Between ultra-specific satellite radio, apps like Pandora with user-generated stations, and the all-you-can-eat buffet of music apps like Spotify, it’s incredibly easy in 2012 to listen to the music you want to listen to. Things get more complicated, however, when you’re not sure what it is you want to hear. You know you just woke up and you’re a little cranky, but what bands fit that mood? Or maybe you just met a girl and you’re head over heels – Pandora isn’t quite specific enough to soundtrack your joy just right. That gap, where you know the mood you’re in but don’t know the artists to keep it going, is where Songza hopes to make its bread and butter.
Thankfully, Songza keeps this process simple. Instead of asking a dozen questions to figure out how you’re really feeling, the app looks at the day of the week and the current time and offers up a selection of options. During late morning on a Friday, Songza wonders if I’d like to hear music for “Summertime,” “still waking up,” “Easing the tension,” “work or study” or “working out.” Pretty good guesses, really. Clicking on any of the options starts a playlist that you can skip through, or rate as you go. If you hate that a song was on a particularly playlist, give it a thumbs down so you’ll be less likely to hear it again.
Users can also fake Songza out! If it’s Friday afternoon but you want to pretend it’s late Wednesday night, you’re free to do so. Once you’ve listened to a playlist, Songza places it into a ‘recently listened to’ tab so you can grab it quickly if you want to enjoy it again later. Songza also ranks playlists for popularity and will offer up featured, trending, and all-time favorite playlists if you want to see what else is available. There’s also a more general search so you can find music by genre, activity, mood, decade, culture or “record store clerk” which offers up suggestions based upon sections you might find recommended by people with very specific musical tastes, like “Country music that ain’t slick,” or “dance music that’s not assaultive.”
It might have to fight with a wealth of other excellent music apps, but Songza definitely earns its place in the conversation. While not as useful if you really want to key-in on a specific band or two, Songza is great for those times when you feel a certain way and you want the music you’re enjoying to reflect that feeling.