Available for a limited time at the discounted price of $0.99, MusicTandem is certainly worth that and more. The iPad app allows you to create personalized music channels based on an artist, tag or genre, much like popular streaming services Pandora and Last.fm. The difference is, of course, that no matter where you are in the world, you can access MusicTandem. As long as you have an iPad.
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MusicTandem plugs into YouTube, Last.fm and The Echo Nest to deliver music to the user, so you’re bound to find a wide variety, and pretty much any artist you’re looking for no matter how obscure. Of course, on the flip side, if you’re using a 3G connection, the app is going to be pretty data intensive.
To switch between selecting an artist, tag or genre channel, simply swipe the screen to bring up the different options. If you choose to listen to an Artist-based channel, you can choose whether or not to include music by other artists or not, which is a nice twist to how other similar services work.
Once you’ve settled on the channel of your choice, the music will start streaming. As they are playing, you can add each individual song to your favourites list, for easy access whenever you want to hear it. You can also share it using Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, save it to Delicious, Instapaper or ReadItLater, or even open it in Safari, among other options.
The app also automatically saves all of your recently played channels, but you can selectively delete or clear the entire list if you choose.
As each song plays, you can look up the artist information, which includes a bio, similar artists, and a convenient button which will let you launch that artist’s channel.
MusicTandem also comes with AirPlay support, meaning you can keep up with your favourite music on Apple TV.
MusicTandem is a slick app which serves as a great alternative to services like Pandora which is limited to US residents. As far as actual playback is concerned, unfortunately the app doesn’t work in the background, which may be a dealbreaker for some, and if you consider yourself an audiophile, the sound quality from a YouTube video definitely won’t be up to scratch.
That said, with each channel we tested, the playlist accuracy was impressive. So if you want an easy way to turn your iPad into a personalized radio station, playing only the kind of music that you want to hear, MusicTandem is a great option.