August 17, 2011
Listening to music via the iPad often means paying for it. Now, a new app lets you listen to the artists you love (and those you haven’t experienced yet) without spending one dime. And yes, it comes highly recommended. Created by AppTamdem, MusicTandem lets you create music channels using videos posted by YouTube, Last.fm, and The Echo Nest. The end result is quite nice. Upon entering the app, you’ll be asked to select an artist using a simple, yet powerful search function. Simply start typing in the name of the artist you want and the app will begin making suggestions. Once you select your artist the real power of the app is revealed. Almost immediately, music by the artist begins playing. At times, you’ll also see videos. Best of all, you can skip through songs and/or videos without seeing pesky ads. MusicTandem also makes it easy to find and then enjoy music from similar artists. As you do, one click creates other music channels. Additionally, you can also search for artists by genre and tags. As you add more channels (there are no limits to how many you can have), they’ll show up under Recent Channels. You can also setup Favorite Channels. Finally, clicking on the heart keeps track of those songs you absolutely love. MusicTandem also includes AirPlay support, so you can enjoy watching and listening to your music channels on Apple TV with your friends and family. And like most apps, MusicTandem comes with the ability to tell your friends about those tracks you’ve enjoyed using Facebook and Twitter.
While we highly recommend this app, it does come with a number of limitations. First, the songs are only as good as the source. During our tests we occasionally found a song and/or video that wouldn’t play or sounded absolutely dreadful. Plus, some weren’t full songs, just snippets. Plus, selecting similar artists interrupts the current song that is playing. In fact, the song stops playing all together and is replaced by another one. This becomes annoying. We suggest including similar artists to your channel before you actually begin playing music. In addition, transitioning from song to song isn’t perfect. Sometimes, in fact, the amount of time between songs is close to being unacceptable (upwards to 30 seconds). Finally, the app does not work in the background, which could be a deal breaker for some. Still, overall, this is a terrific app. And, once you pay the price for admission ($1.99), everything from then on is free. MusicTandem is available in the App Store.