Music has a way of permeating life’s journey in deeper ways than television and movies do. Perhaps because it lacks a visual element, music tends to accompany our important events rather than providing an escape from them — or preventing them from happening at all for that matter.
SoundTracking, an iPhone app from Schematic Labs, documents this phenomenon by tracking and broadcasting the moments when (and where) you hear songs that form the milestones (“milestunes?”) in your life.
The app accomplishes this through three tools: Music ID, which is similar to Shazam; Music Search, wherein you enter a song’s information manually; and On My iPod, which pulls song details from whatever is currently playing on your iPhone. Each can be effective depending on how you’re taking in the music, but the Music ID function performing most like a magic trick.
Once you’ve identified a song, you can “SoundTrack” it along with a corresponding photo, location, or written description. Then, the app lets you broadcast this stop on your journey onto Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare.
Those are the basic components behind SoundTracking, and we appreciate this integration with those dominant social networks. SoundTracking also functions as a social network in its own right, in that you can follow friends through SoundTracking to see what they’re listening to, even if they choose not to share on Twitter, etc., and you can like, love, or comment on those songs.
Meanwhile, a Trending tab lets you see which songs are most popular on SoundTracking at the moment, as a sort of zeitgeist-like average of everyone’s “milestunes” (our coinage).
We’ve noticed a heavy push towards location-based music listening these days, and SoundTracking sits near the top of the heap. It just works; you won’t deal with cloudy interfaces or crashing operations. What’s more, it’s a simple, obvious program to navigate, and the app’s Find Friends option makes it easy to build a meaningful network quickly.
That said, SoundTracking is not without room for improvement. We’d like to see a map displaying what everyone on SoundTracking is listening to in our near proximity, it should probably allow Friends to message each other directly, without the platform of a specific song. Otherwise, it’s an app we recommend to any iPhone-toting music fan with an interest in doing with music what they already do with bagels and lattes: broadcasting their experience to the world.