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WhoSampled: app of the day
What is it?
The official app of well-respected music website WhoSampled, which maintains a database of 150,000 songs and their samples.
Its ability to scan the music stored on your iPhone, tell you all about the samples within it, and then play those original tunes.
iPhone - £1.99
Samples are the lifeblood of much modern music, far beyond the hip-hop genre in which they first came to prominence. WhoSampled is a website that sprung up in response to music fans' demand to know more about the songs that have been chopped and mixed into their favourite tunes.
It has a database of more than 150,000 songs with meticulously-tagged samples, enabling you to spot exactly where that Eminem hook came from (Labi Siffre), or where that fanfare at the start of Jump Around was spawned (Harlem Shuffle).
Now there's an app for that, and it's marvellous. Available for iPhone only for now, it provides a smartphone-shaped window into the website, letting you search for specific songs and artists to see what samples they've been making use of.
The app can also scan the music stored on your device for a more personalised view, serving up a list of songs that you own which contain samples known to WhoSampled. Everything is presented cleanly and intuitively to help you drill down into the roots of your record collection.
Each song lets you know what it sampled, and what other songs it was sampled in. Tap through on these, and you'll be presented with full tracks to listen to, courtesy of YouTube. There are also iTunes Store buttons to buy it, and options to discuss and rate each sample, as well as recommendations on other songs you might like.
Charts offer a rundown of hot, top-rated and new samples in the database, as well as listings for artists. Obviously this will only appeal if you already give two flying hoots about the sounds that make up your favourite songs, but if so, there is bags of depth.