Who doesn’t like free? And who doesn’t like great iPad apps? When the two come together it’s good stuff. With that in mind, we’d like to share our Best Free iPad App of the Week here every weekend.
This week’s pick is Songza – an excellent music streaming app that promises to bring you ‘the right music at the right time’. Here are a few of its key features:
☆100% free. No audio advertisements & no monthly listening limit.
☆Stream thousands of original playlists handmade by music experts.
☆Let Songza’s ‘Music Concierge’ find the right music for your moments.
☆Browse a curated playlist library organized by activity, genre, decade, & mood.
☆Save your favorite playlists & share them via Facebook, Twitter or email.
I’m a big fan of music apps for the iPad and this one sounded promising to me when I saw it hit the iPad App Store. I’ve been using it – a lot – since Thursday afternoon and I haven’t been disappointed – quite the opposite, it’s an instant favorite app.
Here are the app’s main areas, which are all just a tap away in the app’s left sidebar, and some things to like about each of them:
Concierge: Like a good hotel concierge, this area is a great guide for helping you find just the right music to match your mood. It offers a great range of themes based on the day of the week and the time of day. Thursday evening themes are quite different to those offered for Saturday morning. Thursday evening’s choices included Unwinding After a Long Day,Working Out, Work or Study with or without lyrics, and Cooking.
Saturday morning choices today included Waking Up, Summertime, Working Out, Recovering from Last Night, Reading the Paper, or Cooking Breakfast.
Once you select one of the themes, the app then prompts you to choose categories or playlists that suit the theme.
Popular: As the name suggests, this section shows off featured playlists, trending popular playlists, and all-time most popular playlists.
My Playlists: This area shows any playlists you’ve chosen as favorites and also a recent history of all the playlists you’ve been listening to in the app. Both should be great for an easy way to get listening when you don’t feel like spending time looking around.
Explore: This area provides a range of categories to select to browse for music – these include Genres, Activities, Moods, Decades, and more.
Search: Search results are all playlists, not artists or albums – and that’s fine and fits well with this app.
Everything about the app has a light, laid-back and comfortable feel to it. The UI is attractive and fun and even a little playful. There’s a nice, slightly comical slant to the descriptions of categories and playlists available.
The Now Playing screen is very nicely done. It has basic music controls (pause, skip a track, adjust the volume) and lets you favorite a playlist, give individual tracks a thumbs up or down so the app gets to know your taste. You can also share what you’re currently listening to via Facebook, Twitter or email, and a single tap takes you to iTunes to purchase a track.
The app has AirPlay support and continues playing music in the background when you switch away to other apps.
There’s a banner ad along the bottom of the app’s screens. It can be closed via a small X button, but it pops back up frequently. It occupies a fairly thin strip of the screen – so it’s easy enough to ignore.
Any music app that quickly helps me discover great new music is a keeper for me – and this one fits the bill. I’ve already found several groups through this app that I’ve since added into Spotify and may well buy a few tracks from in iTunes.
The Concierge feature is a real pleasure to use and the playlists are really top quality, at least for my tastes – which are pretty broad.
I don’t think Songza will replace any specific app for me, but it’s going to become part of my lineup of apps that provide me with good music all day while working – alongside Spotify, the built-in Music app, Band of the Day (another past pick for Best Free iPad App of the Week), and Aweditorium.
Here’s an App Store link for Songza; it’s a universal app designed to run on both iPad and iPhone.
If you’re after more great free iPad apps, be sure to check out our previous choices for Best Free iPad of the Week.