GLOBAL – Want music? Want it now? But don’t have it downloaded onto your phone? You could always use Soundtrckr, currently available for Symbian^3 devices. A blend of internet radio, social networking and location-awareness makes one of the latest apps to hit Ovi Store a new way of listening to music.
Internet radio isn’t new, but what is new is the social integration and the ability to tune into local radio stations, using the GPS in your phone. Finding nearby stations is a great way of finding what’s happening in a new part of town – or the world.
Soundtrckr appeared in Nokia Beta Labs last week and has just been promoted to Ovi Store for easier download. To get started and browsing for tracks, you’ll need to create an account with Soundtrckr. You can do that using the app itself, or through the website. But it’s free and it gets you full access, so there’s no premium account like you get on other similar apps. With registration complete, you’re a couple of clicks away from listening to a collection of eight million songs.
This is where you search for your favourite band or artist. Type in the name, hit search and your results will appear on the screen. Pressing the result will take you to the music player where the song will automatically start to play. From here you can share your music with your friends, using your Twitter account, via email or directly to friends with a Soundtrckr account.
Your station is a list of all the music you’ve listened to on Soundtrckr, in order of the latest played, showing you how long ago it was since you last tuned in. With the edit button at the top you can remove any of those songs should the list get too long, which it probably will.
If you’ve got friends on Soundtrckr, you’ll find them here. But if your friends haven’t signed up yet, you’ll be given three friends when you join. One will be the founder and CEO of Soundtrckr, Daniele Calabrese. I’m not sure who the other two are, but I’m guessing they’re part of the team and are there to get you started. You can always add friends by pressing the blue plus sign at the top of that screen. The app can search through your contacts list on the phone, your Twitter followers, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and Hotmail accounts. So there’s no reason not to connect to all of your friends.
Using the GPS on your phone, you can search for music playing locally. How could this be useful? Take this for an example. You’ve taken a trip from London to Paris and decide you want to take in some local culture. Rather than turning on Dizzee Rascal or some Kings Of Leon, you can listen to some traditional local music to really get in the mood. Or – back at home – it’s just a good way to try out new music that you may not have listened to before.
Here’s a short quote from the Nokia Beta Labs page:
We want Soundtrckr to be the best internet radio experience on the Nokia platform and we need your help to make that happen.
I think this app has lots of potential with its huge music library of eight million songs, and the geo-social bit is a nice idea too. In my opinion, it can reach its goal. However, it needs a few tweaks before it does. I experienced some lag when scrolling through stations and sometimes when my search found an artist, it didn’t play what I expected it to and I needed to scroll through the station to find it. But the handy feedback button in the app allows me to directly communicate these few problems to the developers.
I still recommend Soundtrckr, even with a few flaws, as it’s a great way to listen to free music, and with some tweaks it could be even better. Download it, and let us know what you think.