I’ve checked out a few Music app alternatives for iSource – namely Groove and Track 8 – but I’ve never made it past a solid week of use with either of them. Both apps are gorgeous, but they both lack support for lyrics, and both of them simply feel too cumbersome when it comes to navigating my music library. I like to use a mix of search, filters, and a simple alphabetical scrollbar for selecting music, and neither Groove nor Track 8 was able to surpass Apple’s own Music app in these areas. The recently released Ecoute for iPhone, however, has a very real shot at beating Apple at their own game.
I really enjoy using Ecoute because it looks great, but still manages to function faster than the native Music app.
- I can tap and hold on Songs or Artists and choose to play them sequentially or shuffle them.
- The playback controls are available at all times, no matter where I am in the app.
- Ecoute uses the same alphabetical scrollbar used in the Music app – I love this scrollbar and I will never use an app that doesn’t have it.
- Gestures for dismissing album art (swipe down) and switching songs (swipe left or right) make sense
- The Search function works almost as in the Music app, which means that search intelligently filters artists, songs, and albums. This is something missing in the other third-party music apps I’ve tried, and Ecoute gets major points for including this feature.
- Ecoute actually features shows embedded lyrics when you tap once on your album art! Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work reliably quite yet, and I still have to rely on the Music app to show my embedded lyrics.
Ecoute is also simply a solid music player. It doesn’t crash, and it reliably plays and pauses music (that might sound simple – but both Groove and Track8 have issues with this), and I’m really, really happy with the app. The only things I’d want out of future versions would be the ability to delete songs, drill down to artists’ albums in search, and more reliable support for embedded lyrics. But even as it is now, I think Ecoute is one of the most polished apps I’ve used in a long time – well worth the $3 purchase price.
Ecoute was provided via a Twitter contest promo code for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.