by Songza
operating system: android also available for iOS | price: FREE | size: 10 mb | category: music

BY DREW NOWAKOWSKI | Although Pandora has been my traditional “go-to” app for listening to Internet radio, Songza is making a strong push to becoming the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to streaming music. While apps like Pandora lets you to make music stations centered on an artist or genre, Songza is different in that it has built custom playlists to fit your mood and activity. Despite some glitches (see below), fewer ads and awesome playlists make this app a must have in your music listening arsenal.

When you first start the app, the music “concierge” will give you six choices for you what you are doing/what do you want to hear using the time of day as a starting point (you can get new options if you don’t like the ones listed). Then you pick 1 of 6 genres followed by 1 of 3 sub-genres and a playlist of songs (usually around 60) pops up for you. For example, it’s late morning on a Wednesday, one of your choices is “Working Out.” You could choose “High-Intensity Pop” followed by a subclass of “Performing-Enhancing Pop: Running” and boom, a set list of 58 songs from the 80’s to today designed to keep you on pace for a good run. Or say it’s Friday Night. You could select to play music for “Drinking at the Bar” for which Songza asks which kind of bar? A Lounge? A Night Club? A Sports-Bar? Well let’s say it’s a Dive Bar, for which Songza lets you choose from “Trans Am Rock,” “Classic Rock Deep Cuts,” or “In a Lower East Side Dive Bar.”

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of playlists available for the multitude of things you are doing (my personal favorite and most used activity is “Studying (no lyrics).” One cool thing that is evident by listening to the playlists is that they are “made by music experts.” Since it was developed by a person and not songs thrown together by some computer algorithm, there seems to be sensible variety within the selected playlist that fits the activity. I’ve never said the phrase “why is this song in here?,” something I could not always say for Pandora stations. Also, just like the other music apps, you can thumbs up/ thumps down a song (to help with playlist development) and of course skip to the next song if you don’t like it (I think your allotted 6 skips per hour). Another awesome thing about this app is there are no interrupting ads while the music is playing.

Granted before you can start your playlist, you usually have to enter a word from some ad being shown. However, once you’ve done that, you’re good for 24 hours of uninterrupted play. That’s well worth it compared to having to listen to a commercial every few songs and interrupting your jam session. The only glitch I’ve experienced with the app is when I’ve tried to Chromecast it to my TV, it usually only plays the first song then stops.

I’ve looked around and it seems like I’m not the only one who’s experienced this problem. Since Chromecast is fairly new (and only few apps actually CAN beam to Chromecast), I’ll give them a little bit of a slide, but hopefully that’ll be fixed in a future update. All in all, whether you are “Singing in the Shower,” “Driving Home from Work,” or having “A Sweaty Dance Party,” this app is a great source of music. If you haven’t done so already, download Songza. You will not be disappointed.