Hype Machine - a site that curates music blogs from across the globe - has released an app designed to further enhance music discovery and introduce you to new artists and songs.
Rich in features
Hype Machine is jam packed with features and novel ways to discover and listen to your music. From What's New to Latest to Popular to Genres (loads to chose from) to Favorites to your History - there are plenty of options to filter and customize the way you listen to music. If you want to find some new tracks or artists quickly and you're pretty impatient, you can chose to listen to only the first 30 seconds of each track.
The app connects to the popular Hype Machine blogs so you can listen to playlists from your favorite bloggers on the site, which is arranged by country. Then from within a song you can share it to social networks, buy the music from iTunes, and read articles relating to the songs. There is also the option to add friends and see what they are listening to.
What the app lacks is the ability to organize your music into playlists. Within the Favorites option, you have 'all', 'up', 'down', and weird. These choices seem a touch random. Hype Machine also doesn't recommend you music based on your tastes or offer you the opportunity to listen to similar music to the artists or tracks that you like. Something like the radio feature in Spotify would be welcome.
It's worth pointing out that Hype Music is geared towards new artists and less well-known music rather than mainstream songs. Much of the music that is in the charts today isn't in the app or it's a remix of the song.
Hype Machine has a bright and colorful charcoal, green and pink interface (borrowing a little from Spotify, maybe). Navigation is simple - all the options can be accessed from a slide out sidebar on the left, although it is a little overcrowded with options. What's New and Latest, for example, could surely be streamlined into one option.
Also, there are some bugs within the app. A few times when I searched for a song and tried to play it, the app went crazy and played one second of each song by that artist. When the song finally played, it only got half way through and then jumped back to the beginning. Hype Machine can also be very slow to skip from one song to the next.
Great for discovering new music but needs some work
In terms of discovering fresh music from new artists who might otherwise go under the radar, Hype Machine is a great option. There are lots of options for searching and browsing. But this app is still missing some features such as playlists that help you organize your music and the app is a little slow and buggy at the moment. So, while it's certainly one to watch, Hype Machine is not quite the complete package yet.
Currently Hype Machine doesn't follow the free and subscription models that the likes of Spotify, Google Play Music and Pandora so a one off payment will bring you all the music you want without adverts. Although there doesn't appear to be an offline listening mode so you always need a data connection to access your music.