Songza for iPhone and iPad might just be the best answer yet.
Instead of recommending music based on a particular artist or genre, Songza streams music based on your situation. For example, right now Songza recognized for me that it’s a Tuesday night and asked if I wanted to listen to music for an evening commute, working out, eating dinner, or unwinding after a long day, among other situations. In the past I’d try to fumble together a playlist for each mood and situation, but it took so much time I just stopped doing it altogether. Now it’s all done automatically for me.
I’ve tried other mood-type music apps before. The best app I’d found is called MoodAgent, which lets you describe your mood and built a playlist from the songs in your iTunes library. But Songza goes two big steps further by offering more specific mood and situation choices, as well as streaming music you don’t already own.
Songza does this by combing the power of people with computer algorithms. The company has 25 so-called music experts whose job it is to create playlists. The company then uses computer algorithms to help users find playlists that best match their mood. It’s a similar, but still distinct, process to how Pandora operates
The iPhone version launched last September and has done okay but not great. But when the iPad addition launched June 7th, downloads skyrocketed to over 1.15 million in just 10 days. While it’s still way to early to tell how significant of a threat Songza will pose to Pandora and Spotify, I might start to get nervous if I were them. There’s only so much time in a day we can listen to musc and they’re all competing for those same hours.