Best apps to download for your new iPod

Sep 9, 2010
Music

Whether you’re listening to music and downloading apps on the iPod you got for your birthday three years ago, or a new and shiny iPod Touch, Nano or Shuffle, finding the right apps is half the battle. And if you’re a serious music fan, chances are you don’t take what you’re listening to, or what […]

Whether you’re listening to music and downloading apps on the iPod you got for your birthday three years ago, or a new and shiny iPod Touch, Nano or Shuffle, finding the right apps is half the battle. And if you’re a serious music fan, chances are you don’t take what you’re listening to, or what you’re downloading to enhance your music listening experience, too lightly. To guide you through the best musical experience you can possibly have on your iPod — new or old — I have created this list below. Enjoy.

SoundHound ($4.99)

Wow, it took about five seconds to fall in love with this app. I had been listening to Marnie Stern’s “Vibrational Match” (excellent song) for only seconds before SoundHound determined what it was. And then, something I hadn’t planned on, SH immediately brought up countless videos for “Vibrational Match” along with the artist and song title. Perhaps the best and most unique part of this app, though, is the Title or Artist feature. I sang one line from REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” and SH pulled up exactly what I was singing — pretty impressive. Plus, search the Internet for lyrics once songs have been determined and view “what’s hot,” the hottest and most underplayed songs. Download this app for your new iPod Touch to take full advantage of its top-notch microphone feature.

Shazam (Free)

Shazam has the same idea as SoundHound, but it’s free. Which means, by design, it’s a bit less awesome, but for the price, it’s pretty good. My one complaint is Shazam was unable to detect two underground artists whose music I tried to identify, and it wasn’t until an Ariel Pink song came on that Shazam could work its magic. That being said, once Shazam identified Ariel’s “Round and Round,” it also pulled up tour information, YouTube videos, album reviews, a short bio and more, which was inarguably cool. You can also discover new music on Shazam by listening to blips of songs on their USA chart, or search manually for those songs you know the name of but have no idea who sings them.

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Ghostly Discovery (Free)

Ghostly Discovery, brought to you by record label Ghostly International, allows you to use color theory to create a playlist (of GI artists) reflecting your current mood. From yellow for energetic to purple for sad, choose from seven different emotions to curate the perfect tunes for you. Super simple and super cool. I was feeling kind of laid back (light turquoise) so my listening stream started with Aeroc, next Tycho, then 10:32. GD got my mood down perfectly. For every song you listen to, you get a host of information about it, including the name of the album it’s on and the year it came out. This might be a promotional app for the hip label, but as a customer, I feel like I’m the one getting the most out of it. And, to boot, this app is free, making it that much more enticing.

Music Videos for iTunes (Free/$1.98)

This app took a bit of hemming and hawing to get it to actually work properly, but I’ll admit, once things were set in motion, I was glad I had gotten over the hump. The largest hump being that this “free” app costs 99 cents to obtain videos from your own iPod library and then an additional 99 cents to get videos for top-selling songs, but $1.98 isn’t too much to pay for an app like this; the deceit is where it loses points. Anyway, once you’re watching tons (and I do mean tons) of videos for your favorite songs, or for the very newest and hottest songs you’d like to know more about, you’ll forget about the little inconveniences quickly. Businessweek was “impressed with both the clarity and the sound quality” of videos on the iPod Touch, and you will be too after playing with this app on your new device.

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MusicID with Lyrics (99 cents)

Apparently stuck on identifying songs while out (perhaps the over-enthusiasm comes from wanting these capabilities my entire life, and having them only recently granted and so easily accessible with apps like this one), I recently discovered yet another music-locating app that I love. MusicID with Lyrics has a friendly interface — especially pleasurable to view with the new iPod Touch’s 326 pixels-per-inch Retina Display. MusicID presents the song title, artist and album name, plus a chance for you to buy the song on iTunes right then and there, and a link to an explosion of YouTube videos. The app suggests a list of similar songs, pinpoints the location of where you are while listening to the song, and — the most exciting part — pulls up the lyrics for you! You don’t have to search the Internet through sites that might or might not have what you’re looking for; instead, if the lyrics are available, they’re conveniently yours to view.

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