Tuesday, 5 March 2013

SongPop: A love story

I have a confession to make. My name is lightupvirginmary and I am a SongPop addict. SongPop, for the poor souls who aren't already hooked like drug addict ghouls (like me), is a free app or the iPhone. You can also play it on Facebook. Probably other places, too. Find it. Seek it out. Play! Play me. I'm lightupvirginmary. Or Lightupvirginmary. It's all funny about caps like a pedantic teacher.
So it works like this, they play a little bit of a song and you have four choices to guess what song it is. But wait, you might say, isn't it all pop music? Well that's the good part. There are SO many categories. You have the crap I like; 90s alternative, 2000 rock, grunge, britpop. Then you have the categories I can't stand; jazz, motown, crooners, GLEE. Alternative COUNTRY. NEW AGE. There are some mental categories on there. I like busting out the house, trance and techno (all seemingly the same songs) as no one can remember the names of those songs, as they were all off their heads in the late 90s. Small problem; I can't either. Still, it's good revenge if someone picks the Pro Wrestling category against you.
SongPop used to be relatively simple in that you could play your friends off Facebook, or be randomly matched with some East Coast rap fan from Canada. That was kind of cool. Now they've changed it so you can only choose from 'three best matches' who all boringly have very similar taste to you. I want to try the East Coast rap. I want to try the West Coast rap. I don't want to try the 50s, 60s or 70s, but thems the breaks. It's more fun than playing 'ultimate 90s' each time. I like responding to someone who plays Christian Gospel against me with some Trip Hop.
So I went on the SongPop board and everyone was bitching about it. Why can't we have random matching AND best match? Cos they want to screw coins out of us, I think. BRUTAL. Why can't they let us play in peace? Luckily, you CAN play for free, and you earn coins to buy playlists. If you play 500 games, as I did last week, you can get quite a lot of playlists. And get really fat. I bought the premium app like a junkie cos you can play more games, but I think it was only £1.50 or something.
Anyhow, they've made some further 'improvements' now. At first they put people's location on and gave everyone the wrong location, which was interesting. I think they moved me to Lambeth. Since then they've added 'stats' so you can see who you're most compatible with. You can also see who else your friends are playing and play their friends, so it gets round this 'best match' bullshit a bit. I also joined a Facebook group 'Pop this' where people post their usernames so you can play random people that way. Beat the system! Fuck the police! Etc.
Weirdly, a lot of the strangers I'm playing seem to be playing other strangers I'm playing. And that was before you could see their friends. I think it must have just matched people close together.
The bad side of these new 'improvements' is you can now see who's online (you get a green light) so you get people bitching and moaning and 'nudging' you when you're trying to keep up with your other 75 games. I will take my turn, give me a fucking minute! Personally, I play people in the following order: people I know. People I've been playing for ages. People with cool profile pictures. People I know won't pick Glee. Then I try and even out the number of goes. I'm doing my best, OK? Get off my fucking back already or I'll keep busting out the Bon Jovi category on you, a category in which I have a 50% success rate as I went off them after three albums when I was 12.
Two categories I'm really shit at, if you're planning to play me, are UK TV themes and US TV themes. I'm ABSOLUTELY USELESS at them. I even got BIG BROTHER wrong. Big Brother! I just can't wrap my head around TV themes for some reason. I actually fare better on video games, God knows why.
The best part about SongPop, is there's a good 'cheat'. Basically, if the other person gets the first answer wrong, you can basically just copy their answers for the other four songs, and you win. So you always need to get the first song right. I kind of like the devilment of that. That they can know every other song, but messed up the first one, so HA! That's my tip for the top. Skulduggery.
And finally you can buy playlists from other regions, which is good if you know K-Pop or Spanish or something. That will really fuck up your competitors. Just like when I pick Eurovision! Ha! OMG I just remembered two other bastard categories; classical and National Anthems. Who knows National Anthems except their own? Just plain wrong. 
Anyway, I've been playing SongPop for between 30 minutes and an hour a day, which I think might be a little worrying. I play it in bed too, and end up staying up late... just one more game, just one more fix. Still. I suppose it's better than crack. Scores get totted up on Sundays, so it's important you kick everyone's arse on Sunday. People who are beating you by about 5 points? Don't touch them. Let them have their glory. Concentrate on those you're equal with, or close to. Destroy them.
Oh, the other good thing, is I have good chats on it. Only ONE person has ever come onto me on it (I deleted them immediately - creep). With Scrabble it used to be about one a day. It's really rare to find a game where you chat with strangers and they aren't all misogynistic perverts. On SongPop, it's just friendly chats about music and TV with men and women from all over the world and it's quite nice really. You can laugh at someone for getting something really obvious wrong or lament when you get five wrong in a row. It's all just chilled out and quite relaxing. I think that's the thing about it. It's just down time. And I'm also quite good at it. So I can show off.
I'll probably get fed up with it, like DrawSomething when they over-complicated it. But for the moment, I'm really enjoying it. Oh and if you're reading, developers, can I get a Morrissey and Bright Eyes playlist? And can you make your Brit Pop playlist a bit more relevant (who the fuck are Dawn of the Replicants? Have you heard of Shed Seven?) And can we delete playlists? There's a couple I definitely bought by accident and they need to begone.
And here concludes my first ever blog about an app. Next up: Hello Kitty Cafe. Not really, but it is bloody ace. Haha, I'm not joking! In fact, there's probably some customers that need serving, right now...  Hello Kitty really is a fucking slavedriver.

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