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This article was published on March 16, 2011

SPIN launches its stunning, music-heavy iPad app

SPIN launches its stunning, music-heavy iPad app
Brodie Beta
Story by

Brodie Beta

Brodie Beta is a technology enthusiast with a passion for gadgets, media and anything related to the Web. She has worked in communications Brodie Beta is a technology enthusiast with a passion for gadgets, media and anything related to the Web. She has worked in communications and media for the past nine years. Follow her on twitter here .

Music publications like SPIN can bring you the hottest news about artists and interesting things happening within the music scene. But, if you’re not reading it on the iPad you are seriously missing out.

Years ago when we read a raving review about a track, we wasted many hours trying to find the album at our local record stores. It would have been hard to imagine that one day we’d be able to play the song within an article. And, it’s something you’re able to accomplish within SPIN’s new app SPIN Play.

SPIN has recently released a beautiful, interactive version of its magazine on the iPad, offering users a way to both listen to songs and watch music videos.

We had a chance to take a look at the March edition of SPIN which is free within the app — it’s absolutely stunning. Its features are a major win for music junkies too because in each issue, SPIN gives users 60 plus streaming songs, over 30 streaming videos along with video interviews with artists.

As you’re browsing through articles, a media player containing all of the tracks provided in the issue is readily available at the top of the screen. And, a playlist of the songs can additionally be viewed in a full screen mode sorted by each issue. Any track can also be saved to favourites or directly purchased through iTunes from the media player.

The Daily Shuffle is another cool feature that brings users daily news and reviews that can be shared via email, Twitter or Facebook, the same case with any article found within the magazine.

We’d like to see a separate icon to reflect whether a video is an interview or a music video. It’s a minor suggestion but it might be useful so that you don’t overlook an interview, thinking it’s a music video you’ve already seen.

Earlier today we spoke with Devin Pedzwater the Creative Director at SPIN and he shared with us a few apps that inspired the design of SPIN Play.

Pedzwater tells us the design is a combination of apps like FlipBoard, Wired, GQ and NPR. He also mentioned that working with Bottle Rocket, the developers of the app, he was able to come “pretty close” to what he’d originally envisioned for SPIN Play. He thought it was rather funny that while the SPIN team was excited about bringing music to articles, the folks at Bottle Rocket were more excited about bringing articles to music.

SPIN has a creative team of 3 focusing on the digital version of its magazine, not including the 4 or 5 individuals working on production, Pedzwater told us.

We asked Pedzwater when the digital archives of SPIN would be available within the app and how far back they’re planning to go. He stated that they have 25 years worth of archives to offer, however they won’t be releasing it all at once. He said it’s something that will likely happen piece by piece and it will depend on if the content of the archives are a good “fit”.

There were a few features that didn’t make it into the app this time around but we were told that the app will be getting more social interaction. Commenting isn’t currently possible but Pedzwater pointed out that SPIN plans on adding commenting features so users will be able to engage in conversations surrounding the articles.

Pedzwater who has been working with SPIN over six years also commented on the curated playlists and explained why they decided to go with a limit. He said while they could have added any number of songs, they decided to go this route so users weren’t inundated with tracks and he said that 60 songs “feels right”.

As we’d mentioned your first download is currently free, however SPIN offers in-app subscriptions for paying per issue ($1.99) as well as an option to pay for the entire year ($7.99). The SPIN Play app rocks and is available for free in the app store.