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Coverjam Pro is a great concept: a music playing app that pulls artist-related images from the world wide web and, as you listen, streams them across your iPhone, iPod, or iPad in slideshow format.
The problem is that those images, if the app can find any at all, aren’t always clearly related to the artist you’re listening to.
Coverjam Pro’s home screen controls
When I first opened the app, I played one of my favorite singer-songwriters who’s popular in Northern California but who definitely isn’t a household name. Coverjam Pro only came up with one image -- the cover art.
Next I thought, “Alright, at least show me something I haven’t seen before from an artist everyone knows and loves -- an icon like Bob Marley, perhaps.”
Coverjam Pro’s clean, control-less slideshow mode.
I selected Marley’s greatest hits album, “Legend,” for the sake of keeping it easy. You can view slides in one of two ways, on the home screen with controls or by way of a clean, control-less slideshow mode. The first few slides during Marley’s “Is This Love” featured cover art and familiar portraits of the man, followed by some fun photos that, thankfully, I’d definitely never seen before (Marley playing soccer, for example).
Then the curious slides started rolling through: shots of ostensibly random sushi plates, 21st century yachts anchored in unknown marinas, and random people smoking or admiring a certain plant often associated with Marley’s music.
Some Coverjam slides make more sense than others.
Coverjam Pro pulls the slides it feeds you from tagged images in Instagram and Flickr, which explains some of the random things that float across your screen. Fortunately, they created an easy-to-nix-it button that’ll prevent those photos from ever appearing on your device again -- but that requires your full attention and takes the passive out of passive fun.
Along those lines, listeners who’d like to use the app more actively can tap a send button on the home screen that gives you the option to explore the origin of the slide in Safari, or share it via email, Facebook, or Twitter -- ya know, in case you just need to share that stellar photo of a grandma smoking reefer.
Explore a favorite image in Safari, or share it via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Independent of the slides, the music playing functionality is solid: you can choose to play your music from the familiar “Artists,” “Albums,” “Songs” and “Playlists” options you’re accustomed to seeing on your iPod. The only conspicuous oversight is that there’s no repeat option (or, at least, not one that I could find).
For me, Coverjam Pro is best for larger screen fun with an iPad. Imagine placing iPad in your super-stellar sound dock at home, or playing it through your home entertainment system via Apple TV, as the slides roll through and your dinner guests move about and mingle.
The bottom line. Coverjam Pro could use an algorithm that draws slide from sources beyond Instagram and Flickr, but it’s still pretty fun as is, especially on iPad.
iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 4.1 or later
Concerning the music you’re listening to, the app comes up with images that you’ve almost certainly never seen.
Concerning the music you’re listening to, the app comes up with images that you’ll almost certainly never want to see.