, a nifty iPod-integrated app for the iPhone I first reviewed last year, just received a major update to version 1.2 which, among several improvements to the interface and speed optimizations, turns the app into the ultimate iPod replacement the developer was aiming for since the first release. My Artist, in fact, used to provide a beautiful alternative view for the standard iPod.app installed on every iPhone, but that was nothing more than a custom extra layer that still relied on iPod.app for music playback and controls. Like most “iPod.app controllers” in the App Store, My Artists added a lot of functionalities but was unable to directly control and play music already synced on your device. This changes today, as My Artists 1.2 finally ditches iPod.app dependence, being able to directly play your music. This means you’ll see a My Artists icon in the multitasking tray when using the app, not the iPod app’s one, and yet you won’t have to give up on standard iOS features like AirPlay — which works just fine even without using the native iPod software. I don’t know how Top Drawer Apps did it, but it works — music is now both recognized and
played by my Artists.
Version 1.2 also brings Last.fm integration for those willing to scrobble music to the service, but that will cost you $1.99 as in-app purchase. A little last.fm icon in the playing screen will allow you to activate or disable the feature at any time. Speaking of which, the Now Playing view got some interesting updates as well, namely an icon in the upper right to quickly jump to more albums or tracks from the artist you’re already listening to. Alternatively, you can open the (improved) Bio section, which uses Wikipedia to display artist and album info.
My Artists was a great app before this update, now it’s just a must have for heavy mobile music listeners and general music lovers who would like an app focused on artists, albums, and information coming from the web. My Artists can be downloaded at $1.99 from the App Store.