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For Playlist Junkies, An App To Send You Down The Rabbit Hole

The Songza app lets music lovers build playlists for almost any mood or situation, from "Unwinding After a Long Day" to "Cooking" or "Eating Dinner."
The Songza app lets music lovers build playlists for almost any mood or situation, from "Unwinding After a Long Day" to "Cooking" or "Eating Dinner."

Chicago DJ Mary Nisi is no stranger to the art of the playlist. As president of the wedding DJ company Toast & Jam , she builds them regularly for receptions of all kinds.

But this week, Nisi's giving the music app Songza a spin. Songza, available on iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire, offers ready-made playlists for all kinds of activities, from "Waking Up" and "Unwinding After a Long Day" to lists with tongue-in-cheek names like "Indie Music That's Not Too Weird."

Nisi finds little fault with this virtual mix-tape builder — but she has one word of warning: Once you load it up, you may not be able to put it down.

The whole app is based on the idea that you log in, and it's Wednesday, and it's late afternoon — and it gives you six options of what could potentially be happening to you [at that moment]. It could be working, "About To Head On Your Commute," "Home From Work," "Studying," "Midday Dance Party."

Click on "Midday Dance Party," and [Songza] gives you pretty broad genres, like " '90s," "2000s," " '50s-'60s," "Indie Pop." And then it might have some weird wild card in there, like "European City Dancing."

One of the few complaints that I have for this app is that it's like a rabbit hole. Especially for someone like myself; I want to hear what I want to hear — I will keep going deeper and deeper and deeper into the app.

I actually convinced my spin instructor to play it, and we chose "Massive Pop Hits," which was basically what I want out of exercising. I want to feel like I'm dancing at a gay dance club. There was a remix of David Guetta's Titanium featuring Sia, and that set the room on fire — people went kind of bananas for that one.

Overall, the app itself is pretty great. Instead of having to make a playlist for every situation you go into, if you are going to a barbecue, or if you are cleaning the house [or] not cleaning the house, studying, taking a study break, dancing in your living room — there's literally a playlist for everything in there. It pretty much has something for everybody.

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Mary Nisi
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