Despite the abundance of ways to discover music, I still find myself in constant search for a better way. I’m very picky when it comes to music, and maybe even pickier when it comes to music discovery methods. To start, if I find too many things I don’t like, I tend to give up. If the interface of whatever I’m using is not friendly or easy enough to use, I give up yet again.
But I still really want to get to know new artists and listen to new music. MySpace used to be a pretty good place to discover new and budding indie artists, but MySpace is not what it used to be anymore. I used to also love discovering music on AllMusic, but using the website was always a bit of a clunky experience.
Band of the Day for iOS gives you everything these services provide, and more. It’s a great place to get to know less-known singers and bands, read about them, watch their videos, listen to some music and view entire discographies – all wrapped in a beautifully laid out app which is a joy to use.
The Costs and Benefits
What Band of the Day basically does is introduce you to one new band (or artist) per day. That’s 7 band a week, 365 bands per year. The app is free to download, but only free to use for one week. If after the said week you’re happy and wish to continue getting to know a new band every day, it will cost you $0.99 a week or $9.99 a year. Not bad considering what you get.
The app also lets you rate bands, collect favorites and share on Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. There’s also a hidden gem which makes the whole thing even more appealing – the Band of the Day mix tape. Read on to learn how to find it!
Band of the Day is built around a calendar where each day of the month is associated with a different band. You can browse a month back to all the already featured bands, and the best part – you get a brand new band every day.
You can simply tap the days of the month to get a one-liner bio about each artist, and if you’re interested, tap the name or the day of the month again to view more in-depth information.
The Q&A part is a bit raw, but it provides an entertaining read and a way to get to know the actual people behind the songs. You can also read a nice bio, complete with pictures, and of course, watch some videos and listen to songs (some full, some excerpts).
In the “Albums” section you can view the entire discography and listen to excerpts from each and every song. A single tap on “Buy” will open the iTunes store where you will be able to buy the songs or album (providing you live in the right country, which I don’t).
Wherever you are in the app, tapping the tab icon at the bottom left will bring you the previous page (using beautiful transitions).
The videos section includes some full YouTube videos of the band which you can watch from start to finish.
Rating and Sharing
Tapping the star icon on a band’s main page will lead you to your lists. These are your favorites, you recent views and you Facebook Band of the Day friends. The favorites section will remain empty until you rate some bands – a task which is surprisingly not intuitive.
If you wish to rate a band, go to the bio or Q&A section and tap the small red “Share” button at the top. You can do the same in videos , but this will rate and share a specific video, not the band.
You can then select how many stars you want to give this band (or video), and choose how (if at all) you’d like to share it.
Rating and sharing songs is a bit more tricky: For this you have to access the featured songs, which are full songs you can listen to by each band without buying anything. To access these, you need to tap the “Play Song” icon that’s hidden at the top left of each band’s page.
Here you’ll find some full songs you can also rate and share by tapping the “Share” button.
Earlier in this post I mentioned the mix tape. I didn’t find any mention of this in the app’s iTunes page, but this is one of the coolest features the app has to offer. When in the Featured Songs page, tap the arrow and note icon on the top right. This will flip the screen over and give you access to the coveted Mix Tape.
The mix tape is basically a playlist consisting of songs from last month’s bands. I even found songs from future dates, which might give you a glimpse of the upcoming bands. I’ve been listening to the mix tape for the entire duration of writing this post, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s like your very own private radio of obscure indie bands. You can continue browsing the app or even other apps on the device (that don’t require sound) while listening to Band of the Day’s music.
It’s been a while since a single app has made me so happy. Band of the Day is every indie music lover’s dream, and even though it’s still not perfect (some slow moving mix tapes, missing top charts), it’s still an awesome app for both music lovers and music creators.
What do you use for music discovery? Have an experience with Band of the Day you want to share? Tell us all in the comments!