The New Say Play App Makes Streaming Music Simple

Say Play iPhone AppStreaming music just moved a step closer to World Domination.

Yes, Taylor Swift yanked all her songs off Spotify. But nobody, not even Taylor Swift, can stop the Streaming Music Revolution. As Mark Mulligan of the Music Industry Blog puts it:

Licensed streaming music will be ubiquitous five years from now, music sales will not.

A new iPhone app, out yesterday, just moved the needle a bit closer to “ubiquitous”. It’s called Say Play. It streams music.

Many many apps stream music.

None are simpler than Say Play.

You start the app. You press the red button. You say the song you want to hear. ANY song, not just a song on your phone. And the app streams the song.

Say Play: One Sentence Says It All

How easy is the Say Play app? So easy the directions for its use are one sentence long:

Play any song in the world just by saying its name.

That’s it. The Say Play app just made streaming music as fast and easy as pressing a button and telling your iPhone what you would like to hear. The voice recognition is spot-on.

Learning curve? You already know how to talk. The app claims to recognize 15 languages, including English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Swedish. Can you say “Abba”?

OK, there is a small learning curve. When my wife and I started using the Say Play app, we got better results by saying both the name of the song and the name of the artist, especially while looking for a song title the app might confuse with something else. Do you want to hear Do It Again by Steely Dan and not Do It Again by the Beach Boys? Say the whole thing.

Because it ties into YouTube, the Say Play app is hard to stump. One time it chose the wrong song for us. But the app got it right the second time. Another tip: don’t mumble.

Recipe for Success

Tal Bereznitskey, who developed the Say Play app, says he loves creating One Thing Apps:

They’re easy to make, easy to explain and simple enough that even my parents use them.

Play any song in the world just by saying its nameSounds like a recipe for success

There does not seem to be an Android Say Play app yet. I’m told other apps, like Moto Voice for Droid, work well. Other iPhone apps do, too, including Siri.

But no app makes streaming music easier and more convenient than the Say Play app.

And that is the key. Throughout the history of recorded music, ease and convenience have won:

  • Early phonograph discs crushed Edison’s tin cylinder.
  • The LP crushed the 78.
  • Tapes (8-tracks and cassettes) crushed the LP.
  • The CD crushed tapes.
  • The digital download crushed the CD.
  • Now streaming music is crushing the download.

Each prevailing format proved easier and more convenient for people to use than the one before it. That’s why the Streaming Music Revolution will keep on winning, no matter what obstacles get thrown in its path.

It would be nice if future versions of the Say Play app could link to your Spotify account. It would be great if future versions could include sources, if they exist, that pay the songwriter and artist better. Maybe there is more to come.

At the moment, the Say Play app does just one thing… and does it so simply that everyone from a kid to a grandparent can instantly stream just about any song they can name. Even Shake It Off.

The Say Play app costs 99¢ in the iTunes App Store. Then it’s free to use. No login, no credit card, just music.

Added 2/9/15:

The Say Play app has been updated for iPhone and iPad. As promised by the developer in the comments on this post, the update restores the app’s knack for finding the right song.

The updated app found nearly all songs I asked for, even some obscure ones. As before, it helps to say the name of both the title and the artist.

One downside: the app appears to no longer support background play. Still, it remains the easiest way to request a song or other YouTube content and immediately hear (and watch) it.

12 thoughts on “The New Say Play App Makes Streaming Music Simple

  1. I am a grandma and wanted to impress my grandchildren by downloading some of their favorite songs on to my iPad. The titles Happy and Let It Go were my first choices. The videos and sound were fabulous! It was now time to select one of my favorites. Because my daughter’s name is JoAnna and I remembered a song from around 1992 by that title, I pressed the big, red, button without the artist’s name and got an inappropriate video that I cannot let my young granddaughters listen to or view. I cannot find a way to delete the unwanted wrong choice. Please help me resolve this embarrassing mistake.

  2. Hello Cheryl: I am happy to hear you tried the Say Play app and sorry to hear you ran into an embarrassment.

    As I understand it, the Say Play app does not download a song or video to your iPad. It streams the song from YouTube, along with the video that goes with it. You can listen to your song and watch the video through the app. The moment you tap “Done”, the stream stops and you can make another selection (if you do not see “Done” in the upper left corner, tap the screen and it should show up).

    What could go wrong? As you found out, if you say a common title and do not also say the artist, the resulting video may not be what you want. When you try again, try adding the name of the artist. You are probably looking for Kool & the Gang’s 80s hit “Joanna”, although Scott Walker had an earlier hit by the same name and Tony Bennett sang “When Joanna Loved Me”.

    I hope you find the right song this time. If you continue to have a problem, please let me know and I will be happy to contact the with Say Play developer on your behalf.

  3. This app might’ve been good before, but it doesn’t work anymore. It appears that the app is made to play music videos, rather than songs. But now almost all of those videos are being blocked, probably by YouTube and/or other video sites, so all we get is a blank screen with no sound, that claims it is loading the song (when it isn’t).

    Unless and until they get this problem fixed, the app is essentially worthless.

  4. Hi guys, I’m the developer of the app.

    There is indeed an issue with a large number of songs and I know it makes the app not functional.

    An updated version that fixes that is already on its way to the App Store and you’ll be able to update for free. It usually takes about a week for Apple’s review team to complete their review of the app and release it to the store.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  5. Cheryl and Dale: The updated Say Play app remembers your requests. To delete a selection, just swipe left and hit “Delete”.

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