler, playlist creator and discovery tool. In terms of organization, the app will help you find different versions of the song using the “studio mode,” “live mode,” and “cover mode,” as well as sort songs into their respective albums. Instead of finding each song individually, you can drag-and-drop a complete album into the playlist. The app also provides lyrics for the currently playing song, and gives information on the album and artist. Is it worth $11? Maybe if you listen to a lot of YouTube.
Hypegram has all the features you love about Hype Machine, but prettier. Seriously though, if you thought their mobile app redesign was good, wait until you see this desktop version. The colorful pop of the mobile app is gone, but the simplicity and functionality is still there. For those who find the website a bit overwhelming, this app helps to present the content in a cleaner fashion, making the latest and most popular songs of the site easily accessible (in-depth review).
Though this app has been around for a while, we thought it would be good to include it here Spotify users who have connected their Last.fm accounts. Spotify already lets you scrobble your tracks to Last.fm, but that’s the extent of the Spotify-Last.fm relationship. Installing Loveify lets you “Love” the currently playing track on Spotify — and have that love transfer to your Last.fm profile.