Jun 21, 2011
The beauty of Android being both more open than iOS, and Google not being a part of the music industry (yet?) is that it’s allowed for some interesting music apps, like Winamp and their wireless sync to pop up on Android. Now, Yahoo is entering the music app game on Android, with Play by Yahoo.
There are two sides to the app: a music player, and a song recognition tool. The music player is powered by Instinctiv, a service that has worked on providing smart shuffling based on user activities. They were initially an app for jailbroken iOS devices, before moving on to a desktop music player and separate Android app. The app allows for random playlists and shuffle that is based on user habits, with the goal being to create song playlists with minimal skipping. Play by Yahoo implements their technology, along with the ability to share playing song information through Android’s built-in sharing. This doesn’t share the actual music, just some text information. The app also allows users to look up album art, and to scrobble to last.fm.
The other side of the app is a music recognition service, similar to Soundhound or Shazam. Testing showed similar results to similar apps, recognizing the songs I threw at it, including songs from bands like Death; not entirely obscure, but not entirely popular and well-known. There’s a Continuous recording mode for recognizing a lot of different songs in sequential order. There’s no ability to purchase or look up unknown songs at the moment, however, so it serves largely as a simple recognition tool. However, there’s no reason to think that Yahoo wouldn’t use this in some way that is potentially monetizing. This app signals their entry in a space that other apps have primarily ruled, and further development on this app will be necessary to make it stand out. Play by Yahoo is available as a free download from the Android Market.