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Let how you feel dictate your playlist with Moodagent for Android

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Moodagent Free for your Android phone is an app that generates playlists based on your mood. It's a great way to break you out of the rut of listening to your music library in the same order over and over again, and it's a solid alternative to the standard Apple Genius playlists.

When you boot up the app, Moodagent will automatically load data for your tracks if the files already exist on your phone. The very first time you launch, the app will sync your music collection up with online "profiles." This will be how Moodagent will be able to create custom lists based on your mood. It's a process that takes some time, especially if you don't have a strong Internet connection, so if you can, connect with a Wi-Fi network as it'll make this process go a whole lot faster.

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Something that's important to note is that sometimes Moodagent won't be able to profile certain pieces of music. You shouldn't have any problems with mainstream music, but you might see "unprofiled" pop up sometimes when you're running through some more-obscure indie bands.

Once you're done, you can start generating playlists from your library based on five different attributes: "Sensual," "Tender," "Happy," "Angry" and "Tempo." Adjusting and tweaking the sliders will automatically change the playlist, which will appear beneath these controls.

I understand that there are only so many ways to break down a song, but the spectrum of human emotions is more vast than just sensuality, anger and happiness. I wish there were even more attributes to choose from, perhaps sadness or anxiety, for example.

The words "tender" and "sensual" turned out to be relative terms, and just because you crank up the "joy" dial doesn't mean you'll get a list of Walking on Sunshine kind of songs. It might take a few tries fiddling around with the thing before you get the playlist you intended. Even so, you'll still turn up some pretty great playlists, something a little bit different than you'd get if you stuck with Apple's Genius playlist, which seems to stick with sorting songs based on genre.

One potential setback to Moodagent Free is the fact you can only have 25 songs on a single playlist. I think users should have the option of adding more songs, just because standard playlists are usually more lengthy. Another complaint is that while you can save your playlists for later use within the app, you can't save them for use in iTunes.

There's also a social networking aspect to Moodagent Free, allowing you to post your playlists to your Facebook or Twitter feeds.

For a free app, this works pretty well. I'd say it's definitely worth checking out. If the ads bother you, though they are mostly non-intrusive, you can download the full version in the Android marketplace for $5.