Discovr — An Innovative Way to Discover New Music
Discovr is a highly robust, elegant app for discovering new music on your iOS device. I remember using Discovr when I first got my iPhone 4S. I was floored by the app’s ‘Music Map’ feature and the way it ran on iOS 5 with its neat animations. With Discovr’s recent iOS 7 update, the app has added some useful new features and services, while retaining the amazing music map discovery it was initially known for.
When you first launch Discovr, the app prompts you to sign in using Facebook or create a Discovr account. You can choose not to, if this doesn’t appeal to you, but creating an account might not be such a bad idea as some of Discovr’s recommendations are actually very useful. The app is filled with neat iOS 7 icons and uses Discovr’s characteristic blue colour for all in-app buttons. Discovr’s ‘home view’ is useful only if you’ve logged in to an account as it suggests music and videos based on the artists you’re following. If you have an account, you can also comment, share or repost artist posts within the app. The best and most attractive feature of Discovr is ‘Music Maps’. Using music maps, you can discover new artists using an innovative interface unique to Discovr. Once you’re in music maps, you can search for an artist and begin exploring. The artist’s profile image is displayed in a circular bubble on the screen. On tapping an artist’s profile image, the app recommends similar artists by producing equal sized bubbles containing profile images of these artists. The animations the app uses to produce these bubbles are a real delight to watch and had me playing with the app for hours. Single tapping on an artist’s profile displays similar artists in more bubbles while double tapping takes you to the ‘Artist Page’ within the app. Long pressing on any bubble lets you share artist information, play top songs by the artist or buy songs from iTunes. If you go really deep into your exploration, you’ll end up with a structure that looks like a network of neurons and probably land on an artist whose music is only partially related to the artist you started out with. You can access music maps and switch between any of the other views in Discovr using the ‘hamburger’ button on the top right of the navigation bar.
The artist page lets you view artist activity or play popular songs and videos by that artist. By default, the songs that play within the app are previews from iTunes. Some videos and songs also play via YouTube or SoundCloud respectively, giving you access to complete songs for free. If you have a premium account with Spotify, Rdio or Deezer you can stream full songs through any of these services within the app. You can also connect your Last.fm account with Discovr to get useful song and artist recommendations. While listening to a song in Discovr, you can continue to explore and look for new artists. If you need to change or pause what you’re listening to at any time you can visit the ‘now playing’ screen simply by tapping the headphones icon on the top left of the navigation bar. I really like that this is accessible at anytime within the app, giving you easy access to the current song.
The only downside to the app is that you can’t discover music using similar songs, you can only do this via similar artists. Discovr is still an absolute must have for all music lovers and is definitely one of the best ways to listen to music via your favourite music streaming services. You can grab the Universal app for Free from the App Store.