To begin, enter an artist’s name as a starting point, or simply drag your finger (or mouse) around a colorful box that recommends music based on your mood — energetic, positive, calm, dark — as well as the tempo you’re looking for (slow, fast, or somewhere in between).
Some of Musicovery’s programming choices are a bit of a stretch. Entering The Kills, for example, streamed tracks by Crystal Castles and The Gossip, which didn’t appear to match up with the criteria. And on the iPhone, we quibbled a bit with the player’s sound quality, which sounded tinny and overcompressed (you can improve it by becoming a premium subscriber — see below).
In addition, the iPhone app is not as stable as it could be, crashing twice during testing, and we spotted typos in the error messages that came up at various points (“The setting couldn’t be saved. Please try againg!”).
But on both platforms, the app has such deep functionality that we’re willing to give it a pass. And it’s amusing to use (one might say it puts the “fun” in “functionality”… ouch.) In addition to that nifty graphical mood selector, Musicovery lets you search for current and past hits, ban songs from ever playing again, and mark songs and artists as favorites with a free account.
Or, for $4 per month (a dollar more than Pandora One), you can eliminate ads, make a station that plays only the songs you’ve designated as favorites, and increase the sound quality from “lo-fi” to “hi-fi” — well worth it if you get addicted to Musicovery’s attentiveness to your mood.