HWM (Singapore) - - TEST -

Launched by Singtel, a lo­cal Sin­ga­porean telco five years ago to ride on the suc­cess of dig­i­tal mu­sic stores like Ap­ple’s iTunes, AMPed was ini­tially a value added ser­vice re­stricted to Singtel’s sub­scriber base. AMPed was even­tu­ally opened to pub­lic in May 2013 with a monthly sub­scrip­tion of $9.90. How­ever, Singtel sub­scribers still en­joy ad­di­tional ben­e­fits such as pref­er­en­tial rates at up to 20% off sub­scrip­tion, plus a waiver on mo­bile data charges in­curred stream­ing or down­load­ing from AMPed.

Orig­i­nally a mo­bile ser­vice, AMPed still of­fers a more pol­ished ex­pe­ri­ence through its mo­bile app; the web ver­sion ap­pears not to have re­ceived much at­ten­tion. For in­stance, the app be­gins to cache the next song in your playlist while the cur­rent one is play­ing to try and min­i­mize dis­rup­tions even if you hap­pen to lose data con­nec­tiv­ity. You can also swipe dur­ing a song to view its lyrics (where avail­able) and other in­for­ma­tion. The only weird de­sign choice is a search bar that’s hid­den within the app’s Dis­cover op­tion, so it may ap­pear ini­tially that there’s no way to search for tracks.

The web ver­sion has all the ba­sics, but the lay­out is dated and has an un­fin­ished feel about it. Search is again the big­gest con­tention, as we oddly no­ticed that en­ter­ing the full name of a band or artist would not pro­duce a re­sult. How­ever, if we searched us­ing a por­tion of the name, the search would pro­duce hits. Con­tent-wise, AMPed has a more Asian slant com­pared to the rest; it has a wide range of mu­sic from lo­cal and re­gional artists. If you are un­able to (or do not know how to) type the Chi­nese name for a pop­u­lar Tai­wanese act, typ­ing in hanyu pinyin (spell­ing pho­net­i­cally) will bring up rel­e­vant search re­sults. You can add songs to your col­lec­tion, as well as cre­ate playlists. You can also cre­ate a pub­lic playlist that you can share with the AMPed com­mu­nity. Sub­scriber perks in­clude con­cert tick­ets, au­to­graph sign­ings and mee­tand-greet ses­sions with the artists (where ap­pli­ca­ble). This can be ac­cessed through Pro­mo­tions.

While AMPed may not have the largest in­ter­na­tional li­brary around, you’ll prob­a­bly find lo­cal acts that won’t show up in other ser­vices. How­ever, it’s a shame that in this dig­i­tal day and age, the high­est stream­ing qual­ity for AMPed is a poor 128kbps.

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