This is a quick little update to my last post. Now that I’ve actually had the chance to try out the Anthm app as opposed to watching over someone‘s shoulder, I think I can say a few more things. Some good, some sort of ’meh.

We’ll start with the good.

The app is pretty easy to use. It integrates quite well with Rdio. And while I’m still sitting on the fence regarding paying for streaming music (call me old fashioned, but paying for “radio” still seems slightly fishy to me) I can also see the benefits as well. I’d have to do a more thorough check into the kind of music available on Rdio and any music discovery features it may have before I give a final verdict. Setting up a new party is very easy. And putting a password (even a very simple one) on your party mix may be a good idea. Seems people have been having strangers log into their test parties (as it has only been a few days available online) and fill up the playlists with random crap. I hate to admit this, but the night this app was beta-tested on us at Secret Handshake, I had similar devious thoughts. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a touch bit older than most of it’s members, and while I think I have fairly pedestrian tastes in music, it does run a fairly wide gamut. I spent my very early childhood listening (much to the utter shock and horror of my parents) to country western music and AM hits. I then graduated to oldies and didn’t start listening to a lot of music typical to my age group until almost my college years. And I’ve been dipping into my early childhood music a lot lately. The idea of flooding a playlist with old Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash to a bunch of twenty-somethings was rather tempting. Three Dog Night anyone?

Though I suppose it would make me more memorable at these gatherings. That’s the problem with joining a group with over 400 members. I get a lot of, “I think we’ve met before… right?”, along with a rather anxious looking face. I’d imagine forcing everyone to listen to the Powder Blues Band or Boxcar Willie would do a lot to change that! 😛

So now for the ’meh part. This is most definitely an iPhone app. It seems to have a problem determining a location on my iPod touch. It’s also an older model (second gen) so that might have something to do with it. Either that or there’s no one currently running the app the River Heights/Fort Rouge area. Doubtful, but you never know. So you might have somewhat limited functionality if you only have an iPod or wi-fi only iPad. But that’s a little hard to tell, as the only real test would come if I can convince Kimmy to get it installed on her iPod. She likes the idea of the app, but hasn’t really shown enough interest in it. She doesn’t really use her iPod Touch for music. It’s mostly a PDA for her. I have to admit my sympathies lie her way. But I do use it occasionally for listening to podcasts and some music.

Oh, and the app crashed on me the first time I used it. It may have been my fault though. I signed up for Rdio but had no music selected in my account. Once I had a few songs selected, everything worked just fine.

I can imaging quite a few interesting scenarios for this app though. Having a way to have multiple people be able to select music from a very large sampling of songs could be very useful for a lengthy road trip. That way everyone could get a chance to listen to the music they want to and not have to resort to zoning out with a private pair of headphones. Or having to plug in different devices to whatever cables needed to run the iPod on various car sound systems.

I also wonder if there’s a way to share the playlists at multiple destinations? Then you could simulcast the party music at several different locations. Have the same party here in Winnipeg, but also have people in say, Toronto or Vancouver both add to the playlist AND listen to the same music at more or less the same time. That would be cool. Same party, different locals. Though, that would be a very good reason to use a password as that could get out of hand very quickly.

So I think for a first time out the door app, it’s a good first start with a lot of future potential! Best of luck to the Anthm team!

UPDATE: Just got a tweet from the fine folks over at Anthm. If anyone reading this experiences problems locating a party, and you have multi-touch gestures enabled on your device (I don’t as it is way too many hoops for me to jump thru at this time) a 3 finger swipe to the right should give you a list of ALL parties. Good Luck!

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