Yeah, yeah, MTV, didn’t they used to play music, we’ve heard the jokes. The teen reality show network is far from its past on cable. But it just put out an app that’s actually A) about music and B) surprisingly useful and comprehensive.
That’s possibly because it’s an extension of MTV’s useful, if overdesigned, artists.mtv.com, and less because it’s innovative and more because it combines a lot of functions into one package. Essentially it’s a mix of Shazam and a search engine; flip on the app and use the listening function, and it’ll bring up the song and artist.
The audio isn’t great? Type in the lyrics or guess at the title. I did my best to break this thing, even throwing a few songs at it that have never been officially released on MP3. My musical niche is Boston post-punk bands, and whether I threw the Fools or Human Sexual Response at them, it got the band, song, and lyrics every time.
Furthermore, the artist page is surprisingly detailed; bios, albums and so on, and it actually has some helpful functions. You can buy songs through iTunes within the app, and if an artist has a concert near you coming up, it’ll alert you. Both are surprisingly extensive in what they can find and what they offer, to boot.
Yeah, it’s designed to sell you stuff; Pepsi is all over this thing as a sponsor. But it’s a genuinely useful musical reference tool, even if it’s currently just for iOS, and if you find yourself asking “What’s that song?” a lot, it’ll probably be the most useful thing on your phone.