Usually when we think about music apps, we consider streaming options like Spotify and Rdio, or discovery tools like Pandora. If you want to listen to some great music, find the tracks and albums you love, and get great suggestions for new bands to check out all in one place, there's no app that can match your local record store. Record Store Day is on April 20 this year, and it's a celebration of your local music shop where you can pick up the latest releases, ultra-rare exclusives, and everything in between. Though a High Fidelity-style top five list was tempting, we found even more helpful apps to let you make the most of your Record Store Day experience.
Those rumors about Twitter Music launching last weekend at Coachella didn't quite pan out (unless you were a celebrity, apparently), but the real thing is finally landing Thursday in the form of web and iPhone apps.
Take the electronic stylings of the cult Swiss electronic band Yello, stir in the visually interactive approach of iOS, and you’ll end up with something as profoundly cool as Yellofier, a free app for taking sampled sounds – including your own – and turning them into radically cool and wild musical passages. A commercial app of this depth and breadth would be a revelation, but for free, it’s just short of miraculous.
Twitter is about to spread its wings and fly into a completely different kind of product nest, with a music app that taps into the users you follow to suggest what kind of tunes you might want to listen to.
If there’s one thing that all musicians tend to fret over, it’s pitch. That's a little easier to hear than to try to describe, but when you’re listening to your favorite song being tortured at a local karaoke spot, you’ll know when it’s not being kept in tune by some buzzed bar patron. There are more than a couple of competent iOS apps that use the built-in microphone and/or incoming audio signal, sample it, and check to see if it is indeed in tune, but Tunable puts a truly new, innovative spin on the overall concept. In the process, it delivers on the promise of being a one-stop tuning shop.
The iOS App Store may be coming up on its fifth anniversary, but it shows no sign of slowing down when it comes to the discovery of new, unique apps -- such as a nifty OCR app for the iPhone and an iPad app that becomes a vault of old concerts.
We have to confess, we don't really get the attraction to vinyl records in the year 2013. Beyond supposedly sounding "warmer" than digital music, they're just a pain to maintain and use -- a problem that Amazon's AutoRip service hopes to make easier.
If you've ever dreamed of talking like a robot while warping at high speeds through hyperspace, then look no further: Vio lets you simultaneously fulfill both of those wishes. Part toy and part tool, this bizarre musical app takes a little tinkering to get a feel for, but it's a blast to play around with for a while once you figure it out. Using your iOS device's microphone, Vio transforms your voice and other sounds it picks up into a musical mish-mash of sci-fi robotic craziness.
Recording and synthesizer apps aren’t the only options in the musical arena. Tablets have inspired an entirely new type of musical app, and Chordion is an excellent, visually sophisticated example of this app genre. It's a creative tool that makes it easy to try out different musical shades and chord structures with maximum ease.
There's no shortage of iPhone and iPod touch music players in the App Store. They all basically do the same thing, but each one presents your tunes in a unique way, using clever interfaces and bold fonts to make your music look as good as it sounds. Many of them subscribe to Dieter Rams' principles of good design, but as far as we can tell, only one pays direct homage to his timeless vision. To say T3 Player is inspired by Rams' Braun radio is like saying the iPhone 4S is inspired by the iPhone 4.