Love listening to full-length albums instead? Longplay, an indie music app from developer Adrian Schoenig that focuses on the album-listening experience, is out today with a significant update that improves on the album-playing app first launched in 2020. While the original version offered a unique music discovery experience by offering a visual wall of your favorite albums, version 2.0 is improving the listening experience and offers more ways to organize your albums, in addition to now supporting CarPlay.
The end result is an app that aims to satisfy music fans who want to enjoy their digital music collection similar to how they would have enjoyed listening to their vinyl records or CDs in years past.
The app works with your Apple Music collection, music purchased from iTunes, or albums you sync manually. Once you synced, Longplay’s user interface presents a wall of your favorite albums which you can start playing with just a tap. You can also long-press on albums to put them into shuffle mode or play them via AirPlay.
The new release, out now, improves on the experience by allowing you to continue to listen when your album finishes. Previously, the app would stop at the end of an album, but Schoenig explains he realized he wanted to “stay in the flow” — by either playing an appropriate next album or one from a manually specified queue.
Version 2.0 offers the ability to queue up albums you want to continue to play or choose an “Album Shuffle” option that will automatically continue playing a random album, either by the selected sort order in the app or by a selected collection.
You can sort your albums by a wide variety of options, like by artist, then album, or by time spent listening, date added, last played, by the rating you provided each song, randomly, or even by “negligence” — meaning by the time it’s been since you last listened.
The updated app also now lets you organize your albums into collections, allowing you to group albums by mood, language, or any other factors that are important to you.
In addition, Longplay now uses its own in-app Now Playing view instead of the system player. This view includes a shuffle button that you have to hold down, which then shuffles through the albums like a slot machine and includes visual and haptic feedback. (If you missed an album you wanted to play as it whizzed by, you can drag left to go back manually, the developer notes).
The app also makes it possible to sync playback counts via iCloud as well as connect your Last.fm or ListenBrainz accounts. And Longplay now lets you use the app via CarPlay.
For existing users, this upgrade comes for free, despite the added features. The app itself remains a paid upfront app, but is now $6 instead of the $2.99 it was in 2020.
Schoenig says he’s now preparing to work on other future features, including macOS support, Apple TV, and a life-size album wall for Apple’s new Vision Pro.