Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Hype Machine is a popular website and online community to discover and listen to new music on the web. The website has just redesigned and launched a new iPhone application with a slick and simple user interface. It is a little pricey at $3.99, but it does provide an easy way to listen to and discover new music.
The app and its creators follow over 800 blogs and curate the best songs in many genres for users. There are many different categories to search for new music in, such as dubstep, electronic, hip hop, and indie. Users can also view a list of popular songs from the past week or two. A nice filtering option when looking at a list of songs is to include or not include remixes.
Anyone who is curious about what blogs the app is pulling data from can look though their entire blog directory. It could also serve as a starting point to discover new music blogs. Tapping on any blog in the directory brings up a list of the songs that Hype Machine has picked up from that blog. I really liked this because it makes it easy to see if a blog is posting good music.
Tapping any songs brings up the album art and controls, and then starts playing it. From there, purchasing or sharing the song is just one tap away. If users create a Hype Machine account, then they can add blogs to a songs feed that will become populated with songs from those blogs. There is also the option to add friends’ accounts. The app conveniently stores song history, so going back and listening to a song again is easy. Hype Machine even produces its own radio show and users can listen to it through the app.
The biggest difference between Hype Machine and other music discovery apps is that people are curating the music, not an algorithm. There’s no option to just type in a name of a song and listen to similar music. This requires a little more work for users, but leaves them in control of what they listen to. This app is definitely a worthy companion for the website, but I would recommend checking out the actual website before investing in the app, just to make sure the service is appealing.