MiQ Limited has announced PLAYER, a free iOS app that analyzes songs from your device's music library and then shows you how to play those songs with chords, keys and song structure.
PLAYER uses a streamlined interface and attractive UI to display song structure and chords in real-time as a song from your iOS device is played. The idea is that you see the correct chords that correspond to the song as it's being played, which teaches you to play along with the song. If you don't know a particular chord, PLAYER displays chord finger positioning for guitar, piano and ukulele at the top of the app. Before you start, the song is first sent to MiQ for analysis, which takes a few seconds.
Additional features include a Discover section that allows you to see the Top Charts of songs used by PLAYER in iTunes' music library. The charts give you a taste of sample chords played in a given song as well as the option to tag a song for later purchase. PLAYER also lets you compile a set list of songs for rehearsal to save you digging around for individual songs you want to practice. Finally, a nice touch is a feature that allows you to slow down the playback of a song you're playing along to. It's a great tool for when you're first learning a song and everything's a bit too fast for you to keep up with.
Regarding song analysis, unfortunately no app is going to correctly predict and place all the chords of a given song. And PLAYER is no exception. Your mileage will vary depending on the style and production of the song you're listing to. For best results, you need to give as much attention to listening to the musical makeup of a song as you do looking at the chords being displayed in the app.
In short, PLAYER is an easy to use, well designed app. It's a wonderful tool for anyone wanting to learn and develop their musical playing skills for guitar, piano and ukulele, especially beginners.
As a side note, PLAYER is developed by the same company that developed Jamn, an app that teaches you the musical theory of the relationship between notes, scales and chords.You can read my review of it here. Finally, if you like PLAYER, but want a bit more detail and control of the manipulation of the song you're learing, check out Capo for Mac, which I reviewed here.