When I was in high school, I remember we didn’t have iPhones with wireless sharing capabilities or music streaming apps like Pandora and Spotify. But we did have some iPod Classics, and sharing headphones with friends asking you to listen to your “new songs” was normal. And sharing headphones was annoying: you were forced to mess with cables, you didn’t get the full quality of a song, you always ended up with broken earbuds after a few days. Though, like I said, that was normal.
We have better ways of listening to music nowadays: streaming aside, we have portable Bluetooth speakers like the Jambox and iPod nanos that fit in every pocket and are relatively cheap. Eavesdrop, a new app for the iPhone released a few days ago, aims at taking the whole “local music sharing with your friends” concept a step further by enabling you to broadcast your iPod.app library over WiFi and Bluetooth.
Here’s the simple idea: the first iPhone has music synced to the iPod.app, and a friend asks you if he can listen to your library. Your friend, too, has an iPhone – with no music. You both fire up Eavesdrop, which costs $1.99 in the App Store, and you load some songs or artists off the iPod library. Either over local WiFi or Bluetooth, your friend will see your iPhone as a “peer”. Your friend will connect to your iPhone, and receive the song you’re currently listening to. That’s it: the first iPhone plays music, the second iPhone connects and gets the same music.
Whilst the concept is great and the UI elegant, I noticed that I got a more reliable connection with Bluetooth, rather than WiFi. I know my home network isn’t great, but I really didn’t expect Bluetooth to work better. Perhaps the developers will need to tweak the streaming engine a little bit, and your results may vary depending on your network. Yet as it stands now, Eavesdrop just works and turns your iPhone into a “personal radio” that can broadcast music stored in the iPod.app effortlessly.
Eavesdrop is available at $1.99 in the App Store.