[App Fridays] #Nwplyng – An Instagram for Music

You’re home, listening to music on your smartphone as drops of rain hit the window pane. It is the monsoon’s first rains and the aroma of a warm earth fills the surroundings. Your earphones are treating you to Kailash Kher’s Cherapunji, which is a soulful rendition describing the year’s first rains. And you want to share this with the world…

As an avid music lover, I think there is an innate need of sharing music that I have. On App Fridays, we’ve covered one such app, a while back, called Groovit, which allowed you to share music locally stored on your phone to your social networks, via YouTube links.

Using the same concept, #Nwplyng, an Android app, has taken this idea to a whole new level. It’s almost like an Instagram for music, which allows you to share music that you’re listening to and add context to it.

Nwplyng Cover

Read on, as we put #Nwplyng through the drill -

What is it about?

Nwplyng 1

The song list once the song has been identified

The name, #Nwplyng is a play on the phrase now playing, only without the vowels (Good luck finding it on the Play Store). There are a few different use cases to the app. Here are some -

1) When your phone is playing a song on your local music player, the app runs in the background and pushes a notification, prompting the user to share the music that they’re listening to. You can add context by linking the corresponding YouTube video or a picture, and text, where you can tell the world what you think about it.

2) #Nwplyng is integrated with Shazam. (founder clarification – it’s not Shazam, but a similar API) The app can listen to music from another source and recognize it, and provide the user with the relevant media to post.

3) You can also manually search for a song. The app reads off the iTunes database, so the listing is quite comprehensive. Most songs that we searched for could be found.

#Nwplyng has also gamified the experience on the basis of number of check-in’s that you do. Similar to FourSquare, based on the number of check-in’s, there are ranks and digital memorabilia to be won.

Will it work with music?

Nwplaying news feed

Nwplaying news feed

I really have my doubts with this app in terms of adoption. Such sharing platforms worked very well for photos; the stories of Instagram and, more closer to home, 360 degrees panorama validate that. The extensive usage of pictures on Facebook have led to this.

However, there isn’t as much social gratification for users who share their music of social media. Here’s why -

1) Liking music is very subjective. Not everyone is going to like what you like and share.

2) Checking out a picture takes a second, while listening to a song that you don’t know is going to take more time, which most people wouldn’t be willing to spare.

While this app will get its downloads, I think these reasons will be major hindrances in #Nwplyng’s hunt for active users.

Pros and Cons

The biggest pro of this app is its user experience. I think it is one of the better Android apps in terms of design. It’s a

Nwplyng is true to the design principles of Android

Nwplyng is true to the design principles of Android

beautiful dark themed Holo app on Android and sharing music has never been so beautiful.

I have also had a peek into the upcoming design which has more of a minimalist theme, which I think will be a great change (We will bring you more about this in the coming weeks). The app building team has got it’s design sense in the right place.

There isn’t much wrong with the app, but I think its biggest pitfall is in concept.

Our Take

I’ve used this app for a few days. I love the experience of the app, but that’s about it. The prompting function is helping its cause, but beyond a point, I began to ignore it. For the app to survive in its current form, it’s going to take a lot of user traction. The founders have conveyed that the target audience is the europe and US market. It will be interesting to see how it is adopted there.

However, going by the way the app is made and the sense of design that it exudes, pivoting the app idea isn’t going to be much of a problem for them. #Nwplyng speaks volumes of the team that has worked on it. We will definitely hear more from them in the near future.

Download #Nwplyng


Raghu Mohan

Raghu Mohan

Raghu is an electronics engineer from Anna University who has a keen interest in mobility and consumer technology.He predominantly works on stories for tech entrepreneurs and startups. He is also an active member of the Bangalore Android User Group, a regular speaker at BarCamp Bangalore and is part of many other technology communities. You can follow him on Twitter @Raghum200