In a nutshell, the service scans the music on your device to tell you who has sampled, remixed and covered each song. And now, two years after it arrived for iPhone users, it’s finally available on Android too.
How it works
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You will need to create an account to use the local-library scan feature and add tracks to your favorites, though you can peruse the service generally without having to sign up.
Once in, hit ‘My Library’ and WhoSampled will scan your local library for matches.
It shouldn’t take long to complete a multi-gigabyte scan, after which you’ll be presented with two columns – ‘Tracks’ and ‘Artists’, which display your music collection according to which ones have been sampled, remixed or covered.
You can then dig down into more granular detail to see where samples or covers have popped up across the music sphere. It also includes sample timing (position a sample has been used in a track) and the part sampled (e.g. vocals/lyrics). Users can essentially drill down and find the exact part of the song that has been repurposed and compare it to the original, with full-length tracks streamed via YouTube where possible.
It’s worth noting here that WhoSampled also helpfully reveals if that favorite song of yours is a cover version itself.
If your interests in this kind of service only extend so far, you can actually filter down to see results that just include samples, covers OR remixes. You can also elect to display them chronologically or alphabetically. And if you’re happy to delve into trends, you can simply view ‘Hot’, ‘Top Rated’ and ‘Latest Additions’ too.
Hints at how the service is monetized come via its direct links to buy tracks on 7digital and Google Play, though the full-screen ads are also a sign of how it makes money. Unfortunately, these cannot be removed via an in-app purchase at the moment, which is a shame as they are quite intrusive as you can see here.
Besides letting you save your favorite covers and remixes to your personal library, WhoSampled also lets you search for just about any artist to see how many times they’ve been sampled and/or covered.
Show me the data
WhoSampled’s data is the result of thousands of contributions over the past six years. Indeed, the company has more than 10,000 contributors and a team of moderators and editors who sift through the submissions before they’re included. And this is a point worth picking up on here – anyone can submit data to WhoSampled. So if a new remix or cover of your favorite song/artists emerges, you can help ensure the world knows what inspired it
Today, WhoSampled’s database consists of more than 270,000 tracks from 95,000 artists, as it seeks to join the dots between artists and the music that influenced their work.
There’s little question that WhoSampled is highly addictive, and is a music geek’s dream come true in many respects. However, at a time when more and more people are opting for ‘access’ over ‘ownership’, ditching locally stored music for cloud-based services such as Spotify or Deezer, it would make sense if it could tie-in to these various third-party services’ APIs to extend its coverage.
For example, if you have 20,000 tracks meticulously saved to playlists in your Spotify account, and not a single song stored locally on your Android phone, then WhoSampled’s appeal diminishes a little bit. We are told that such an integration is “definitely something” they’re looking to add in the future across both Android and iOS.
At any rate, you can grab WhoSampled from Google Play now.