Streaming songs accompany editorial content in SPIN Play iPad app

Mar 23, 2011
Music

SPIN magazine has brought its brand of music coverage to the iPad platform with the new app SPIN Play. Free to download, SPIN Play offers free daily content pulled from Spin.com, but for $1.99 per issue (or $7.99 a year), users can unlock Spin’s print coverage, plus a little something extra — streaming songs and […]

SPIN magazine has brought its brand of music coverage to the iPad platform with the new app SPIN Play. Free to download, SPIN Play offers free daily content pulled from Spin.com, but for $1.99 per issue (or $7.99 a year), users can unlock Spin’s print coverage, plus a little something extra — streaming songs and videos.

The SPIN Play app comes with a free issue so users can really get a feel for what the app will offer in the future. Once the issue fully downloads, you’ll gain access to 60 editor-selected streaming tracks that are playable while you read the issue. The app also supports Airplay so you can listen to the songs on your stereo. I found the tracks included with the March issue to be of a good variety, both in genre and of a mix of names, both known and unknown to me. Artists included in this first batch included Devotchka, The Dears, Talib Kweli, Rammstein, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Adele and Insane Clown Posse, to name a few. Songs you like can be marked favorite for easy future access, and there’s an icon to launch iTunes for purchasing.

As you’re reading the issue, if you come across an artist or band included in the music section, you can tap the music note to play the provided song. Video content is denoted with a screen icon, and is usually an interview, but can also be other media, such as a movie trailer. The layout of SPIN’s editorial makes sense, and I had no complaints flipping through the issue.

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I appreciate the extra content that SPIN is putting forth, but I didn’t like that the app could only be used in landscape mode. The songs will also not stream in the background, so you’ll lose audio if you leave the app to check your email (the app does remember your place in the song at least, and starts playing during launch).

SPIN calls SPIN Play a music-discovery tool, and, if the track selections continue to be high quality, that sounds about right.

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