YouTube has become a central hub and dumping ground for anything from caught-on-a cell phone camcorder bike failures to DSLR-captured nature montages and live music performance. SoundCloud is very much exclusively a music-sharing and discovery ground, but essentially the same kind concept. Both platforms are tools that allow us as users to say 'I found this amazing song, and there's this one part…', send the person or people the link, then the time that the special thing happens, then discuss once they've seen the video or listened to the song. It's how we have done it for years, and it likely won't change too much in the coming years.
Enter PingTune, an app that works to facilitate much the same thing you do when you want to share a part of a song or music video. PingTune is a relatively new app, having left its beta stages on the iOS platform last year, and has launched on Android to expand its user base to more people, but specifically the younger people that didn't want to fork over the extra cash for an iPhone. What is PingTune and why should you care about its new existence? Because it combines three aspects of sharing, and two media platforms, in one place with a light and easy-to-manage interface.
PingTune allows the sharing of music from both SoundCloud and YouTube, and does so with a nifty messaging interface, sending the selected song as a sort of 'attachment', like a picture in a text message. It acts very similar to Snapchat in that the media you send is the focus of the message, regardless of whether you have text with it or not. PingTune may also be aiming to take on users of WhatsApp, an extremely popular messaging app, and give more and better sharing options for music lovers. But why use it if you already use YouTube and SoundCloud to share with your friends?
Say you found a video with explicit lyrics, but the song, or the back-beat, or maybe the outfit in one of Katy Perry's music videos is worth discussing, but isn't so friendly to the eyes or ears of younger viewers. You could always show the person or people in person, pulling your device out and showing the video yourself, but where's the fun in that, and what if they don't live down the block; what if they live in Sweden while you're situated in Australia?
The biggest push and feature, I guess you could call it, is the fact that this app is private. It only requires that you log in using a username, email, and password that is specifically for an account with Pingtune itself, and therefore does not associate your SoundCloud or YouTube account (and any other connected social media accounts, of course) with the fact that you sent that particularly explicit or absurdly hilarious music video to your friend in Sweden. And remember how you always have to scan through the video, if you show it to your friends in person, even if you know the song and video by heart, just to show them a specific part? Now you don't have to do that with PingTune.
PingTune's highlighting feature, other than the interface's clean and appealing look, the 'anonymity' with YouTube and SoundCloud sharing, and the usefulness of having an app to do music and music video sharing specifically is the trimming. Not like when you get a haircut, but like when editing a video and using only snippets of the whole video or audio. With PingTune, you can 'highlight' or select a specific are of time in the song or music video that you want to specifically show your Swedish friend. If you're sending the video for a specific outfit discussion, it would allow you to show off that three-second clip of Miss Perry in a particularly 'interesting' outfit or making a ridiculously funny facial expression.
Also worth note, is that you can share the music you find through many of the apps you have installed on your device, so you're not restricted to using only PingTune to share the song that so perfectly matched how you feel right that moment. PingTune aims to combine some of the biggest sharing options with a Snapchat- and WhatsApp-like means of communication, and does so in a way that not many apps can manage to pull off in such a short span of time. Check out this app for sure, because it may be where social music is heading in the near future.