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The iPhone is in many ways the technological descendant of the iPod; in fact the iPod Touch is in many ways indistinguishable from the iPhone. Yet the features for listening to music on the phone are remarkably limited. It sounds good and you can usually find your music well enough, but if you want to create a playlist while you are listening to music it can be problematic, as well as the built in music player being slow. Panamp allows you to create dynamic playlists quickly, easily, and is faster too. But, the question remains whether it is worth buying Panamp or if the advantages are too minor to be worth the cost.
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Panamp is effectively a replacement app for the music option in the iOS. If all you do is occasionally play a song or two then this may not be all that valuable. It uses the same speakers and so it sounds the same. If you use your iPhone to play music a lot though, then there is good reason to use this app. The most basic advantage is that it is faster; you won't notice this unless you open the music on the iPhone a lot, but if you do then this is worth the time. What is more likely to be noticed is that the interface has also been streamlined. When you play music in the normal music player it goes to another screen, in Panamp you are able to play music directly from the song list. This not only saves a bit of time every time you start a song, it's also of great assistance if you’re looking through your library for specific songs.
The best part of this app though is what they call "dynamic queues." This basically lets you create a playlist of songs very quickly. All you have to do is scroll through your music and when you find an album or song you slide it to the right. It then goes to the queue screen and will be played in the order you move them in. You can also easily organize the order of those songs simply by sliding them up or down in this list. This is even faster than creating a playlist in iTunes. You can also do this while listening to music, so if you think of a song you want to listen to next, you have a way to do it. The only real weakness is that unlike iTunes you can't save these playlists for later.
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The interface of Panamp is very simple and similar enough to the basic iOS layout that the average user should feel very comfortable with it almost immediately as it is actually simpler than the basic setup. The only real weakness of this is that it could use a simple information screen to explain some of the few things that work differently or aren't available in the basic iPhone music app.
Things like moving the songs up and down the dynamic playlist list is very easy, but you have to touch the lines on the right side to move it and, if you don't know that, it can be frustrating. A bit more information on some of the other minor features would also be useful. Still, if what you want is a faster and easier way to listen to your music then this interface is considerably better than what is built into the iPhone, and it isn't all that difficult to understand without any directions.
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There is very little doubt Panamp is better than the default iPhone music program. It is considerably faster, easier to use and lets you do everything that you can in the default iPhone set-up and a number of things that it can’t. If you listen to a lot of music on the iPhone it becomes very valuable, but if you don't use it a lot then this isn't likely to change that. This means that the real question about the value is for those people who don’t use the iPhone for music much. If someone has never been bothered or even noticed the speed of the iPhone music program, and music isn't something you use the device for often, then there is no great advantage here.
Beyond those who simply don't use this though the only real limit is that it would be nice to be able to save the playlists in Panamp. This would be more important if setting up these playlists was hard, but the reason that it is important in this case is because it is so easy to do, it would be nice to replace iTunes with it completely.
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For anyone who uses the iPhone to listen to music regularly Panamp is going to be a good step up from the default iOS music player and the only real reason that someone might choose not to use this app is because they either don't use music much at all, or they prefer the ease of having the music button on the bottom of the screen rather than having to open an app. Even so, these are not enough to keep it from being a very highly recommended app.
(Cost: 2.99 )
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- Panamp, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/panamp-the-music-player/id446136147?mt=8
- Source, author's own experience
- Images, Screenshot taken by author
Panamp Music Player Review
*Please note - the author received 'Panamp Promo Code' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.