Yahoo Play

Yahoo is on a roll with mobile apps this week. Yesterday the company released AppSpot, a new mobile app discovery tool for Andorid and iOS. Today Yahoo has launched a new music app for Android called Play.

There are three big buttons on the home screen of Play: Library, Shuffle, and Identify. The first takes you to a relatively standard music player which lets you view your music collection by song, artist, album. Just tap a song to start playing.

Things start to get much more interesting when you check out the Shuffle or Identify areas. Smart Shuffle will create a playlist on the fly based on your music playing habits. But you can also visit the Shuffle screen when you’re already playing a song and select the “Other Like” button to create a playlist with songs similar to the one you’re already listening to. You can also create a new shuffle list by just tapping the “Play Songs Similar To” button to choose a song that’s not already playing as your starting point. There’s an old fashioned random shuffle option as well.

In my test, the smart shuffle feature worked pretty well… but that’s largely because it kept pulling up songs by the same artist. I only have about 200 songs on my phone’s SD card, so there may not have been all that many songs to choose from, but I feel like I could have gotten similar results just by selecting an artist or album and hitting the random shuffle button in any music player.

The Identify feature works the same way as Shazam or Soundhound. It lets you identify songs playing on the radio, on TV, in a club, or anywhere else using your phone. But Yahoo’s Play app has one feature the competitors lack: a continuous Identify option which lets you keep track of every new song that plays. You can use it to create a list of songs played at a bar or on the radio.

Overall Play offers some interesting features which could let you replace a couple of different apps on your phone with a single music app. The user interface isn’t the prettiest I’ve seen, but the app supports album art, Last.fm scrobbling, and playlist creation. The continuous music ID feature helps it stand out from the crowd, and the shuffle features show promise.

Play by Yahoo is available as a free download from the Android Market.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing.He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...