Art and technology are a way of life here in the Silicon Valley and I have coined the term GeeKart to describe us art-loving geeks! It’s true, I find I’m able to socialize and entertain myself when there’s no one around, thanks to my super smart phone and a variety of art-friendly apps. Driving in the car, waiting to fall asleep, and yes, even multitasking sometimes when I’m socializing with real live “people” (when it’s appropriate of course) I can fill up those seconds, minutes and hours with GeeKarting. With the launch of Spotify in the US this past week, certainly music is on the mind, and as I explore the pros and cons of Spotify, I thought I would share just a few of my favorite music apps with you.
Pandora – Pandora for me is all about discovery. If you aren’t familiar with this app you totally should be. Pandora allows you to type in an artist or song and it will then play similar songs. Using genre, artist and even instruments, BPM, year, and chord similarities, the algorithms are pretty advanced and the results are pretty accurate. While, you can’t save a specific playlist to repeat exactly each time (like you could if you owned the songs in Itunes) you can exclude songs or artists from playing in that list and you can create infinite lists, combine artists or genres, skip songs as well as “like” songs so they are played again the next time you play that “list.” You can use this on your computer as well as your phone (it originated years ago as a desktop app) and I was surprised to find a lot of new artists, some even local, that I really enjoyed as a result of putting in my favorites. Forget the radio, forget paying for satellite, forget cd’s or even your own Ipod, I drive with Pandora playing on my phone, and it keeps me singing all the way to my destination.
MusicID (with Lyrics) – Ever been watching a movie or a commercial, or been sitting in a restaurant and hear a song you really like? What to know what that song is? With MusicID you can hold the app up to the music (2-4 seconds is all it needs) and it will 99% of the time (yes it works with Classical music too) it will give you the name, artist, album, year, lyrics, video, and link to purchase on Itunes. Shazam does the same thing, I happen to like the layout, results, and speed of MusicID better but the technology is mind-blowing. If the ambient noise is too loud it does have difficulty, but I’ve been very impressed with the results in general.
Songkick – After discovering new music with the first two apps on the list you can use Songkick to experience the music live. This app scans your music library and alerts you to concerts in your area for bands (and similar bands) that you already listen to. Never miss a concert again! A great use for push notifications, which I normally find irritating.
Guitar Tuner – Even the most inexperienced guitarist like me was thrilled to know she could use this app without even needing to know how to tune a guitar. If you have a guitar, a smart phone, and this app, you are good to go!
Songify – This is ridiculousness personified, but boy is it a blast. This free app allows you to record yourself and then it turns your recording into a song. It gives you three free styles and you can purchase more, but it’s pretty amazing, and let me tell you, the 6-7 year old crowd is entertained for HOURS with this. (Okay the 36-year-old is too!)
Along with Spotify, on my explore list (downloaded but not experimented with much) are Virtual Sheet Music and iheartradio. If you have feedback on those or other music apps, let me know! Happy GeeKarting Artsalot!