After Apple Music’s takeover last week, it’s nice to get back into some apps that aren’t quite so hype ridden. Though if you’re still drinking the Apple Music Kool-Aid, I’ve got an app to help import your data from that “other” streaming service. (There’s a bonus app in that review.) I’ve also got an app to help you track down all the places you saw on your favorite food travel shows. I close out the week with an app that collects tons of travel guides.
STAMP – Mac
While I think that you can easily make the case that Apple Music can replace Spotify, or whatever streaming service of choice you use, there is a lot of value still locked up in your playlists and saved tracks. However, if you’ve decided to jump in feet first, you can with a little bit of work use STAMP to import all of your saved music. If you used Spotify’s My Music function to build your collection, this is a one step process. Buy STAMP, use it to log into Spotify and it will add your collection to iTunes. (You can use the app in a trial mode that allows you to import 11 songs at a time.)
The app uses Automator scripts to parse the Spotify info and then search Apple Music song by song and add the results to your collection. The app will act a little weird if you try to import music that you already have in your collection, so beware. You’ll also need to enable the app as an assistive device in Settings. Despite those set up and caveats, this is a really great app.
If you want your playlists, you’re going to need to do a bit of work. This process isn’t perfect. You are going to need to use Exportify to export all of your Spotify playlists to CSV files. Once you have those you can then use STAMP to import those into Apple Music. The problem with this process is going to be if you have those files already in your library. They won’t be added, making it a bit difficult to just quickly select all of the tracks and add them to a play list from Recently Added. Not something you want to deal with when you have a two hour playlist. This is off label use, but it is at least somewhat possible to get your playlists out of Spotify and into Apple Music.
What’s Good: Can easily import your Spotify Music into Apple Music. With a little work, you can get your Playlists imported as well.
What Sucks: You have to basically not touch your computer while it runs, unexpected inputs can cause errors.
Buy it?: If you’re trying to find a way to get your Spotify music into Apple Music, try STAMP. It is five euros, or roughly $10.00 from the developer’s website.
Worldview – iPhone
If you ever get really stuck when trying to do something, zoning out on pictures can be a great way to get through a block. Worldview has a great selection of photos you can browse through and vote up. If you tilt your phone you can look around the scene.
The app lets you submit pictures, but it does require Facebook. It’ll also need your location information, which is how the app works to create the pictures for other people to view. I’m not too averse to Facebook, but I do not that it’s a pretty common concern for some users.
What’s Good: Tons of high quality photos from around the world.
What Sucks: Sharing function requires Facebook.
Buy it?: If you are looking for a great collection of high quality photography, and don’t mind a one way conversation, check out Worldview. Download it on the App Store for free.
TV Food Maps – iPhone
If you’re anything like me– you’ve wasted more time than you should have watching the Food Network or Travel Channel. There’s just something about seeing people eat sandwiches twice the size of their head. Okay there’s also restaurants with really cool dishes you’d like to try, but you never seem to remember them when you’re actually traveling.
TV Food Maps can help you find your favorite spots from food TV, either browsing by location or by show. The app even includes a road trip planner that allows you to find out if you can squeeze in a few stops along the way. If you want to build a profile to collect your travels, the app can connect to Facebook. Connecting via Facebook also removes the daily search limits without IAP, making it a fairly good deal.
I am not someone that would obsessively try and visit each place that one of these shows go to, but it is nice to be able to mark and collect the places you’re interested in. It doesn’t appear that this has the blessing of any of the networks, so I am not sure how long the database can be maintained.
What’s Good: Road Trip planner is a great idea, various ways to browse for what you’re looking for.
What Sucks: No tie in with the show’s owners could threaten app over long term.
Buy it?: If you’re a fan of the restaurant shows, check out TV Food Maps. Download it on the App Store for free.
8-Bit Weather – Web
8-Bit Weather is totally a novelty. That said, I really like a simple approach to weather in a web app. Removing a ton of overhead in a web apps means that you can set your weather in your default tabs without worrying about sending your fan into a frenzy.
8-bit Weather is simple. You get the temperature and condition along with a suggestion of what to wear. This is done by a little 8-bit sprite of a guy in a beard. There is no Swackett-esque function to show male or female outdoor attire. A mobile app is promised in the future, so maybe they’ll have more customized options then.
What’s Good: Simple web app, easy to load weather app.
What Sucks: No guy/girl sprite swapping.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for a simple web app to add to your default tab list, check out 8-Bit Weather.
Tripwolf – iOS(Universal)
Tripwolf is an app that gives you access to tons of travel guides. Each guide has tours, accommodations, dining, nightlife, and transit information for a bunch of different cities. It also includes offline map information, which can come in handy when you’re stuck in Airplane mode to avoid foreign roaming data charges. Much of the information comes from Fodor’s guides, and you can even purchase some tours and hotels right in the app.
Each of the basic guides are $.99 but you can unlock the more advanced parts of the guide for $4.99. (Some cities don’t have an advanced guide.) If you’re a frequent traveler, you can get an unlimited plan for $49.99. The last one gives you all the available guides, and promised free access to future content. Probably not something you need unless you’re seriously into traveling.
The app has a lot of positive features. Their salesmanship isn’t one of them. I downloaded quite a few of the free guides to just to check out the features, as well as look at what they had on offer in cities I’ve already been to. I found that a few hours after I look at a free app, I’d get a slew of notifications asking me to upgrade to the full guide. The app is really well made, and it doesn’t need the aggressive sales tactics.
What’s Good: Excellent mix of information about cities, good UI, able to browse some tours and hotels right in the app.
What Sucks: Overly aggressive sales via push notifications.
Buy it?: If you’re looking for well made guides, and can spend a few minutes disabling notifications, check out Tripwolf. Download it on the App Store for free.