... Then This is What We Want.
Music subscription service Rhapsody has very publicly submitted an iPhone app to Apple and there's widespread speculation about whether Apple will approve an app that could be seen as competition to its own iTunes store. Like the Google Voice for iPhone fiasco, this is a story about freedom and platforms, about competition for filling consumer demand and about the long-term viability of the iPhone vs. open platforms like Android. Let's assume for a moment that Apple allowed apps that competed with iTunes on the phone. What kind of music app would you like to see? Here's our wish list.
What I want is an MP3 blog music player. Maybe a Hype Machine iPhone app.
- It would pull in MP3 blogs. You can subscribe to MP3 blog RSS feeds as podcasts now, but the functionality is very limited and best suited to longer talk shows than collections of music.
- It would display the blog posts about the songs. Just like Pandora or Last.fm apps allow you to learn about the artist you're listening too, I want to be able to read at least part of the blog posts that accompany the MP3s I'm listening to.
- Allow bookmarking of songs. The most frustrating part of listening to songs in iTunes that came in from an MP3 blog's RSS feed is the inability to do much with the songs you like later.
- Search for text and MP3 archives. When I discover a new artist I think I like, I want to be able to easily find other blog posts and songs from them from around the web.
- Play related songs or artists. Integration with other apps would be all the better to power this.
- Pull in my Blip.fm social network. Blip.fm is my new favorite music service. It's user-driven, easy to make playlists for, and a great place to discover more diverse music that I've found anywhere else. I want to be able to pull in my playlists and favorite DJs and push new discoveries back to my account on Blip from inside this magic music app. I had big hopes for the Blip-powered Boom Box Pro app, but it's only half-functioning for me so far.
- Buying songs. I give Apple and AT&T so much money every month already. I'd like to be able to purchase music on my phone from other people, thank you.
That's what I want to see on my iPhone. If there's no good reason to believe that apps from Rhapsody, Spotify and Google Voice are going to be allowed, though, then there's little incentive for developers to build my fantasy app or yours. It's enough to make a person look at different phones.
What media apps would you like to have on your iPhone, if your iPhone could have any media apps you wanted?