I’ve become someone who’s easy to hate lately. Someone who is easy to vilify to add to my already dubious status as a blogger nerdy music type to 90% of the public. As much as I try I can’t help but be this person. I’ve become an iKnowItAll aka an iPhone evangelist.
I can’t help it. The thing is just so interesting and the applications are just so fascinating (and sometimes simultanelously downright stupid) that I have to show it off to friends and family. Forget the app that allows you to pretend to drink beer, to draw a lightsaber, or the countless amazing games available, for the last few weeks, it’s been all about music apps for me.
An iPhone app called Wunder Radio (€5.49) has reinvigorated my radio listening. Thousands of stations from around the world are available to browse on demand on your phone with a nice interface. The ability to stream over 3G means you can walk around the city listening to great radio stations like WFMU New York, Radio Helsinki, WOXY Cincinati or your local stations like Power FM, Phantom or Today FM (which has its own app in the iTunes store but suffers from a poor quality 32K stream).
If you need a bit of escapism then try Dub Siren (€1.59) a reggae app which pulls in streams from reggae stations around the world and allows you to be a selecter by applying delay and reggae effects to the live streams. A bit of Jamaica anywhere you go.
The best station-specific app I’ve tried is the KCRW Radio app (€0.79) which is lightning fast in terms of response and offers two live streams and on-demand podcasts. The Santa Monica station’s flagship programme Morning Becomes Eclectic which heavily features live sessions, most recently from the likes of Neil Finn, Sebastian Tellier, Jack Penate and Amadou & Mariam. The live playlists for each program mean you’ll never miss what the tune is ever again.
Which is the same function of the show-stopping Shazam application (Free) which can leave you wondering what kind of rainbow magic it runs on. Hold your phone up to a speaker while a tune is playing from a car stereo or hifi and Shazam will listen and tell you exactly what the song is within five seconds, giving full discography information and buy links. It’s genuinely amazing, useful and knowledgeable. No wonder I keep showing it off to people.