“Instagram for music” app Soundtracking released an update for iOS today that boasts not only a sleek, redesigned UI, but also a couple of fun new features: the ability to tag friends and dedicate songs, as well as to see which jams are trending nearby.
If you’re not familiar with Soundtracking, here are the basics: It’s a music/social app that was founded in 2010 by ex-music video producer Steve Jang and its aim, in essence, is to allow people to document their musical experiences in the fullest way possible. What does that mean? Well, folks can share whatever they’re listening to at that particular moment — locating jams via search, music recognition or by tapping into iTunes — and tag that song with a picture and location. Friends can follow each other, as well as like and comment on snaps, and users can share their tagged songs on a variety of social networks.
Thursday, SoundTracking for iOS is out with some tweaks that the company hopes will make the experience of sharing tunes richer. To kick off, let’s talk aesthetics: The new version is an eyeful. First of all, the app’s activity feed offers up a lot more to peruse; users can now look at images that friends have attached to songs in-stream, as well as listen to those songs without navigating away. In the ease-of-use vein, the app also now features what it’s calling “fly out” buttons: nifty icons that populate any screen you happen to be checking out. Now, when you click “share,” they’ll pop up, allowing you to either access search, music recognition or your iTunes library.
SoundTracking has also gone the way of Facebook and Twitter by revamping its user profiles, allowing you to upload a larger, cover image in addition to your avatar (see above).
All in all, the UI is more colorful, personal and user-friendly — making the experience visually as well as aurally pleasing.
When it comes to functional updates, SoundTracking is trending even more social with this iteration of the app. Now, in addition to tagging songs with photos and location, you can also tag friends. We can see this functioning as a way to dedicate a jam to someone (we wonder when the first marriage proposal will be) as well as to indicate who you’re hanging with when making musical memories.
Speaking of proximity, SoundTracking has also added the ability to check out which tagged tunes are trending in your immediate vicinity. Granted, this tweak will definitely raise some privacy-concerned eyebrows, but it should be interesting to see how musical tastes change based on geographic location.
According to SoundTracking, the company has already done some digging on the subject, revealing that in New York, the top artists in 2012 were Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Fun. In Los Angeles, natives Kendrick Lamar and Maroon 5 were tops, and in San Francisco, Lady Gaga, the Lumineers and M83 resigned supreme. We’ll be interested to see what 2013 will bring.
While we’re on the subject of bands, here’s another nifty little addition: SoundTracking now has verified artist accounts, which is a nice tweak considering the fact that high-profile artists like Snoop Dogg (a.k.a. Lion), My Morning Jacket, Big Boi, A-Trak are SoundTracking users. When an artist signs up through Twitter with a verified account, they’ll automatically achieve that status on SoundTracking. Bands sans Twitter cred may hit up firstname.lastname@example.org to get that digital badge of approval.
Currently, SoundTracking is available on iOS, Spotify and Android, an update to which recently dropped in the Google Play store. That version varies somewhat from the iOS iteration, featuring a YouTube integration that allows users to tag videos to songs. That feature is absent from iOS apps because Apple chose to nix YouTube support from its current and future iOS updates this past summer.