Whenever you take out your iPod or launch a music player on your iPhone, Mac or PC, what is it that tells you to pick a particular song from the playlist? It’s your mood; what you feel like listening to is usually connected to what you’re feeling. Wouldn’t it be great if your music player could automatically judge what you’re feeling and pick appropriate songs to match your mood? PlayMood is an app for the iPhone and iPod touch that detects your mood using the front-facing camera and plays songs that match it. It can also be set to work in conjunction with PlayMood Remote, a desktop app available for both Mac OS X and Windows. The iPhone app allows you to manually mark songs in your library as either happy, neutral or sad. The desktop client simply uses your webcam to detect your mood, and remotely controls the iPhone app to play songs that you associated with it.
Install the PlayMood app on your iPhone and it will load songs from your iTunes library. For each song, select a mood. Remember that regardless of whether you’re using the desktop client, songs will be played on your iPhone, so set the loop or shuffle settings here. Use the next/previous button on the player to move to and rate the next song. The button on the left of the media controls allows you to change the mood and the camera shutter-like button on the right lets you turn mood detection on/off on the iPhone. You can use either a camera connected to your Mac or PC to detect moods or you can use the iPhone camera. In both cases, your facial expressions tell the app how you’re feeling. Tap the little cogwheel on the top right corner to access the app’s settings, or to connect it to your Mac or PC for remote control.
If you wish to connect the iOS app to your computer, launch the desktop client and make sure that both devices are on the same WiFi network. The desktop app will detect an incoming connection and display a security code for you to enter on your phone and authorize the connection.
Once connected, PlayMood adds an icon to the Menu Bar. Turn on Mood Detection from the Menu Bar icon and smile, pout, frown or grit your teeth at the Mac/PC camera. Alternatively, you can manually select a mood from the options in the Menu Bar as well or just smile in to your phone. Click the play button, and your iPhone will start playing songs that correspond to the current mood.
The concept of the app is excellent, but we did experience a few problems with the mood detection feature. It did not seem to read (or like) our happy face. Grin and smile as much as we did, the app detected and switched between Sad and neutral moods only. We tested the app on a couple of faces, even with a high resolution webcam (1080px). That said, the app is new, so we can pass this off as something the developers might still be working to improve. Lastly, we couldn’t download the Windows app from the link provided on the website. We’re sure it’s just a little mistake that will be fixed in little or no time.
The app is 100% free and is bound to interest Mac and Windows users alike. Try the app out and let us know in the comments how well the mood detection feature worked for you.