No one wants to be tethered to the speakers at a party.
Inevitably, the responsibility of playing music at a get-together falls on one or two people who spend their night making sure the music never abruptly stops, and who end up fielding requests all night to keep the guests content. On the flip side, partygoers never want to deal with a cable/Bluetooth hog who thinks he’s got the best tunes (but doesn’t). What if the responsibility of music selection wasn’t up to just one person, but was instead a collaborative, democratic experience?
The app developers at Cambridge-based Intrepid Pursuits and the creators of the hit concert-finding app, Timbre, have clearly felt this frustration. With the release of their newest app, Qup (pronounced “cup”), they may have eradicated it once and for all.
Qup allows an individual iPhone to become the host of a collaborative playlist that other Bluetooth-enabled devices in its vicinity can join and add music to. This relieves the burden of playing music from a single person while also ensuring that a single individual can’t dominate the music selection.
The app has an elegant, yet simple design that focuses on doing only one thing: making a collaborative playlist. The app searches for music through Spotify and allows those connected to the “qupholder” — the person who started the playlist — to search for music through his or her login. Only the person who starts the playlist needs to have a Spotify subscription, while the rest of the partygoers or bar patrons can reap the benefits. Currently, the app only supports Spotify, but Intrepid plans on expanding the music services available for sourcing soon.
The qupholder maintains some moderator privileges over those connected — so no, you can’t troll the party by queuing up Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” or the Austin Powers theme song on repeat (which I do suggest playing occasionally, though).
Qup provides one of the best features of having a Sonos system without the staggering price of entry. All you need is an iPhone, a friend with Spotify Premium, a speaker you can connect to with Bluetooth, and friends (or not friends), and you’re ready to go. With Qup, music at parties becomes a simple affair and makes the cable hog a thing of the past.
Full disclosure: The co-founder and editor-in-chief of Sound of Boston, Knar, works at the company that created this app.