Cultivating the perfect party playlist requires more than a little time and effort, but when there are kegs to be tapped and cheese plates to be arranged, the task can sadly fall by the wayside. That’s where a new iOS app called Anthm comes in — instead of putting the playlist together all on your lonesome, you can have your guests do it instead.
Think of Anthm as part Reddit, part playlist manager. Once you’ve created a party (which requires an Rdio account, more on that later) on an iDevice, connect it to a pair of speakers and you’re off to the races. Other users with iDevices can then jump into your party room and start fiddling with your music selections. If there’s a song a guest likes, they can upvote it to push it up the queue or bury it to… well, you know. In this respect it’s quite a bit like iTunes DJ, but where Anthm shines is the ability to request songs.
Since Rdio features something like 12 million tracks, there’s a fair bit of music put at your guest’s disposal. Hitting the request tab brings up a simple search bar from which they can dig though all the tunes in the Rdio catalog, and upvote accordingly. The music selection process works well, but Anthm’s reliance on Rdio may be a dealbreaker for users. Co-founder Ben Myers tells that they hope to add support for other streaming services in the near future, so hosts can “simply log in to whatever service they subscribe to,” but MOG and Spotify users need not apply just yet.
If you are an Rdio user and you want to use Anthm at your next party, please note that it’s a breeze to set up a party password. Without one, any Anthm-using passerby could inject a lethal dose of Kenny G into an otherwise solid mix, though I guess even that could be a blessing if your guests are tonedeaf enough. Heck, you don’t even need to be a passerby to make your music crash the party — while Anthm displays the parties near your current location, a three finger swipe to the left from the party selection screen brings up all parties using Anthm.
From there, I took it upon myself to find a few unsecured shindigs where I repeatedly requested Sutton Foster’s jaunty rendition of I Get A Kick Out Of You. While I like to think everyone could stand to benefit from a bit of Broadway, I apologize if my zeal for showtunes put a damper on someone’s fun.
It’s still early days for Anthm, and while there are still a few hurdles to overcome, one of the most notable is that it’s currently an iOS exclusive. While speaking to Myers, he mentioned that the driving force behing creating Anthm stemmed from a run-in with a bartender who went a little overboard with Foo Fighters tunes one night. It wasn’t long before Myers, soon-to-be-fellow-co-founder Paul Beaudry eventually fixated on what would soon become their mantra:
“Our phones know our location and our musical tastes, so why are we here, listening to music we don’t like?”
As it stands though, that’s exactly what users of other mobile platforms will have to deal with should they swing by an Anthm-powered party. Fortunately, Myers told me that getting the app onto other platforms is a big priority for the team.
“An Android version is at the top of our to-do list,” he said. “And we’re looking into making a web version that could be used on other platforms as well including Windows Phone and Blackberry.”
Until then though, iOS users who want to take Anthm for a spin can download it from Apple’s App Store here.