Whether you are at a party, or are just listening to music with some friends, there are bound to be arguments at times regarding what songs should be played due to different choices of everyone involved. If you have hooked up your iPhone with an external speaker, everyone else might not be content with the tracks present in your device’s library. People might ask you to play a certain song, but not everyone gets to have their say in the matter. With GrouPlay however, anyone who has an iPhone or iPad can contribute towards the selection of music at a gathering. Not only can users allow other iDevices on the same Wi-Fi network to stream songs from their library, there is also the option of moving a song up the playlist by voting for it, making music playback in a social gathering a great experience for everyone involved.
Anyone can host a playlist using GrouPlay. If you want to keep access limited, tap the small info icon in the bottom-right corner and toggle on ‘Session Password’. The password can be any alphanumeric value of a length of your choice. To act as the owner of a new session, hit the green play button in the middle of the screen. If you merely want to join an existing session, make sure all the devices are on the same Wi-Fi network and look for the host names on the main page of GrouPlay. The host can add songs to the main playlist from their local music library. Other members of the session can export tracks quite easily by hitting the ‘+’ icon and choosing any song they want from their device. It takes some time for the song to appear in the playlist across all devices, but the process is generally smooth.
Once the GrouPlay playlist has been finalized (or even while it is under construction), all members of the session can vote for songs. Just hit the small arrow icon next to your favorite song’s name, and it moves up the list based on all the votes it gets. The voting affects the playlist in real-time, with almost instantaneous results. Once the songs start playing, only the host can control the playback volume, skip a song, or pause playback. You can also save the playlist to GrouPlay for later use if you want.
GrouPlay is a great app, with simple controls and support for playback over Airplay as well, in addition to the device’s own speakers or any connected dock or external speakers. It is optimized for both iPhone and iPad displays, although landscape mode is missing even on the tablet. You can grab this free (ad-supported) app by heading to the link below. The ads can be removed via an in-app purchase of $1.99.