WhoSampled - Best Android, iOS apps from 2012


The act

(Developed by WhoSampled.com)
Available for: iOS
Released: June
Price: $2.99

Back when hip hop was little more than two turntables and a microphone, it seemed like every DJ sampled the same catalog of instantly recognizable beats and breaks--James Brown's "Funky Drummer," for example, or Chic's "Good Times." But in an anything-goes culture where Kanye West digs deep enough into the crates to repurpose everything from King Crimson to Tony Joe White, even the most encyclopedic music enthusiast may find it impossible to pinpoint the original source of a particular melody, rhythm or effect. Over the years the invaluable WhoSampled.com database has connected the dots between about 50,000 recording artists and 150,000 tracks, but the site's new iPhone app goes one better, scanning the user's personal iTunes library to highlight which songs were sampled, which other songs sampled them and whether they've been covered or remixed. In essence, it's mapping the DNA of your personal music collection. 

The WhoSampled app can't stop/won't stop/doesn't stop there, however. Double-tapping the Now Playing feature summons information on all of a song's musical connections, regardless of whether the artist is the sampled or the sampler. Users also can identify which part of a cut was sampled and where it's incorporated into another track, even comparing the two recordings side-by-side via YouTube streaming. You can also purchase songs from iTunes, share your archaeological discoveries via Facebook and Twitter, and comment on any entry in the WhoSampled database. If you've ever wondered "Why does this sample sound so familiar?"--and if you've listened to music anytime in the last 30 years, chances are good that you have--then download WhoSampled and wonder no more.