There’s just too much music and not enough time. We spend so much time researching and searching for the next big song/album/artist that we don’t spend enough time actually savouring music anymore. This is why so many people rely on recommendations from friends, curators and algorithms.
Some have found salvation in various apps for their smartphones and tablets. Here are a few of my favourites.
Discovr (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Android; $0.99)
Fire up the app and enter the name of an artist you like in the search field. Suddenly, the screen blossoms into what looks like a molecule with that first artist at the nucleus. Pictures of people who make similar music radiate outward. Touch any of those connected artists and a new molecule forms with related artists. Frighteningly addictive.
Hitlantis (iPhone, iPad, Android; free)
Similar to Discovr, this app displays artists who have registered with the service. Each band appears as a colour-coded planet orbiting the Hitlantis sun. The closer an act is to the sun, the more popular it is with users of the app. If you’re interested in indie, unsigned and undiscovered bands, this is a goldmine.
Moodagent (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Android; $4.99)
After analyzing all the music on your device, Moodagent offers a series of emotion-related slider controls that allow you to create mood-based playlists, tailoring the music for your current headspace and location. And should you want to share how you’re feeling, Moodagent connects with Facebook and Twitter.
Planetary (iPad, Android; free)
When it was released earlier this month, this app spread through the music-loving geek community like a comet. Like Moodagent, Planetary analyzes the music on your device and organizes everything into gorgeous 3-D star charts and planetary systems. Touch on a star or a planet and watch what happens.
Shazam (iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, Android; free for the basic version)
Ever been somewhere and heard a song that you liked but couldn’t identify? With Shazam, you just hold up your device so it can “hear” what’s playing. After a few seconds, the app comes back with the name of the song, the artist and a chance to instantly purchase the song right on your device.
SoundHound (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Android; free for the basic version): Similar to Shazam but boasts the ability to recognize a song in as little as four seconds.