The introduction of the mp3 format, portable devices and streaming audio has changed the way we listen to music forever. Digital listening has replaced spinning vinyl and collecting compact discs, so unless you’ve been living in the stone-age you’ve probably found some great new outlets for following the best new indie music out there. It is undeniable that even the digital revolution doesn’t guarantee you’ll keep up with all the new music – there’s just way too much. But these apps will help you stay on top of the music scene.
In addition to obvious apps like Pandora, Shazam, Spotify, Soundwave, even Band of the Day, indie music lovers turn to these apps to stay ahead of the ever-changing music curve.
- Pitchfork Weekly is the digital child of the Chicago-based music zine of the same name. As its namesake, it delivers on every level any music lover could want. Features and reviews from the magazine are readily available, as are audio/video and original programming from Pitchfork.TV.
If all of that is not enough to keep you busy, there are staff-produced podcasts. For your podcast please, the people so engaged with music they’ve dedicated their lives to creating this publication, bringing it digital, and now mobile, sit around talking about everything music. If you consider yourself a true audiophile, this resource is for you.
- Indie Shuffle is a great little app that falls somewhere between Pitchfork Weekly and the Sonarflow/Pandora type apps – but it specializes in indie music. It is also named after a music publication, however this one is a San Francisco based blog (www.indieshuffle.com).
The mobile app utilizes the SoundCloud API to offer ad-free playlists based on similar artists and genres. You can choose from genre, ‘popular’, latest recommendations and more. You can also browse the catalogue by genre, save and view your favorites; and, as if that weren’t enough; each song comes with IndieShuffle staff-writer reviews.
- Songkick is a must for the live music lover. Available for both the Android and iOS platforms, Songkick is a brilliant little program. It scans your personal music collection, and not only alerts you when the bands in your playlist will be playing in your area, but also suggests other shows based on your musical tastes.
Songkick is always running in the background, and will give you a pop-up alert anytime a show is happening in the area. It will also send you emails alerting you who is playing where and when, if you wish.
- Earbits is a great example of the evolution of the artist in the digital age. It is an artist-focused Internet radio station now available as an app for both Android and Apple formats.
Earbits is a music stream that is free of ads. Instead, it is funded by labels, bands and promoters who buy airtime in targeted channels, getting their music out to the people who are looking for something different than commercial radio has to offer.
They currently feature music from over 630 labels, 12,000 artists and 380 channels, so it is certainly not devoid of variety or volume.
- Rormix is a great idea, and hopefully can produce some great new artists. The idea of this app is to help you find music videos from unsigned artists, based on your musical tastes. The format offers a great deal of potential, and all of the artists are hand-picked by the company. Talented artists are certainly found there, but the genres available may be limited in number.
Of course, if these don’t fit your need for cutting edge music technology, you always have the option of creating your own app. If you know music, but aren’t tech savvy, you’ll probably want the talents of someone like the guys at http://appdeveloper.org/.
Don’t let your lack of knowledge about new music technology keep you from being a part of it. Check out some of today’s indies music apps, and you’ll always have indie music at your fingertips.
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