Creating a great playlist is tough. It's more than just throwing a bunch of songs together and hoping for the best. You have to make sure the music melds together smoothly, with no jarring transitions. It's time-consuming, and if you don't add enough songs, well, it's just embarrassing when the music ends in the middle of a party. Serato's new Pyro app for iOS solves many of those problems by keeping the jams going long after you've given up trying to mix Kanye with Beyonce.
Serato, best known for its DJ software, is entering the consumer market by taking the technology that's been helping mixmasters beat-match and cramming it into one dead-simple UI. While the playlists resemble the Clear app's lists, the underlying transition tech is what really shines here. As CEO A.J. Bertenshaw told Engadget, "What we've learned about DJing and audio manipulation is put behind the scenes."
Upon launch, Pyro asks you to "build a fire." From there you can add songs, artists and playlists from both your Spotify and your locally stored music -- the app allows mixing of music from both sources. You then add as many (or as few) songs as you like. Off the bat, the app's algorithm offers up suggestions for additional tracks that match the playlist. Just tap on one of those recommendations to add it to the lineup.
If you walk away or get tired of adding new music, the app will automatically cue up new songs to your playlist so that the tunes never stop. The transitions are essentially seamless, because the app speeds up or slows down the tempo of the next track. It then slowly corrects the tempo so the song sounds as it should. Basically, it does what a DJ would do in a club but without the turntables, mixers and glow sticks.
In my own tests, if I got tired of a song, skipping to another immediately activated the beat-matching feature. There were no odd moments of silence; one track would just blend into the next. And the tempo tech is great, too: a fun little feature where if you skip around in a song, it keeps the beat. Both of these little touches remind you of Serato's strong DJ pedigree.
Bertenshaw says the app isn't aimed at DJs. Still, I suspect that more than a few clubs will use Pyro to keep the dance floor going.
The free app is currently available for iOS only, with the Apple Watch supported as well. Fortunately, an Android version is on the way, with OS X and Windows versions coming out sometime after that. According to the CEO, the company is also looking at Apple TV. Then you'll be able to make a playlist from nearly anywhere.
So if you're the type of person who wants to live their life like they're in the club or you just want to make sure your next dinner party has enough music to last through the dessert course, Pyro is for you. It's an easy-to-use music player that does one thing and does it very well.