The Daily App: Ecoute -- Add Oomph to Your Music
Maybe you're perfectly satisfied with the music player on your iPhone, iPad or iPod. But if you're serious about music, you'll find it limiting, with its focus on list views and lack of multiple sorting options. Enter Ecoute: an elegant alternative with better organization for your massive libraries.
What's the App?
Ecoute, created by PixiApps and available for $3, is the mobile version of the popular Mac music player. Rather than expanding your music collection, Ecoute works with a device's existing music library. It displays music within a slick, glossy interface, taking advantage of the iPhone's beautiful display to render brushed metal surfaces, glowing tiles and a much-lauded tile view for a visually appealing alternative to the default list format.
The audio player view is simple and similar to the original music player. Overall, the look and feel is clean and smooth, but some find it a bit too minimal. The navigation isn't that intuitive, and it took a bit of playing around to unearth all the controls and features.
But beyond that, it really stands out with functionality and features. In addition to standard artist, song, album and genre views, the sort options go above and beyond the default iPhone music player. It offers, for example, the ability to listen to an artist's discography, ordered by album and then by track -- if you're a serious music fan, it's a great feature you'll have craved for.
The app also takes clever advantage of classic iPhone gestures to help you navigate and control your listening experience. You can shuffle and play any song, album or playlist using the "hold and drag" gesture, for example, or simply swipe a track while in player mode to rewind or forward to the next song. Most of these aren't obvious and you'll need to fiddle with it to discover many of the capabilities.
Like many apps, there are social features included, such as integration with Twitter and Last.fm. However, these aren't the focus, and it could expand on them in the future.
You'll Want It If...
If you're a serious listener who carries a large amount of music on a device, Ecoute is for you. It offers a robust music experience and more ways to sort through and interact with an extensive song library. It's also ideal if you use later-generation iPods for music listening. If you're a casual fans a smaller collection, you'll probably be satisfied with the default music player.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
The one major drawback is navigation - you can't immediately tell how the gesture controls work, and it'll take you some time to figure out. If you don't carry a serious music collection, it's not isn't worth the $3 price, since you probably also want to save storage for photos and videos. If you're one of those, apps like Shuffler.fm and Spotify give you ways to enjoy music via streaming. You can also use cloud-based solutions like Google Play to store large collections of songs without eating up space.
Still, if you're a music aficionado that carries your prized collections on the go, Ecoute will serve your needs well. ♦
Categories: Music | The Daily App