We already know that having an iPod/iPhone is just about the best thing that could ever happen to your music collection. But your iPhone is capable of so much more than simple portable iTunes playback.
The joys of applications mean we can now consume music and even make our own in many different ways. Better still we can discover new sounds and genres simply by exploring related songs through applications.
Many simply load the iPhone up with playlists and songs and then take it for granted that that is where the music ends. Not so, a few simple application downloads and a whole bunch of new portable music can be made available.
My first piece of advice is to remove just about all the music you can off your iPhone’s hard-drive. Delete everything apart from those tracks you absolutely couldn’t live without.
Then sign-up for a Spotify Premium account and download the Spotify app on your iPhone.
This application will allow you to stream unlimited tracks through your 3G network and store as much as you want for play offline. Better still however is the way that Spotify allows you to explore music, suggesting similar artists and then letting you click on and play them for free.
For those who want to stream a lot of music best first to store it locally over your home Wi-Fi network. This will stop you eating into your monthly data allowance too quickly.
Last.fm is similar to Spotify in that it streams music. The difference is that listeners cannot directly choose tracks to listen to.
Instead the application creates ‘radio’ stations around artists which you search for. The library of tracks is vast and there will be plenty that you haven’t heard before.
I find Last.fm best used when you simply want some music to listen to. Leave the application playing and then whenever you hear a track you like ‘heart’ it. That way you can go back and check the artist name and listen to more through Spotify.
Internet Radio Box
An awesome application that allows you to stream live internet radio through your iPhone or iPad.
It takes advantage of the SHOUTcast and Icecast directory as well as RadioDeck. In less jargon terms this means you can listen to most of the BBC’s radio programs as well as the other usual popular stations.
Internet Radio Box is really well laid out and highly customisable. It also boots up very quickly and will begin streaming radio almost instantly as long as you have good reception.
I Am T-Pain
Ok this one is quite so much an app for listening to music, more for creating your own. Albeit music that is extremely annoying and almost unlistenable.
I personally find the I Am T-Pain app invaluable when I want to wind up friends in the midst of an intense conversation or debate. There is nothing more irritating than giving your personal opinion on ‘serious’ issues while running autotune.
If you are less of a vocals person then PocketGuitar can always replace I Am T-Pain as your instrument of annoyance.
The application turns your iPhone screen into a miniature four-fret guitar. You can then ‘strum’ the screen and play whichever chord you are holding. Not once have I managed to play a single tune, but then I can’t play guitar.
Friends who are much more musically minded however have managed to play some pretty serious tunes.
The SoundCloud website is rapidly becoming the go-to for underground producers and new musicians to share their tracks.
It provides a free, quick and easy way to store music online and then let other listen. The application provides a mobile extension of this, allowing you to listen on the go and record through your iPhone mic.
I am so sorry for including this. Truly an application guilty pleasure, Glee! Karaoke combines pitch correction and other bits of tech to make you sing better. You do have to purchase tracks but essentially you can play singalong to the TV series.
Continuing with the theme of portable musical irritation, Drums! is basically a touch sensitive drum kit that you can tap on to play. It doesn’t take long to get relatively good at turning out some impressive beats. Just remember not to get too carried away as full volume tap-drums is pretty annoying for everyone else around you.