Social music apps blending a mixture of location-based information, song sharing, and fan-to-artist interaction were all the rage at SXSW this week, as the interactive portion of the event spilled into the music part. The latest and greatest include:
Roqbot won on the Music category of the Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator startup contest at SXSW this week. The app uses the Gowalla location-based check in service to let users check into venues and then vote on which songs that venue should play, like a sort of crowdsourced DJ. The venue must be a participant in the program, running the Roqbot application on a computer hosting hooked up to the venue's speaker system. The venue can select which of Roqbot's 5 million licensed songs to make available for the voting, and users can win badges as "top DJs" (similar to Foursquare's "mayor" badge).
The SoundTracking app from Schematic Labs (co-founded by former Imeem chief marketing officer and head of business development Steve Jang) which launched last week received an update this week. New features include a trending photo wall to see what songs or artists are getting the most attention from users, the ability for users to see which other users have "liked" or "loved" their tagged playlists, and the ability to find friends to add to the service via Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Finally, the update gives users the ability to see a list of songs tagged for any venue they choose, in chronological order.
Pending approval from Apple, this app is designed for artists to create their own branded concert app to make the live experience more interactive. For instance artists can choose a custom image or animation to appear on screen, which any fan using the app can then hold up instead of a lighter, allowing the artist to create a unique lightshow from the crowd. It also can let fans request songs, Tweet updates from the show, ID songs playing with links to buy, and more.
An Android app primarily created to wirelessly synch music from users' computers to their phone. A side feature lets users share with their friends what they're listening to via various social networks. Until this week, that sharing was limited to 30-second samples. The update adds full-song streaming from partner labels. The first such label is Sonablast.
Rovi Corp., the company behind the online music and movie guide AllRovi.com, issued a mobile app that extends the website's database to mobile phones. The app functions as a mobile reference guide (Rovi is the company behind AllMusic.com), that includes access to album reviews, artist discographies, biographies and so on.