For the past two weeks, I've been enjoying the mobile app SongPop, a trivia game that plays a song and then shows four options — either the name of the song or the artist. It's one of the most compelling apps I've played, and I'm not even a music nerd.
SongPop, developed by FreshPlanet, is attracting two million daily users for several good reasons: it builds on a user's musical tastes to create a more modern take on "Name That Tune." Its interface is clean and simple, and gameplay forces you to be quicker than the last match. Essentially, even if you're playing against someone, you always want to beat your last record.
How do you play? You can choose to compete against yourself or against a friend or random opponent. SongPop offers five songs in well known genres like Ultimate 90s, Classic Rap and Love Songs which lets users race each other in order to recognize first. So you might hear a quick little riff and then are given options, such as several similar songs. Select the song as quick as you can, since you get bonus points for being swift on the button-push.
Playing against random opponents, I found the competition to be intense but not very difficult. I often found myself getting 80 per cent of the tracks, and was pretty bad at some of the more recent pop songs. I excelled at older music such as Zeppelin and Queen. I'll admit I'm not too nerdy about music, but I know my way around classic rock. The new stuff...Katy Perry sounds like any other pop star, so I do poorly in those categories.
SongPop might enjoy short-lived popularity (remember Draw Something?), but I have a good feeling the app (and now Facebook game) will only continue to draw gamers. It's also widely appealing to music fans who don't usually play mobile games, since it tests musical knowledge in a way that is both easy and fun. The learning curve isn't too steep.
I just hope one day they include more sub-genres to appeal to more niche states. Why not categories such as 60s jazz, indie rock, folk singers, opera and more? Something to think about, FreshPlanet.