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This week I take a look at Discovr, a music discovery app that is creating huge amounts of buzz between music junkies all over the world with its innovative and elegant way of finding and sharing new music.
It’s no lie that one of the reasons I use an iPhone over any other device is because of the built in iPod. Sure, all smartphones have a built-in music player, but to me, nothing compares to the iPod. The awesome controls and aesthetically pleasing cover flow display are truly unmatched by anything else available on the market today…but I digress.
At this point in time, half of my device’s hard drive is filled with music (the other being apps, of course) and I’m always on the look out for new sounds; but the problem I’ve been experiencing lately though, is the complete and utter lack of new bands worth listening to, so I’ve basically just been sticking to what I know and love for quite a while now. Don’t get me wrong though, my favourite bands are my favourite bands for a reason, but sometimes you just feel like something new.
Enter Discovr (on iTunes here), a music search and recommendation app by Jammbox that takes what you already know and love, and generates recommendations on what you might also like. Now I know what you’re thinking, Last.fm does just this, but this is not like Last.fm at all (and frankly, their iPhone app needs quite a bit of work if you ask me, but more on that in a later post). Think of it as Genius, but faster, more relevant and a lot better looking.
Powered by data from world renowned music intelligence company The Echo Nest, Discovr works like this: enter in a band/artist that you like and click search. Discovr then creates an interactive musical mind map of similar bands around the original band. You can then double-tap (to view biographies, listen to tracks, watch music videos and live performances) or single-tap to see recommendations based around the new band. You can then post your new band discovery on Facebook and Twitter (if you feel like sharing), add them to your favourites, buy their music from iTunes, email the recommendation to your friends and read the latest reviews and blog posts about them. When you’re done, just shake your iPhone and the search screen appears again.
Where this app triumphs is in the relevance of the bands that pop up according to what you’ve entered. Even with local bands from your country, like South African heroes Fokofpolisiekar and Foto Na Dans, the resulting similar artists were spot on, delivering results like Van Coke Kartel and aKING.
Another awesome feature is that Discovr automatically scans through the music already on your device and stores them as favourites at the bottom of the screen for easy access. Click on the thumbnail of Fleet Foxes and it’ll automatically search for similar bands and artists, click one of these bands and it displays more artists. It literally goes on forever, with your music mind map growing bigger and bigger…don’t worry though, you can zoom in and out if things get too crazy. What I like most about Discovr is the way it takes all this information and presents it in one of the most beautiful and simple app UI’s I’ve ever seen. It loads quickly and works like it should.
All in all, Discovr is a beautiful, elegant app worth way more than 99c it costs. Highly recommended for music junkies on a voyage of discovery. I’ve yet to try it on an iPad ($0.99 buys you both versions) but I can tell you now, I probably wouldn’t leave it alone.
Available for iPhone and iPad