Songs can sound different depending on when and where you hear them—I can only appreciate the subtle craftsmanship of Katy Perry, for example, when I'm at home with my headphones on. SoundTracking takes the "now playing"-style share to the next level by letting you announce what you're listening to as well as where you are and what you're doing while listening to it.

What is it?

SoundTracking, Free, iPhone. Firing up SoundTracking for the first time, the app makes you login to Facebook, Twitter, or FourSquare (or all three) to find fellow SoundTrackers and to determine where your soundtrack posts will go. From there, it's an Instagram-style single serving social network—you have a "feed" that shows you friends posts (which you can listen to iTunes snippets of, "like" for later perusal, etc) , a section for notifications, one for trending music, and more. The heart of the activity is the "SoundTrack" section, which lets you share what you've got on. You can use a music search to enter your song manually; use a Shazam-like music identifier to figure out what's got you tapping your toes, or just tap "On my iPod app" to cull the info from your ID3 tags. Then, if you so choose, you can attach a photo, pick the name of the place where you're listening, or just type in a short description of what you're doing.

Who's it good for?

People who routinely find themselves wanting to share what they're listening to with friends.

Why's it better than alternatives?

Adding photo and note attachments probably makes your "this is what I'm listening to right now" updates a little bit more compelling to your social media friends, and allowing users to report what they're listening to automatically via iPod, manually, or with song ID is pretty slick. The app itself is well designed and free, too.

SoundTracking for iPhone

How could it be even better?

It does what it sets out to do quite well, but who is really that keen on broadcasting their playlists anyway? And when there comes that occasional summer evening where I'm listening to some Panda Bear song just as the sun is setting and it seems like the sights and the sounds are ~*perfectly*~ in sync I can just attach a Twitpic, no? So it'd be nice to see the music discovery tools fleshed out a bit—maybe a location-based "trending" page instead of just a block of cover art.

SoundTracking for iPhoneSoundTracking for iPhone | iTunes

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Video music: Kevin MacLeod