For most people there are only the biggies in the music app world. That would be apps like Spotify, iTunes Radio, iHeartRadio, and Pandora. I can’t forget the biggest purveyor of music video discovery as a means to find music, YouTube. None of these services suck. None of them are fulfilling a perfect music need either. However, being the forward thinking musician I am, I went hunting for some more music apps that tread paths off the beaten road. All because music junkies need to fuel their appetites. I found 5 music apps cooler than Kanye West. Because according to Kanye, he is the biggest thing in rock. So here we go:
5 Music Apps Cooler Than Kanye West
In no set order, the first app on my list is:
To start with, you can tell they’re taking a cue from Tumblr for their app name. I can roll with that, but I’m not sure dropping letters is the best way to title a service. What do they do?
From the Lisnr website: “Lisnr gives artists a new way to connect with their fans. By installing Lisnr on your mobile device, you’ll unlock exclusive content created by the artists you love, just by listening to your favorite music. Lisnr works at live events too, dynamically responding to your environment, and giving you a secondary experience to share with your friends.
Lisnr only ‘hears’ the ultra-sonic frequencies embedded in Lisnr-enabled tracks. Once this frequency is picked up by your phone’s internal microphone, you’ll receive a push notification if any content has been unlocked.”
As I’ve been checking out the app a vast majority of the artists jumping on the service are rap and hip hop types. Though I’ve also come across some singer/songwriter types too.
It’s a very forward thinking concept that requires your phone & the app to unlock content from the app. This app provides a cool way to connect already eager fans to new material using a watermarking technique. Content can range from messages from the artist, show tickets, videos, bonus tracks and more.
Personally I’m not a big fan of watermarking music files. I’m more of the mindset that audio fingerprints of the music itself work much better and don’t alter the content in the slightest. If Lisnr could make their app work with an audio fingerprint then the service becomes a major boon to both the artist and the fan. As it stands – it’s still really cool and the idea is there.
Listening to music based on the mood you’re in. Novel concept right there. How often to people just put the radio or some other streaming service on to be background noise to their life. Well now you can enhance that by picking the music to fit the mood you’re in at any given moment.
Where do they get their music? As per their website “Stereomood’s songs are all aggregated from the best music blogs across the net and filtered by music aficionados, so you never know when you’ll discover something unreleased and unheard!“
If you find a track that you really dig on Stereomood they have direct links to iTunes and Amazon. I’m unable to find information about whether or not they pay out streaming royalties. But they do have a way for artists to submit music to the service and a way to serve a take down notice if something has submitted your music without your consent.
I really dig the idea of the way it uses mood to help you find new music. Every song I heard on the service was something I had never heard before. Better yet, it was good music too. That’s a great quality to have.
Welcome to another app that runs across multiple devices and platforms all syncable. That’s a great thing for our modern world. Means you don’t have to be locked into a particular thing like iOS (which I’m a fan of). MPme scans your library and then goes out and creates stations based on the music you already dig. If that’s not enough for listening to music, you can also search for artists or songs and it will curate stations based on the search words. Plus it has the social network factor so that you can share music discoveries with your friends.
Another plus is that it has direct purchase links so you can purchase the music you come across that you instantly love. That’s something that should be standard on all music apps.
As I’m sitting here grooving on music from the app, it’s playing tunes that carry on my own musical thing of making my head bob. Something stuff I write does to others. That’s an awesome thing.
The service with the ancient defunct media’s name. 8Track tapes were all the rage a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Well before my time anyway.
What sets this music app apart from many others is that the music is curated by actual humans and not algorithms. Take that big boys like those mentioned at the top of the post.
One of the most beautiful things is that directly on their website they have a full page dedicated to how they pay royalties to SESAC, Sound Exchange, BMI and ASCAP. That’s music to my ears. Transparency in it’s best form.
Most of what I heard on the service was EDM – but it was EDM that I enjoyed. That’s a great thing.
Another socially oriented music player. It works like this: Create a profile and click on the heart icon when you hear a song you really like. It’s basically that simple. You can also follow other people, tastemakers, etc. They also feature hand curated playlists.
They don’t say how they pay artists anywhere on their website. That’s a little disappointing, but I’m going to assume they’re doing the right thing.
All the songs I heard on the service were by widely known acts that are already popular. Thus I’m going out on a limb and say that it’s not really about music discovery for more obscure music or by those without bigger marketing budgets behind them.
There are a ton of new music apps coming out all the time. Taking a look at 5 of them being cooler than the greatest rockstar, a.k.a. Kanye West has been a fun exploration into the forefront of music tech. The one thing I’ve noticed about every one of them is that not one of them has solved the ultimate riddle of being the end all solution for music services. Got a favorite music app, let me know so I can check it out.