Discover a different way to listen to your music. If you use iTunes Genius, Pandora, or simply enjoy creating your own mixtapes, check out the new player in the iPhone music game! Stephanie Chu reviews Moodagent, an Automatic Playlist DJ.
Moodagent is an iPhone and iPod touch app for music-listening enthusiasts. Many users are familiar with iTunes Genius, Pandora or simply put together playlists manually, and Moodagent could be a welcome addition to those methods.
How Does Moodagent Work?
With the desktop Moodagent Profiler, each song in the library of music you own is anonymously profiled and the information is uploaded to a music "cloud" -- the more users who profile their tracks, the better. The Profile actually listens to the song, taking into consideration how fast the beat is, what sort of genres it can belong to, the vocals, moods, instruments and production features. This is different than consumer-based behavior or music recommendations by experts.
In turn, the information in the music cloud drives a 25 track playlist of songs that all sound good together, by either defining your mood via sliders (sensualness, tenderness, joy, aggressiveness, and tempo) or using a seed track. Within these playlists, many forgotten songs in my library were resurrected, and I was able to enjoy the music without interruptions of unwelcome, mood-jarring selections. The quality playlists were created without doing any laborious work like assigning stars or manual sorting, and boy was it fast. This means that Moodagent users will spend less time editing and more time listening... even if you're running other apps. Moodagent keeps playing your iTunes music in the background.
During the review process, some nitpicks were discovered. DRM music cannot be read, and I personally wanted a few UI changes. Namely, I think that labels on the sliders can help users be more in control of defining their mood rather than experiencing by trial and error, I would like to define the number of songs in my playlist to be more than 25 tracks (roadtrip, anyone?), and lastly, I'd like the playlist buttons (save/open) to not scroll into a hidden area.
More About Playlist Technology
The folks at Moodagent have done an extensive amount of research into the way people enjoy listening to music. In this time of growing music discovery through sites like lala.com, blip.fm, Pandora and more, libraries of personal collections are bound to grow and Moodagent is a welcome addition.
If you'd like to read more about playlist recommendation technology and some app comparisons between Moodagent, Genius, Pandora, and MusicIP Mixer, please read Playing Music's Long Tail by Chris Loosley from Upright Matters.
Review by: Stephanie Chu