“Instagram for music” apps are having a moment. But is a music-specialized version redundant? People keep saying: “Instagram is the Instagram of music!”
… I disagree.
Soundwave has actually been around for a year, but has just released a complete redesign on iOS and Android. What sets this app apart is the ability to automatically aggregate everything you listen to, like Last.fm does. It can track music played from the device’s library, as well as music streamed in apps like YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora, Rdio, 8tracks, and Deezer.
There’s also an extension for Google Chrome that can track all the music you listen to in your browser (ex.fm, anyone?) That’s a bit much for me, as I’ve already meticulously set up Last.fm scrobbling for all my digital listening. However, the app does allow users to share songs manually.
The app also features private group messaging, making it easy to send music to your friends. You can send a song you found in Rdio to your friends and they can listen via Deezer, Spotify, or YouTube. These songs are aggregated into a group playlist. My friends and I send each other songs every day. We usually resort to Facebook messages or secret Facebook groups, so this feature would be very useful. The problem is my friends aren’t on the app, and it will be difficult to get them to sign up for one more service.
Soundwave also has a music map feature, showing songs that have recently been tracked by other users in your area. The music map concept is cool, but the feature is kind of difficult to use.
Soundwave is backed by Mark Cuban, who says:
“Soundwave is now the exclusive app for taking the pulse of music lovers around the world. It’s a fun app for users for sharing music and seeing what people around you are listening to, and it has incredible big data implications for the music industry.”
Services like Soundwave definitely have big data implications, but I don’t think these apps represent the exclusive “pulse of music lovers” — not yet.
Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u