May 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Pulsating Rhythms, Zen Music, and More

new music apps

Nearly one million mobile apps are available for iPhone, Android, and other platforms to date, and each week seems to bring a flood of new and updated apps to the various smartphone platforms. We surveyed the landscape over the past week looking for the most interesting new music apps; here’s what we found, in order if discovery.

This week’s list focuses on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) unless otherwise indicated, but future installments will include more platform diversity.

The Venntunes iPhone app ($1), when installed on two iOS devices, allows users to bump phones to discover which artists are represented and which artists get the most play in their respective music collections, determining the musical compatibility between friends.

The brand new Touch Band (free, for now) lets you play five instruments with little or no skill. You can create and record your own songs using 192 guitar chords and other building blocks.

Hype Machine Radio ($3) for iPhone is a cutting edge app (see our hands-on review) that peruses music blogs on a daily basis to give you the latest and freshest music from the blogosphere. Th data is gathered and presented to you in a radio style interface that allows you to play, pause, skip to the next track, or “like” the track — perfect for the hardcore music enthusiast looking for the latest cutting-edge music.

Tune Pop Pro for Android ($1) displays the currently-playing song so that you can see what’s playing even if you’re using your phone for something else, such as GPS navigation. The app is compatible with almost all Android music players.

Dramatic for iPhone ($1) is a sound board app that can add the perfect soundtrack to the hilarious or dramatic moments in your life. Everything from “fail” to “scary” is accounted for.

Music and motion come together in Pulse: Volume One ($5) an exciting new rhythm game for iPad whose object is to tap dots on a mass of circles that pulse in time with varying levels of difficulty. Somewhat similar to Tap Tap Revenge, the game helps one unwind and focus while listening.

Longplay ($1) provides a substitute for the iPod app that ships with iOS devices, with full search-and-browse capabilities. When your music starts playing, a full screen image of the artist appears with an option to edit the tags of the song, add a custom image, share playlists with friends, and read artist bios from

SoundZen ($1) is a “generative” music app, in that it generates music based on interactions that involve very little effort. When the moving arrows touch the edge of the grid, they play a note; when they collide, they make a 90 degree turn. The goal of this app is to take you on a “zen-based journey” using “cellular logic.”

To play the music in your iOS device’s library the way the “music hit charts” do, pick up PickupTrack ($1), a somewhat odd app designed for playing selected parts of your songs. Set the start and end points for each song in your library, and it plays the selected sections in succession. It might seem odd to pay a dollar for something that plays incomplete songs, but among other things, this could be a good way to play someone the best parts of an album.

For fans of the classic vinyl sound, iVinyl Junkie ($2) provides a selection of eight vinyl effects with which to process your music, and plays it in the background of the currently-playing song. The override switch turns the effects on and off and another control dictates the volume of the effect. (See also VinylLove.)

Player+ ($1) is another alternate music player app that lets you to control playback in ways not possible with Apple’s standard iPod app. It lets you play songs from your library while adjusting the bass, mids, and highs using equalizer controls, as well as creating detailed EQ profiles in real time by dragging your finger and cross-fading between tracks.

The free Vid-it app locates the YouTube videos for your currently-playing music in your iPod app, so you can see the band behind the music (assuming the app can find the video using the song’s metadata). Once the videos have been located, you can add them to a Favorites list, which basically turns your iPod playlists into music video shows.

What are we missing? Let us know about whatever new music apps you’ve created or enjoyed on Android, iPhone, or any other app platform.