Instinctiv is a set of programs that allow you to manage, sync, and enjoy your music files on your mobile devices as well as your Windows or PC computer. It provides a server program on your Windows or Mac PC that connects to an app on your Android or Maemo device (sorry, no iOS support yet), and offers some very interesting features such as smart shuffle recommendations, an amazing art album function, and even waveform audio fingerprinting for music identification. Currently in a public Alpha stage, it is already shaping up to be a great free music solution.
As soon as you load it, Instinctiv will begin searching the most common places on your computer as well as your iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries. Essentially, the mobile app is the same as the PC program, just in a smaller package, and it lets you manage the sync between your computer and mobile device.
Instinctiv is not a new concept in programs. There’s no shortage of applications to manage your music on your home computer or your Android, and there are even some others out there that will sync and organize your music files between the two. What Instinctiv promises to bring to the table, however, is a high-quality program with no cost that will do the same things the big boys do, while keeping a perspective for the future and what your music needs will be then. For example, Instinctiv has some very simple options to share the music you are currently listening to, and where you’re listening to it, on sites like Last.fm, Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare, all right from the Instinctiv Player. This means if you are listening to your music, you don’t have to exit to your home screen, pull up your Facebook app, and then enter the status update manually. Seems like a small thing, but it’s this vision of the future that makes Instinctiv slightly ahead of the pack.
In addition to basic features like shuffle, loop, and a multi-band EQ, Instinctiv also boasts a rudimentary AI system that supposedly learns your preferences and tries to organize your music files accordingly. This particular feature, however, does rely heavily on the tag information you have on each file. For example, if you have a bunch of rock songs that are tagged as gospel, then the Instinctiv player is going to think you enjoy gospel music. Alternatively, if your files are largely un-tagged, then Instinctiv has nothing to work with so it wouldn’t be able to do much in the way of organizing them. The program does have a nice album art feature that fetches and downloads art for your music files based (again) on the tags. While I did find that this feature was a bit more accurate than many others I have tried, I also noticed that it didn’t wind up using one single image for all the files it couldn’t find pictures for. That’s something that I have dealt with on other programs like this and has always been a big annoyance so I am pleased to see that this one seems to have gotten it right. Also, Instinctiv lets you build playlists using a simple, visual, drag and drop system, rather than making you navigate through hundreds of files in tiny windows.
Instinctiv also offers a music “identification” tool that will allow you to play a file into the mic of the computer (or mobile device) and try to find out what the artist and title of the song is. It does this by comparing the digital sound print of your recorded sample against an online database to see if there is a match. Another great feature of Instinctiv is the SyncStream Smart Caching. This is a nifty feature that lets Instinctiv automatically grab songs connected to your SyncStream account and download the ones you are most likely to listen to (based on past usage) so you can have them ready to play when you’re on the go. There is also robust support for multiple file formats, more than 50 of them. The available formats include the most common .mp3 and .aac files as well as support for DRM protected files like iTunes music. That’s another nod to the future, as Instinctiv tries to make itself the ultimate comprehensive solution. Whether or not they succeed may depend largely on people like you and I testing the Alpha release and giving them feedback. Therefore, I encourage you to drop by their site and have a look for yourself. So far they are offering support on Windows, Mac OS, and Android. There’s also an OVI app and I am hoping to see an iPhone app out soon.
Until next time, my friends.
Get Instinctiv for PC, Mac, Android and OVI Maemo here.