March 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Turn Your iPhone into a Party Jukebox

jukeboxYou’re throwing a party. You take an iPhone. You plug it into the stereo.

Any other iPhone at the party — not an online party, an actual party — can pick the music.

That’s the basic premise of JukeBox Hero (not to be confused with the Foreigner song or Android music quiz), which simplifies the “Hey everyone with an iPhone at this party can pick the music” concept in a couple of ways:

1) The main iPhone can play any music stored on the iPhone, or just let people choose from a specific playlist, which should avoid horrible music and rickrolls, and

2) There’s only one app to install, regardless of whether you want to host or join a party, and it’s free.

In order for this to work, the app has to use GPS to know where you are, which limits things a bit. We were going to suggest using an old iPhone or iPod Touch to put Jukebox Hero into your stereo system on a more or less permanent basis, but that won’t work, because the app needs GPS. However, we confirmed that you can use this nifty trick to zap music from your phone to the stereo wirelessly, so you can take pictures, answer calls about directions, and so on, without leaving your iPhone behind on the stereo at the party.

We ran into difficulties with authorizing GPS on one phone, and Notifications on another. Depending on your settings, you might have to enable both of those things manually, which can involve restarting the app after you monkey around with your iOS settings. Every phone in the system needs to have push notifications and GPS enabled, one way or the other.

That’s the only wrinkle with this app, which otherwise provides a fine way to put the crowd in charge of the tunes — well, in charge of your tunes. After all, it’s your party, and you shouldn’t have to put up with people playing Justin Bieber, jokingly or not.

Nice extras: You can specify whether the app stops when nobody requests something, the way a real jukebox would, or whether it keeps playing from your playlist or phone. You can set a passcode, so that only certain people can be in charge. And to stop one person from bossing everyone else around, the app limits every partygoer to 25 credits, although they can ask for more.

Credits are free. Adding a song to the queue costs a credit; playing the song next costs two credits; and playing now costs six credits, and that cuts off the previous song with a “scratching record needle” sound, which is awesome.