SoundTracking started out as a way to share a song and a photo. The new SoundTracking update released Thursday, optimized for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5, has been redesigned to be more visually appealing and more social than ever.
The most obvious change is the design. Not only is SoundTracking now more visually appealing, it's now more visual. Steve Jang, co-founder and CEO of SoundTracking developer Schematic Labs, says users told the company they wanted to browse a feed of photos because a visual element would add context to the audio element. Now SoundTracking has "playable photos," as Jang calls them, or photos with a play button that stream audio when you tap them.
New user profiles allow people to build what Jang calls a "music timeline" and "music identity." A person's SoundTracking profile is basically a quick snapshot of musical tastes and listening history, and Jang says this doesn't exist anywhere else. Users will also get a web profile (SoundTracking is a mobile-first company that also has a web site).
The app has also been tweaked to be more "real-world social," says Jang. One new feature allows users to see what songs are trending in their neighborhood or city. Another one lets people dedicate songs to friends and tag them in Facebook or Twitter. Dedications came about after SoundTracking noticed how often its users dedicated tracks to artists after their deaths. Jang says Whitney Houston accounted for 10% of all SoundTracking posts for 3 days after she died and the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch (a.k.a. MCA) accounted for 15% of posts for the 3 days after his death last year.
Another feature is specific to artists: Verified SoundTrackers. Integration with Twitter's verified accounts allows SoundTracking to offer verified accounts to artists who use the platform.