TOP TUNES ON TAP!

David Thomas and Ann Shooter re­view six of the best smart­phone apps for mu­sic lovers on the move

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FEATURE -

1. SPO­TIFY

Cost €9.99 per month.

What it does Puts ev­ery song you ever wanted to hear at your fin­ger­tips.

Why we love it Spo­tify might look ex­pen­sive but if you like lis­ten­ing to mu­sic, it’s a bar­gain. It re­ally does mean you’ll never have to buy a song again — it’s all here as long as you con­tinue to subscribe. Hard to be­lieve it’s le­gal! You can call up any song you like and build up playlists of up to 3,300 tracks that you can lis­ten to off­line. An ab­so­lute es­sen­tial.

2. TUNEIN RA­DIO

Cost Free.

What it does Gives you ac­cess to ra­dio sta­tions around the world.

Why we love it This app means you can lis­ten to some 70,000 ra­dio sta­tions all over the planet, wher­ever you are. You can browse lo­cal ra­dio, rec­om­mended sta­tions, sta­tions for dif­fer­ent lan­guages, and even podcasts. You can also choose from cat­e­gories like sports or talk ra­dio and add your favourite sta­tions to a pre­set list for easy ac­cess. In­cred­i­ble stuff. And it’s free!

3. SOUNDHOUND

Cost Free-€4.99. What it does Iden­ti­fies songs in sec­onds.

Why we love it Can’t re­mem­ber the name of that song that’s buzzing round your head? Just hum a few bars while you’ve got this app loaded, or hold it up when mu­sic is play­ing in a restau­rant or bar, and it will tell you the song, give you the lyrics so you can sing along, and even pro­vide you with a link to YouTube to view the video. It’s quicker and more ac­cu­rate than any sim­i­lar app on the mar­ket, and the paid-for ver­sion is free of ad­ver­tis­ing.

4. SONG­KICK

Cost Free.

What it does Tells you which gigs are com­ing to town.

Why we love it Song­kick was started by three live-mu­sic fans who thought it was too hard to find out when their favourite bands were play­ing near them. As soon as you load it, the app scans your mu­sic li­brary and uses GPS to tell you if any of the artists you like are play­ing near you soon. If you fancy the sound of that jazz recital, rock gig or clas­si­cal con­cert, you can book there and then.

5. NAP­STER

Cost Free-€10 per month.

Wh What it does Ri­vals Spo­tify as a pop­u­lar mu­sic stream­ing ser­vice.

Why we love it Nap­ster and Spo­tify have their own strengths. While the Spo­tify app has bet­ter soundy, Nap­ster’s has use­ful lit­tle de­scrip­tions of artists and types of mu­sic and sug­gests other songs you should lis­ten to if you like a cer­tain singer. Plus, if you’re a fan of naff playlists with head­ings like ‘Sad Songs’ and ‘One Hit Won­ders’ (we are), Nap­ster has ’em.

6. CARTUNES MU­SIC PLAYER

Cost €4.49. What it does Con­trols your mu­sic with­out you hav­ing to take your at­ten­tion away from the road to look at your phone.

Why we love it This is a great app for play­ing mu­sic while you’re con­cen­trat­ing on some­thing else. Sim­ply tap the screen to play, flick it to change tracks and so on. It’s par­tic­u­larly good on a run­ning ma­chine or, of course, in the car — but not when you’re sup­posed to have both hands on the wheel!

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