Music applications are among the most popular apps downloaded on today's smartphones. But which are the best of the best? Billboard set out to answer that question by soliciting applications from developers all summer long. What follows are the finalists in six different categories. Winners will be selected by an independent panel of judges and awarded their prize as part of the upcoming Mobile Entertainment Live: The Music App summit (#MEL2010), taking place Oct. 5 in San Francisco.

We selected three finalists for each of the following categories:
• Best Artist-based App
• Best Music Streaming App
Best Touring App
Best Music Creation App
Best Music Engagement App
Best Branded App


And the finalists are:



BEST ARTIST APP




Linkin Park 8-Bit Rebellion

Created by Linkin Park, Artificial Life and Warner Bros. Records, this action game lets fans play as members of the band battling an evil corporation. The soundtrack features songs from Linkin Park's catalog, and users are rewarded a new, unreleased track upon the game's completion. Released April 26, more than 50,000 copies were sold worldwide.
Twitter: @linkinpark

Click here to watch a demo.






I Am T-Pain

Created by Smule, "I Am T-Pain" lets users Auto-Tune their voices while singing along to the artist's songs, buy new songs and share their recordings with others via social networking and an in-app radio station. To date, nearly 1.8 million users have downloaded "I Am T-Pain" and have uploaded more than 33 million recordings.
Twitter: @smule







TouchChords: Jimmie Vaughan

Created by Curious Brain, the "Jimmie Vaughan" app not only lets fans stream the artist's music, they can also learn to play along by providing detailed guitar tablature and notation streaming alongside each song. With the included multitouch technology, the phone itself becomes the guitar fret. It reached nearly 50,000 installs less than three weeks after launch.
Twitter: @curiousbrain

Demo:

TouchChords: Jimmie Vaughan from curiousbrain on Vimeo.







BEST MUSIC STREAMING APP




Rhapsody

The app features an on-demand catalog of 10 million-plus songs, ad-free radio, playlist creation, charts, editorial reviews and album information. The downloading feature for the iPhone lets users cache tracks for offline listening. To date, the app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times from iTunes and more than 160,000 times from the Android Market.
Twitter: @Rhapsody

Click here to download a demo of the app.






MOG

Available for both iPhone and Android platforms, the "MOG" app provides on-demand access to 8 million songs with unlimited listening and unlimited downloads, "artist only" radio stations, a "similar artist slider" and a radio queue that lets users see upcoming songs. It also includes playlist access between website and mobile, and can play in the background.
Twitter: @mogdotcom
Click here to download a demo of the ap.






Thumbplay

The on-demand streaming app runs on iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices, making it the most widely available mobile music service today. Contains access to a database of 9 million tracks and offers background playback, local caching and music discovery and sharing features. Payment options include credit card, PayPal and Amazon.
Twitter: @Thumbplay

Demo:









MORE: Click here for the Best Touring App finalists and the Best Music Creation Apps. (Page 2)

MORE: Click here to view the Best Music Engagement App and Best Branded Music App finalists. (Page 3)





Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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