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Song Pop: app of the day
What is it?
A social game for iOS, Android and Facebook that challenges you to guess what songs are playing quicker than your friends.
It's irresistible for music nerds, whatever your genre of choice. And it may even introduce you to some new tunes outside your comfort zone.
Draw Something has been one of the app phenomena of 2012 so far, especially at its peak earlier in the year when tens of millions of people were sending scribbles to one another on their smartphones.
The mania has died down now - although a Draw Something TV show is reportedly in the works in the US - but there are plenty of developers beavering away trying to make 'the next Draw Something'. With Song Pop, a company called FreshPlanet might have found it.
Stress the 'might', because Song Pop is a bit more niche. Whereas anyone could have fun drawing words, whatever their ability, Song Pop does rely on you being a) a music fan, and b) having the ability to recognise songs based on a quick snippet.
Mark Zuckerberg likes it (and, indeed, 'Likes' it). The Facebook CEO described it as "one of the most fun Facebook games I've played in a while" earlier this month. You can play Song Pop on Facebook's website, but it's also available as native iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
Here's how it works: you start by choosing a Facebook friend (although you can also use email addresses and Song Pop usernames, or be paired with a random stranger). Then you pick a playlist from a selection of themes.
'Today's Hits', '90's Alternative', 'Modern Rap' and 'Classic Rock' are among those offered at the start, but you can spend virtual coins (earned in-game or bought with real money) to unlock others - 'One Hit Wonders', 'Funk' and, oh my, 'Classic Folk Rock' being among the options.
Then, you're played five clips from that playlist, and have to guess the song title or artist (it varies) as quickly as possible. The challenge is then sent to the other player to see if they can outdo you.
It's all asynchronous like Draw Something or Words With Friends, so you can take turns when it's convenient, and have multiple matches going on at once. Meanwhile, power-ups give you a helping hand, removing wrong answers before you choose.
It's very addictive, especially as you can level up with a star rating for each playlist, which unlocks more songs. Judging by the list of my friends who are playing, it's also quickly gone beyond geeks to normal people - just like Draw Something did in its early days.
Will it follow the same trajectory? It's too early to tell, although hopefully the developer has strong plans to add more features over the next couple of months to keep people hooked, without over-complicating the core gameplay.