Listen to your favorite Grammy winners with these mobile apps

Jan 25, 2012
Music

There are hundreds if not thousands of high-quality music applications available to download on smartphones and tablet devices. From apps that stream Internet radio stations, to music detection and discovery tools, to concert video services, there is no shortage of apps that rock (and appeal to other genres). Also note that while some apps aren’t […]

There are hundreds if not thousands of high-quality music applications available to download on smartphones and tablet devices. From apps that stream Internet radio stations, to music detection and discovery tools, to concert video services, there is no shortage of apps that rock (and appeal to other genres). Also note that while some apps aren’t built specifically for iPads and Android tablets, they run perfectly well on the larger screens and if anything have better audio capabilities.

So join the chorus of music appreciation and download any or all of these music apps right away.

Band of the Day (iPhone, iPad Touch: free)

While there are myriad ways to listen to music from our favorite bands and musicians, it is not so easy to discover newer recording artists. Enter Band of the Day, which showcases songs, videos, discographies and histories of – you guessed it – one new band each day. The expertly designed and curated application has a visual design catered to the iPhone and iPod Touch, and a separate iPad version is apparently in the works. Developer 955 Dreams previously created beautifully designed apps On the Way to Woodstock, available as separate versions for the iPhone and iPad, and iPad app, The History of Jazz.

Raditaz (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android: free)

While services like Pandora and Slacker set the standard for Internet radio that are also available as free applications for iOS and Android devices, their commercials can be distracting. I’m not sure how the folks behind Raditaz make money, but their apps and website have a library of more than 13 million songs that are streamed without any promotional interruption. Like most Internet radio services, users can type the name of the band or artist they want to listen to. From there, songs from that artist and related bands and musicians play continuously. Unlike stations that are programmed by algorithms, Raditaz has a decidedly human touch. The app also lets you listen to stations played by those in your vicinity, as well as others that are trending or featured by Raditaz curators.

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Hound (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Android: free)

By now you are probably familiar with audio detection apps like SoundHound and Shazam that will recognize what songs are playing in your vicinity and provide links to download, lyrics and other background information. But what if you have a song in your head that you would like to add to your library while on the go? Developed by the makers of SoundHound, Hound locates tracks simply through voice commands. Similar to the Siri personal voice assistant inside the iPhone 4S, Hound reliably responds when prompted with the title of a song and the band/artist that recorded it. In addition to clips and purchase opportunities, the app beautifully displays entire videos from YouTube. Like SoundHound, Shazam, and SoundTracking (which pioneered how songs are shared with friends), Hound is available on both iOS and Android platforms.

Spotify (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android: free, with $10 monthly subscription)

If you want access to any particular song at any time, your best bet is to sign-up for a music subscription service. Spotify arrived in North America last year with great fanfare and for good reason. With 15 million tracks in its library it is the most elegantly designed independent mobile music subscription available. While users of the web-based application can listen to Spotify for free with commercials, the apps for iOS and Android devices will cost you $10 per month (and spare you promos). Other notable music subscription services available for iOS and Android devices are Rhapsody and Rdio.

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Qello (Android: free)

Like concert videos? This app – currently exclusive to Android phones, tabs and TVs – offers hundreds of high-definition videos to view with a $5 monthly subscription. The developers are planning to dramatically increase the size of Qello’s library and expand to iOS devices shortly.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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