Music

Music apps can be used to make music or listen to music or podcasts. One thing’s for sure, these apps are all about tunes.

song2email

Song2Email

The iPhone, iPod touch and iPad all make great music players. You can sync music to them from your computer as well as download music directly from the iTunes store. You can now even stream music from your iTunes collection via iCloud/iTunes Match. While this is all great for getting music into the devices and listening to it, there really isn't a built-in way of getting music out of the devices. This is where Song2Email comes in. While I certainly don't advocate stealing or sharing music illegally, there are times where you may want to get a song from your iDevice to another system and you don't have access your iTunes library. 

Song2Email let's you email songs from your iDevice

Song2Email performs the basic task of letting you choose any of you songs and email them to any email address you want. You can choose one song or multiples songs and email them via WiFi or 3G (20 MB Limit). The App is Universal so it works on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. This is one of those Apps that has a simple function and it does it very well. I wish that there was more that I could go on and on about, but there isn't. It works!

You can get Song2Email for $0.99 here from the iTunes

soundhound

What’s That Song? SoundHound will tell you!

What's that song? Who sings that? Oh I remember that song, but was that the original artist? If you've ever uttered any of these phrases you need SoundHound! SoundHound is a music recognition App for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. While this App is known for the music recognition feature, there is so much more to it, making it a must have!

 

Bread and Butter

As I said, this App is known for it's music recognition. Say a song comes on the radio that you want to go home and download but you don't know the title. All you have to do is fire up SoundHound tap the large button in the middle that says "what's that song" and hold your phone within listening distance (usually if you can hear it, so can SoundHound) and within seconds it will tell you the song, the album, and the artist. It doesn't get much better than that. Sound hound has a very robust database of songs meaning that there aren't many songs that it won't know. I haven't found a song yet that it didn't know. 

Not a One Trick Pony

There are a couple of more features that SoundHound offers to help you with your music selection and identification. On the top left you can enter a song title or artist. Entering the first, will give album and artist info. Entering the latter will give you an album and a song list.  I love this! There are often times that I know the artist that I want to look up, but I don't know all of their album names, or I don't know all of the songs that they have put out. Sound hound lets me easily and quickly search this info.

The next feature is similar to the recognition App. You can tap on the button on the top right button and say either the name or artist name instead of typing it. This is really nice for times when you don't want to type it out or don't know how to spell an artist, song, or album name.

 

Conclusion

Sound hound is awesome. If you need/want to find song/artist/album information quickly and easily, this is the App for you.  There is a free version, and a paid version of this App. The paid version offers no ads, wiki links and other little features that I don't really care about so I have to suggest that you download the free version. There is no limit to the number of song look-ups with the free version so I can't see a reason for the added expense.  So for the quality and price, what do you have to lose! Click below and download it now!

iTunes
 

DinerJukebox

Turn your iPad into a Diner Jukebox

The concept behind Diner Jukebox is a simple one. Diner Jukebox turns your iPad into an old style table top jukebox like the ones found in small diners across the US. Of course the difference being that this jukebox is loaded with your music from your iPad's music collection. You can flip through the pages of music sorted by Playlists, Artists, Songs, Playlists or Genre. Of course to get things you going you have to drop in a virtual Quarter by taping the coin slot. Once you do, the display will light up and you'll see all of your music. You can use the onscreen keys to jump to a particular letter of the alphabet as well as pause, play, skip and volume up and down. The app doesn't really add any functionality over your iPad's built-in Music/iPod App, but it is kinda fun to look at and play your music this way.

If you grew up with these diner style jukeboxes then you'll probably want to add this App to your collection.

You can get Diner Jukebox for $0.99 here from the iTunes

djay

djay turns your iPad into a DJ mixer

I'm not a DJ! I've never DJ'd a party beyond creating a playlist and letting it play. However, I do enjoy a good mix and I'm always fascinated when a good DJ can come up with great mixes. You've probably seen the latest iPad TV commercials featuring the Djay App. I also saw this company exhibiting at Macworld Expo this year. So I decided to amuse myself with a download of the App to see how it worked. Although I have no aspirations of being a DJ, I have to admit that I had a ball playing with this App the from the minute I downloaded it.

 

How does it work?

djay uses the (non-DRM) music in your music library on your iPad. It can access your songs, artists or existing playlists. You pick the first song and it loads onto the first turntable and starts spinning/playing. You'll hear it via the iPad speaker or you can plug in a set of speakers/headphones. It also works with AirPlay. At any point you can load (cue) the second song onto the second turntable. You have a crossfade slider which gives you the ability to crossfade over to the next song whenever you want. Each song has its on controls and you can even speed up or slow down the track. The interface is very easy to use and figure out without any instructions. There's even an Automix feature that will choose the next track for you. No guarantees though that the auto selected track will be to your liking 🙂 You can even record your mix! This would allow you to create a mix and perfect it and then use that recorded mix for your next party, gathering and let it play while you enjoy the party/event.

 

To really make this work well

The biggest problem with the App is that in a real world scenario the DJ would have a set of headphones so that he/she could cue up the next song at a specific point to mix. This is not really possible with the iPad itself because you only have one speaker/headphone jack. There is a solution though it requires an additional hardware purchase. The App has the ability to split the the sound from each turntable to separate channels. All you would need is a couple of low cost adapters to make it work. First you'd need a low cost splitter like this one. Then you'd need two stereo to mono adapters like this one. With these adapters and turning on "Split Output" on in the App you would then be able to have audio go out to your speakers from the currently playing track and the cueing of the next track out to your headphones. I'm waiting for my adapters to arrive so I haven't been able to test that, but I don't doubt that it would work.

 

The Bottom Line

This App is a LOT OF FUN! Yes you can even do some scratching without replacing needles and vinyl 🙂 While the use of the audio adapters probably works well for cueing, I'd love to see the ability to have headphones plugged in for cueing while the main track is playing via AirPlay. This may not be technically possible due to the restrictions in the SDK/iPad hardware, but it would be very cool to have that. Otherwise, if you're into music and want to have total control over the mixing whether it be at a live event or producing a recording for you next project or event, this is a must have App!

You can get djay for the iPad for $19.99 here from the iTunes

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KARq9YU1_B8

TuneIn_Radio

TuneIn Radio

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not much of a radio listener. However, when I saw this App on my sister's iPhone I was curious and decided to check it out. There are a couple of local radio stations that I do listen to from time to time. However, where I live the reception can be iffy at times. Most of these stations have the ability to broadcast over the internet via their websites, so it makes sense that there would be the possibility of an App that can consolidate them and stream them. TuneIn Radio is a brilliant App that allows you to listen to and even record over 40,000 radio stations including both AM and FM. Two out of the three stations I tried were available. The last one, 92.3 The Mixx, is run by Clear Channel Communications and a audio message plays that says "Clear Channel Stations are not available on this device through Radio Time. Please contact Clear Channel Communications if you like to hear this station through this application or device." I guess that means it's not one of the 40,000 stations they have yet. Oddly enough 92.3 here in Michigan is streamed via their own website. Outside of that one station the experience has been great. 

Streams over AirPlay too

One of things I thought about after my first time trying the App was, does it support AirPlay (wireless streaming of the audio to an AirPlay compatible device such as Apple TV or Airport Express)? The answer is YES! I was able to easily stream music from the iPad to my kitchen speakers. I would say my only wish/complaint would be a simpler way to bookmark stations. The only way I've seen to do it is to go to your Location on the Map, tap the pin for your city and then when the list of stations comes up you can bookmark the ones you want on the righthand side. Otherwise the App is very very cool!

You can get TuneIn Radio for $0.99 here from the iTunes

ringtone_wizard_pro

Ringtone Wizard Pro

Yesterday's App Review was about an App that allowed you to create your own custom ringtones from the built-in loops. Today I'm reviewing a similar App for people that just want to use their songs. Ringtone Wizard Pro is all about creating iPhone ringtones from your music library on your iPhone. I've reviewed similar Apps in the past, but the thing that earns Ringtone Wizard Pro a spot on BestAppSite.com is that it seems to be the most full featured of the Ringtone Apps I've seen to date. I love the fact that you can turn on a fade with a simple on/off switch. I also love the user interface with simple sliders to pick the portion of the song you want to use as your ringtone. 

It does the job

Not only does it work like the other Apps in this category with the same (Apple imposed) restriction of not being able to put the ringtone right on your iPhone from your iPhone, but in addition to allowing you to sync the ringtone back to your computer Ringtone Wizard Pro allows you to email it as well. While you'll still need to plug in at some point to get the ringtone back onto your iPhone I like the email option for sending it ahead of time. While the App definitely works as advertised I'd like a way to quick scrub to the end of your selection to hear how it fades out. Currently it seems like you have to play the whole ringtone to hear the ending. Otherwise I love this app!

You can get Ringtone Wizard Pro on sale for $0.99 here from the Ringtone Wizard Pro - Rocha Software

Ringtone_DJ

Mix Your on iPhone Ringtones with Ringtone DJ

I love custom ringtones on my iPhone. I have over 50 contacts that I've assigned their own ringtone. This helps me know at first ring whether or not it's a work call, call from a buddy or family member (I just wish that the iPhone would allow you to assign a ringtone to an entire GROUP of contacts!). With that said I found the built-in ringtones to be pretty boring. Not to mention that with all the iPhones out there when you hear one of the built-in ringtones you might immediately think it's your phone ringing. While Apple has loosened the restrictions over the years in making your own ringtones they have really only provided Garageband to literally "mix" your own tune. Sure you can use songs, but what if you want to make something unique that only you would have? While Garageband is great, it's Mac only and not dedicated to the task so there's a lot of stuff in the user interface that a user would have to learn. Ringtone DJ gives you that Garageband feel right on your iPhone. 

Make your own unique ringtones

With Ringtone DJ you can mix your own ringtones using any combination of the over 150 professionally created music samples. This way no two iPhones will ring the same way.You'll definitely know it's your iPhone ringing because it's a  that you created. You can build and sample your own mix right in the App. Although I thought that I was all set with my existing ringtones that I've made from various songs, I had a blast mixing some new ones in Ringtone DJ. Once you make your custom ringtone in the App the ringtone is saved in the app until you plug in your iPhone into your computer.

Unfortunately Apple doesn't currently allow developers access to putting the ringtone directly on the iPhone from the App. You will first have to get it from the App via iTunes and then drag it right back into iTunes and sync it to your iPhone as a ringtone. I know this sounds silly and cumbersome, but the App developer's hands are tied until Apple adds this support in the SDK.  In the meantime the process of copying it off the iPhone and then back into iTunes only takes a about a minute or less. I look forward to even more loops as the App gets updated. Right now if you want a fast, fun way to create your own iPhone ringtones, this is it!

You can get Ringtone DJ for $0.99 here from the Ringtone DJ - Endgame Studios

magic-fiddle-icon

Magic Fiddle: Your Portable Fiddle

Magic Fiddle

When I saw this application in the AppStore, I knew I had to have it. As an organist and flutist, I like to try out these “real” music games that come out on the iPhone and iPad that not just requires you to push a button at the right time (like Guitar Hero). Instead, I like games that allow me some creative spirit.

Basic Game Idea & Learning how to play

The main idea with Magic Fiddle is that you are playing, well a magic fiddle, an instrument that sounds like a violin but that you play slightly differently. There is a storybook mode that is designed to help you learn playing the fiddle and I must say that they have done a very good job at that. Not only do you learn how the application functions but also the basics of music playing, applicable to almost every instrument.

Magic Fiddle - Smule

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RingtoneDesignerPro

Ringtone Designer Pro

There are several ways to make ringtones for your iPhone not the least being right in iTunes on your computer. However, there are those of you that may want to make them while you're in the moment directly on your iPhone. This is what Ringtone Designer Pro allows you to do. While this App does let you make your own ringtones the process to actually get it on your iPhone is a little convoluted. This is not the fault of the developer as much as it is what Apple allows or in this case doesn't allow you to do in the App SDK. In other words Apple doesn't allow direct access to any developer to put ringtones directly on the iPhone. This means that after you create the ringtone you have to copy it to your computer to then copy it back to your iPhone via iTunes so that it appears as a legitimate ringtone. 

It may be faster this way

Although this process seems like a bunch of steps, it's still a little faster than most other methods. You just fire up the App, choose a song, choose the area of the song that you want to be the ringtone (up to 30 seconds worth) and then tap Save. That's all you have to do on the iPhone. Now you plug the iPhone into your computer/iTunes and save the ringtone to your computer. At this point you can just drag it (the ringtone) back into iTunes or double click on it and it will appear in your Ringtones section. Sync and it's on your iPhone as a ringtone to choose in the Sound preferences.

 

The Bottom Line

Although I wish that you could just put the ringtones you make directly into the ringtone section of your iPhone from the App, I do appreciate how simple the interface is for this App and that it works as advertised. I did get an unexplained error on one of the songs (I wonder if it's a DRM thing) I tried to convert and it did crash on me once. So there is some tightening up still to do with this App.

 

You can get Ringtone Designer Pro here from the Ringtone

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pandora

Pandora Radio on iOS 4 Rocks!

If there was ever an App that screamed "let me run in the background", it's Pandora Radio. Although I've had this App for quite a while I've never really gotten into it until now. Pandora is a like a customizable personal internet radio station. You simply identify artists that you like and Pandora will start playing songs by that artist at random and other songs that are similar that you might like. You can give a song a thumbs up to hear it and more like it again or a thumbs down to never hear it again. After a while of this type of voting Pandora will get pretty good at knowing what you like to listen too. Sounds great right? The only problem up until iOS 4 was that on the iDevices Pandora always had to run in the foreground meaning that you couldn't do anything else while it was running. That all changed this past Monday when Pandora released their latest update and Apple released iOS 4 with Multitasking for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. 

Start Pandora playing and then go do something else

Just like the iPod App, you can now start a track playing in Pandora and hit the home button to go to another App while the music keeps playing. If you double tap the Home button you'll be able to see the other apps running for quick switching and if you slide them to the right you can access the Pandora audio controls without having to return to the Pandora App. If you hear a song you like you can tap a link, to bookmark the song or have it take you to the iTunes store to search for the song automatically and all while the music keeps playing. Pandora is also a "+" App, which means it runs natively on the iPad too. 

Is Pandora really free? Well yes for most people. The App is definitely free. However, your Free account only get's you 40 hours a month of "free" listening. After that, it's either 99¢ to finish out the calendar month or you can pay an annual fee of $36. However, according to Pandora most people never hit this limit. I never even knew there was a limit until a friend of mine told me that she hit it because she listened to it non-stop at work all week long (40 hours). More details here.

Pandora Radio is now what I would consider a Must Have App for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It's FREE and available here from the Pandora

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