Radio isn’t dead yet, but it has evolved to be something that you listen to on your own terms, picking and choosing programs to check out at your convenience. AGOGO gets this, bringing you personalized audio programming with a slick interface and a number of curated channels. It pulls in the latest radio and newswire archives, podcasts, your local and online music collections, and other audio selections across many different areas, establishing itself as an excellent one-stop shop for your mobile listening needs.
For many years, the venerable line of Akai sampling drum machines has enjoyed nothing less than cult status in certain musical production and engineering circles — hip-hop owes a lot to these devices — and legions of musicians have looked forward to iMPC on iOS, which is available in separate iPad and iPhone releases. While it comes with loads of sounds, we found some major omissions that severely limit the overall usefulness of this drummer, especially compared to other iOS alternatives.
There are dozens of audio players available in the App Store to fit any taste, but for the most part, they pretty much do the same thing the original Music app did. Splyce is different. It still plays the songs that are stored on your device, but there's a focus on transitions that puts your tunes in a whole new light, turning the most eclectic of playlists into a mix worthy of being played at the hottest of dance clubs.
We’re reaching the point where there's often more than one tool for any given task on your iPad, and in the audio recording arena, we suffer with an embarrassment of riches – from GarageBand to Auria and plenty of options in between. Into this crowded arena falls Master Record, with a few tricks all its own. We’d love to see it add some more editing options, but overall, it’s a strong (though perhaps slightly overpriced) debut.
Since film reboot The Muppets was released in 2011, the furry creatures have skyrocketed back to a level of popularity they haven’t enjoyed since the 1980s. My Muppets Show gives players the chance to put on their own titular performance, inspired by the classic television series, by tackling myriad tasks around the stage. While the Muppets themselves are true to form, the gameplay is of an ilk we’ve seen many times before with no real improvement on the basic design.
Double Fine is a studio known (and beloved) for incredibly eccentric affairs, like Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking, but by contrast, Dropchord seems remarkably straightforward. It's an arcade-style high-score game released under the guise of a music game – which makes sense given its fantastic electronic dance soundtrack and visualizer-inspired look – but the beats and gameplay feel disconnected. So it's not a rhythm game; that's not a problem. However, the game approach itself never provides as strong of a hook as the presentation, feeling more like something to occupy you while you watch and listen rather than a central pull of the experience.
When you launch Algoriddim's djay 2 (reviewed on iPad; also available separately for iPhone/iPod touch), you'll be met with the same virtualized turntables that you remember from the first go-round. Whether you've ever scratched a record – or used the prior version, for that matter – your fingers will immediately know what to do. And it's even more fun this time around. The new dual-turntable interface turns up the volume on the realism, polishing the rougher edges and adding grooves to the digital vinyl that correspond with the rhythm of each song. And the color-coded waveform layer feature proves a killer addition to this excellent sequel.
There's something about music that brings us together. From drum circles to the original Napster, our favorite songs somehow sound better when we share them with other people. Even when we're rocking out to our iPods, we want our friends to know what we're listening to, endlessly tweeting and posting updates to our Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Nwplyng looks to clean up our social feeds with a whole new way to share. Despite its name (Now Playing minus the vowels), it isn't another digital jukebox. Instead, Nwplyng wants to be your favorite app for sharing and discovering new songs by turning the process into something of a competition.
Judging from the statistics released by Billboard and Nielsen this morning, we're definitely in the midst of another music revolution--much like the one that followed in the wake of the MP3's first appearance. Based on their findings, fewer people are actually buying music, but almost everyone is streaming it. In the first six months of 2013 alone, streaming soared by 24 percent to 51 billion streams.
Blurring the line between marketing tool and vanity project, Kavinsky features the music and comic-like visage of the titular French house artist, who released an album earlier this year. Designed around the fictional backstory behind the record – about a teen who crashes his supernatural Ferrari in the '80s and returns two decades later as a beat-making zombie – the free game alternates between beat-em-up and driving segments without ever explaining the events or hinting at that narrative, but it sure does look and sound cool along the way. Too bad the game itself isn't terribly interesting.