Popcosmo

a blog for everyone and their mothers

Teen Music Apps - or how to find cool music

EXTRAS, MUSICKim & Chloe1 Comment

Teen music apps to get your summer grooving.... With summer fast approaching, bikinis ready, and your spring break playlist getting loads of play, it's a good bet that even more of your time will be spent rocking out with your headphones on and earbuds in looking for brand new tunes. ? Thats why we at Popcosmo decided to take a closer look at and listen to some teen music apps and radio apps that are available to you. teen music apps

The first set of teen music apps are more focused on sharing and discovering music. I reviewed Herd.fm, Soundhound and Shazam: Herd.fm recommends songs based on what you listen to on iTunes and what you've shared on Facebook...kind of like a creeper, but far more useful. You can also send songs and playlists to friends. ? Curiously, I share a lot of songs on Facebook but only 1 recent share was on my list. And it wasn't a song I had shared. And the app kept force-closing. But it is a fairly new app so the kinks are probably still being worked out. My favorite thing about this app is the recommendations feature since I love to "discover" new music.

Soundhound boasts "the world's fastest music recognition," identifying songs played, sung or even hummed in as little as 4 seconds. My feeble attempts at humming and whistling were completely unsuccessful.  Humming "Somebody That I Used to Know" resulted in "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." However, when playing the actual song, it was correct and even pulls up lyrics, videos, artist's page and recent tweets where the song is mentioned. Under the "What's Hot" tab it shows the most tweeted songs for the week as well as the Most Underplayed...songs that are getting more Soundhound play than radio play. This feature would come in handy for hipsters who want to be obscure...but not too obscure.

Shazam is another teen music app that features song recognition but it doesn't seem to be as accurate as Soundhound...especially with less well-known bands/songs. And there's a 5 song per month limit, but it's very easy to use. ? It has essentially the same features as Soundhound (except the humming) so it really just depends on which format you prefer. One word of advice: quit talking while Soundhound or Shazam is working!  Oh, and get as close to the source as possible... both work pretty well when you do.

As far as streaming music goes, I tested PandoraSpotify and Rdio: A few years ago, I discovered Grooveshark and installed it for my desktop. It was completely free and I could make playlists. Soon, it became available for mobile for $3.99 a month...a paltry amount, I thought, to have my playlists available on my phone at any time. Alas, it was short-lived and while I can still enjoy my beloved playlists from the computer, the stingy music-gods discontinued the app.  I discovered that Spotify and Rdio are comparable to Grooveshark but carry a $9.99 a month price tag.

Spotify ? definitely has a bigger music catalog and is (in my humble opinion) more user-friendly...but this was based solely on my free trial. Because I am stubborn, and perhaps out of loyalty to my precious Grooveshark, I refuse to pay $120 a year for either app. Which led me to do something I had refused to do for quite some time...surrender to Pandora.

I'll be honest...I wanted no part of Pandora at first. I want to hear what I want to hear when I want to hear it. Pandora allows users to create playlists based on a song or artist. It then chooses songs that sound like/have similar features as the song or artist. Users have the option to "thumbs up" the songs they like or "thumbs down" the songs they don't. You can skip up to 10 tracks an hour per playlist. Once I created my playlists and had my favorites "thumb-upped," I found that Pandora does a pretty good job of serving my musical needs...save for a random, often hilarious, song choice every now and then. The best part? It's FREE! I do take advantage of the ad-free version which is $3.99 a month. And I do enjoy discovering new music based on what I already like.

So hopefully we at Popcosmo have sufficiently prepared you to explore ways to discover, share and stream music. We would love to hear which of these are your favorites or hear about other awesome teen music apps or other music apps that you use!