Spotify has ruled the music streaming roost for the past few years with its mix of subscription-based and free listening for connected users at home, in the office and even on the move. But now there's a new challenger... Well, not entirely new. WE7 has been around for 5 years in various forms, but recently, thanks to some viral pick up and a high profile acquisition, the service is now gaining traction. So we decided to check out its mobile app...
You can sign in via Facebook (see where that viral interest has come from?) or by signing up to a WE7 account. Once in you're presented with a list of playlists or 'stations' that you can choose to add to your 'influences' or just download to your device for later listening.
WE7's preset stations have a smattering of 70s, 80s, etc themed music but more interesting is the ability to build your own personal radio station, although it's always good to have a ready-made source of content to download to your device before a long train journey.
And the beauty of WE7 is its seductive free-ness. While it's not a simple task to add specific tracks to your station, the app makes new recommendations based on your current tastes refreshingly simple. It beats asking the office junior who's hot and getting the sardonic response, 'Justin Bieber'.
Initially, populating your station requires a bit of searching around for relevant content and the app does restrict your movements somewhat in this department. Head online to we7.com and you’ll find adding influences to your personal station is much simpler. In-app you have to search for individual artists to add them to your station, rather than just browsing the myriad preset playlists and thumbs-upping or -downing tracks as they’re playing.
So WE7 is a great service. We can all get behind a subscription-free music service. However, the app itself feels restrictive and doesn’t give enough of a flavour of the vast range of content on offer. Fingers crossed that changes soon.
Free music is not to be sniffed at, but We7.com offers so much more choice than this slightly restrictive app hints at. A great service nonetheless.